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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-01-22

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] U.S disappointed but persistent on moratorium
  • [02] No plans to close Australian mission
  • [03] Attorney General in Athens for EU harmonisation issues

  • 0850:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] U.S disappointed but persistent on moratorium

    Washington, Jan 22 (CNA) -- The US has expressed disappointment about the absence of an agreement on a US-proposal for a moratorium on flights of military aircraft over Cyprus.

    ''We were very disappointed that the parties were not able to conclude the measure, which has been on the table in different forms since July 1996. We had been encouraged by some positive statements we had heard out of Nicosia, Ankara and Athens last week, but unfortunately, when the Cypriot and Greek leadership met in Athens on Friday, they were unable to reach a final agreement on this arrangement,'' State Department Spokesman, Nicholas Burns, said during the regular press briefing.

    Burns said during last week's meetings, Carey Cavanaugh, Director of Southern European Affairs at the State Department, received signals from the Cypriots, the Greeks, and the Turks, that they would all work very hard on this proposal for a moratorium on military flights over Cyprus.

    Burns said the moratorium offers a possible diplomatic alternative to the deployment of the missiles and continued "the agreement on a moratorium perhaps makes it unnecessary to deploy the anti-aircraft system in 1998, about a year and a half from now".

    The American official said that despite all this the US will continue to work with the parties on this proposal and on other measures.

    Asked if Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides' statement was taken by the US as a definite no, Burns said "I don't know if it was a definite no. I think it was a statement that they were not able to reach an agreement on Friday. I don't know if this agreement will be impossible to reach in the future.''

    ''We're not going to stop our efforts to suggest that this is the best way forward: a moratorium that would increase the level of confidence on the part of all the actors in the region and give some diplomatic space, for the negotiators to work on these problems without resort to threats,'' he added.

    Invited to say why an agreement has eluded all parties concerned, he replied ''we did not have iron-clad assurances that this agreement would be reached last week, but we had positive signals that they would accept it.''

    Now, he added, ''you will have to ask the Greek government and the Cypriot government why they did not conclude this agreement on Friday. We're very disappointed. And we'll continue working with them on it.''

    Referring to a joint declaration by the Turkish President and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Burns said the US have "said many times in the past that there is no reason for the Turkish government or the Turkish Cypriots to overreact to the events of the past ten days. We are calling upon all the parties for restraint".

    The Spokesman called on the Turkish government to stop the dramatic statements and threats, and added ''I would note for the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriot leadership that President Clerides has promised that this anti-aircraft system will not be deployed for up to 16 months.''

    This, he underlined, is a very significant promise. Burns also said that none of the parts of this system will actually even be imported into Cyprus during that time, a move which should allow all the parties to work out their differences amicably without resort to the kind of dramatic statements and threats that have been made.

    CNA DA/MM/1997

    [02] No plans to close Australian mission

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- The Australian High Commission here has not received any advice from Canberra about government plans to close down the Nicosia mission, a spokesman for the High Commission told CNA today.

    Recent reports have suggested that the Australian government was thinking of closing its single accreditation mission here, which has been operating since August 1975.

    ''To our knowledge no decision to close the mission in Nicosia has been taken,'' the spokesman said and explained that in the light of budgetary restraints, discussions about cutting government expenditure are often held.

    The press reports also suggested that closure of the High Commission would certainly create a strong reaction from the Cypriot and Greek communities in Australia and Australian citizens, of Greek origin living on the island.

    CNA MM/GP/1997

    [03] Attorney General in Athens for EU harmonisation issues

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Attorney General Alecos Markides is flying today to Athens for a series of meetings concerning the harmonisation of Cyprus law with the acquis communautaire.

    Markides will be briefed and will examine the ways followed by Greece during her pre-accession period and after it joined the European Union (EU) for harmonising its law with the acquis communautaire.

    The visit marks the beginning of a wider cooperation between Cyprus and Greece on harmonisation issues, an official press release said.

    During his stay in Athens, Markides will meet with Greek Justice Minister, Evangelos Yiannopoulos, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, George Papandreou and other government officials.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

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