News Local British MP receives assurances against UK direct flights to occupied Cyprus 

British MP receives assurances against UK direct flights to occupied Cyprus 

 

The UK Government has not changed its position against direct flights between British airports and the occupied airport of Tymbou in Cyprus, the Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling has said.

Grayling was responding to a question in the House of Commons on Thursday by the Conservative Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers.

The long-standing friend of Cyprus north London MP asked the Transport Secretary to “confirm that the Government have no intention of allowing direct flights between the United Kingdom and the northern part of Cyprus.”

Her question was prompted by a fellow Conservative MP and former minister, Iain Duncan Smith, recently declaring his support for a petition to allow direct flights from the UK to the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Grayling said: “Let me be clear: all Members of the House would like to see a long-term solution to the issues on the island of Cyprus. This country will continue to work with our friends in Cyprus to try to achieve that goal, but our policies on flights have not changed.”

Villiers welcomed the Transport Secretary’ statement by saying that “To have allowed these (direct flights) to go ahead would have meant recognising the administration in north Cyprus as a sovereign government. This would mean a reversal of longstanding policy by Conservative, coalition and Labour governments. This would have been a big step and one which would have been strongly opposed by many of my constituents.”

“The way to open up the possibility of direct flights to the northern part of Cyprus is to find a negotiated settlement between the two sides which reunites the island. As the Transport Secretary said today, the UK government will continue to work with friends in Cyprus to achieve that goal. Agreement on a just, viable, and balanced settlement will deliver many benefits to the economy across the whole of Cyprus, including the travel and tourism sector,” she said.

The UK does not recognise the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied northern Cyprus and accepts as the only legal point of entry to the island the Republic of Cyprus.

Top Stories

Deadly Greece floods kill 5, including 8 month old baby

  Torrential rains have caused deadly extensive flooding in the Greek island of Evia, killing at least five people who drowned in their homes, including...

UK PM says schools must open in September

  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said reopening schools in September was a social, economic and moral imperative and insisted they would be able to...

Two couples from Romania lost in Adonis Baths area, found by authorities

  Two Romanian couples lost in the Adonis Baths area of Paphos were found by police and the fire service, following a rescue operation last...

Survivor search sadly ends in Beirut rubble, Cyprus rescue team to return

  Lebanese authorities have declared that there is no longer hope of finding any other survivors in the rubble of the Beirut explosion rubble and...

Uprising calls gather pace in Lebanon as rage spills

  Some Lebanese called for a sustained uprising to topple their leaders amid public fury over this week’s devastating explosion in Beirut, and the country’s...

Taste

Octopus ‘Kathisto’ (or Octopus braised in Wine)

Ingredients: 1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped fine 1 large octopus, about 2kg (cleaned and kept whole) 3/4 cup dry red wine 1/3 cup...

Homemade lemonade

Ingredients: 1 cup lemon juice 1 cup sugar Method: Thoroughly wash the lemons with soap and warm water. Roll each lemon with the palm of your hand, pressing...

‘Striftaria’ mini cheese pies

Ingredients 1 ½ cup milk 2 tbsps. flour 4 tsps. of butter 3 eggs, slightly beaten + 1 extra with 1 tbs. of milk for spreading 1 pack of...

Mini potato canapes baked on salt

Ingredients Serves: 12 1kg small Cypriot potatoes rock salt, as needed 250g salted butter 300ml full fat cremé frâiche 1 pot cod or salmon roe Method Prep:20min › Cook:35min › Ready in:55min Take...