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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-27

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN top envoy on Cyprus to visit Cyprus
  • [02] President Clerides meets British envoy
  • [03] Dangerous situation in Cyprus, Aegean, says US official
  • [04] Turkish General staff on Cyprus and Greek-Turkish relations

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN top envoy on Cyprus to visit Cyprus

    by James Delihas

    United Nations, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, will visit Cyprus on March 16 as part of his new effort to resume the Cyprus peace process, UN sources told CNA.

    The former Ecuadorean Foreign Minister will also travel to Athens and Ankara and is expected to spend a week in the region.

    The UN's good offices mission had been put on hold since late November of last year, pending presidential elections in Cyprus which were held earlier this month and resulted in the re-election of Glafcos Clerides.

    In his briefing to the Security Council last December, Cordovez ephasised that "The Secretary-General is determined to pursue his good offices and after the elections I will be there to set in motion a process of negotiation."

    However, Cordovez may find the circumstances and climate surrounding the Cyprus problem much altered in the course of just a few months.

    Turkey has been irked by the European Union's rejection of its bid for membership during the European Council meeting in Luxembourg last December while Cyprus was accepted to start accession talks end of March.

    As a result Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, threatened he would not participate in any future intercommunal talks to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Instead he wants to take part in talks between "two states", thus demanding recognition for his puppet regime, imposed in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz said he would freeze relations with the European Union and that Turkey would no longer discuss the Cyprus issue with EU representatives.

    Denktash has refused to meet Sir David Hannay, the British envoy on Cyprus representing also the current presidency of the EU, because of a UK decision to start imposing visa requirements for Turkish Cypriots fleeing the occupied areas ostensibly because of oppressive political and social conditions.

    Sir David was having talks today in Cyprus with President Clerides and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. He will also meet Turkish Cypriot party leaders.

    Meanwhile, diplomats were busy trying to devise a formula by which the Turkish Cypriots could participate in the EU accession talks under conditions acceptable to the Cyprus government.

    "As if this wasn't enough," said one diplomat close to the Cyprus problem", the S-300 missiles due to be delivered later this year and the Paphos air base to become operational are sure to complicate matters for Mr. Cordovez." CNA/JD/GP/1998

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1235:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] President Clerides meets British envoy

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Britain's envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, advocated quiet diplomacy regarding the participation of Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus' accession talks with the European Union.

    Speaking after meeting Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, the British envoy said they talked a number of sensitive subjects.

    He said they concentrated particularly on "things that the British Presidency has been asked to do by the EU on the approach to a joint negotiating team".

    The approach to be agreed will have to "reconcile and meet all hopes anywhere".

    However, he declined to go into any further details, noting that he agrees "100 percent" with the views expressed by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides that "this is a time for quiet diplomacy".

    Sir David said he might be returning to Cyprus next week when EU External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, will visit the island.

    The British diplomat said he had asked to see Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, but the latter did not want to meet him.

    This morning, Sir David had a working breakfast with Greece's Foreign Under-Secretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis, who is currently in Cyprus. Present were also British High Commissioner David Madden and Greece's Ambassador Kyriakos Rodousakis.

    Before his departure this afternoon, he will hold a bicommunal press conference at the Ledra Palace Hotel, situated in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia.

    CNA KN/EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1240:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Dangerous situation in Cyprus, Aegean, says US official

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Feb 27 (CNA) -- US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Marc Grossman said the situation in Cyprus and the Aegean is "dangerous".

    He was addressing the 1998 Annual Conference of the Turkish -American Council in Washington yesterday.

    Ambassador Grossman, who received the "Distinguished Career Award", said "we are focused and remain focused and we will continue to be focused on making and improving relations between Greece and Turkey."

    The US official added "in my view and I think in the view of everybody the situation in the Aegean and in Cyprus is dangerous to allow it to go on."

    Groomsman said "we are going to continue efforts by the United States to defuse tensions between our two allies. We are encouraged by recent expression of willingness, for example, the Turkish statements and proposals be Foreign Minister Ismael Cem on February 12th and the Greek response on February 24th to resolve the long standing disputes."

    The Assistant Secretary said "that's why we also support the early adoption of mutually agreed operational measures as proposed by the NATO Secretary General, to reduce tensions over the Aegean."

    Ambassador Grossman refereed to the US effort on Cyprus and said "along with or superb Ambassadors in Athens, Nicosia, and Ankara, we've asked Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Special State Department Coordinator, Ambassador Tom Miller, to concentrate in trying to make progress on the subject of Cyprus and in addition we want to work closely on this with the United Nations and our European allies".

    Grossman referred to the issue of Turkey's accession to the European Union. "Yet we will continue to support Turkey's aspirations for eventual membership in the European Union," he said.

    "As I have said many times from this podium and from podiums in Turkey, we are not members of the European Union, we don't have a vote of this decision, but we certainly have a view and that is that we share the view of European Union that Turkey must have a perspective for membership in Europe."

    Ambassador Grossman stressed that if Turkey wants to come closer to Europe it has to take measures on such issues, like human rights and democracy.

    The Turkish-American Council Conference has attracted executives from every major US corporation, many US administration officials, academic, experts, and members of the press.

    CNA DA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1300:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Turkish General staff on Cyprus and Greek-Turkish relations

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Views about the future of the Cyprus problem and the Greek-Turkish relations, which prove the Turkish intransigence, were expressed at the Annual Conference of the American- Turkish Council in Washington yesterday.

    Navy Captain Deniz Kutluk, representing the powerful Turkish General Staff, briefed the participants regarding the Turkish views on Cyprus and the Greco-Turkish relations.

    Captain Kutluk said after so many and so dramatic changes around the world "what remained unchanged even deteriorated are the Aegean and Cyprus problems and the hatred posed towards Turkey".

    The Turkish officer said "the Greek domestic policies followed since 1975 seem to have influenced the relations. Greek politicians are still very much adamant in inflicting anti Turk sentiments in the mind of Greek people."

    The Navy Captain claimed that this is the "number one tool in gaining power in Greek elections." Another reason he claimed is that Greece since his independence in 1830 "have been affected an expansionist and nationalistic ideology. As a result Greece expanded its territory six times at the expense of Turkey. That policy-Megali Idea-unfortunately has deeply affected the Greek nation."

    The representative of the General Staff claimed that the invasion of Cyprus by Turkey in 1974 "brought peace and stability to the island that has been lasting for 24 years."

    The Turkish official accused the Greek Cypriots that "simply did not want to respond positively in negotiations, because of enjoying all foreign aid and the benefits of international recognition."

    He said "once all peace initiatives bypassed, Greek Cypriots, in close cooperation with Greece, launched instead a comprehensive arm purchase programme. The Russian Federation seems to be their main arms supplier."

    Captain Kutluk said "recently, contrary to the (1960) London and Zurich agreements, the European Union have set a calendar of accession for Cyprus.

    "Thus, the problem suddenly came to an ultimate stage with the EU Council's Summit decision of starting the accession negotiations with Cyprus. That decision, unfortunately, was unfair and illegitimate for a long partitioned island."

    The representative of the General Staff accused the European Union by saying that "those prerequisites were simply overlooked by the EU Council."

    According to him the only justification for the EU decision is "the importance of the island for the EU and the effectiveness of the Greek veto to the EU, if otherwise decided."

    Captain Kutluk then outlined the Turkish position in reaction to the EU decision to start accession talks with Cyprus "in response to such an illegal move of the EU, all parameters of the question are in the process for being changed. Turkey also remains firmly committed to defend the basic rights of the Turkish people and its interests thereto."

    The representative of the General Staff threatened that "any peace effort may end up with clashes between the two communities since they have been living separated for more than 34 years. Needles to say, we all witnessed the severe consequences of those who have been pushed to live together in Bosnia and Serbia a few years ago."

    In a clear threat to any effort for resolution to the Cyprus problem the Turkish official said that "if that push persists, I am afraid, this could automatically trigger severe confrontation between Greece and Turkey. Therefore, those who are doing their utmost to bring peace to the island with 'good will' must also assess grave consequences of enforced initiatives."

    He said Greece was isolating Turkey from the West, using "the European Union's expansion as well as her cooperation with Turkey's neighbours.

    He blamed Greece for cooperating with Russia "undermining NATO in the region."

    CNA DA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA END
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