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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-24

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Pangalos - Grossman
  • [02] US - Investigation - Turkish Arms
  • [03] President Clerides - Holbrooke
  • [04] President Clerides - National Committee on American FP

  • 1940:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Pangalos - Grossman

    by Myria Antoniadou

    New York, Sep 24 (CNA) -- Security issues including a moratorium of overflights in Cyprus were discussed at a meeting held here, today, between Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, Mark Grossman.

    During their hour-long meeting, the two discussed issues of bilateral interest, including Greco-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.

    Replying to questions of the press, Grossman described the discussion he had with Pangalos as "substantive and important".

    Asked whether progress has been made on a proposal for a moratorium of flights of Greek and Turkish military aircraft over Cyprus, Grossman replied, "obviously it is something we talked about and something we want to go into".

    He refrained however from answering whether the Turkish side would accept a moratorium of overflights, saying "you have to ask them".

    Grossman said he discussed some "ideas" with Pangalos which Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, and State Department Special Coordinator Thomas Miller are also working on.

    Commenting on the prospects for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Grossman said, "optimism and pessimism isn't really the scale we ought to be on".

    "We've got to be realistic about this and the realism that we need to have is that we all need to be working on the right kind of solution," he added.

    Pointing out that the US proposition and effort "is to try to bring the right kind of solution to Cyprus", Grossman reaffirmed that the US position is for a "bi-zonal, bi-communal federation".

    Asked about the prospects of resuming bi-communal negotiations, given that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, insists on confederation of two states on the island, Grossman replied:

    "We want very much these negotiations to get back together. All I can really talk to you about is our position."

    Both the UN and the Cyprus government have rejected Denktash's proposal.

    Grossman said Ambassador Holbrooke, "wants very seriously to engage with all of the parties and that is what we are doing."

    Holbrooke has had separate meetings with Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem and President Glafcos Clerides, later today.

    Replying to a question on Greco-Turkish relations, Grossman said "the Minister and I had a conversation about that".

    "We obviously share the view that we want the right kind of relationship between Greece and Turkey. That has been the American perspective and I know that is one the Minister shares as well", he added.

    On his part, Pangalos said Greco-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem were at the centre of their discussion, but they also discussed other issues such as the situation in Kosovo and Albania.

    "All problems will be dealt with," Pangalos said.

    CNA MA/MCH/GG/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1955:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] US - Investigation - Turkish Arms

    by Myria Antoniadou

    New York, Sep 24 (CNA) -- The US government is investigating into the arms Turkey illegally maintains in the northern part of Cyprus, under its occupation since 1974, to establish whether Ankara is violating a relevant US law, according to sources here.

    The sources also said there is a possibility of an on-the-spot investigation by the Americans.

    The US officials involved in the Cyprus peace process appear pessimistic over the possibilities of a breakthrough as Ankara is not prepared to make any positive gestures and is refusing to cooperate.

    The sources said that even though the Americans realise this fact, they are determined to persevere their efforts to reach a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Turkey retains some 40.000 troops in the northern part of Cyprus it illegally occupies since it invaded the island in 1974, despite repeated UN resolutions asking for their withdrawal.

    CNA MA/MCH/GG/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2030:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] President Clerides - Holbrooke

    by Myria Antoniadou

    New York, Sep 24 (CNA) -- Despite efforts by US Presidential Emissary, Richard Holbrooke, to start a process for the reduction of tension and military forces in Cyprus, the situation remains ambiguous.

    Holbrooke met today for the second time with President Glafcos Clerides. The meeting lasted almost an hour and no statements were made after its conclusion.

    Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides and Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides were also present at the meeting.

    The US diplomat also had a meeting today with Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem.

    According to reliable sources, Holbrooke's efforts did not bring about any results and the situation regarding efforts for a Cyprus settlement remain ambiguous.

    The sources say that at present there seems to be no way out of the deadlock reached in the Cyprus problem as a result of Turkish intransigence and recent proposals by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for a confederation of two states in Cyprus.

    They point out, however, that efforts are still at their early stages.

    CNA MA/MCH/GG/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2330:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] President Clerides - National Committee on American FP

    by Myria Antoniadou

    New York, Sep 24 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today called on Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, to return to the negotiating table to find a settlement to the protracted Cyprus problem, a call he is expected to reiterate tomorrow before the UN General Assembly.

    Speaking to some 75 persons at an event organised by the "National Committee on American Foreign Policy" on "the Cyprus Question: Prospects for a Settlement", the President emphasised the need for the international community and especially the US to exert pressure on the Turkish side.

    He also defended the Republic's right to build its defences and said he would be willing to suspend the deployment of the S300 defensive system if negotiations began for a Cyprus settlement or a reduction of military forces.

    President Clerides referred to his demilitarisation and reduction of arms proposal and said, "while the Turkish forces remain on the island, Cyprus will continue to import whatever weapons are necessary and we will not give in to Turkish threats".

    Asked about the S300, he said "if the other side is prepared to sit and begin negotiations on the substance of the problem on the basis of UN resolutions I would suspend indefinitely the deployment of the missiles".

    "I have also said that if the other side is prepared to sit at the negotiating table to negotiate that which the UN resolutions have asked us, that is the reduction of forces and armaments, I will again postpone the arrival of the missiles until we agree to a reduction of arms."

    Clerides made clear that "failing that, I will not agree to any postponement simply because I am threatened by Turkey".

    "The prospects for finding a solution also depend on how actively the international community in particular the US would act in making Turkey realise that it must abide with the will of the international community and negotiate sincerely within the parametres the UN Security Council has set."

    The President said that tomorrow from the podium of the UN Assembly: "I will be calling on Rauf Denktash to come and join me to work together on a solution based within the parametres of the UN, which will be beneficial to both communities".

    Clerides also gave his full support to contacts between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, especially the youth, noting that the lack of contact creates serious problems and is not a healthy basis for the future federation.

    He criticised Denktash for posing problems to meetings between the two communities.

    Asked about the role of the European Union in a settlement, the President expressed support to both Cyprus and Turkey becoming members.

    "We as Cyprus are in favour of Turkey joining the EU and we are convinced that in such a case the Greek Cypriots would feel more certain that there would not be any military expansion by the Turkish forces", he said.

    He added that "the Turkish Cypriots would also feel safer." In his speech the President also referred to the need for international guarantees of Cyprus' security and the need for an international force to oversee the implementation of any agreement.

    He said the government is prepared to pay for such a force. He also underlined that Turkey ignores UN resolutions on Cyprus, pointing out it recognised and backed the illegal regime in the occupied areas.

    The National Committee on American Foreign Policy, founded in 1974, is a voluntary non-profit organisation seeking to stimulate informed interest and concern for the serious problems confronting the US in its foreign relations.

    Its members consist former US Ambassadors as well as leaders in academics, finance, commerce, industry and international business persons.

    State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller and former UN resident representative, Gustave Feissel were among Ambassadors, leading academics and international business persons who attended the luncheon event.

    CNA MA/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    cna ends
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