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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-07-09

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, 09/07/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] "No-fly zone" over Cyprus possible
  • [02] House of Commons early day motion calls on Turkey to accept demilitarisation of Cyprus


[01] "No-fly zone" over Cyprus possible

The United States might consider creating a no-fly zone over the island in order to head off a possible crisis over the Cyprus government's plans to deploy Russian S-300 missiles .

The US Secretary of Defence, Bill Cohen, speaking at a press conference after a two-hour meeting with Greece's Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos yesterday, said that they had talked about a variety of mechanisms for reducing tensions and the no-fly zone is one possibility that could be explored, but they had not settled on anything definite.

He emphasised that it would be a mistake for the Cypriots to deploy the S- 300 missiles because that would only add to tensions rather that decrease them.

"We are hoping that no such deployment will take place", he said and added that the US is also encouraging Turkey to bring about a peaceful solution to the tensions that exist in Cyprus.

Mr Tsohatzopoulos said that there is an excessive amount of armaments in the northern part of Cyprus and that "we ought to have a policy of demilitarisation of the island... a gradual withdrawal and an all-out demilitarisation of the island"

"If the Turkish side has no volition for embarking on a dialogue, and does not accept the no-fly zone, then it would be very difficult for the Cyprus government to unilaterally move to disarmament", he said.

"A very substantial effort should be undertaken for dialogue on the Cyprus issue to be commenced", he added.

Moreover, the US State Department Spokesman, James Rubin, yesterday also reiterated the US' opposition to the missiles' deployment.

"The bottom line is that we want the deal to be cancelled", he said. " These missiles should not be delivered, should not be obtained, the sale should be cancelled, period, full stop."

He added that the US does not think the Turkish threats to use military force are wise either and called on both the Greek and Turkish sides to demonstrate restraint.

[02] House of Commons early day motion calls on Turkey to accept demilitarisation of Cyprus

An early day motion has been tabled in the House of Commons calls on Turkey to accept the demilitarisation of Cyprus.

The motion, submitted on Tuesday 7.7.98 under the heading "Cyprus: Efforts to secure peace", also recognises the right of the Republic of Cyprus to defend itself.

"This House recognises the right of the Republic of Cyprus to defend itself but welcomes President Clerides' readiness to suspend the importation and deployment of S-300 Russian ground-to-air missiles...on the condition that progress is forthcoming on an agreed schedule of action which includes measures leading towards the goal of demilitarisation," the motion says.

It "calls upon the Turkish government to accept as a matter of principle, the demilitarisation of Cyprus as a matter of urgency".

The motion, signed by 122 deputies so far, also calls upon "all sides in negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem to settle their differences by peaceful means".

Furthermore, it "urges the UN Secretary General to undertake intensive efforts to secure an agreement between the parties on all security matters".

The motion calls on the British government, as a "guarantor power and permanent member of the Security Council, to redouble its efforts to reduce the tensions on the island and oversee a peaceful and lasting solution to the tragic division of Cyprus".


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


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