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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-24

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] New US Ambassadors to Greece, Turkey

  • 1135:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] New US Ambassadors to Greece, Turkey

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Sep 24 (CNA) -- The Democratic Senator of Delaware Joseph Biden warned the new US Ambassadors to Greece and Turkey, regarding the US policy towards the Cyprus problem and at the same time he sent a clear message to Turkey.

    During the confirmation hearing for Ambassadors Nicholas Burns and Marc Parris, the US Senator stressed that the US policy is that the Turkish invasion of Cyprus was a violation of international law.

    "The Deputy Prime Minister (of Turkey Bulent) Ecevit has emerged as the primary foreign policy spokesperson. And he was the same fellow who was the Prime Minister when Cyprus was invaded in 1974. And as I understand, from what I've read and been told he remains very proud of, 'that accomplishment' which I don't know why he should be."

    Speaking before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, of which he is a ranking minority member, Senator Biden noticed that Ecevit issued a "Joint Declaration" with occupation leader Rauf Denktash last July in which he called for partial integration of the occupied part of Cyprus to Turkey.

    Biden expressed the hope that none of the two new Ambassadors suffer from the bizarre notion of evenhandedness and he explained: "Evenhanded means to be fair. And it is our policy, has been our policy, that the invasion of Cyprus was a violation of international law". He noted that according to US policy the invasion "was illegal".

    Stressing that the Cyprus question is a major US foreign policy priority, new US Ambassador to Turkey Marc Parris noted that Ankara strongly supported Richard Holbrooke's nomination as US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus.

    On his part, Nicholas Burns said "the other side of the coin from Cyprus, of course, the other great crisis, is Greco-Turkish misunderstandings and differences in the Aegean".

    He added Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will meet, with her Greek and Turkish counterparts and she is determined to make sure that the Madrid statement becomes a concrete agreement with real achievements.

    Burns told the Committee "I think it is time for us as Americans to remind ourselves of the importance of Greece to the American people - as a valued NATO ally, an increasingly prosperous member of the European Union, a leader in the Balkans, and as a force for peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean."

    He said "the challenges are many: to seek a peaceful resolution of disputes between Greece and Turkey, to resolve the problems afflicting Cyprus..."

    Meanwhile, John Sitilides, Executive Director of the Western Policy Centre, issued a statement welcoming Burns' statement regarding the importance of Greece to the United states as a leader in the Balkans and a force for peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    "Nick Burns recognises the primacy of Greece, in conjunction with Turkey, in advancing American interests in this critical region."

    Sitilides added Burns' emphasis "on resolving disputes between Greece and Turkey, resolving the military occupation of Cyprus, expanding US-Greek commercial ties and battling regional terrorism lays the groundwork for a successful diplomatic mission to Athens".

    CNA DA/KN/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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