|Tuesday, 22 September 2020|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-10-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Joint Greek and Cypriot military exercise goes aheadCyprus Minister of Defence Costas Eliades had his first talks Thursday (3.10.96) in Athens with newly-appointed Greek Minister of National Defence Akis Tsohantzopoulos. Tsohantzopoulos said afterwards that the joint military exercises "Toxotis-Nikiforos" will take place between 4th-9th October with the participation of the two countries' land, sea and air military forces on a larger scale than last year.
"This will certainly contribute greatly to the aim of ensuring an effective defensive capability, within the context of the joint responsibility for the shared defence space of Greece and Cyprus", he said.
Responding to a question from the press whether pressure was exercised by foreign countries to cancel the exercises, Tsohantzopoulos said: "There is no problem, no hesitation, no limitation regarding the realisation of the exercises".`
Cypriot Defence Minister Eliades said that the Cyprus government has accepted a military dialogue with the commander of the Turkish occupation forces, but without the presence of the so-called commander of the Turkish Cypriot forces.
It was announced that the Greek Minister of National Defence plans to visit Cyprus in November.
 36th Independence Anniversary marked by the House of RepresentativesThe President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou addressed the Assembly yesterday on the occasion of Cyprus Independence Day (1st October).
Speaking of the difficult path the island had to follow ever since the 1974 invasion by Turkey and the occupation of 37% of its territory, Kyprianou said that recently a lot of interest has been shown in promoting initiatives for a solution to the Cyprus problem. He underlined, however, that for these initiatives to have a chance of success, the United States, the European Union and other countries should exercise effective pressure on Turkey to change her stance regarding Cyprus.
 President Clerides congratulates Germany on Unification DayIn a congratulation telegram to German President Roman Herzog on the German Day of Unity, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said: "We in Cyprus are indeed grateful for the valuable support of Germany in our efforts towards a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN Resolutions and the principles of international law and for the fulfilment of our European vocation as Cyprus approaches accession negotiations to join the European Union".
 Council of Europe Preliminary Report on the situation in CyprusThe Council of Europe Rapporteur for Cyprus Lord Finsberg has released his preliminary report in which he sees the Cyprus. EU accession negotiations on incentive for on overall settlement which "may hold the key to progress".
According to a Cyprus News Agency (CNA) report, Lord Finsberg slams the tactics of the Turkish regime in the occupied part of Cyprus describing the colonisation of the area and the expulsion of the local Greek population as "demographic cleansing".
The draft report, divided into six sections, "strongly condemns" the murders of two unarmed Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turkish troops during anti-occupation protests in the UN buffer zone, in August.
The report refers to President Glafcos Clerides' idea to set up an international force, as part of his demilitarisation proposal, and notes that such a force can "possibly be modelled on IFOR in Bosnia" and the idea can be explored as an element of a comprehensive settlement.
Noting that the state of the economy in the occupied areas of Cyprus continues to deteriorate, Lord Finsberg calls on the Government of the Republic to consider relaxing "some of the trade barriers to halt the economic decline in the North and stabilise the population balance".
Referring to Cyprus' prospects for EU membership, Lord Finsberg dismisses Turkish Cypriot fears that Greek Cypriots will not work for a settlement if EU membership is guaranteed.
But he warns both sides that the EU may "delay Cypriot membership" if it considers that the government of Cyprus "is not genuinely negotiating with the Turkish community" and stresses to the Turkish Cypriots that it will not "permit a Turkish communal veto to prevent membership" if that community is "unreasonable".
The report also sends a message of rebuff to Turkey that if the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus "took the decision to try and integrate with Turkey, Turkey would need to consider her own position when wishing to join the EU".
"If there is a will on both sides to forget - not forgive - the past and draw up a new constitution based on a federal bizonal, bicommunal state along the lines discussed ad nauseam, there is hope for the people of this unhappy land", the report says.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/