Displaying items by tag: Cyprus

Thursday, 19 May 2022 23:41

Pipeline awaits approval

The EU is finding it difficult to decrease its dependence on Russian oil and gas. One alternative is the proposed EastMed pipeline, which would carry natural gas extracted from fields under the waters of Israel's and Cyprus's exclusive economic zones to Greece and from there to other European countries. The pre-feasibility studies of the pipeline, conducted from 2015-18 and paid for by the EU, found that the project is ‘technically feasible, economically viable and commercially competitive’. The US under secretary of state for political affairs, meeting with her counterparts in Turkey, has said that more pipelines are needed in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, the USA prefers to steer business to Turkey rather than to America's democratic allies, Cyprus, Israel and Greece. Algerian gas pipelines are also acceptable to the Americans, but the long-planned EastMed pipeline is not.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 27 May 2021 22:02

Soldiers’ cocaine binge

Ten British soldiers stationed in Cyprus binged on cocaine during a night out in Paphos. It is one of the biggest single cases of cocaine abuse in British army history. A military spokesperson said, ‘The Army does not tolerate drug abuse within its ranks. It is incompatible with military service and operational effectiveness. Army personnel caught taking drugs will be discharged.’ Military police have launched an investigation into drug-taking by soldiers on the island, which an observer said is ‘rife’. The 500-strong battalion was given an ‘experimentation battlegroup’ role, with special forces officers drafted in to oversee the transition. It is also responsible for guarding an airbase which launched bombing missions to Iraq and Syria. It sits at the vanguard of the army’s approach to ‘prototype warfare’, which involves new technologies of drones and robots. The drugs binge by the soldiers is particularly embarrassing for army command, given the battalion’s high-profile role and the investment being poured into it. 

Published in British Isles
Friday, 03 January 2020 09:48

Cyprus: rape case

UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab expressed ‘serious concern’ about a possible miscarriage of justice by a Cypriot court convicting a British teenager of lying about being gang-raped on holiday. The 19-year-old originally told police she was raped by twelve Israeli youths. She withdrew her complaint two weeks later, saying she was ‘forced’ to do so by police who left her ‘scared for my life’ and who did not record the interview; it was her word against theirs in court. The alleged attackers have returned home, while she faces jail and a fine. The case raises questions about Cyprus’s treatment of victims of sexual assault. Protesters claim the Cypriot authorities ‘always find a reason not to believe women who claim they have been raped’. The teenager has been contacted by others who were ‘forced to remain silent’ during similar experiences. She will be sentenced on 7 January.

Published in Europe
Friday, 09 August 2019 13:15

Turkey: Ramps up drilling off Cyprus

The Republic of Cyprus is in the EU, but the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognised only by Turkey, and is internationally isolated. Ankara's latest move to increase drilling for oil off the coast of Cyprus by sending a third ship to the eastern Mediterranean, despite EU warnings, comes on the eve of talks between the president of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leader. At the time of writing, Cyprus president Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci are expected to discuss ways of resuming negotiations aimed at reuniting the divided island after talks failed two years ago. In 1974 Cyprus split, 165,000 Greek Cypriots fled or were expelled from the north, and 45,000 Turkish Cypriots from the south took their place. In the years since then there have been failed talks to re-unite the island of Cyprus as Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities stand by their right to take their old homes back, or be compensated.

Published in Europe