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MPA NEWS IN BRIEF (21/05/1996)

From: Macedonian Press Agency <mpa@philippos.mpa.gr>

Macedonian Press Agency Brief News in English Directory

BRIEF GREEK NEWS BULLETIN BY MACEDONIAN PRESS AGENCY

Thessaloniki May 21, 1996


TITLES

  • [01] PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF GREEK PARLIAMENT

  • [02] THE US WILL NOT GIVE THE 10 "SUPER COBRA" HELICOPTERS TO TURKEY, FOR NOW

  • [03] THE US WILL AID IN SOLVING GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS, ONLY WHEN BOTH COUNTRIES DECIDE ON THE SOLUTION MECHANISM

  • [04] SERB PRIME MINISTER EXPECTED IN GREECE TOMORROW FOR TWO-DAY VISIT

  • [05] CYPRUS ISSUE TO BE DECIDED UPON PRIOR TO MEETING BETWEEN CLERIDES-CLINTON


  • NEWS IN DETAIL

    [01] PALESTINIAN LEADER YASSER ARAFAT MEETS WITH PRESIDENT OF GREEK PARLIAMENT

    Athens, May 21 (M.P.A.)

    The newly-created Palestinian Parliament will be provided with every needed assistance by the Greek Parliament, was the assurance given to the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat by the President of the Greek Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis, during their brief meeting this morning in Athens.

    Mr. Kaklamanis suggested to Mr. Arafat that members of the Palestinian Parliament attend sessions of the Greek Parliament as guests, in order to gain experience on parliamentary issues, an offer that was gladly accepted by Mr. Arafat.

    Stressing the long standing ties of friendship between the Greek and Palestinian people, the President of Parliament expressed his wish that the difficult transitional period for the nation of Palestine be quickly overcome and that its people move on to the creation of a new Palestinian state, so that the "tormented", as he characteristically said, heroic nation can enjoy the virtues of peace.

    On his behalf, Mr. Arafat thanked Greece for its continuous and firm support to the Palestinian struggle, and` emphasized that Greece may belong to the European Union, yet it constitutes an integral part of the Middle East.

    "Your duty is great and two-fold and your responsibilities for peace in the region are many," Mr. Arafat stated.

    [02] THE US WILL NOT GIVE THE 10 "SUPER COBRA" HELICOPTERS TO TURKEY, FOR NOW

    Washington, May 21 (M.P.A.)

    The United States will not sell -for the time being- the 10 "Super Cobra" helicopters to Turkey, according to an announcement issued by the US State Department, following the meeting held yesterday between US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Turk Foreign Minister Emre Gionensai.

    State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns stated that the US are in support of leasing three frigates and their support systems to Turkey, but there was no agreement reached for the helicopters.

    During their meeting, Mr. Christopher and Mr. Gionensai discussed issues concerning the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Middle East and Central Asia, and concurrently touched upon the issue of extending the stay of the Operation Provide Comfort in Northern Iraq.

    The United States, pointing out the significance of the Operation Provide Comfort's stay in Turkey, favored its extension, while it was assessed that those countries which are providing support to the PKK, Syria included, should re-examine their views on the issue.

    [03] THE US WILL AID IN SOLVING GREEK-TURKISH RELATIONS, ONLY WHEN BOTH COUNTRIES DECIDE ON THE SOLUTION MECHANISM

    Washington, May 21 (M.P.A.)

    "Greece and Turkey have to take the first steps together in order to resolve their issues," was the message given by US State Department spokesperson Nicholas Burns, following the meeting held yesterday between Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Turk Foreign Minister Emre Gionensai.

    During a State Department briefing session, Mr. Burns stated that the US support a process that will lead to a mutually- satisfactory solution for Greece and Turkey.

    "Don't ask the United States to choose between two NATO allies. We won't do it. The message this morning was supportive in this sense: We want to help Greece and Turkey resolve these problems, but Greece and Turkey must take the first steps together. This remains our position," Mr. Burns stated in response to a question posed by a journalist.

    According to the US official, the US want to encourage Greece and Turkey to resolve the various issues they face in the Aegean Sea, and will become involved in seeking these solutions only if both countries desire this involvement, or they will support the referral to arbitration or international mediation if both countries wish for it.

    The State Department spokesperson clarified that "this process will not go forward until Greece and Turkey agree on the same mechanism: that is, if it will be mediation or arbitration. The Turk Foreign Minister put forward a proposal. Obviously, what has to happen now is for the Greek government to consider this proposal."

    Mr. Burns emphasized that the US will support whatever mechanism the two countries agree upon.

    When asked if the cypriot issue was discussed during the meeting between Mr. Christopher and Mr. Gionensai, Mr. Burns responded "yes", stating that all those involved wish to see progress on this issue, albeit avoiding to give details on the content of the discussion.

    On his behalf, the Turk Foreign Minister stated that he presented to Mr. Christopher Turkey's positions regarding the Aegean Sea, and expressed the wish for arriving at a solution through a third-party arbitration of all subjects, and not just one.

    [04] SERB PRIME MINISTER EXPECTED IN GREECE TOMORROW FOR TWO-DAY VISIT

    Belgrade, May 21 (M.P.A.)

    Serb Prime Minister Mirco Marianovic is expected to arrive in Corfu tomorrow where he will attend festivities for the 80th anniversary commemmoration of the Serb army's landing on the island.

    As was announced by the Serb Ministry of Press, during his two- day stay in Greece, Mr. Marianovic will meet with Greek Prime Minister Kostas Simtis in Athens.

    [05] CYPRUS ISSUE TO BE DECIDED UPON PRIOR TO MEETING BETWEEN CLERIDES-CLINTON

    Nicosia, May 21 (M.P.A.)

    Decisions regarding the United States initiative on the cypriot issue will be drawn prior to the upcoming Washington meeting between Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides and US President Bill Clinton, scheduled to be held on June 18.

    According to US State Department's special coordinator for the cypriot issue James Williams, this initiative demands "careful preparations in advance and diplomatic efforts."

    The American official characterized the following months as a "very significant" time period, during which the basis must be set "so that when Mr. Clerides arrives in June, we will be able to draw decisions concerning the US initiative."

    Morever, Mr. Williams emphasized that the time has come for finding a solution to the cypriot issue, and stressed that Cyprus is an independent state. He added that "despite the fact that it (the issue) affects Greek-Turkish relations, at the same time it transgresses them."


    Complete archives of the Macedonian Press Agency bulletins are available on the MPA Home Page at http://www.mpa.gr/ and on the U.S. mirror at http://www.hri.org/MPA/

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