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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-11

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] British Bases in Cyprus not on war alert

  • 1410:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] British Bases in Cyprus not on war alert

    Nicosia, Feb 11 (CNA) -- British Bases in Cyprus are not on war alert due to the situation in Iraq, but there is an increased number of military planes stopping there on their way to the Gulf, spokesman Mervyn Wynn Jones told CNA.

    Jones was asked to comment on local press reports Wednesday that the southern British military base of Akrotiri and the Episkopi Garrison had been put on war alert due to the situation in Iraq.

    The spokesman categorically denied that the Bases were on alert and noted the policy of the British Ministry of Defence was "never to discuss security arrangements."

    "It would be a complete exaggeration to say that we are on war alert," Jones told CNA.

    However, he confirmed that over the past few days flights of military planes stopping-over to Akrotiri had increased.

    "There have been a number of extra flights passing through, on their way to the Gulf," he said, "from a variety of places."

    Asked whether security measures had been taken within and around the British Bases, Jones refrained to elaborate and reiterated their policy never to discuss security arrangements.

    "Clearly, security arrangements are under procedural review," he said, noting "this is the constant process."

    A British Defence Ministry spokesman told CNA two weeks ago that "part of the personnel on the Bases have already been put on alert of a certain degree," due to the situation in Iraq.

    "The same happens in all Bases, including those in Britain itself," he said, adding "the degree of alertness may increase according to developments."

    Jones told CNA he was unable to get confirmation of that report.

    Britain has retained two sovereign military Bases in Cyprus since 1960 when the island gained independence from British colonial rule.

    CNA AP/GP/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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