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EU backs lifting of Turkey embargo on Cyprus ships

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The European Commission has long been clear that Turkey should end its embargo on Cypriot-flagged ships and planes, said Transport Commissioner Adina Valean.

“We are standing by Cyprus on this, and we are using all the opportunities internationally we have to raise this issue.

“There are political issues with the overall situation…the European Commission made it clear a long time ago and will continue to do so”.

Valean made the comments at the Maritime Cyprus media conference with Transport Minister Yannis Karousos and Shipping Minister Vassilis Demetriades.

“Our problem is not only on shipping but also aviation, well reflected in the annual report on Turkey, and this is actually the reason the (EU accession) transport chapter has never opened for negotiations with Turkey,” said Demetriades.

“We are ready to negotiate with Turkey any time.

“The Commission always stands by our side because this is an issue against all the principles of international law and the acquis Communautaire.”

Commissioner Valean stressed the importance of Cyprus’ connectivity with the rest of Europe and hailed the implementation of a passenger ferry between Limassol and the Greek port of Piraeus.

She argued that decarbonisation is the main challenge for the entire transport sector, indicating that, in addition to shipping and air transport, citizens want cleaner, less crowded cities with less traffic congestion.

The EU Commissioner replied to a question about LNG, saying, “we need to cut emissions in a dramatic way in all transport modes, and we have to use everything in our power, and LNG is part of the solution for a transitional period”.

“The challenge we face is to see what fuel is more appropriate for the aviation and maritime sectors; we will need more liquid fuels.

“So, this is why we proposed, for aviation, refuel EU, which creates an obligation of blending for fuel providers in order to have sustainable fuel on board and for maritime, we leave it very open depending on operation to have flexibility.

And that leaves quite an array for fuel types.”

Karousos said Cyprus initiatives and proposals, such as air connectivity and the Green Agreement, are being promoted.

He said the Commissioner was briefed on measures taken after losing tourists from the Russian and Ukrainian markets due to the conflict.