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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-06-18

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>

News Update

Wednesday, 18/06/97


  • [01] Security issue dominant, says Foreign Minister
  • [02] Cyprus protests air and sea violations by Turkey
  • [03] Russian envoy says international efforts should focus on demilitarisation
  • [04] House delegation starts official visit to Russia
  • [05] US fully supports UN efforts, says American ambassador to Cyprus
  • [06] Greek Deputy Foreign Minister meets US Under Secretary Tom Pickering

[01] Security issue dominant, says Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides described the issue of security as "dominant and an integral part of a Cyprus solution". He said this yesterday upon his return from official trips to Japan and Russia, adding that if the security issue is resolved, then "we are closer to a solution".

He also said that in a spirit of "give and take" during next month's direct negotiations, the Greek Cypriot side expects to secure the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops, get back such territory under its administration to allow two thirds of the Greek Cypriot refugees to return to their homes, and have the freedom of movement and settlement and the right to property safeguarded.

Referring to his Moscow trip, where he met his Russian counterpart, Kasoulides said "the purchase of Russian anti-aircraft missiles by the Cyprus government should not be isolated for discussion" and added that "the deployment of the Russian S-300 missiles in Cyprus would be a negative development, but the presence of Turkish occupation troops in Cyprus is an even more negative development".

On Russia's role at the direct talks, scheduled to begin on July 9th near New York, Kasoulides said Russia "intends to play the role which all permanent members of the Security Council are expected to play".

He said Russia is likely to be represented in the wings of the talks by Foreign Ministry official responsible for Cyprus, Vladimir Chisov.

[02] Cyprus protests air and sea violations by Turkey

The Cyprus government has officially protested at the UN over new violations of Nicosia air space by Turkish jets and of territorial waters by Turkish warships.

Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said yesterday that 16 Turkish F- 16 jets violated Nicosia FIR on Sunday and Monday.

Furthermore, the Defence Ministry said a total of nine Turkish warships and submarines had docked in the occupied ports of Kyrenia and Famagusta and will remain there until tomorrow.

In Washington D.C. the US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns, said during yesterday's press briefing that the US is very concerned about the reports of the movement of Turkish naval vessels. The US doesn't know the reasons behind these military and naval manoeuvres, he said, and "are seeking an explanation from the Turkish government".

"Turkey is a friend of the United States, as is Greece, as is Cyprus. Of course, we want to seek an explanation before we say something in more detail", Mr Burns said.

He added that the US is concerned because "we think it's very important that all the parties involved in trying to resolve the Cyprus dispute not take any unilateral measures that would disrupt in any way the United Nations-sponsored peace talks".

"It is very important that we try to maintain a climate of cooperation, of stability, of peace so that those peace talks can begin under Secretary General Kofi Annan's leadership. That is important to us. We would not want to see any kind of provocative initiatives taken in the area", he said.

[03] Russian envoy says international efforts should focus on demilitarisation

Georgi Muratov, Russia's ambassador to Cyprus has called on those interested in a Cyprus solution to take advantage of the period from now until the implementation of the agreement between Cyprus and Russia for the purchase of the Russian anti-aircraft missiles S-300 and act on Cyprus.

There is plenty of time and a lot can be done in this period, he said.

Mr Muratov, who was speaking to the press yesterday, added that if an agreement is reached on the demilitarisation of the island, then "there will be no S-300 issue, or any other military issue". He also stressed that international efforts should focus on demilitarisation.

[04] House delegation starts official visit to Russia

The President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, leaves for Moscow today accompanied by a House delegation, at the invitation of the President of the Russian Federation's State Duma, Gennady Selezniov.

The Russian Duma President paid an official visit to the island at the end of March at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart.

Mr Kyprianou will be accompanied by the President of the Democratic Rally, Nicos Anastasiades, the General Secretary of left-wing AKEL, Demetris Christofias, the President of the United Democrats, George Vassiliou, and the Parliamentary spokesmen of the Democratic Party and Socialist EDEK, Tassos Papadopoulos and Yiannakis Omirou respectively.

The Cypriot MP's will have separate meetings with Selezniov, the Vice President of the Federation Council, Vasili Likhachev and the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.

They will also hold talks with the leaders or representatives of Russian political parties, the chairmen of the Duma foreign affairs, economic policy and defence committees and the president of the Russia-Cyprus Parliamentary Group of Friendship.

A meeting is also planned with Patriarch Alexios II.

[05] US fully supports UN efforts on Cyprus

The US administration and in particular Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, strongly support the direct negotiations UN Secretary- General, Kofi Annan, has scheduled for next month. This was stressed by the US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, following an hour-long meeting with President Clerides yesterday.

Mr Brill added that it is "premature" to assign any particular tasks Holbrooke will take over regarding the Cyprus problem, but praised the Presidential Emissary as a man with great abilities and experience, who is familiar with the Cyprus issue.

He added that Holbrooke's involvement in the Cyprus issue will enhance an already active US team working on the Cyprus problem, and that involvement will span this year as well as next.

[06] Greek Deputy Foreign Minister meets US Under Secretary Tom Pickering

Greek Deputy for Foreign Affairs Yiannos Kranidiotis had a meeting yesterday in the American capital with US Under Secretary Tom Pickering.

State Department Spokesman, Nicholas Burns, described the meeting as "very good and productive".

"They discussed the upcoming UN-sponsored face-to-face talks on Cyprus, and, of course, the very strong support that the United States gives to those talks. They discussed efforts to reduce tension in the Aegean area, which, of course, is a common interest of the United States and Greece, as well as Turkey", Mr Burns said.

From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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