Nicosia lets US use air space, bases

NICOSIA (AP) – Cyprus said yesterday it had given the United States permission to use airports and air space for its war on terrorism, giving US forces a potentially helpful stopping-off point in the Mediterranean. Permission from the Cabinet came in response to a request from Washington on Wednesday, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said. The government believes that every country has an obligation to participate in the campaign against international terrorism, Papapetrou said. The announcement followed an overnight statement by US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher that Cyprus conforms to all international anti-money-laundering standards, as verified by a 29-nation financial task force. This followed complaints by Cypriot officials that Washington failed to respond to some American media reports that Cyprus was involved in money laundering linked to Osama bin Laden.