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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-10-01

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President takes salute of military parade
  • [02] Increased defence capability a deterrent

  • 1440:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President takes salute of military parade

    Nicosia, Oct 1 (CNA) -- No development in the political front can alter the planned annual military exercises "Nikiforos", scheduled for mid-October with the participation of Greek air and naval forces, President Glafcos Clerides said here today.

    Speaking after today's military parade, marking the 37th anniversary of independence, the President said the National Guard showed its readiness and added "this is not the entire weaponry of the National Guard."

    Asked if anything could influence plans for "Nikiforos", he replied "no political development can change the plans, already made, for our annual military manoeuvres" and pointed out that "Greek air and naval forces will take part in the exercises."

    The President thanked Defence Minister Costas Eliades and National Guard Commander Nicolaos Vorvolakos for "the efforts they are making" on the defence front and said "the National Guard now has considerable power."

    Thousands of people lined up the streets to see the latest acquisitions of the country's armed forces, including French AMX-30 B2, Brazilian Cascavel armoured personnel carriers, Russian T80-U and surface-to-air missiles.

    Infantry, artillery, air force and naval units took part in the parade, during which army and police helicopters overflew in formation.

    Members of the Greek contingent in Cyprus, ELDYK, also participated and for the first time people watched units of the Civil Defence. Police and fire brigade units also participated.

    Foreign diitgnaries, many of who came to Cyprus specially for today's anniversary, and military attaches, watched the parade, led by a Russian tank T-80 carrying the Cyprus flag, bearing the shape of this island divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern part.

    The island's political leadership, including members of the cabinet, deputies, high ranking government officials and Greece's Ambassador to Cyprus Kyriakos Rodousakis were also present at today's military parade.

    After the parade, President Clerides congratulated war veterans.

    CNA MM/RG/1997

    [02] Increased defence capability a deterrent

    Nicosia Oct 1 (CNA) -- The island's political and military chiefs reiterated today that boosting the Republic's defence capability serves as a deterrent and consider it enhances the government's leverage in the search for a settlement in Cyprus.

    "I hope this time next year we will celebrate the independence of a reunited Cyprus because our objective is to boost our defence capability and upgrade the National Guard to back the political leadership and enable it to negotiate on an equal footing for a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus question," Defence Minister Costas Eliades said today.

    Speaking after today's impressive military parade, marking 37 years of independence, Eliades said "we no longer feel hostages to Turkish threats, this is not 1974 (the year Turkey invaded and occupied Cyprus' northern areas)."

    The Commander of the National Guard Nicolaos Vorvolakos restricted himself in saying that "any comment on today's parade must come from the political leadership and the people of Cyprus."

    President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, said boosting the Republic's defences facilitates efforts to settle the Cyprus problem and stressed the need to continue along this path and not give in to any pressures.

    Greece's Ambassador to Cyprus, Kyriakos Rodousakis, reiterated his government's firm support for Cyprus on all levels (political, cultural, diplomatic, economic, military) and praised the determination of the Republic's armed forces to defend their country.

    Replying to questions, he said continuous Turkish threats against Cyprus and Greece substantiate the view that Greece's and Cyprus' defences must be boosted.

    Russian Ambassador in Nicosia, Georgi Muratov, believes Turkey is unlikely to implement its threats to strike Russian ships it suspects of carrying Russian missiles to Cyprus.

    "Such threats are made for the sake of creating certain impressions and the fuss around the deployment of the S-300 missiles, Cyprus has bought from us, is artificial," he added.

    He said it would be "incredible and impossible" for Turkey to strike Russian vessels because everybody knows what this means.

    Muratov expressed the hope that this time next year Cyprus will be demilitarised and said his country, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and an important player in the region plays a significant role in the Cyprus peace effort.

    Other party leaders echoed this point of view, saying that increased defence capability acts as a deterrent but also underlined the need to solve the problem through peaceful means.

    CNA MM/RG/1997
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