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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-10-02

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

Thursday, 02/10/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus celebrates 37th independence anniversary
  • [02] Foreign Minister Kasoulides confers with senior US officials
  • [03] Cypriot UN Representative replies to Turkey's claims on anti-aircraft missiles issue
  • [04] Greece counters Turkish claims on missile issue in UN letter
  • [05] Klaus Kinkel on Cyprus-EU accession negotiations
  • [06] New Ambassadors present their credentials


[01] Cyprus celebrates 37th anniversary of independence

Cyprus Republic has celebrated the 37th anniversary of its independence on 1st October 1977.

The President of the Republic, government officials and Foreign diplomats attended a military parade in Nicosia.

In messages on the occasion political party leaders stressed the importance of safeguarding the integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and called on Turkish Cypriots to work with Greek Cypriots for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Ruling right wing party, DISI, sent Turkish Cypriots a message of friendship and cooperation, adding that all citizens can safeguard their rights and live under conditions of security and peace in the Cyprus Republic.

Left wing party, AKEL, said Cyprus' independence was achieved by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots and should therefore be safeguarded.

Centre-right party, DIKO, has called on the international community to take up its responsibility in efforts to settle the Cyprus issue.

Socialist party, EDEK, has called on Turkish Cypriots to join Greek Cypriots in the common struggle for a united, free, independent and common home.

The United Democrats said that everyone should safeguard and strengthen Cyprus's status as an independent state and oppose voices supporting the establishment of two separate entities on the island.

[02] Foreign Minister Kasoulides confers with senior US officials

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides attended a working lunch with senior US Administration officials on October 1st, 1997. Present at the lunch, which took place at the Republic's Washington Embassy, were Thomas Miller, Special Cyprus Coordinator, State Department, Gregory Craig, Director of Policy Planning at the State Department, Donald Bandler, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs National Security Council, Jim Gadsten, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs and John Berry, Director, European Policy., Department of Defence.

During the meeting Mr Kasoulides explained the Cyprus government positions on the various aspects of the island's political problem. An exchange of views followed on recent developments in the region and on the efforts being made to seek a settlement of the problem.

The Foreign Minister will be in New York as from Thursday, October 2nd to lead the Cyprus delegation at this year's UN General Assembly.

Earlier, on Tuesday (30.9.97), the Cypriot Foreign Minister met with his Algerian counterpart Ahmed Attaf, who is heading a contact group for Cyprus among the non-aligned countries.

Mr Kasoulides later met with the Cuban Foreign Minister, Roberto Robaina Gonzalez and Singapore and Lebanon Foreign Ministers, Prof. S. Jayakumar and Mr Fares Bouez.

[03] Cypriot UN Representative replies to Turkey's claims on anti-aircraft missiles issue

Cyprus's Permanent Representative at the United Nations Mr Nicos Agathocleous has replied to a letter circulated by Turkey's UN Representative in which it was claimed that the purchase agreement of anti-aircraft missiles S-300 by the government of Cyprus "constitutes a direct threat "to Turkish Cypriots and Turkey itself and that it will exacerbate tension in the region.

In his reply which was circulated on 29.9.97 as a UN document, the Cypriot UN Ambassador said:

"In the face of the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of 37 per cent of the territory of Cyprus, with all the tragic consequences for Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots alike, it is really astonishing that Turkey now presents itself as concerned about the security and stability in the region.

It is Turkey itself that is the real threat to Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot and the peace and security in the region, through its expansionist policy and aggressive action. Moreover, it is well known that it is the Turkish side that by its prolonged intransigence and negative attitude has undermined all efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem".

It was also stressed that "it is ludicrous to believe that small Cyprus, with no air force, can possibly pose a threat to a major military power such as Turkey. The S-300 ground-to-air missiles can only be used for defensive purposes against incoming attacking aircraft".

The letter also explained the Cyprus government position that the missile deal will be cancelled if sufficient progress towards a Cyprus peaceful settlement is made within the next year.

It also referred to President Glafcos Clerides's proposal for the full demilitarisation of the island which Turkey has not accepted.

[04] Greece counters Turkish claims on missile issue in UN letter

On the same question of the agreement by the Cyprus government to purchase the Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles S-300, Greece's Permanent Representative at the United Nations Mr Christos Zacharakis has replied to Turkey's statements by a letter circulated on 29.30.97 at the UN, in which he said:

"After 23 years of a stalemate which has seen the inability of the international community to achieve the withdrawal or even a reduction of the occupation forces, the need of the Republic of Cyprus to face this continuing threat is stronger than ever. The Government of Cyprus, like any Government in the world, has the responsiblity and the duty to address the security of its citizens living under the shadow of a permanent [Turkish] threat".

The Greek UN Ambassador underlined that "the Turkish reaction to the deployment of a purely defensive weapon by the Republic of Cyprus can only be understood through the statement made by Mr Gurel, Minister of State in the Goverment of Mr Mesut Yilmaz, who specifically said that "there are weapons systems being installed in Cyprus, which are endangering our military supremacy there".

"Despite the above", the letter continues, "the Government of Cyprus had made the continuation of its defence programme dependent upon a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem through diplomatic or political means, or the demilitarization of the island".

[05] Klaus Kinkel on Cyprus-EU accession negotiations

In statements on 30.9.97 on the occasion of the German Cabinet's approval of the Amsterdam Treaty, at the end of the EU Intergovernmental Conference, German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel referred to Cyprus and said: "Cyprus has received the assurance for the starting of accession negotiations and this assurance will be kept. But there are problems and we must do everything to help. The European Union is not possible to accept members burdened with problems. These problems must be resolved".

[06] New Ambassadors present their credentials

Three new Ambassadors presented their credentials to the President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides on Tuesday 30.9.97. They were Slovenia's Ambassador Miha Vrhunec, Algeria's Lahssan Boufares and the Ambassador of Bangladesh Mohammad Ruhul Amin.

Slovenia's Ambassador said his country is planning to participate in the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus.


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


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