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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-02-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US seeks to defuse tensions with Turkey
  • [02] UN representations over harassment

  • 1235:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US seeks to defuse tensions with Turkey

    Washington, Feb 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has promised the United States that no Greek warplanes will be deployed to an air base under construction on the island at least through the end of his term 13 months from now, according to American Officials, the ''Washington Post'' reports in its Sunday edition.

    An article written by Thomas W. Lippman says President Clerides made that promise to Carey Cavanaugh, the Director of South-Euroepan Affairs at the US State Department, during his visit in Cyprus in mid-January, on a mission to defuse the latest flare-up of tension.

    This unaccounted promise not to receive Greek F-16's, coupled with Clerides' public pledge to wait 16 months before receiving any components of the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles, was designed, according to the columnist's US and European sources, to give the US and European diplomats time to seek a solution to the long-stalemated division of Cyprus.

    Lippman further says with Greek-Turkish tensions over Cyprus and other issues threatening to erupt into armed conflict and stymie plans for expansion of NATO this summer, the Clinton administration is considering an all-out push this year to break the Cyprus deadlock.

    The article refers to a statement by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that the US is prepared to take ''a heightened role'' in breaking the stalemate on Cyprus.

    A State Department official has stressed that no indication of how Albright plans to do has been given, because she and her aides have not figured out how to go about it.

    ''This is a demand and a justification for making the effort,'' he said. ''The international community needs a resolution of this issue. So the question is not whether we should, but how. We face the unwillingness of key parties to make any kind of compromise to reduce tension.''

    ''Acid concerns for Turkey'', are reported according to a US official to be, ''Greek jets and Russian missiles on Cyprus.''

    The article announces that David Hannay, the retired diplomat who leads Britain's quest for a Cyprus solution, is due in Washington on Monday for consultations. The biggest problem, US officials think, is finding a formula that would accommodate the many concerns of Turkey.

    Referring to Cyprus' accession to the European Union, the article says the US officials see that the logical conclusion for Ankara is to accept an agreement on the reunification of Cyprus, which would give Turkish Cypriots the benefits of EU membership and remove a major obstacle to Turkey's accession as well.

    Clinton administration officials are reported to have said they are cautious about attempting to exert overt pressure on Turkey over Cyprus because: ''Washington needs Turkey's cooperation on Middle East issues; a friendly Turkey is essential to balancing Russian ambitions in Central Asia; and they fear pushing Turkish Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, a Muslim activist courting good relations with Iran, further into Tehran's orbit''.

    CNA DA/GP/1997

    [02] UN representations over harassment

    Nicosia, Feb 2 (CNA) -- The United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) will make representations to the government of the Republic over the harassment yesterday of the Force's Commander and a group of his friends, by Greek Cypriots who were staging a protest to dissuade tourists from crossing into the island's Turkish occupied north.

    UNFICYP Spokesman, Waldemar Rokoszewski, told CNA ''this is a violation of the status of the first agreement between the government of the Republic and the UN, in 1965, which provides complete freedom of movement for UNFICYP personnel throughout the island.''

    He added ''due representations will be made and the Secretary General's Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, will be duly informed.''

    Rokoszewski said the Finnish Brigadier-General, Ahti Toimi Paavali Vartiainen, with a group of around 12 friends of his, living in Cyprus, were harassed.

    He said the demonstrators tried to prevent them from passing through the Ledra Palace checkpoint, the only point from which one can cross into the area occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion.

    ''This is a serious issue. I cannot recall any such incident in the past, he added.

    The Spokesman also said that the UN is under heavy restrictions in the Turkish occupied part of the island, where the UN personnel is constantly harassed, but he noted UNFICYP has no agreement with the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime.

    Rokoszewski dismissed rumours that the group of people accompanying Vartiainen were invited by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for lunch as ''pure fabrication.''

    On their part, the demonstrators have said they were angered by the fact that the UNFICYP military chief, who is leaving Cyprus later this month, was taking Swedish and Finnish tour representatives to the Turkish- occupied north, in a UN mini bus.

    Organised groups of Greek Cypriots have been staging a weekend protest campaign at the Ledra Palace checkpoint against the continuing Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus, in an effort to inform foreign visitors about the injustice of the situation here.

    CNA MM/MA/RG/1997

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