02 December, 2004
WASHINGTON 2/12/2004 (ANA/T. Ellis)
The possible start of flights by American aircraft to the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus will constitute an unacceptable move on the part of the United States and will create a dangerous precedent, Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) has stressed in a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell and to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
As member of the sub-committee for aviation, Snowe expresses her displeasure over the fact that two members of the Transportation Security Administration had recently visited airports in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus to investigate the technical infrastructure and the possibilities for flights of American aircrafts.
The Republican Senator of Maine notes that the international organizations recognize as legal flights only those which are made with the consent of the internationally recognized authorities of the Republic of Cyprus. Within this context, she notes that despite the negative ruling of the International Civil Aviation Organization but also the lack of interest on the part of American airline companies, the government of U.S. President George W. Bush insists on examining the possibility of flights to the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus.
Snowe reminds that it is the steadfast position of the United States to maintain direct relations only with the legal and internationally recognized government of the Republic of Cyprus, something, which in any case, also derives from relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
Concluding, she calls on the relevant secretaries to make clear U.S. policy on this matter and to explain why they sent to the occupied north of Cyprus members of TSA while at the same time reducing the number of security personel at US airports.
Source: Athens News Agency