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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Ministers - Resignation
  • [02] Ministers - Resignation - Statements
  • [03] Galanos - Resignation

  • 1200:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Ministers - Resignation

    Nicosia, Jan 4 (CNA) -- The Ministers of Defence and Education handed in their resignations today, following their party's decision to withdraw from government because of a decision not to deploy Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus.

    President Glafcos Clerides accepted their resignation. Yiannakis Omirou, first vice-president of the Socialist EDEK party, and Lykourgos Kappas, affiliated to EDEK, were part of Clerides' right-wing government for the past ten months, as the President formed his cabinet for a second term in office in February last year.

    EDEK, a staunch supporter of the deployment of the Russian missiles, decided on Saturday to pull out of government as a matter of principle, following Clerides' decision not to deploy them on the island.

    The government ordered the long-range S300 missile system in a bid to bolster the island's defences in case of a new Turkish offensive.

    Turkey had threatened to take all necessary action, should the missiles arrive in Cyprus.

    All indications are that the President will appoint members of the party he founded, the Democratic Rally (DISY), to the two vacant posts.

    Ouranios Ioannides, first vice-president at DISY, is almost certain to take over at the Education and Culture Ministry, while George Charalambides, former permanent secretary at the Interior Ministry, is widely believed to be the next Defence Minister.

    CNA MM/GP/1999

    [02] Ministers - Resignation - Statements

    Nicosia, Jan 4 (CNA) -- Former Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou today said he and Education Minister Lykourgos Kappas resigned from the government for reasons of political ethos.

    Speaking to the press after the two men handed their resignations to President Glafcos Clerides, Omirou called on all who serve with the National Guard to keep their spirits high.

    "Reasons of political credibility, ethos and honesty made us take this decision," the former Defence Minister said.

    Omirou and Kappas served with the Clerides government since the President formed his cabinet after his re-election for a second five year term in February 1998.

    The two men handed in their resignations after socialist EDEK party decided on Saturday to leave the government, following President Clerides' decision not to deploy Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus.

    Their resignations were accepted by President Clerides. Omirou, EDEK first vice-president, expressed the socialist party's readiness to contribute to efforts to tackle the difficult times and called for unity of all forces in Cyprus, Greece and Greeks living abroad.

    He described the President's decision not to deploy the S300 missile system as "a national humiliation" and "a blow to the sovereignty of the state."

    "We must re-assess all facts and mark out a new course with sincerity, determination and boldness," Omirou added.

    The former Defence Minister called on all who serve with the National Guard to keep their spirits high and defend the interests of the Cyprus Republic.

    Kappas, who is not a party member but was proposed by EDEK, said the President thanked them for what they offered in the past 10 months and expressed satisfaction with their work.

    Before the two ministers hand in their resignations, President Clerides had a two-hour meeting with leaders of the ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISI) party.

    DISI President Nicos Anastasiades and Acting President Panayiotis Demetriou did not make any statement after the meeting.

    Present was also Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

    CNA MK/MA/GP/1999

    [03] Galanos - Resignation

    Nicosia, Jan 4 (CNA) -- Eurodemocratic Renewal Party President Alexis Galanos today resigned from his position as advisor to the President, a post he held since supporting President Glafcos Clerides in his re-election for a second term in February 1998.

    Galanos told the press he decided to resign following President Glafcos Clerides' decision not to deploy Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus and because of his party's participation in the National Council.

    The Eurodemocratic Renewal Party first participated in a meeting of the National Council, top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus question made up of political party leaders, last week.

    In a written statement issued after the meeting, the President announced his decision not to deploy the S300 defence missiles and to negotiate with Russia their possible deployment to the southern Greek island of Crete.

    However, Galanos did not rule out the possibility of his party participating in a future government which would have a broader basis because his party' always supported the formation of a national unity government, as he added.

    "If efforts are made in the future for a widely accepted government or a government of national unity then our small party would try to contribute, " he said.

    Galanos underlined the need of "building bridges" in order to achieve progress for a settlement to the Cyprus problem and in the Republic's European Union accession course.

    He said this is the message he relayed to President Clerides. CNA/MK/MA/GP/1999

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