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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-26

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Security talks begin today
  • [02] AFP photographic exhibition in Cyprus
  • [03] Cyprus to protest Turkish threats
  • [04] Poos supports Cyprus' right to join Europe

  • 1225:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Security talks begin today

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Nicosia, Sep 26 (CNA) -- The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus begin today talks on security issues in a bid to reduce tension and promote the security of both sides.

    President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will meet at the residence of the UN Secretary-General's deputy special representative in Cyprus, in the UN-controlled buffer zone, near the defunct now Nicosia airport.

    The talks start only a month after failed UN-sponsored meetings between the two men in Glion, Switzerland, for an overall settlement, which had followed negotiations in the US.

    The Nicosia talks were proposed by President Clerides in Switzerland.

    The President had suggested to meet Denktash to discuss "reduction of military forces and equipment, limitation or prohibition to importation of armaments to Cyprus, unmanning posts which are of close proximity and demilitarisation."

    Denktash had then rejected his proposal as well as another proposition for a joint declaration to "solve the Cyprus problem through negotiations and not by the use of force."

    The Cypriot Foreign Minister said a proposal for security talks was put forward again by US State Department special coordinator on Cyprus, Thomas Miller, during a visit here this month.

    Ioannis Kasoulides said President Clerides accepted a proposal to meet Denktash in Nicosia under Feissel's auspices "and discuss with him all issues relating to security without preconditions or an agenda."

    The Greek Cypriot side has stressed it will participate in the talks with good will, a constructive spirit and determination to promote security.

    The US, Russian and other foreign government's as well as organisations, including the European Union, have welcomed the Nicosia talks stressing the importance of security issues to an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Turkey maintains over 35 thousand soldiers in the areas of Cyprus it occupies since it invaded the island in 1974, as well as state-of-the-art armaments.

    The Turkish side has recently stepped up threats against Cyprus, after a government decision in January to buy the Russian-made S300 surface-to- air missile system.

    Last week the Turkish government and military held a meeting during which the army was asked to take "supplementary measures" against the S300, expected to be deployed next year.

    In a 1994 report the UN Secretary-General described the occupied areas as "one of the most highly militarised areas of the world in terms of the ratio between numbers of troops and civilians."

    He also referred to "a significant increase in defence spending by the Republic" and expressed regret that military equipment on both sides was being upgraded.

    One of the issues expected to be put forward at the security talks is a 1993 proposal by President Clerides, to the UN, for the demilitarisation of the island.

    It includes disbanding of the National Guard, transferring of all its arms and military equipment to the custody of UNFICYP and depositing the money saved in a UN account to be used for the development of the areas now occupied by Turkish troops.

    In return, the Turkish forces would withdraw from Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot forces would be disbanded and their weapons and military equipment put in UN custody.

    President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader also met in Nicosia in July and concluded an agreement on humanitarian issues.

    They agreed to work for a solution on the issue of missing persons from both communities, and as a first step the two sides would provide each other with information at their proposal.

    A military dialogue between the two sides is also underway for a year now, aimed at defusing tension along the demarcation line with the unmanning of outposts, removal of weapons and setting a code of conduct.

    CNA MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] AFP photographic exhibition in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Sep 26 (CNA) -- The French News Agency (AFP) will hold a photographic exhibition in Cyprus next month, to mark ten years since the creation of its Middle East headquarters in Nicosia.

    The exhibition, to be inaugurated by AFP's Chairman, Jean Miot, will host AFP photojournalists' pictures from around the world, which will be on display at the Press Centre, near the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia, from October 6 to 10.

    An AFP press release says the Agency was founded in 1835 and employs more than three thousand journalists, stringers and photographers in 165 countries, to deliver news in Arabic, English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, as well as high quality photographs and graphics to thousands of clients all over the world.

    CNA RG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1410:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus to protest Turkish threats

    Limassol, Sep 26 (CNA) -- Cyprus will protest to the United Nations against threats by Turkey to take military action if surface-to-air missiles are deployed on the island.

    "We will protest in writing to the UN General-Secretary against Turkey's designs to attack Cyprus," President Glafcos Clerides told the press here today.

    The Turkish UN Permanent Representative sent a letter to Kofi Annan saying that Ankara "cannot remain indifferent to developments that will endanger the security of the Turkish Cypriot community and its own, and will take corresponding measures."

    In his letter circulated Thursday, Huseyin Celem, reiterates Turkish claims that the defence missile system could penetrate the airspace of neighbouring countries and hit targets in Turkey.

    The Cyprus government decided to purchase the Russian-made S300 missile system in January. The missiles are expected to be deployed next year.

    CNA CS/MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1430:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Poos supports Cyprus' right to join Europe

    Nicosia, Sep 26 (CNA) -- The European Union (EU) Council president has stressed that Cyprus has the right to join its ranks and dismissed Turkish claims to the contrary.

    "The 1960 agreement does not prevent Cyprus from joining an international organisation. The EU is an international organisation which respects the sovereignty of member-states..." Luxembourg Foreign Affairs Minister Jacques Poos said yesterday in New York.

    Poos was referring to the Turkish side's claims that according to the 1960 agreements, establishing the Cyprus Republic, it cannot join any international organisation of which Turkey and Greece are not members.

    He pointed out that the 1960 London - Zurich agreements "are interpreted in a different way by other lawyers than by the Turkish authorities."

    Poos added the agreements "provide that Cyprus should not join and integrate with another country" and said it is obvious this clause was adopted because there was a tendency for integration with Greece or Turkey.

    The Council president said "we don't understand why Turkey, which is itself a candidate to join the EU and to which it stresses its desire again and again should prevent Cyprus from joining the same organisation."

    He added the EU has made this clear to Ankara during a recent visit.

    Poos also reiterated the EU position that it prefers the whole island to join the EU and expressed hope talks between the two sides for a settlement to the Cyprus problem will begin again and come to a result.

    He said that both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities would benefit from EU accession, and especially the Turkish Cypriots who are the poorest.

    "We will do our best to explain these benefits to the Turkish Cypriot community in the coming years," Poos added.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of its territory.

    The Republic of Cyprus applied for EU membership in July 1990 and has been included in the first group of countries with which the Union will open accession talks.

    Cyprus signed an Association Agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    CNA MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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