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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-01-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] EDEK - Government withdrawal

  • 2020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] EDEK - Government withdrawal

    Nicosia, Jan 2 (CNA) -- The withdrawal of the Socialist party EDEK from government is all but certain, according to the latest statements by party President Vasos Lyssarides, who half-way through a meeting of the party's Central Committee, said the overwhelming majority of Committee members have voiced their support for this move.

    "Although we cannot as yet talk about a decision because the meeting is still continuing, it is obvious that judging by what has been said so far, the overwhelming majority backs without reservation the idea to pull out of the government," Lyssarides told the press this evening.

    Speaking at the International Conference Centre, where the Committee is meeting, Lyssarides said "the outcome must be considered as more than certain."

    Further details about the decision will be given after Committee members vote on a proposal by the party Political Bureau to withdraw from the government following President Glafcos Clerides' decision not to deploy Russian missiles in Cyprus.

    Lyssarides stressed that Clerides' decision, in late December, not to deploy the missiles in Cyprus "is a very serious issue."

    The government of Cyprus ordered the SAM (surface to air missiles) for purely defensive purposes in response to the continuing Turkish occupation of one third of the island and strong military presence in the occupied part of Cyprus.

    Turkey had threatened to take all necessary action, should the missiles arrive on the island. Other countries, including the US and the UK, have voiced objections to the missiles purchase, saying it would increase tension in the region.

    "The Russian missiles issue is not a military matter, it turned into a political issue and had the anti-aircraft system not been ordered, we would not be leaving the government today," he added.

    Clerides' decision, he explained, will inevitably be interpreted as "an adjustment to pressure and threats from Turkey and others."

    He said one person has so far opposed the proposal to withdraw from government.

    Lyssarides said he made some suggestions to put an end to public statements on defence matters when the national interest is at stake, strengthen a joint defence pact Cyprus has with Greece for air, sea and land cover in the event of a fresh Turkish offensive and maintain Cyprus' ties with Greece.

    He said he would ask his colleagues in the European Socialist Movement to offer something in return for Clerides' decision not to deploy the missiles.

    EDEK leader also reiterated an earlier proposal to set up a Council on National Policy.

    Backing his party's decision last February to participate with two ministers in Clerides' right-wing government, Lyssarides said there were "positive results" in some areas during their ten-month stint in the government.

    He also praised his two ministers, Yiannakis Omirou and Lykourgos Kappas at the Defence and Education ministries respectively, for the trust they have gained among the people.

    He acknowledged that his party had disagreed with Clerides' government on several counts, including a tax package submitted to the House.

    "These issues, however, are not good enough reasons to leave the government and it would have been a mistake to do so on that score," Lyssarides explained.

    Replying to questions, he said he did not ask for the resignation of President Clerides but said "if I were in his place, I would have resigned."

    CNA MM/AA/1998

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