|Friday, 13 December 2019|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-07-24
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Miller says direct talks are the only way to make progress"When a door is locked, a window is opened and we have to find that window" the US State Department's Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller has stated.
Mr Miller, who arrived on the island yesterday said that his visit was part of the efforts to restart direct talks which he believed was the only way to make progress.
The US diplomat said that he brought some "ideas" but preferred to discuss them only with the two sides: "I always bring ideas but prefer to keep them within the realm of our close discussion".
He revealed that the issue of the moratorium of overflights would be one of the subjects of discussion and that he would apply "the approach that works" on matters of security including demilitarisation and the issue of anti-aircraft missiles.
On security matters Miller explained that the US government would like to see an agreement on discussions about the unmanning of military posts in close proximity, the code of conduct of troops along the buffer zone and the removal of live ammunition from the area.
Commenting on the Turkish Cypriot leader's demand for recognition as a precondition for the resumption of talks, Mr Miller clearly stated that this could not be met: "We have said many times the US Government is not going to recognise the TRNC" he said.
The US envoy will be received today by President Glafcos Clerides. He will also meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the UN envoy in Cyprus Dame Ann Hercus and Turkish Cypriot businessmen.
 Stylianides: Concrete proposals relating to military dialogue"The military leadership in co-operation with the government has elaborated previous ideas it had put forward which we are ready to discuss", Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides stated yesterday.
These proposals put forward by the Cyprus Government are aimed at reducing tension along the demarcation line.
Although Mr Stylianides refrained from elaborating on the proposals he said that the government always hoped that there would be an agreement adding that its success depends on the pressure exerted on the Turkish Cypriot side by the UN.
The Government Spokesman underlined that the security matters should relate to the government's proposal for the demilitarisation of the island, which is the ultimate objective.
 Cyprus and Greek officials react to McCurry's statement.White House Spokesman Michael McCurry " must be confused about his dates if he considers that 1974 was a simple conflict and not an invasion," Cyprus Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides stated yesterday.
He said that "it would be good if he could contact some of the US citizens who are relatives of persons missing since 1974 so that he might realise the difference between an invasion and a conflict".
McCurry had referred to the invasion as a "conflict" during his press briefing last Wednesday. When questioned by journalists he insisted that his terminology was correct: "It's a conflict and I think it's been well characterised," he said.
Stylianides said that the Cyprus government was " concerned by the American diplomacy and positions because they appear contradictory in many cases and far from an objective reflection of what the real facts are."
Although he acknowledged the importance of the role of the US in the search for a settlement, Stylianides said the government must always point out "the errors of American diplomacy and policy, and exert the proper pressure to get things right."
"The Cyprus problem is one of invasion and occupation of a large part of the island by the Turkish Army," Greek Government Spokesman Dimitris Reppas said, in Athens, echoing his Cypriot counterpart's criticism of McCurry's statement.
"This is accepted by the international community and this is the basis on which the UN has taken decisions and has set the political framework for finding a solution to the problem", he added."
"If there is a conflict it is between the rational and irrational, justice and lawlessness, legality and tyranny. It is a conflict between 'Attila' (the code-name of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus) and the international community, in which the United States also belongs," Mr. Reppas said.
On his part US Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, refused to comment on the "conflict-invasion" statement after his arrival. "I am not going to get into phraseology of conflict or invasion because all it does is get away from what we are trying to do," he said.
 Pangalos strongly criticises US administrationUS President Bill Clinton made several promises during his pre-election campaigns regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, none of which have today been fulfilled, Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos stated yesterday.
Speaking at a seminar attended by expatriate members of the World Hellenic Interparliamentary Union, the Greek Foreign Minister strongly criticised the US administration by referring to a "grand lie" on its part regarding its stance on the Cyprus problem.
Mr Pangalos, said that Washington had in the past exercised pressure on Turkey which, however, proved fruitless and that it has now switched its pressure towards Greece.
He also said that US weapons continue to be sent to the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, and warned that any Turkish action against Cyprus would signal Greece's involvement.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/