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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-10-14

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

Tuesday, 14/10/97


  • [01] President Clerides in Athens to meet Prime Minister Simitis
  • [02] Greek Minister of Defence on Cyprus visit
  • [03] No legal block for Cyprus joining the EU
  • [04] Sir David Hannay on Cyprus
  • [05] Swiss President in Cyprus for CEMAT Conference

[01] President Clerides in Athens to meet Prime Minister Simitis

President Clerides is in Athens where he is meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis today, whom he will brief on his recent contacts in the US, Strasbourg and London.

Mr Clerides is accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides.

Speaking on arrival in Athens yesterday, President Clerides denounced violations of Cyprus' airspace by Turkish fighters and expressed satisfaction with the response of the Greek air-force.

Replying to a question on Mr Holbrooke's recent visit to Ankara, President Clerides said that Mr Holbrooke had informed him earlier about this visit, adding that the purpose of it was not simply to reduce tension in the region.

[02] Greek Minister of Defence on Cyprus visit

Greek Minister of Defence, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, arrived yesterday for a three day visit to Cyprus.

The Greek Minister, who is here on the occasion of the annual military exercises "Nikiforos", had a series of contacts yesterday, starting with a meeting with House President and Acting President of the Republic Spyros Kyprianou, whom he briefed on efforts Greece is making to safeguard security, stability and cooperation in the region.

Later Mr Tsohatzopoulos told the House Defence Committee that Turkey's security is at risk as a result of its own attempts to act as a regional power, which operates as a destabilising factor in its bid to impose its own strategic role.

In statements on arrival at Larnaca airport, Mr Tsohatzopoulos said 1998 may see "significant positive changes in the Cyprus question".

He also reiterated Greece's staunch support for Cyprus, noting that close military cooperation between the two countries aims at "dealing with the common threat."

He described Turkey as a "destabilising factor" in that it questions international law and claims to reverse the status quo in the Aegean.

"Turkey is accountable for the continuing occupation of part of the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish threats for the use of force are nothing more than attempts to legalise the status quo," Tsohatzopoulos said.

Referring to Turkish interference with Greek air manoeuvres, he said these were part of Turkey's offensive designs against Greece and Cyprus.

Mr Tsohatzopoulos also had a meeting yesterday with his Cypriot counterpart, Costas Eliades, as well as with Archbishop Chrysostomos.

[03] No legal block for Cyprus joining the EU

Three internationally renowned law professors believe there is no legal impediment preventing Cyprus from seeking entry to the European Union.

They also ascertain that the Republic of Cyprus is the only legitimate and internationally recognised state and that the purported "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" has no international status.

Cyprus' Attorney General Alekos Markides gave a press conference yesterday at which he released the joint opinion of the three professors - James Crawford of the University of Cambridge, Gerhard Hafner of the University of Vienna and Alain Pellet of the University of Paris - all members of the International Law Commission.

The legal opinion dismisses Turkish claims that a clause in the Cyprus Constitution stipulating that the Republic cannot participate "in whole or in part in any political or economic union with any state whatever" does not in any way prevent it from joining the Union.

"This provision prevents union with another state and not cooperation with a team of states such as the EU," the opinion says.

Mr Markides pointed out that the EU avis on the Cypriot application as well as the view of the law experts make it clear there is no other legal entity in Cyprus except the legitimate government of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus.

The UN General Assembly, the Security Council and the European Court of Human Rights all back this view as well, he added.

[04] Sir David Hannay on Cyprus

President Clerides had a meeting in London with Britain's special envoy on Cyprus Sir David Hannay. The British envoy described the meeting as "extremely useful" and said that they "covered a wide range of subjects".

Sir David said he will not visit the region now that the UK Minister of State, Doug Henderson, is due to have contacts in Ankara with the Turkish government, adding that probably Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz will be visiting London.

"I will be visiting when it's useful but I have not made any absolute confirmed decisions yet on that", he said.

Asked to comment on recent remarks by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash against him, Sir David said one must not personalise things.

"The Cyprus problem is far too important to me to deal in terms of personalities and certainly neither myself nor my government feel that way", he said.

"We are not going to be diverted from the support we are giving to the UN for getting a settlement", Sir David added.

[05] Swiss President in Cyprus for CEMAT Conference

Swiss President, Arnold Koller is in Cyprus for the 11th European Conference of Ministers Responsible for Regional Planning (CEMAT) of the Council of Europe.

The Conference is being held between 16-17 October in the coastal town of Limassol with the participation of 120 delegates from 42 countries.

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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