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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-10-21

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] US calls on Turkey to stop harassment of planes
  • [02] Israeli assurances to Cyprus
  • [03] Cyprus to host seminar on Islam

  • 0845:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US calls on Turkey to stop harassment of planes

    Washington, Oct 21 (CNA) -- The US has called for a ban on overflights of Greek and Turkish airplanes in Cyprus and believes Turkish aircraft should not have buzzed a C-130 carrying the Greek Defence Minister to Crete.

    "If Turkish aircraft flew provocatively close to the Greek Defence Minister's aircraft, such action would not be consistent with Turkey's desire to reduce tension with Greece," a State Department spokesman announcement said on Monday.

    US State Department Spokesman, James Rubin, was asked to comment on last week's harassment of a transport plane carrying Akis Tsohatzopoulos to Greece from Cyprus, where he had watched a military exercise.

    "We would like to see the overflight ban returned to. We would like to see both sides conduct their exercises in such a way as to minimise friction and we would like to see as much progress as possible in this very complex issue of Cyprus," he added.

    Greek aircraft had participated in the five-day annual Greek Cypriot military exercise code-named "Nikiforos" which ended last week.

    "We have long urged all parties to the Cyprus problem to avoid steps that complicate or detract from efforts to promote dialogue and negotiations," the statement said.

    Noting the US has no "independent confirmation" that Tsohatzopoulos' plane was buzzed, it adds that "the accounts we have seen are disturbing.

    "We would hope that all sides would appreciate the benefits of reinstituting a complete and open-ended moratorium on military overflights in Cyprus at the earliest possible time," the statement said.

    State Department sources said the clarifications were given because the Spokesman had misunderstood the question during his briefing.

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1215:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Israeli assurances to Cyprus

    Nicosia, Oct 21 (CNA) -- Israel's defence cooperation agreement with Turkey is not targeting either Greece, Cyprus or any other third parties, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry said last night.

    He also stressed Israel wishes to further develop the good relations it has established with Cyprus in all fields.

    Responding to media reports on the recent visit to Turkey by the Israeli chief of staff, the spokesman said "Israel repeatedly stated that its security cooperation with Turkey is not directed against Greece or Cyprus or any other third parties."

    He expressed support for the enhancement of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and all current international efforts directed at achieving this goal.

    He added Israel "has no interest in taking steps that may negatively impact efforts aimed at finding peaceful solutions to outstanding issues between parties in the area.

    The chief of staff represented and conducted himself according to these principles," the spokesman added.

    Israel's Ambassador to Cyprus, Shemi Tzur, repeated his goal is to "enhance and continue the good relations enjoyed between Israel and Cyprus and to advance and strengthen ties in all fields."

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1220:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus to host seminar on Islam

    Nicosia, Oct 21 (CNA) -- A two-day seminar on "Political Islam and the West" opens here next week with the participation of senior statesmen and women, diplomats and academics from around the world.

    The meeting will take place on October 30-31 at a Nicosia hotel.

    Hossein Alikhani, who heads the Centre for World Dialogue which organises the meeting, described Cyprus as "a platform for free speech and the only location in the Middle East where groups and individuals with opposing views can come freely and express themselves freely."

    Former Pakistani Premier Benajir Bhutto, Director General of UNESCO, Federico Mayor, Ayatollah Amid Zanjani, of Tehran University, Anatoli Gromyko, of the Russian Centre for police evaluation, professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard University and former French ambassador to Turkey Eric Rouleau will address the meeting.

    Speakers will outline their views on "Oil and Islam", "Russian Foreign Policy in the World of Islam", "Islam in US Foreign Policy" and "Islam in Turkish Foreign Policy" as well as "Islam and the West: from conflict to dialogue" and "Political participation of women in Islam."

    According to the organisers, the conference aims to provide an opportunity for an informed and committed debate, and to work constructively, in cooperation, through free enquiry and expression towards a much broader understanding of the important issues.

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