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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-06-29

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, 29/06/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Desire for reunification of Cyprus will bring down dividing walls
  • [02] The international community must deal with the substance of the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Kassoulides: Cyprus hopes to play an active and constructive role as an EU member.
  • [04] UN Secretary-General refers to 1974 Turkish invasion


[01] Desire for reunification of Cyprus will bring down dividing walls

The presence of the Greek forces serving in Cyprus (ELDYK) reflects Greece's policy of peace and stability in order to defend Cyprus and itself, stressed Greek President Konstantinos Stefanopoulos during his visit to the military camp of ELDYK in Malounta on Saturday 27 June.

ELDYK, a contingent of the Greek Army, is stationed in Cyprus following the provisions of the 1960 Constitution, which equally provides for the maintenance of a Turkish military contingent on the island.

The Greek President, who received a warm welcome by residents of Malounta, was welcomed at the military camp by ELDYK commander, Colonel Aristides Tsoumanis and officers who briefed him on the operational potential of the force.

Later, President Stefanopoulos visited the General Headquarters of the National Guard, where he was received by Defence Minister Yannakis Omirou and National Guard Chief, Demetris Demou.

Speaking after his visit, the Greek President said that the need for Cyprus to arm itself is "clearly defensive" and added that "neither Greece nor Cyprus have an aggressive disposition against anyone".

After his visit to the Headquarters, President Stefanopoulos left for Paphos, where the Mayor of the town declared him an honorary citizen and awarded him the gold key of the town. The President's visit to Paphos included a tour of the Roman mosaics at the House of Dionysus in Kato Paphos.

In Limassol the Greek President was welcomed by the Mayor of the town , Demetris Contides, who presented him with the city's gold key. The Greek President was also declared an honorary citizen of the towns of Larnaca, Paralimni, Dherynia and of the occupied town of Famagusta.

On Sunday 28 June, the Greek President visited the demarcation line in Nicosia. He expressed the hope that it will soon cease to divide the capital and will re-establish a peaceful communication between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

In the coastal village of Dherynia the Greek President expressed the conviction that the walls will fall under the impetus of the Cypriot people's desire for the resolution of the Cyprus issue, for the reunification of the island, for the unhindered communication between its inhabitants.

Gazing at the occupied town of Famagusta, the Greek President expressed sadness and anger at the fact that this is a forbidden territory.

"It is forbidden as a result of injustice, military violence and occupation", he remarked, stressing that the occupation regime has no right to prohibit entrance.

The Greek President concluded his four-day official visit to Cyprus by giving the assurance that the Cyprus problem remains the top priority on the list of Greece's national issues. He also stressed that Greece will always support the efforts made by the Greek Cypriots for the restoration of their national dignity integrity, independence and freedom.

[02] The international community must deal with the substance of the Cyprus problem

Greek President Konstantinos Stefanopoulos called upon the international community to deal with the substance of the Cyprus problem and abandon neverending discussions on procedural matters. President Stefanopoulos was addressing a special session in the House of Representatives on Friday attended by the whole political leadership of Cyprus.

He stressed that the Security Council has not shown the necessary political will and determination either to impose the implementation of its resolutions or to exert any pressure on Turkey to abandon its stand on Cyprus.

Emphasising that a "peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem and the imposition of international legal order" are matters of primary importance for Greece, President Stefanopoulos reiterated his country's support for "a bizonal, bicommunal federation where both communities will be politically equal within the framework of their federated cantons".

Commenting on Turkish reaction to Cyprus' accession to the EU, the Greek President said that this is a pretext for Turkey not to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem. Everyone in Ankara "must understand that the solution to the Cyprus problem is a sine qua non condition not only for the restoration of its relations with Greece but also for the successful outcome of Turkey's European prospects" he added.

The Greek President reminded that "the enlargement of the European Union as a whole was decided by all the members with the same rules and criteria applying to all the candidate countries". He continued that "if Cyprus is not accepted as a member, the Greek government will automatically have the same problem accepting the accession of other countries. If the national parliaments hesitate to accept Cyprus, then they can be certain that the Greek Parliament will refuse to ratify the acts of accession of other countries if Cyprus is not included in the enlargement process", he concluded.

Addressing the Greek President, the President of the House of Representatives, Mr. Spyros Kyprianou noted that "Greece is not here to make any claims over Cyprus, but to defend the rights of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots as well". Mr Kyprianou indicated that Turkey through its policy "encourages Turkish Cypriots to emigrate". He remarked that Turkey's aim has always been to turkify a large part of the island, aiming at the expulsion of all the Greek population.

Criticising the policy of double standards practised by the international community, the House President reminded that during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, the international community intervened dynamically. In the case of Cyprus which suffered both an invasion and ethnic cleansing, no drastic measures were adopted, said Mr. Kyprianou.

Concluding Mr. Kyprianou called upon the US and Europe to exert their pressure on Turkey to abandon its expansionist policy against Cyprus.

[03] Kasoulides: Cyprus hopes to play an active and constructive role as an EU member.

"We hope that our traditionally friendly ties with Israel and the Arab countries will be useful to the EU not only on the political front but also on the economic front and will contribute towards consolidating our country as a basis for the expansion of European businesses in regional markets", Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides has stated.

In his address at a conference of twinned Mediterranean cities, on "Cyprus' European future", Kasoulides pointed out that Cyprus is looking forward to playing an active and constructive role as a member of the European Union.

Being the only Mediterranean applicant, Cyprus can act as a link between Europe and the Middle East.

The Foreign Minister also stressed that Cyprus' European prospect is a fundamental part of the efforts to find a solution to the political question.

"Our accession to the EU is considered to be the framework which would help us to overcome many of the difficulties we are facing", he said.

[04] UN Secretary General refers to 1974 Turkish invasion

"Small states especially are fearful of intervention in their affairs by great powers. And indeed, our century has seen many examples of the strong 'intervening'- or interfering- in the affairs of the weak".

In an address to the annual lecture of the Ditchley Foundation in London last week, the UN Secretary-General , speaking about the role of the UN and especially of the Security Council in international relations, also made a reference to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

"Others might refer to the American intervention in Vietnam or even the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The motives and the legal justification, may be better in some cases than others but the word intervention has come to be used as synonym for "invasion", he said.


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


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