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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-12-03

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Middle East
  • [02] President - US Ambassador
  • [03] Slovakia - Bicommunal meetings

  • 1020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Middle East

    Nicosia, Dec 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Sotos Zackheos, said that the Cyprus government "supports all initiatives and efforts aiming at finding a comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem".

    Speaking before the UN General Assembly, Zackheos reaffirmed Cyprus' support for "the implementation of Security Council resolutions" on the Middle East, which "provide the framework for a viable peace".

    "We denounce, in the strongest terms, terrorism and violence against innocent civilians", he added.

    Zackheos said the Cyprus government "has welcomed the recent agreement at the Wye Plantation" and pointed out that "we have been encouraged by the steps taken for the implementation of the agreement".

    He said "the breakthrough shows that when there is political will on the part of the sides and sustained international efforts and influence, regional conflicts can be resolved", adding that "we hold this to be true also in the case of the Cyprus problem".

    "While we consider the Palestinian problem as the core issue of the Middle East conflict", he said, "we support the resumption of the negotiations between Israel and Syria and the opening of talks between Israel and Lebanon".

    Zackheos reiterated Cyprus' offer "to host any meeting which may be convened within the context of the bilateral negotiations" on the Middle East problem".

    He recalled that Cyprus has been chosen as the seat of the Israel- Lebanon Monitoring Group and that the European Union's Special Envoy for the Middle East Peace Process, Ambassador Moratinos, has chosen Cyprus as his seat in the area.

    CNA RG/GP/1998

    [02] President - US Ambassador

    Nicosia, Dec 3 (CNA) -- The US has urged the government of Cyprus not to deploy Russian anti-aircraft missiles on the island and said it would be ready to consider other destinations for the SAM (surface-to-air missiles).

    The US also expressed their staunch support for the ongoing UN shuttle talks the Secretary-General's envoy in Cyprus Dame Ann Hercus is conducting, saying that all indications are that there must be some progress in these talks.

    "We have always supported the idea of the missiles not coming to Cyprus. As long as they are not coming to Cyprus, we are ready to consider almost anything else," US Ambassador Kenneth Brill said here today after meeting President Glafcos Clerides.

    He said the arrival of the missiles "complicates the process of getting to the demilitarisation (of Cyprus) and added "we hope that the position we have taken from the beginning that they should not come to Cyprus is the one that will be adopted by the government of Cyprus."

    Asked if the UN process would be facilitated if the missiles do not arrive in Cyprus, Brill pointed out that the US would not want to see things happen that would detract from that process.

    "The arrival of the missiles would detract from that," he stressed, noting that the ongoing UN process is all the more reason for the US position to be adhered to.

    The Cyprus government has ordered Russian-made S300 anti-aircraft missiles in a bid to bolster its air defence, in case of a new Turkish offensive.

    Brill said the US initiative to break the current deadlock in Cyprus runs parallel to that of the UN and expressed strong support to the UN process.

    "Dame Ann has the strongest possible support from the US government and other members of the UN Security Council," he said.

    Replying to questions, the Ambassador said the Cyprus government decision to go to the UN General Assembly and Hercus' efforts are two separate events and are not linked.

    He said the fact that the parties involved with Hercus respect the confidentiality of the talks is an indication the seriousness with which they are dealing with the UN process.

    "People do not break the silence and that suggests they are engaged seriously," he added.

    Brill appeared sceptical about the chances of beginning talks on demilitarisation by the end of the year.

    "People are engaged with her (Hercus), she is implementing her mandate which covers all the issues and we are hopeful that will produce progress but I think everybody is realistic about what can be achieved in a matter of weeks," he said.

    Brill described the situation in Turkey as "complicated" and said it renders things "interesting" as far as the Cyprus peace effort is concerned.

    He also stressed that the two top US envoys for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke and Thomas Miller, continue to be "very much engaged in Cyprus".

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

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [03] Slovakia - Bicommunal meetings

    Nicosia, Dec 3 (CNA) -- Leaders of Turkish Cypriot parties have expressed their desire for new meetings with their Greek Cypriot counterparts, in separate meetings with Slovak Charge d'affaires Dusan Rozbora.

    Speaking to CNA, Rozbora said that as a result of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash's refusal to allow bicommunal activities, he concentrated his efforts in separate meetings with Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot party leaders.

    He said that during the last week Turkish Cypriot party leaders concentrated on the so-called "parliamentary elections" to be held in the Turkish-occupied areas on Sunday.

    "But all of them expressed their wish to meet again with Greek Cypriot party leaders and I will try to start this activity after the new year," Rozbora said, pointing out that Turkish Cypriot party leaders expressed the hope for a meeting in January or February.

    Asked whether he had any meetings with Denktash, the Slovak Charge d'affaires replied, "no, not recently", adding that he intended to meet him next year.

    "He (Denktash) has to do something to allow Turkish Cypriot party leaders to meet with their Greek Cypriot counterparts," Rozbora said.

    He added, however, that "it is up to the political leaders to also send some messages to Denktash that they are ready to meet with their Greek Cypriot counterparts".

    Slovakia and earlier Czechoslovakia, had taken the initiative to mediate for meetings between Greek and Turkish Cypriot party leaders, as part of its effort to contribute to rapprochement efforts between the two communities.

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

    CNA FZ/MCH/GP/1998
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