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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-21

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kasoulides - Albright - Annan
  • [02] British MP - Blair - Letter on Cyprus issue
  • [03] British Ambassadors - Visit
  • [04] Social-democratic party - Preliminary positions
  • [05] Mouradov - Missiles
  • [06] Conservative MPs - Cyprus problem - Letter to Blair
  • [07] British House of Commons - Early day motion - Cyprus
  • [08] Stylianides - Kasoulides - Meetings

  • 0840:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Kasoulides - Albright - Annan

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Jan 21 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides and US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright will meet in Washington on February 17.

    According to State Department sources, Kasoulides requested the meeting and Albright was advised to accept the request.

    The same sources told CNA the meeting was considered necessary in the present phase of the Cyprus problem after President Glafcos Clerides' decision not to deploy the Russian-made defensive system S-300 on the island.

    The same sources said there was no scheduled trip of State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, to the island or meetings between Albright and Greek or Turkish officials.

    According to information, Kasoulides will also meet in New York with UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

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

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1999

    [02] British MP - Blair - Letter on Cyprus issue

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- Chair of the Commonwealth Association Cyprus Parliamentary Group, British Labour MP Tom Cox, has asked the British Premier what actions his government will take for achieving progress in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem.

    In a letter to Tony Blair, dated January 11 and released today, the British MP pointed out that the UK "is one of the guarantor powers for the island and Cyprus is a Commonwealth country" and said the people of Cyprus are despairing with the 24-year Turkish occupation of 37 per cent of the island.

    "I therefore write to ask what action you envisage our government taking to try to ensure that meaningful progress takes place..." he added.

    Speaking to London Greek Radio, the British MP said he wrote to the Prime Minister "because after being in power now for some 18 months I think it is of crucial importance, as we start yet another year, to recall the ongoing suffering of Cyprus from the Turkish invasion."

    "Now I want to hear from the British PM exactly what action he proposes to take," Cox said, noting that Blair has shown his involvement in other issues.

    Cox said he wanted to know "exactly what kind of discussions he (Blair) is having with Turkey because we know Turkey is a major player in this issue."

    He added that there are also other European countries "who could play a role" and said the relationship the British Premier has with American President Bill Clinton "is again another crucial involvement in the overall issue of Cyprus".

    The British Labour MP applauded a decision taken at the end of last year by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides not to deploy a Russian-made defensive missile system on the island and to negotiate with Moscow its possible deployment on the Greek island of Crete.

    "President Clerides has made his decision and the people and government of Cyprus now have the right to say 'what are we now going to see from the Turkish government'," he added.

    Cox dismissed statements made by Ankara after Clerides' decision that it was a "victory" for Turkey, underlining that "it wasn't a victory for Ankara whatsoever."

    "It was a genuine effort by the President of the Cyprus Republic to seek to move along the discussions and get a meaningful response back from Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash," he added.

    Clerides' decision was welcomed by the UN, the EU, the US, Britain and other countries who pledged to fully back a fresh UN effort for a settlement here and the reduction of tensions.

    Britain, along with Greece and Turkey, had guaranteed the island's independence and sovereignty when it granted Cyprus independence from colonial rule in 1960.

    CNA RG/MA/GP/1999

    [03] British Ambassadors - Visit

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- A visit here by British government envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay "aims to show the support of the British government to the UN initiative and efforts to make progress" in a settlement in Cyprus, British High Commission press spokesman Piers Cazalet told CNA today.

    He said discussions will focus on all aspects of the Cyprus problem. Hannay as well as British ambassador to Greece Michael Smith are arriving in Cyprus later today, whereas Britain's ambassador to Turkey David Logan is already on the island.

    Smith, Logan and British High Commissioner to Cyprus David Madden will confer on the Cyprus problem and regional issues, including Greece, Turkey and their relations with the European Union.

    Tomorrow lunchtime the three ambassadors and Hannay will meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and his political and legal advisor at the British High Commission office, in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    In the evening, they will have a working dinner with President Glafcos Clerides, who will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides and Under Secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros.

    The working dinner will be given at Madden's residence in the government-controlled sector of the divided capital Nicosia.

    Hannay returns to Britain on Sunday evening, while the two ambassadors are also expected to leave the island over the weekend.

    CNA MM/MA/GP/1999

    [04] Social-democratic party - Preliminary positions

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- The preliminary positions on the Cyprus problem of a new social-democratic party, expected to emerge from three parties and two movements that have already begun meetings, as well as the time framework to be followed until its formation were made public today.

    Efforts for the establishment of a social-democratic party began at the end of last year and have since been stepped up.

    The document referring to the Cyprus question underlines that any settlement must "safeguard all human rights of all citizens and the basic freedoms of movement and settlement and the right to property ."

    It adds that the constitutional aspects of a settlement must safeguard "the international status and the single sovereignty and personality, within democratic principles and the framework of the European acquis communautaire."

    Regarding the time framework, every party and movement that participates is expected to appoint by tomorrow three members that will participate in the working groups that will discuss the party's constitution, its organisation and the declaration of principles.

    A high-level meeting will be convened in mid-February, all documents are expected to be ready by the end of the same month and a new high-level meeting will take place in March.

    According to the time framework, the first congress for the approval of documents will be held at the end of March and it is expected that the founding congress will take place 12 months from today.

    Socialist party EDEK, one of the main protagonists in this effort, announced that the two documents were agreed on at a meeting held January 15, with the participation of the New Horizons Party, the Movement for Political Renewal and the movement for the Reformation of the Centre.

    The documents were also given to the centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO), at a meeting with EDEK representatives on Tuesday, during which DIKO was briefed on the work done until today.

    DIKO has said it will consider participating in consultations for the new party, after it discusses the issue at the top level.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [05] Mouradov - Missiles

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- The focus of talks on the issue of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system S300 is Moscow and Athens, Russia's Ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Mouradov, said here today.

    Speaking after a meeting with the Commerce Minister, he said the matter "is outside Cyprus" and pointed out he is not the right person to comment on the issue at hand.

    The future of the Russian missiles has been at the forefront of discussions following a decision by the government of Cyprus not to deploy the missiles on the island but instead to consider the possibility of deploying them in the Greek island of Crete.

    "We must put an end to discussions and comments on defence matters," Mouratov told the press.

    He reiterated Moscow's resolve to remain engaged in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem and find some ideas.

    "The Russian government is at the disposal of the Cypriot government to discuss all issues of common interest and we are working in that direction," he added.

    CNA FZ/MM/GP/1999

    [06] Conservative MPs - Cyprus problem - Letter to Blair

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- Four Conservative British MPs have written to the British Premier expressing the hope he will take positive actions to ensure that a Cyprus government decision not to deploy a Russian-made defensive missile system on the island will not be wasted.

    They also say it would be helpful if pressure was exerted on the new Turkish government to work for a peaceful settlement in Cyprus.

    In a letter sent yesterday, Sir Sydney Chapman, David Amess, Roger Gale and Nick Hawkins express their appreciation to the British government for its positive response "when President Clerides of Cyprus announced that the missiles would not now be deployed."

    President Clerides announced his decision in a written statement issued at the end of last year in which he says he decided not to deploy the S-300 surface-to-air missiles in Cyprus and instead to negotiate with Russia their possible deployment in the Greek island of Crete.

    "The New Year brings new opportunities for peace in Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot community has shown that they are prepared to put aside their very real concerns about their security, without first having the occupying forces reduced," the British MPs say.

    Turkey maintains over 35.000 heavily armed troops in Cyprus since invading the island occupying 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    "We hope that our government will now take positive actions to ensure that the actions of the Cypriot government are not wasted," they add.

    The Conservative MPs told Tony Blair that "it would be very helpful if Britain now galvanised the European Union as well as the USA to put pressure on the new government of Turkey to work towards a peaceful solution for a free and federal Cyprus."

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [07] British House of Commons - Early day motion - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- An early day motion calling on the Turkish government to enter negotiations for reducing the arms it maintains in Cyprus since it invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island in 1974, was tabled yesterday and circulated today in the British House of Commons.

    Five MPs from all parties sign the motion that notes the Cyprus government's decision not to install the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles on the island.

    The motion "calls upon the government of Turkey to respond positively by entering into a process of negotiation for the scaling down of armaments as provided in UN Security Council resolution 1218, thus reducing intercommunal tension and creating the conditions for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem."

    President Glafcos Clerides decided not to deploy the missile system at the end of last year, following the adoption of Security Council resolution 1218.

    In a written statement then, the Cyprus President said he would negotiate with Moscow the possible deployment of the S-300 missiles in the southern Greek island of Crete.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [08] Stylianides - Kasoulides - Meetings

    Nicosia, Jan 21 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, plans to have meetings with his US and German counterparts, Madeleine Albright and Joschka Fischer, and European Union External Affairs Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, announced today that Kasoulides will meet Van den Broek in Brussels on February 1, Albright in Washington on February 17 and Fischer in Germany on March 15.

    Stylianides refrained from commenting on information of a possible meeting between Kasoulides and UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, in New York.

    The aim of these meetings is "to make the most out of the increased international interest so as to either enter into a discussion on the substance of the Cyprus problem based on relevant UN resolutions or on issues relating to a reduction of forces and demilitarisation," Stylianides remarked.

    Referring to statements by Germany and the US welcoming President Clerides' decision not to deploy the S-300 defensive system on the island and pointing out that steps should then be made by Turkey, Stylianides stressed:

    "There is time between now and the (April) elections in Turkey, for the international community to prepare the ground in order to yield results, " towards a solution to the Cyprus problem.

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

    CNA MCH/GP/1999
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