| 13 June 2012
The Cypriot Foreign Ministry is seeking to engage in high level negotiations with the authorities of the Sovereign Base Areas in Cyprus (SBAs) over the properties of Cypriot nationals living in the areas under SBA control. The issue was discussed in a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee of Commerce with the participation of the Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis. In statements following the meeting, Marcoullis said the Foreign Ministry has sent a letter to the SBA head, requesting a meeting with a view to conducting high level negotiations on the solution of the long-standing problem. She added that officials of the Interior Ministry and the Law Office of the Republic will participate in the negotiations.
"The issue is not only political, it is primarily a legal issue which touches upon the Treaty of Establishment. It also concerns many other serious matters, mainly legal but also political which should be resolved in a way that would secure not only the rights of the inhabitants but also the rights of the Republic of Cyprus," Marcoullis pointed out. She said every effort will be made to conclude the negotiations by September or early October. "I hope we will have the right response and cooperation from the British Bases so that the issue will be resolved," she concluded.
Following the independence of Cyprus from British colonial rule in 1960, the UK has retained two Sovereign Base Areas in Dhekelia, in the southeast, and Akrotiri on the southern coast of the island.