Cyprus Mail

Turkish Cypriots want a say in bases post Brexit talks

A British base in Cyprus

Turkish Cypriots said on Thursday they want to have a say in negotiations between the republic and the British government on the status of the military bases post Brexit.

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu said international law dictated that discussions of the status of Turkish Cypriots living and working in the bases must also take place with them.

Last month, Akinci met with representatives of Turkish Cypriots working in the sovereign base areas and was informed about their problems, views, and expectations with regard to the change of status.

The Turkish Cypriot side is ready to engage in the necessary consultations on the matter with UK officials, who are expected to take into consideration the balance between the two sides on the island, Burcu said.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the European Commission has agreed that no steps will be taken unless the Republic of Cyprus agrees and gives Cyprus the green light to enter bilateral negotiations.

This is the only exception to the bilateral negotiations with Britain, which is always in consultation with the negotiating team of European negotiator Michel Barnier, Kasoulides said, adding that when there is a conclusion, the agreement on the UK bases will be incorporated into the treaty.

According to the minister, what is being sought is to safeguard the rights that Cypriot nationals enjoy under the current regime – where the acquis was also applicable in the British Bases – according to Protocol 3 of the Accession Treaty of Cyprus to the EU.

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