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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-07-15

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

Wednesday, 15/07/98


  • [01] Cyprus and Russia have common positions on settling the Cyprus problem
  • [02] US Defence Department envoy in Greece and Turkey

[01] Cyprus and Russia have common positions on settling the Cyprus problem

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides yesterday said that Cyprus and Russia fully agree on issues relating to the Cyprus problem.

Speaking on his return to Cyprus from a four-day visit to Russia, President Clerides said he was "fully satisfied" with his meetings with Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, with whom he discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.

"We reconfirmed our common positions on the settlement of the Cyprus problem, giving emphasis to the demilitarisation of the island", the President said.

He noted that other issues of common interest were also discussed, including further military co-operation and economic issues.

The President said that Cyprus' order of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to- air missile system was also among the subjects discussed during his meetings and that the agreement to deliver them would be implemented.

Previously, speaking at a Moscow press conference at the end of his visit, President Clerides said that while elements of the missile system had been scheduled for delivery in August, it had been decided it would be better to receive the whole system later in the year.

He also repeated that if considerable progress towards a solution to the Cyprus problem were to be reached and if the Turkish side were to accept his proposals for demilitarisation, the missile deal would be cancelled in the context of a gradual reduction of armed forces and armaments from both sides, followed by a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops.

But he added that Cyprus would honour its financial commitment to the deal in full, whether or not the missiles arrived.

President Clerides said he had briefed Yeltsin and Primakov on the intransigence of the Turkish side in the search for a solution to the Cyprus problem, pointing out that all of the Denktash regime's conditions for restarting negotiations between the two sides were against UN resolutions and had been rejected by the international community.

"The Turkish side does not show the necessary will for a solution, demands recognition of the pseudostate, the fixing of borders between the two sides, exchange of properties and a substantial presence of Turkish troops in the north," he said.

Asked whether Cyprus would take into consideration American proposals aimed at helping UN efforts on Cyprus, including the idea of a no-fly zone, Clerides said all US proposals were considered.

He also clarified that the US did not question Cyprus' right to arm itself, but rather had warned about that a continued arms race would contribute to increased tension between the two sides.

[02] US Defence Department envoy in Greece and Turkey

The US have sent a Defence Department envoy to Greece and Turkey to talk to both Greek and Turkish officials regarding the defusion of tension over Cyprus, US Defence Department Spokesman Kenneth Bacon said yesterday.

Asked what steps the US is taking in putting an end to the Russian missile deal, he added, moreover, that a high Turkish military figure will be visiting Washington this week and Cyprus will be sure to be "a prime topic of conversation".

"I think all of Europe wants to avoid a problem in Cyprus and all of Europe wants to prevent an arms race on the island of Cyprus. I think the US and other countries have made it very clear that we don't think this is the right way to go, we think it's provocative, and we think there are better ways to resolve the dispute between the Greek side and the Turkish side", he said.

Asked whether talks have begun yet on the possible creation of a no-fly zone or any other mechanism that might reduce tension in Cyprus, Mr Bacon said that a variety of options are being considered including that of a no- fly zone but emphasised that the US envisages this as being self policed and that the US has no intention of monitoring it.

"We do not support policing a no-fly zone over Cyprus. We do support a moratorium on provocative air flights. We do support a self-policed no-fly zone over the area. But it's very difficult for any NATO country to get involved in enforcing a no-fly zone that involves other NATO countries", he said.

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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