He also dismissed Turkey positions that the ruling, concerning the exploitation by a British couple of land belonging to a Greek Cypriot refugee, would complicate the talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem.
Kyprianou said “the implementation of the decision is a legal obligation and we will following developments closely,” adding that ”the broader consequences and the wider significance of the ruling are of exceptional significance to us.”
He said ”the European Court’s ruling, which was in essence adopted by the British Court, is very fundamental,” and noted that ”this ruling points out certain legal facts, which are very important.”
Kyprianou explained that “first of all it applies throughout Europe, it applies to all European citizens,” adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is already making clear to all European citizens ”the significance of the ruling, the illegality of purchasing immovable property and the existing risks for the buyers in illegally purchasing occupied property.”
He also pointed out that “it is a ruling that binds all EU member states and citizens.”
“The second, which is also very important, is the combination of the European and British decision. It reaffirms that – irrespective of the continuing Turkish occupation and the practical weakness of the state to exercise control in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus – the Laws and Constitution of the Republic still apply,” he stressed.
Kyprianou noted that “this is a message that must be sent, not only the citizens, the private buyers, but also to the governments of all foreign states, especially the European ones, and all those carrying out business in the occupied areas, that anything the do must be done with respect to the Laws of the Republic of Cyprus, and of course this also applies to the European Commission which, through various regulations that have been adopted to strengthen the Turkish Cypriot community, is active in the occupied areas.”
He said that the third point “concerns the ongoing peace talks in Cyprus,” to help find a negotiated political settlement to reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
“It reaffirms the legitimacy of the positions presented by our side concerning, not only who the legitimate owners of occupied properties are, but also who should have a say in the management and the fate of this right, who is indeed the owner,” the Minister added.
“I totally disagree with the approach of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I do not believe that this ruling will complicate the talks. On the contrary, it reaffirms the legitimacy of our proposals and I believe that this should be accepted by the other side,” he pointed out.
The Court of Appeal ruled on Tuesday that a decision by a Cypriot court, in connection with claims relating to Greek Cypriot owned property in Cyprus’ northern Turkish occupied areas, must be executed.
The Cypriot court had ordered David and Linda Orams to pay compensation to Meletis Apostolides, demolish the holiday home they had built on his land in the Turkish occupied village of Lapithos, halt all intervention on the said property and deliver it to its legal owner.
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island. They have recently concluded the first phase of intensive negotiations and are scheduled to begin a second round on January 25.
Financial Mirror, January 21, 2010