British military enclave in south-central Cyprus that was retained as a "sovereign base area" by the United Kingdom under the London Agreement of 1959 granting the independence of Cyprus. Located southwest of Limassol, the enclave comprises Akrotiri Peninsula, the southernmost part of the island, and a small coastal area north of Episkopi Bay. The enclave has a hospital, a weather station, and an airfield. Akrotiri and Dhekelia sovereign base to the northeast (together totaling 99 square miles [256 square km]) are used as British training facilities and staging areas between Britain and southern Asia and the Far East. They are also support areas for United Nations forces on Cyprus. In the late 1970s, controversy arose in Cyprus over the reported use of Akrotiri by the United States as a station for monitoring Soviet activities
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