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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-02-07

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Miller - US pressures
  • [02] Chrysostomis - Athens
  • [03] Christofides - Toronto Conference
  • [04] Defence Minister - Athens - Arrival

  • 1115:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Miller - US pressures

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Toronto, Feb 7 (CNA) -- State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, has categorically denied rumors suggesting the US is pushing for a confederate solution to the Cyprus problem and that heavy pressure is being exercised on the Cyprus government to accept such a solution.

    "I deny it all. It's just absolutely not true," Ambassador Thomas Miller told CNA. "The US does not support a confederate solution. They support a federal solution, a single sovereignty," he added.

    "I read in the press and all that is said is not true. I am not going to be typically diplomatically ambiguous. It is absolutely not true," Miller stressed.

    Despite Miller's assurances, Professor Van Coufoudakis, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Indiana Purdue University, expressed to CNA his doubts over the sincerity of the stated US position on the issue.

    Ambassador Miller's unequivocal response came after a session of a weekend-long Conference entitled "Conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean: Issues of Regional Security and Stability".

    The Conference is organised by the Hellenic-Canadian Federation of Ontario and sponsored by the Hellenic Canadian Congress, the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, the Greek Community of Metropolitan Toronto, the Cypriot Community of Toronto and the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus-PSEKA Canada.

    Miller told CNA that both him and US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, "have not been shy in saying unequivocally and categorically that the problem right now in our negotiations, our experience and our problems is with the Turkish side".

    Referring to the decision not to deploy S-300 defensive system on Cyprus, Miller said US objections over its deployment had nothing to do with either the Cyprus Republic's sovereign right to defence or with the fact that the missiles were Russian.

    "Our concern was that this was the wrong kind of system and was just going to be a major monkey wrench in the negotiations. President Glafcos Clerides made a courageous decision," he said.

    Although he could not promise a solution to the Cyprus problem this year, Miller promised "best and intensive efforts" will be undertaken to resolve the issue".

    Referring to American arms sales to Turkey, he said the way to solve the Cyprus problem was not to issue "blatant threats" to one side or the other, but about "coming up with a reasonable package that meets the basic , underlying interests and concerns of both sides".

    He also stressed that confidentiality during negotiations was imperative in order that both sides were "given the flexibility to consider things that might be politically very difficult, but as part of a package might be attractive".

    Concluding, Miller said the US administration "is quite committed in doing whatever it can to help bring about a solution to a problem that has been 25 years too late in coming to pass."

    CNA MH/MCH/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1150:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Chrysostomis - Athens

    Larnaca, Feb 7 (CNA) -- Defence Minister, Yiannakis Chrysostomis, left today for Athens, for talks with his Greek counterpart, Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

    Speaking shortly before departure at Larnaca airport, Chrysostomis said the issues of Russian-made defensive system S-300 will be discussed as well as issues of defence and relating to the defence pact agreed between the two countries.

    "We expect the talks will take place within a spirit of cooperation and friendship and we will reach the right arrangement, satisfactory to both countries," Chrysostomis said.

    President Glafcos Clerides decided last December not to deploy the S- 300 on the island and talks are currently held concerning their deployment on the Greek island of Crete.

    Asked to comment on provocative statements made by Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem, while on an illegal visit to the Turkish-occupied part of the island yesterday, Chrysostomis stressed:

    "The government policy is well-known. We stand for a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem."

    He pointed out, however, that until Turkey comes to accept to discuss a solution based on UN resolutions on Cyprus and high level agreements reached by the two communities on the island back in 1977 and 1979, "we have the duty to strengthen our defence and secure the survival of the Greek Cypriots".

    Cem claimed yesterday that a proposal for a confederation of two states, put forward by the Turkish side during his last visit to the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus last August was gaining ground among many countries.

    Repeated UN resolutions have called for a Cyprus settlement based on a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation on the island.

    CNA MAN/MCH/RM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1245:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Christofides - Toronto Conference

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Toronto, Feb 7 (CNA) -- Turkish intransigence over the Cyprus problem will not end unless the international community and especially those governments who have close links with Turkey put aside other interests and persuade Ankara to abide by the rule of International law, Presidential Commissioner of Cypriot Abroad, pointed out.

    "It is no good proclaiming the virtues of the rule of law, justice and democracy, while turning a blind eye to the contempt shown to these by successive governments in Ankara, for fear of offending a strategically valuable ally or in the hope of winning lucrative arms contracts," Manolis Christofides said.

    Christofides was addressing a two-day Conference held here this weekend on "Conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean: Issues of Regional Security and Stability", organised by the Hellenic Canadian Congress of Canada.

    The Presidential Commissioner stressed that a solution to the Cyprus problem must be found through dialogue, but decades of fruitless negotiations "have taken things too far, exposing and eroding the whole concept of dialogue and mocking the international community".

    Christofides pointed out that "Turkey cannot be allowed to trample unpunished on human rights in Cyprus and to degrade universal ideas and values, turning a blind eye to international declarations and human rights charters".

    He noted that the Cyprus problem should concern the entire region because there was "clear evidence" that Turkey was modernising all branches of its armed forces at a fast pace, not to maintain some kind of balance of power, but to impose its military superiority over potential adversaries.

    Referring to President Glafcos Clerides' recent decision not to deploy Russian-made S-300 missiles on the island, Christofides said this was "ample proof of the Cyprus government's determination for peace".

    "We look forward to a solution of the Cyprus problem that would promote and protect the interest of the entire Cypriot population", Cristofides said, adding that "such a solution, while very easy to achieve, is being delayed because some are looking for a solution that would benefit Turkey, not the Cyprus people".

    The Presidential Commissioner also pointed out that a federal solution to the Cyprus problem would guarantee the prosperity and security of the people of Cyprus.

    "Those who preach that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together, do not have Cyprus' best interests at heart," he concluded.

    Also speaking at the Conference, Professor Van Coufoudakis, Dean of Arts and Sciences at Indiana Purdue University, said US support to Turkey encourages its knee-jerk belligerence towards its neighbours, including Greece, Cyprus and Syria and pointed out that:

    "US policy in the region has failed and will continue to fail if it continues to blackmail the victim and reward and aggressor."

    Coufoudakis also pointed out, regarding, Turkey's European course, the European Union should not have to ignore its own principles so that Turkey would be allowed to accede.

    Referring to the Turkish - Israeli military pact, Professor Coufoudakis described it as a "marriage of convenience" which would not contribute in promoting peace and human rights in the region.

    He said the pact was a "dream come true" for Turkey because not only had Ankara gained a source of high technology and military hardware, but it also gained the support of a powerful Jewish lobby in Washington that could enhance Turkish influence in the American capital.

    Coufoudakis noted, however, that the rapprochement between the US and Iran would still affect relations between US and Turkey.

    Also addressing the Conference, Nikos Athanasakis, Director general of the Greek Press and Information Office, pointed out that in terms of efforts to bring about a Cyprus solution "the ball is now on the Turkish side's court" and stressed that Cyprus must be viewed as an issue separate from Greco-Turkish relations.

    "Cyprus is an international problem of invasion and occupation," he said, stressing that Cyprus' accession to the EU would serve as a vehicle for both communities on the island to live in peace and prosperity.

    Referring to Turkish claims in the Aegean, Athanasakis called upon Turkey to settle the matter according to international law before the International Court of Justice, pointing out that this "would facilitate the improvement of Greco-Turkish relations".

    Concluding he noted that Greece was not keeping Turkey out of Europe and added that those who wish to enter Europe should concurrently accept and adhere to certain principles.

    CNA MH/MCH/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1415:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Defence Minister - Athens - Arrival

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Athens, Feb 7 (CNA) -- Defence Minister Yiannakis Chrysostomis has said he expects his talks here in Athens with his Greek counterpart Akis Tsochatzopoulos will have a good conclusion.

    Replying to a question on his arrival at Athens airport today, Chrysostomis said an initial meeting has been arranged with the Russian government, regarding the S-300 defence missile system ordered by the Cyprus government.

    The issue of the Russian made S-300 will be discussed here in Athens after a decision not to deploy it in Cyprus and negotiate with Moscow its possible deployment in the southern Greek island of Crete.

    In his statement, Chrysostomis described his first visit to the Greek capital, since his appointment last month, as a "working and familarisation visit".

    "We have a lot of issues to cover with the Greek Minister and I expect we will have a good conclusion (to our talks)", he added.

    Asked if a meeting with the Russian government has been arranged Chrysostomis said "it has been initially scheduled", but refrained from elaborating or replying to other questions until a press conference he will hold tomorrow with his Greek counterpart.

    Tomorrow morning the Minister will lay a wreath at the memorial of the Unknown Soldier and will then have a private meeting with his Greek counterpart, followed by talks between delegations from the two countries.

    After the press conference he will have a working lunch with Tsochatzopoulos and in the evening he will attend a formal dinner hosted by the Greek Minister.

    CNA MA/RM/MCH/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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