A statement issued by UNFICYP on Wednesday said that “UNFICYP was obliged to limit today’s delivery to medical aid supplies, following the Turkish Cypriot administration’s unilateral decision to impose taxes and fees on other humanitarian goods. UNFICYP regrets the decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot administration, which it considers to be an unfortunate development.”
Last month, the TRNC authorities announced that as of October 1 it would charge customs duties on goods – drinking water, foodstuff, petrol – carried by the UN to Greek Cypriots living in the north on the grounds that the borders had been opened since 2003, and the Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the north no longer needed the supplies and sold them to Turkish Cypriots.
President Mustafa Akinci criticised his Foreign Minster Tahsin Ertugruloglu for the decision. Akinci said that he had requested that the decision be suspended in order that they meet to discuss it, but this had been ignored.
He said that such a decision which came at a time when international circles were praising the Turkish Cypriot side’s constructive stance on the Cyprus Problem, was no different than shooting one’s own foot.
The President accused Ertugruloglu of opening wounds that were difficult to heal, adding that making decisions that could affect the Cyprus problem and relations between the two communities without taking his view into account, was unacceptable.
He said that the government should refrain from taking any decisions which may put the Turkish Cypriot people into a difficult position.
In his statement, Akinci also criticized Foreign Minister Ertugruloglu for his earlier remarks that the Turkish Cypriot side might resort to conflict in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Cyprus Mail, BRT