The European Community Shipowners' Association (ECSA) is seeking to lift Turkey's embargo on Cypriot-flagged vessels entering the country's ports.

Vice president and president elect Claes Berglund has called for a "political" solution to the ban, which has been in place since 1987.

Political solutions

Berglund told Singapore-based news service CNA that his association believes in a rules-based, multilateral trade system.

"Unilateral actions that hamper the free flow of goods and services or target specific nations to prevent them performing transport services are condemned as strongly as possible by ECSA.

"Political solutions are strongly supported," he said.

Last week, the President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, said he was stepping up efforts to end the ban.

He called the restrictions "illegal" and added: "Our efforts to remove these anachronistic and illegal restrictions will be further intensified as they are a clear violation of international law."

The president called the embargo a clear violation of international law.