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24 September, 2020
 
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Commission calls on Turkey to show solidarity without discrimination

After Turkey denied entry into its airspace to a plan carrying medical gear to Cyprus, the European Commission said 'the pandemic requires solidarity without exceptions'

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The European Commission called on Turkey "to maintain a spirit of solidarity without discrimination", referring to Wednesday’s incident where Turkey denied a flight transporting medical equipment to Cyprus to enter its airspace.

(Click here for an update to the story)

"The best way to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and its impact is international solidarity and close cooperation," spokesperson for the Commission and the European External Action Service, Peter Stano, told the Cyprus News Agency.

"We are aware of this issue,” Stano said, adding that “the extraordinary circumstances under the coronavirus pandemic really require solidarity without exceptions."

"Turkey has been providing assistance and medical supplies to many countries all around the world, and has participated in the coronavirus global response conference", Stano noted.

"Therefore we would expect and encourage Turkey to maintain this spirit of solidarity without discrimination", Peter Stano stated.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said 36 tons of medical supplies from the People's Republic arrived at Larnaca International Airport late Wednesday night, carrying face masks, shoe covers, disposable surgical suits and other protective gear.

“It was an adventurous flight, since Turkish authorities did not allow the plane to go through Turkish airspace. So, the pilots had to change course towards Moscow where they landed for refueling, with a new flight crew taking off a new route to Cyprus,” Karousos wrote on Facebook.

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