NEWS

Cyprus informs UK of its bitterness at Cherie

The decision by the lawyer wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair to take on a case involving the purchase of property in Turkish-occupied Cyprus turned into a full-blown diplomatic row yesterday as Nicosia said it had made representations about the matter. Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou said his government had complained to London and to British diplomats in Cyprus. He said that Nicosia would not accept that Cherie Blair took on the case in her professional capacity. «We are not satisfied by the explanation that Mrs Blair is a lawyer and takes on all sorts of cases,» Iacovou said. «Someone else from her office could have taken on this particular case so that Greek Cypriots would not have been provoked.» Cherie Blair is representing a British couple, Linda and David Orams, who have been told to demolish their home in the north for illegally building on land belonging to a Greek-Cypriot refugee. «We believe that the matter has political and economic elements and the involvement of Mrs Blair is undesirable,» said Iacovou. Nicosia said that it was not appropriate for the wife of the British premier to be linked to this matter since Britain is one of Cyprus’s guarantor powers.