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

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Israeli analyst - Cyprus
  • [02] Conference - Greece - Cyprus - Israel
  • [03] Conservative Group - Barnet - Morphou

  • 1300:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Israeli analyst - Cyprus

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Oct 10 (CNA) -- A distinguished Israeli strategic analyst, whose work has helped pave the way for Oslo agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, believes there can be no settlement in Cyprus unless Turkey is engaged in the peace effort.

    Shai Feldman, who will address a one-day seminar on Greece-Cyprus- Israel on Saturday, also thinks that the current state of relations between Cyprus and Israel do not reflect the ties the two countries merit.

    Feldman, head of the prestigious think tank Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies (JCSS) at Tel Aviv University, advocates strongly informal discussions as a "useful tool" to conflict resolution.

    The prominent academic has acknowledged that the Israeli-Turkish military cooperation agreement causes concerns to different countries.

    "The parties that matter in the Cyprus problem are the parties on the island and in my view you cannot solve the conflict without engaging Turkey itself," he told CNA in an interview.

    On Cyprus-Israel links, he said "Israel has an interest in close ties with Cyprus but these do not yet reflect the ties we merit."

    Commenting on the defence agreement his country has with Turkey, he said "this is a very important question and a major strategic issue. The Israeli government has examined the implications of the agreement."

    He said he understood the concerns raised in different places because of the agreement, including Greece, but also notes Israeli assurances that it is not directed against anybody.

    "The question is how Greece will react to Israeli wishes for enhanced and improved relations with Israel," he told CNA.

    Replying to questions, he said Greco-Turkish relations suffer from a "very high degree of misunderstandings and misconceptions".

    In a juxtaposition between Greece's ties with Turkey and the Arab- Israeli conflict, Feldman said the latter has gone beyond the state of recriminations.

    Feldman said informal talks between warring parties in a dispute such as the Middle East or the Cyprus question provide a forum for "dispassionate discussion" on pivotal matters of mutual concern.

    He said his own experience in informal talks between Israel and its neighbours (Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan) has led him to believe firmly the usefulness of such talks in efforts to resolve conflicts.

    Feldman, an expert in Israel's nuclear policy and author of two books on armaments, advocated strongly personal contact in attempts to convey a message to either governments or important players in the political arena.

    Outlining the work of the Centre he heads, he said it carries out basic research in national security issues and effects public debate in Israel on issues that should be at the top of the national security agenda.

    The Middle East peace process and its various security dimensions, including the closure of the territories as well Israel's policy in Lebanon and the development of ballistic missiles by countries like Iran are matters of concern to the Centre, he said.

    Feldman said the Centre has had some "major successes" and referred to a study on all options and their implications facing Israel relating to the territories.

    "We came up with a very controversial set of recommendations in 1989 and one of our conclusions was that Israel had no other choice but to discuss the issue with authoritative Palestinians," he told CNA.

    The basic structure of the Oslo agreement, he pointed out, is much the same as the recommendations the Centre made in 1989.

    The Jaffee Centre was set up 20 years ago and aimed to become Israel's strategic conscience. It provided the country's hub for an intellectual discourse on national security affairs.

    The 48-year-old analyst said his objective is to rededicate the Centre to its core mission of producing scholarly work of the highest quality in the fields of national and international security.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1310:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Conference - Greece - Cyprus - Israel

    Nicosia, Oct 10 (CNA) -- Cyprus House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, has expressed the Cyprus people's anxiety over a military cooperation between Israel and Turkey.

    Kyprianou was opening a one-day conference on "Greece-Cyprus-Israel: The New challenges for Regional Cooperation", organised by the Cyprus Research Centre (KYKEM).

    The House President noted that "relations between Israel and Cyprus have improved to such a great extent" that the President of Israel will visit Cyprus (early next month) while the Knesset (parliament) Speaker invited Kyprianou to pay a visit to Israel.

    However, he expressed the "anxiety of the people of Cyprus in relation to the (military) agreement between Israel and Turkey".

    Noting that he has had some explanation from the government of Israel over this military agreement, he said, "to be honest, I am not satisfied".

    "One cannot ignore the fact" that Israel is providing Turkey with high technology in the field of armaments", he said.

    Kyprianou wondered whether it was a coincidence that while relations between Israel and Turkey were improving, "the Jewish lobby in Washington is not taking the same stand on the Cyprus problem as in the past", and that now its stand is neutral.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, the House President criticised the international community for not intervening to put an end to the Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern third since 1974.

    He recalled that the UN and the international community intervened in the cases of Kuwait and Bosnia.

    Noting that "there is no sign for any positive move regarding the Cyprus problem", Kyprianou questioned whether the international community "are expecting us to legalise the ethnic cleansing in Cyprus on the eve of the 21st century?"

    In his address, the Ambassador of Greece, Kyriakos Rodousakis, told delegates that Greeks and Cypriots shared the same "fate and destiny with the Jewish people" and had fought for survival over the centuries.

    The Greek diplomat said the Jewish community shared with the Greek people all the adventures of the 20th century.

    Referring to the Israel-Turkey military agreement, Rodousakis said while Greece did not doubt the assurances of the Israeli government, "we do not rely... on the good intention and good will of Turkey".

    He backed his statement by referring to the latest Turkey -Syria crisis as a confirmation, expressing the view that it also affects the military balance in the Balkans.

    The Greek diplomat said the Israel-Turkey military agreement "is encouraging particularly the intransigence of Ankara towards Greece and Cyprus."

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

    Rodousakis expressed the hope that the meeting between the Ministers of Defence of Greece and Israel in Athens would address this issue.

    Israel's Ambassador to Cyprus, Shemi Tzur, addressing the conference said such conferences "open up dialogue which will help peace in the region."

    In his speech, which was read for him by the First Secretary of the Israeli Embassy, Matty Cohen, due to the ambassador's absence in Israel, he expressed the hope it would be the first of many such events which would also involve other countries of the region.

    "There can be no doubt in anybody's mind that economic exchanges are probably the easiest way of opening up dialogue" and that the better way to achieve this "is by enlarging our bilateral cooperation."

    Referring to the Turkish - Israeli military cooperation agreement, Tzur clarified it "is not a military alliance."

    "It is not an agreement aimed at harming either Cyprus, or Greece or any other third party. Israel wants to see a solution to the Cyprus problem. Israel always supported more international effort to enhance stability in the eastern Mediterranean and will not take any measures to jeopardise that effort," he added.

    Furthermore, he said Israel believed "that peace and stability between Cyprus, Greece and Turkey will contribute to comprehensive peace in the Eastern Mediterranean which all people of the region depend."

    KYKEM President Tonis Toumazis said the conference was expected to discuss the "evaluation of important structural changes in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East in the Post-Cold War era", "ongoing regional developments" and the "developing of political and military dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean".

    Toumazis said the organisers aimed to "look forward to the future for the further exploration and strengthening of relations between Cyprus, Greece and Israel".

    CNA GG/EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1340:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Conservative Group - Barnet - Morphou

    Nicosia, Oct 10 (CNA) -- The Conservative Group of the London Borough of Barnet, called on the British Premier to take a pro-active role in seeking a solution before the next anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    In a letter to the people of the occupied town of Morphou on the occasion of tomorrow's anti-occupation march in Cyprus, Councillor Liz Mammatt, the Conservative Group leader of the Council's largest party, said they "fully support the struggle of the Greek Cypriots in general and of the people of Morphou in particular, to return to their homes".

    Mammatt said she wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair "urging him to take a pro-active role in seeking a solution before the 25th anniversary next year of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus".

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    "Liberation must be achieved", she said, stressing that "the refugees must have a right to return to their homeland".

    Mammatt said that "reunification must be part of a just settlement, so that the whole community may live together in peaceful harmony after too many years of suffering".

    Euro MP Pauline Green, British, Greek and Cypriot MPs will take part in tomorrow's march towards occupied Morphou, which is organised by the Morphou Municipality and Morphou associations.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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