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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-29

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Monday, 29/09/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] First meeting on security issues is held in friendly atmosphere
  • [02] Cordovez says Cypriot leaders are both interested in a settlement
  • [03] Kasoulides tells UN that missiles are purely defensive
  • [04] Greece tells UN that Cyprus' EU entry would benefit all inhabitants
  • [05] Cyprus protests to UN over Turkish threats
  • [06] US optimistic that Cyprus solution can be reached


[01] First meeting on security issues is held in friendly atmosphere

UN Resident Representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, described the first meeting on security issues between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash held on Friday, as a "good discussion" in a "friendly atmosphere".

Speaking immediately after the 90 minute meeting, which took place in his residence in Nicosia, Feissel said it was a "a step in the right direction" which will hopefully lead to a common statement.

Mr Feissel also said that he would have separate discussions with the two leaders in the next few days.

"The objective is to try to come up with common views on the issue of security and also for the two leaders getting back together to consider this very shortly, in a matter of days, hopefully", he added.

He is expected to have proximity talks with them today.

[02] Cordovez says Cypriot leaders are both interested in a settlement

The United Nations Special Adviser on Cyprus Diego Cordovez, expressed the belief that the two leaders in Cyprus are "basically interested in a settlement".

Commenting on the prospects for the security talks between President Clerides and Mr Denktash, Cordovez said he had always maintained Clerides and Denktash held this position, and added that if they were willing to meet for this discussion then it meant they were "willing to meet for other reasons".

After meeting Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in New York on Saturday 27.9.97, he also said that if he does make a proposed trip to Cyprus some time before December, one purpose of the visit would be to discuss the results of the security talks.

Asked whether he would present Clerides and Denktash with any documents if he made the trip, Cordovez said he would expect the two leaders to present documents to him, not the other way round.

Mr Kasoulides described his meeting with Cordovez as "interesting". He said he had expressed the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to study "in an open spirit" any suggestions Cordovez put forward.

[03] Kasoulides tells UN that missiles are purely defensive

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has categorically denied Turkish claims that the S-300 missile system could pose a threat to Turkey.

Replying to a speech made by his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, he described the S-300s as "purely defensive". They are being bought simply because Cyprus had no military airforce of its own with which to defend itself, he said.

Kasoulides said that should there be substantial progress on the Cyprus issue, the missiles would not be necessary.

He also dismissed Cem's claims that Cyprus cannot join the European Union, citing recent statements by EU President Jacques Poos that the 1980 treaties establishing the island as a republic do not prevent it from joining.

[04] Greece tells UN that Cyprus' EU entry would benefit all inhabitants

Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has reiterated Greek backing for Cyprus' EU accession, calling his country's support "unwavering".

In his address to the 52nd Session of the UN General Assembly, Mr Pangalos added that EU membership would benefit all inhabitants of the island, and could possibly work as a catalyst towards achieving a solution to the Cyprus problem.

[05] Cyprus protests to UN over Turkish threats

Cyprus has protested to the UN over recent Turkish threats to take military action against the deployment of the S-300 missile system on the island.

Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN Nicos Agathocleous has sent a letter of formal protest to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, describing the Turkish statements as a "clear threat" to Cyprus, and adding that Turkey's "prolonged intransigence and negative attitude" have undermined all efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

"It is Turkey itself that is the real threat to Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriots and peace and security in the region, through its expansionist policy and aggressive action", Mr Agathocleous says.

Agathocleous adds that it is ironic that Turkey, which has for 23 years been illegally occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory, appears concerned about security and stability in the region.

He points out that the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles, expected to be deployed in Cyprus next year, are for exclusively defence purposes.

"It is ludicrous to believe that, small Cyprus, with no airforce, can possibly pose a threat to a major military power such as Turkey", he said.

Referring to President Clerides' proposal for complete demilitarisation, he noted that the deployment of the missiles would not be necessary if substantial progress in the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem is achieved.

[06] US optimistic that Cyprus solution can be reached

US State Department Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, reaffirmed last Saturday the personal commitment of the US President and his Secretary of State to a Cyprus settlement.

Speaking at a function in New York organised by the Cyprus Federation of America, Miller said US efforts will be continuous, pointing out that an unresolved Cyprus problem destabilises relations in the region.

The American official also said that US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, is committed to work for a solution based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.

Moreover, Mr Miller added that he was optimistic that such a solution can be reached.

Also speaking at the function, US Ambassador to Luxembourg, Clay Constantinou pointed out that Cyprus' accession to the European Union would act as a catalyst for a solution.

In addition, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides described the status quo as unacceptable and warned that instability in Cyprus could have grave consequences on stability in the region.

The basic issues of the Cyprus problem, such as security, should be settled in a satisfactory manner, Kasoulides added.

On his part Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said Turkey appears ready to negotiate but keeps expressing threats both against Cyprus and Greece.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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