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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cyprus demands answers from Britian over Syria intelligence claims

A Sunday Times report quoted an unnamed Syrian official as saying British spies, based in Cyprus, gather the intelligence then pass it on to Turkish and American sources and the Turkish sources then pass on the intelligence to Syrian insurgents.
FAMAGUSTA GAZETTE
• Thu, Aug 23, 2012

THE FOREIGN MINISTER has asked British authorities for a full explanation in to media reports that UK military installations in Cyprus are providing intelligence to Syrian rebels.

Speaking on state radio, Dr Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis said she expected a reply from the British by the end of the day. 

Kozakou-Marcoullis added that it was crucial that the bases were not being used for purposes not enshrined in the island's Treaty of Establishment, saying that the Treaty mandated the British Bases to be used for defensive purposes only.

A Sunday Times report quoted an unnamed Syrian official as saying British spies, based in Cyprus, gather the intelligence then pass it on to Turkish and American sources and the Turkish sources then pass on the intelligence to Syrian insurgents.

“British intelligence is observing things closely from Cyprus. It’s very useful because they find out a great deal,” the official told the newspaper. “The British are giving the information to the Turks and the Americans and we are getting it from the Turks,” the official said.

Earlier this week the British High Commission in Nicosia refrained from commenting on the report, with Spokesman Michael Howes saying: "The official government position is that we do not comment on intelligence or operational matters, I am not in a position to give in any further details."

Meanwhile, Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot United Cyprus Party (BKP) has said that the British military bases in Cyprus are a big threat for the island and should leave. 

In a written statement yesterday, Izcan referred to the information on the activities of the British Sovereign Base in Dhekelia regarding the issue of Syria, and noted that “Cyprus faces the danger of a possible attack” because of these “military and espionage activities”.  — Copyright © Famagusta Gazette 2012 All comments are now moderated

source  |  3 Sept 2012