|Tuesday, 22 September 2020|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-22
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Government Spokesman: Cyprus has the right and duty to defend itselfIn today's briefing to the press, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides referred to Turkey's escalating threats over the defensive S-300 missile system and reiterated that Cyprus has the inalienable right and duty to advance its defensive capability.
He said this was deemed necessary when Cyprus, abandoned by its allies and guarantors of its independence and territorial integrity, fell victim to the bulimy of one of its guarantors, Turkey, which invaded 23 years ago and still occupies 37% of the territory of the island.
Mr. Christofides stressed that "we wish for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem", adding that the necessity to improve the defences of the island arises from the expansionist and threatening policy of Turkey.
The Spokesman added that it is the first time in history when the aggressor claims the right to determine the defences of its victim. The Republic of Cyprus will continue to look after its defences, he said, adding that the only danger to it comes from Turkey.
Mr. Christofides also reminded in his statement that Cyprus has proposed demilitarisation which is constantly rejected by Turkey.
"The demilitarisation of Cyprus and the security of all its citizens - Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots - as well as the completion of its European course constitutes a three-sided policy which will secure the welfare of its people", the Spokesman added.
 President Clerides: Our aim is the reunification of Cyprus under conditions of securityPresident Clerides, addressing different functions in rural communities over the weekend, reiterated that his ultimate aim is the reunification of Cyprus under conditions of security. Mr. Clerides said we aim at "the reunification of our island, the removal of Turkish troops, the safeguarding of human rights and the peaceful coexistence of Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites and Latins in conditions of real security, permanent peace and welfare in a Cyprus, member of the European Union.
He said that now there is increased international interest for a solution in the Cyprus problem, citing as an example the recent agreement for security talks without preconditions, which was proposed by the US. He also stressed that the Greek Cypriot side will enter the dialogue on security issues with good will and wished for the other side to act similarly.
 US clarifies there are no preconditions on security talksUS State Department Spokesman James Rubin said that there are no preconditions and no specific agenda for the Clerides-Denktash meeting on security issues.
"Which questions the two leaders discuss, is up to them," he clarified.
Mr. Rubin was replying to a relevant question during his briefing to the press on 19.9.97. "The fact that they are discussing these key issues is itself positive. Making progress here will help create a positive climate for engaging on the remaining core issues of a Cyprus settlement. And any suggestion that I may have made on Wednesday was not in reference to any particular set of measures but, rather, that whatever they want to talk about under the rubric of security is what they're going to talk about," the US State Department Spokesman added.
Replying to another question on Turkish Prime Minister's threats over the S- 300 missiles issue, Mr. Rubin said the US is firmly opposed to threats to address the missile question militarily.
He said the U.S. continues to believe that the Cypriot government decision to acquire S-300 anti-aircraft missiles from Russia is a setback for efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue peacefully.
"We call on all interested parties to avoid statements which exacerbate the tensions over this issue", he said.
During his press briefing Mr. Rubin also referred to Secretary Albright's schedule and said that this Wednesday(24.9.97) she will meet separately in New York with the Foreign Ministers of Turkey, Cyprus and Greece.
 EU Presidency welcomes agreement on security dialogueLuxembourg's EU Presidency issued a statement on 18.9.97 welcoming the agreement for a dialogue on security issues between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
The statement came after a meeting between US State Department Special Coordinator on Cyprus Thomas Miller with Luxembourg Foreign Ministry officials.
The EU Presidency points out that this agreement will reduce tension in Cyprus, will increase trust between the two communities and will create a favourable climate for the resumption of talks under UN auspices.
The EU Presidency also expressed its appreciation towards Mr. Thomas Miller and for all the efforts the US has exerted in preparing this agreement.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/