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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-10-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Israel - Turkey - Cyprus
  • [02] Clerides - UN envoy
  • [03] Cyprus government - Sweden
  • [04] Italy - Cyprus - EU
  • [05] Spokesman - Rodousakis - EU - Cyprus

  • 0920:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Israel - Turkey - Cyprus

    By Maria Myles

    Tel Aviv, Oct 30 (CNA) -- Israeli political analysts, outlining their views on developments in the Middle East have stressed the importance they attach to close cooperation with Turkey in that it serves Israeli interests but pointed out that Israel's priority is to conclude peace with the Arab countries.

    They said Cyprus is seen more in a bilateral context with Israel as opposed to a wider context and acknowledged that the Jewish lobby in the US is assisting the Turkish lobby.

    On the Middle East peace process, they backed the establishment of a Palestinian state but demilitarised, effectively sandwiched between Israeli areas.

    They also advocated separation of different ethnic entities and backed the notion of "territories for security" as opposed to land for peace.

    Professor Ephraim Inbar, of the Begin - Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilam University (BESA), was very sceptical about mixed coexistence of different communities, saying that "homogeneous ethnically political entities" are a good idea.

    "Separation is generally the best choice in the long term," he said, referring to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    He was very clear about his personal pro-Turkish attitude, which he justified in Turkey's regional power, in common Israeli-Turkish interests and in having Syria as a common enemy.

    On Israel-Turkey ties, he noted they go back a long way and added "the US Jewish lobby works with the Turkish lobby, promoting Turkey's perspective".

    He said Israel welcomed Turkey's initiative to boost ties. Welcoming the recent Israeli-Palestinian peace accord at Wye Plantation as a "good political argument", he expressed doubt about Arafat's ability "to deliver the goods" because of the grassroots support Hamas has among Palestinians.

    Personal security, he explained, is very important to Israelis, hence the overriding feeling that people support the notion of "territories for security".

    Referring to Israel's military might, he admitted that the country's "military superiority has helped us enter into the peace process" but also recognised that the Intifada pushed the Israelis to the negotiating table too.

    "Without the Israeli deterrent, we won't have peace", he said. Professor Shai Feldman, Director of the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, said Israel started focusing at the Mediterranean once the Arab-Israeli conflict subsided a bit.

    "Cyprus has been an issue on the foreign policy agenda but we see Cyprus more of a bilateral relation context than in a wider context", he noted.

    He referred to Cyprus as being in a way in the British sphere of influence, even though he admitted the US is engaged in it.

    "The US does not see an opportunity for dramatic success in Cyprus at present whereas US dealt with Israel and Palestinians as they could score points", he told a group of Cypriot journalists.

    He said the US may step in case of a crisis, with a view to avert it, as for example if the surface-to-air S-300 missiles arrive on the island.

    On the Middle East problem, he said Israel envisages economic cooperation with the Palestinians but stressed Israel cannot compromise on the Jewish character of its state.

    "The more prosperity there is, the higher the stakes for Israelis and Palestinians would be to make them stick to the agreement", he said.

    Backing the establishment of a Palestinian state, he said refugees cannot expect to have the right to return to the pre-1967 situation and stressed the need to keep the very large population centres under Israeli sovereignty.

    However, "the final status peace accord with the Palestinians must be complemented with peace with Syria".

    On Jerusalem, Feldman said "we do not want a divided Jerusalem" but it could be the capital of two states.

    Professor Moshe Maoz of the Truman Institute of Peace Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said Israel "has interests in cooperating with Turkey as it (Turkey) can help us iron out differences with other countries".

    This cooperation, he stressed, "must not be at the expense of ties with Arab countries because our priority is to make peace with the Arab countries".

    Turkey, he pointed out, "is not an automatic supporter of Israel as they have important interests with Iraq and Syria".

    He explained that Israel, being a major power in the region, "must work for peace without relinquishing its ties with Turkey".

    On the Middle East process Maoz backed an independent, demilitarised state for the Palestinians but said Jerusalem must be "undivided".

    Describing the Wye Plantation accord as a breakthrough, he said there can be no comprehensive peace in the region without Syria.

    He said common interests with the Palestinians (water, high-tech, fear of Islamic fundamentalism, tourism) would develop cooperation, leading to peace with Palestinians and the Arabs.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    1115 :CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Clerides - UN envoy

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides had a 40-minute meeting today with UN Resident Representative Ann Hercus.

    The UN envoy stated afterwards that her intention was to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "early next week, probably on Monday."

    She added she would meet again Clerides "later next week, on Friday." The UN official avoided to answer any questions.

    Her talks with President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader is surrounded by confidentiality.

    The Presidential Palace meeting was part of her shuttle diplomacy to prepare the ground for direct talks in the future aimed to solve the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA RG/GP/1988

    [03] Cyprus government - Sweden

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government expressed regret over the death of 60 young people killed in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Thursday and extended its condolences to the Swedish government.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, said "we believe that within the framework of the European family, we should address in this way people with whom we will be closer in the future, at a European level.

    The 60 people were burned to death or died from smoke inhalation as flames raced through a cultural centre during a Halloween party.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [04] Italy - Cyprus - EU

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- Italian Ambassador to Cyprus Francesco Bascone warned today that there are "problems down the road" in Cyprus' European Union accession course, namely the long-standing political problem.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Bascone that "Italy is not planning to raise any obstacles. It is aware of a problem. We hope, as you (Cypriots) hope, that a solution will be found before we reach" the final phase of accession negotiations.

    Asked to comment on the reservations expressed by France in Brussels, and previous reservations by Italy, Bascone said: "I am not sure there was any problem with Italy", adding that he "only saw in the press the name of Italy was sometimes associated with France".

    He said that "the decision to go ahead with the beginning of the actual negotiations on the seven chapters has been taken by the members of the 15", and stressed that "Italy has raised absolutely no objection".

    Bascone pointed out, however, that "this does not mean that there is not a problem down the road", adding that "this is something that Cypriots themselves know".

    He said that "it is a general hope of Italy and the other members that progress is made on the Cyprus issue before we arrive at the final phase", otherwise there will be "a difficult problem which we cannot ignore, of course".

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA RG/GP/1998

    [05] Spokesman - Rodousakis - EU - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government voiced its satisfaction here Friday with yesterday's decision of the European Union (EU) - Cyprus Intergovernmental Conference not to link the Cyprus problem with the island's EU course.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides said "the government expresses its satisfaction because the start of the second meeting of the EU - Cyprus Intergovernmental Conference at a negotiators' level, virtually signalled the start of the EU - Cyprus accession talks."

    He described yesterday's decision as "very significant", pointing out the obstacles which had been raised.

    He also thanked the Greek government "for the way it has defended Cyprus' accession course."

    Paris yesterday withdrew its proposal to add a phrase connecting the Cyprus problem to the island's EU accession course in the chapter referring to the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

    The development came after a German initiative and a discussion of the issue by the 15 permanent representatives.

    Meanwhile, Greek Ambassador to Cyprus, Kyriakos Rodousakis, said Cyprus can "now start unimpeded its negotiations for EU accession."

    Speaking after being received by President Glafcos Clerides, Rodousakis said the main issue they discussed was the start of substantive accession talks.

    Speaking yesterday at the end of the Intergovernmental Conference, Cyprus Chief Negotiator, George Vassiliou, said one can now say that substantial accession talks have begun.

    He also called on member states to help in any way they can so that progress on the Cyprus issue can be achieved.

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

    It applied for EU membership in July 1990.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

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