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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-10

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Athens talks focus on T/C participation in accession dialogue
  • [02] US questions reports Turkish air violations in Aegean
  • [03] UN visit detained Greek in occupied areas
  • [04] Cyprus air base ready

  • 0905:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Athens talks focus on T/C participation in accession dialogue

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Greece exchanged views on how to involve Turkish Cypriots in the accession negotiations the government of Cyprus will start later this year.

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides met his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos in Athens Friday night and discussed the latest hardening of Turkey's position and the political implications relating to Cyprus. An official press release, issued after the meeting, said the two Ministers also discussed preparations for the accession talks, including "the parametres within which Turkish Cypriot participation in the talks could be achieved."

    The government of the Republic of Cyprus, the sole recognised interlocutor with the European Union, has repeatedly said Turkish Cypriots are welcomed to join the official delegation to the membership talks, expected to begin in March this year.

    Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, has turned down the invitation.

    Kasoulides and Pangalos exchanged views about anticipated moves by the UN, the US and others to contribute towards a Cyprus settlement agreeable to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    The Cypriot Minister continues his contacts in the Greek capital today with representatives of Cypriot organisations in Greece.

    He will then fly on to Portugal for a meeting with his Portuguese counterpart,

    CNA MM/KN/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0945:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] US questions reports Turkish air violations in Aegean

    Washington, Jan 10 (CNA) -- The US has not been able to secure independent confirmation that Turkish fighters violated Greek air space in the Aegean, but stresses that if they did, this is a provocation and contrary to a commitment for a reduction of tension.

    "We are aware of reports - and I would emphasise reports - because they are not items that we can independently confirm - of Turkish violations elsewhere in the Aegean this week," James Foley, US State Department spokesman told a briefing Friday.

    Such violations, he went on to add, "if they indeed happened, would be needlessly provocative and contrary to the spirit of closer cooperation and reduction of tension to which the Turkish and Greek governments have committed themselves."

    Foley also pointed out that the US and other nations do not recognise Greece's claim to a ten-mile nautical airspace in the Aegean.

    "Thus we do not consider Turkish, US or any other aircraft flying in the zone between six and ten nautical miles from Greek territory to be a violation," he said.

    The spokesman noted that "apparently some but not all of the reports we have seen regarding yesterday's Turkish air operations fall into this category."

    "We are not in a position to confirm the reports," he stressed.

    The US, he said, is pleased to note that Turkey modified some of its original exercise plans for January in response to Greek concerns.

    "We consider this a gratifying example of Greece and Turkey avoiding a potential problem through communication," he concluded.

    CNA DA/MM/KN/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1325:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] UN visit detained Greek in occupied areas

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- A Greek national, apprehended by the Turkish occupation forces on Thursday, is due to appear before a so-called military court on Monday in occupied Nicosia.

    UN spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski told CNA today "UN officers visited George Kantarakis earlier this morning, and found him to be in good shape."

    The Turkish Cypriot regime barred Friday UN officers from visiting Kantarakis, 32, from the Greek island of Santorini, who was apprehended in the northeastern outskirts of Nicosia, close to a sensitive military area.

    Kantarakis refused to be examined by the UN doctor and told the three- member UN team of officers (a humanitarian, a civilian police officer and a doctor) he deliberately crossed into the northern Turkish occupied part of the island, the UN spokesman said.

    The UN, Rokoszweski added, has been in touch with the Greek embassy in Nicosia in connection with the case.

    The man according to Turkish Cypriot reports seems to be content and intends to seek political asylum in the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus.

    The Turkish military who arrested the man handed him over to the Turkish Cypriot police in occupied Nicosia, who are holding him in a police station.

    CNA MM/KN/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1055:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus air base ready

    Nicosia, Jan 9 (CNA) -- The Air Force Base near the western coastal town of Paphos will be ready for use by January 24, 1998, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has announced.

    In an interview with a CyBC television programme last night, President Clerides said in conjunction with the installation of the Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles, the island's air space would be fully covered and would provide what he called "persuasive air coverage against enemy jets."

    He said the main reason for boosting Cypriot air defences is to protect vulnerable tanks on the ground.

    President Clerides said the "S-300 missiles will cause such damage to the enemy's air force that they will think twice before attacking again."

    He said this is part of the strategic plan. "If we don't implement it, then the only use for our tanks is to show them off at parades, knowing that if we go to battle they will be destroyed."

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA END
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