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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-05

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 <>

Friday, 05/09/97


  • [01] US envoy says "time is running out for Cyprus"
  • [02] Spanish Senate President promises full support for Cyprus' EU accession
  • [03] Nordic Foreign Ministers refer to Cyprus
  • [04] Russian official: No armaments would be necessary in Cyprus if agreement on demilitarisation is reached
  • [05] Foreign Minister completed his contacts in Germany

[01] US envoy says "time is running out for Cyprus"

US Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Miller warned that time is working against a solution to the Cyprus problem and said that the US wants to focus on the substance of the problem.

The US diplomat who will be working closely with Presidential emissary Richard Holbrooke in the Cyprus peace effort, gave an interview to press- agencies in view of his visit to the region between 7-20 September.

Deputy State Department Spokesman Jim Foley said on 3.9.97 that Miller will visit Ankara, Athens, Nicosia and a number of European capitals as well. "He'll certainly be taking the temperature in the different capitals and then reporting back, meeting with Department officials, meeting with Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and then discussing with him where we go from there", Mr Foley said.

Miller himself said in his interview that he will explore in the region whether a comprehensive approach, or a step-by-step one will best end the 23-year division of Cyprus. He said he has "a couple of ideas" on the question, but will "do a lot of listening" while in the region.

Mr Miller warned that, "the Cyprus problem is something in which time is working against us. We'll continue to do what we can to try to fix the problem and defuse tensions".

He noted that Greece and Turkey are very essential factors adding that on Cyprus and Athens-Ankara relations are now more conducive to a settlement than in the past. He said he "detects a different spirit" today than in the years past. As an experienced diplomat in the region, Mr Miller expressed the view that public sentiment was much more responsive to rapprochement over the last couple of years than what he experienced in the mid- 1980's.

The US envoy also noted in his interview that compromise is the way to a "good solution, endurable and lasting", but cautioned that in such a compromise, "neither side walks away from the table with everything it wants".

[02] Spanish Senate President promises full support for Cyprus' EU accession

"Spain has always expressed its support for Cyprus' entry to the EU and sees it as a positive move because it would be to the interest of both Cyprus and the European Union", Juan Ignacio Barrero Valverde, President of the Spanish Senate said in Nicosia yesterday.

The Spanish Senate President is on a three-day official visit to the island at the invitation of the President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou.

During a meeting between the two men yesterday, Valverde told Kyprianou: "In Spain we have no doubt as to who is on the side of justice and we would like to do all we can for a just solution as soon as possible. In the same way, Spain supports Cyprus's accession to the EU".

Mr Valverde extended an invitation to Mr Kyprianou to visit the Spanish Senate to bolster relations between the two Parliaments.

House President Kyprianou said "we are prepared to improve our cooperation to the highest possible degree both on the level of the two Parliaments and certainly on the state level". Mr Kyprianou also expressed his gratitude for the Spanish Senate's understanding and support.

The Spanish official was also received yesterday by President Glafcos Clerides. Mr Valverde presented both President Clerides and House President Kyprianou with the Spanish Senate's Gold Medal.

The Spanish official also held meetings with the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou.

[03] Nordic Foreign Ministers refer to Cyprus

A communique issued after a meeting of the Nordic Foreign Ministers in Bergen, Norway, on September 3, 1997, also referred to Cyprus. In the relevant paragraph the Ministers welcomed the fact that the parties in Cyprus have committed themselves to a negotiated solution and expressed their full support to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General and his envoys to find a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the conflict in Cyprus.

Moreover, the communique said that the Ministers regretted the fact that the second round of negotiations did not lead to any real progress and stated that preventing progress in the UN-led negotiations by putting forward particular conditions for participation, is not acceptable.

The Nordic Ministers urged the parties to be flexible and to co-operate in order to achieve constructive results and to refrain from anything that can prevent continued direct talks within the UN framework.

[04] Russian official: No armaments would be necessary in Cyprus if agreement on demilitarisation is reached

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman G. Tarasov in a statement yesterday said that his Ministry has noted Turkish press reports on the intention of the Turkish military to intercept commercial ships in the Bosporus and search them for the S-300 missiles or their components. Such actions are undoubtedly contrary to the Montreux Convention of 1936 which provides for the free passage of commercial vessels through the straits, the Russian Foreign Ministry statement said.

Mr Tarasov added that most probably this will be one of the issues to be raised between the Russian and Turkish foreign ministries in the near future.

Moreover, the statement says that there is no reason to revise any of the terms of the contract with the Republic of Cyprus for the purchase of the S- 300 missiles. It is also reminded in the statement that Russia has stressed that there will be no need for any armaments in Cyprus if there is a solution to the Cyprus problem and if an agreement for complete demilitarisation is reached. Achieving this goal largely depends on the directly involved parties, the Russian statement said.

Our country calls upon the 'directly involved parties' to activate their efforts towards reaching a solution, the Russian official said.

Replying to a question by a Turkish journalist, Mr Tarasov reiterated that the S-300 missiles are purely defensive weapons. We have underlined, he said, that the Republic of Cyprus does not have its own Airforce, whereas the other side, which gets its support from Turkey, has the ability to control Cyprus' airspace. "We believe", Mr Tarasov said, "that under these circumstances worries on the S-300 are unjustified and exaggerated".

[05] Foreign Minister completed his contacts in Germany

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides continued and completed his contacts in Bonn yesterday. He had a meeting with the First Vice President of the German Parliament Mr Hans-Urick Klose in the presence of MP Ms Sigrid Skarpellis-Sperk (SPD) and had a separate meeting with MP Dr Christoph Zopel(SPD).

Mr Kasoulides also gave interviews and had meetings with the mass media in the German capital.

The Foreign Minister is continuing his European tour with visits to Lithuania and Latvia.

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

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