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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-10-15

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cypriot, Swedish FMs hold talks
  • [02] President takes salute of parade
  • [03] Cypriot appointed to UN Iraq programme
  • [04] Stolen Cypriot art found in possession of Turk
  • [05] Turkey cause of regional tension, says Greek Minister

  • 1610:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cypriot, Swedish FMs hold talks

    Nicosia, Oct 15 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the deployment of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system S-300 will provide Cyprus with an adequate deterrent in case of a fresh Turkish offensive.

    He further stressed the situation on the island will return to normal in the next few days.

    The minister was speaking after talks with his Swedish counterpart, Lena Helm - Wallen, currently visiting Cyprus.

    "We look upon Sweden to understand our problem and help us achieve the reunification of our island," he said.

    On her part, Helm - Wallen said discussions focus on the Cyprus issue and that although the parties themselves have to come to a solution, Sweden "can facilitate (a solution) in some way, and that is our promise."

    Invited to comment on the build up of tension during this week's joint Greco-Cypriot military exercises, Kasoulides said "this is the annual exercises of our armed forces. Its nothing new or strange by Cyprus standards," he added.

    The Foreign Minister said "everybody worries about a situation that has been created by the use of the force and is sustained by military force."

    "The fact that sometimes, you want to be ready for a credible defence to be a deterrent, it's because you want peace, not because you seek war," he stressed.

    Asked whether bringing in missiles is making peace, Kasoulides replied "yes, because you prepare an adequate deterrent so that you are not attacked by somebody stronger who has already attacked you once."

    His Swedish counterpart called on all parties, including Turkey and Greece to "seize the opportunity to do everything they can to reduce the tensions."

    She said she understands why the Cyprus government went ahead with the purchase of the missiles but stressed their deployment "is not a good development because it will never help the situation."

    "I do hope the negotiations start again, so that the missiles will not be deployed here," she added.

    The Foreign Minister said he expects the situation will return to normal, especially after the Turkish military exercises.

    The Swedish minister was due to visit the Turkish occupied areas for a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and visit Greek Cypriot enclaved in the Karpass peninsula, on the northeastern tip of the island.

    CNA EC/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1620:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] President takes salute of parade

    Larnaca Oct 15 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides said today's military parade was the "most impressive" and that more such parades will follow.

    He was speaking after the parade that marked the end of the five-day National Guard annual military exercise code-named "Nikiforos '97".

    "We are proud of our armed forces", President Clerides said.

    Asked to comment on violations of Nicosia FIR by Turkish war-planes, President Clerides said "this provided an opportunity to see whether our joint defence pact with Greece is effective."

    On his part, Greek National Defence Minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos congratulated all who took part in the military exercise and added "the message is that we are satisfied with the work done."

    President Clerides and Tsohatzopoulos visited Greek warships here for the manoeuvres at Larnaca port. CNA GG/MK/MCH/MM/1997

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1715:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cypriot appointed to UN Iraq programme

    Nicosia, Oct 15 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan has announced the appointment of Benon Sevan, a Cypriot national, as the Executive Director of the Office of the Iraq Programme, effective today.

    According to a UN press release, Anan has decided to establish the Office and consolidate the management of UN activities undertaken under Security Council resolutions.

    Sevan will report directly to the Secretary-General.

    Benon Sevan has a long term experience and contribution to the UN activities. He served as the assistant Secretary -General for Conference and Support Services and United Nations Security Coordinator, as well as assistant S.G. in the Department of Political Affairs.

    He was also Senior Secretariat Official with the mission dispatched by the SG to inquire into the situation of prisoners of war, in the conflict between Iran and Iraq.

    Benon Sevan, born in 1937, is a graduate of the Melkonian Educational Institute in Cyprus and he also obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Philosophy and International and Public Affairs of Columbia University.

    CNA RM/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1955:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Stolen Cypriot art found in possession of Turk

    Nicosia Oct 15 (CNA) -- A combined operation between the Cypriot and the German police, in collaboration with the Church of Cyprus, brought to light stolen church art treasures worth 46 million US dollars.

    The cache was located in 14 cases hidden in flats in Munich, owned Turkish art dealer Dikmen Aydin and included a mosaic from the church of Kanakaria in Lythrangomi village, one from the church of Antiphonitis and two 14th century icons from the Monastery of Ayios Ioannis Chrysostomou in the village of Koutsoventis.

    Attorney-General, Alecos Markides, told a press conference here today "we are determined to get back any archaeological or church treasures stolen from the Turkish occupied areas of the island, no matter how much time elapses".

    Since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, scores of priceless artifacts were located in overseas markets. Some were retrieved through legal means, others bought.

    The most publicised case was the retrieving of four 6th century mosaics from the church of Kanakaria, found in the hands of an American art dealer, Peg Goldberg. After a long legal battle in the US, she was ordered in 1989 by judge James Noland to return the mosaics to their rightful owner, the church of Cyprus.

    "We shall not relinquish our rights on these treasures", Markides said.

    He praised the discreet but decisive role the primate of the church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos played in retrieving the 14 cases, a task which took weeks of painstaking and meticulous work and involved many players.

    CNA MM/RG/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2020:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Turkey cause of regional tension, says Greek Minister

    Nicosia, Oct 15 (CNA) -- Greek Minister of Defence, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, stressed here today that Greece wants "peace and stability in the region" and confirmed that Greece's and Cyprus' cooperation in defence continues "against any external threat".

    Speaking at a joint press conference in Nicosia with his Cypriot counterpart, Costas Eliades, Tsohatzopoulos described his three-day visit to Cyprus as "creative" and said the island is ready should war break out and that the National Guard is effective and updated.

    He also congratulated National Guard Commander, Nicolaos Vorvolakos, and the Greek Armed Forces for their excellent performance in the five-day Nikiforos military exercise which ended today.

    Tsohatzopoulos stressed this period "imposes a spirit of cooperation and stability" and expressed his satisfaction, because "through our effective defence, we contribute with determination to the respect" of our rights.

    Responding to questions, Tsohatzopoulos said the fact that "Greece and Cyprus have agreements on defence matters to face external threats together" does not create any tension in the area, which is caused exclusively by Turkish moves.

    He reiterated that Greece wants peace, "but not at the cost of its own survival and rights".

    Tsohatzopoulos said if the United States or any other country is "interested in reducing tension, then they must turn to the sole source of that tension, which is none other than Turkey" and persuade this country to "stop being a destabilising factor in the region and terminate its occupation of Cyprus".

    He also stressed Greece and Cyprus are "peaceful countries in the area" and added all "we wish is that our right to exist and to defend our own sovereignty is respected."

    Asked about the future presence of Greek warplanes at Paphos military airbase, Tsohatzopoulos replied "we are only guests in Cyprus" and Greek fighters came here to participate in the annual military exercises "at the invitation of Cyprus".

    However, he confirmed that Greece will participate in the same exercise next year.

    Asked to comment on the violation of Greece's and Cyprus' airspace by Turkish warplanes, Tsohatzopoulos said this is an issue that should not be discussed only with the United States, but "it is something that concerns the international community".

    Responding to questions concerning the possibility of incidents in the region, Tsohatzopoulos said "countries should evaluate the behaviour of Turkey and foresee its future behaviour", adding that "Greece will not hesitate to defend its sovereign rights".

    On the issue of the deployment of the Russian S-300 anti aircraft missiles in Cyprus and the Turkish threats to prevent their deployment, Tsohatzopoulos said this is clearly a weapon for defence.

    He also said it would be "irresponsible" of Turkey to speak about "danger to its safety" from the deployment of the missiles, because "there will be no danger for Turkey, unless it attacks Cyprus by air".

    Tsohatzopoulos said the "fuss around the issue is intentional and artificial".

    Finally, Tsohatzopoulos said that "the defence of Cyprus is a matter that concerns all hellenism".

    On his part, Eliades said Cyprus' defence programme and its cooperation with Greece are irreversible, "unless the demilitarisation of the island is agreed upon or the Cyprus problem is solved".

    He also said Cyprus "is ready and determined to face any situation" or threat posed by Turkey.

    Asked about the cooperation between Greece and Cyprus on defence matters, Eliades said the Republic's armed capability is upgraded and cooperation with Greece enhanced.

    CNA RG/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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