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Cyprus News Agency 96-06-17.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] Clerides holds talks with Clinton
  • [02] Greek military planes overfly Cyprus
  • [03] Dole-Clerides partners on concerns over Cyprus
  • [04] Greco-Cypriot defence pact stands firm, says Defence Minister
  • [05] Russian Attorney General to visit Cyprus
  • [06] US reiterates wish to work for Cyprus settlement

  • 1100:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides holds talks with Clinton

    Washington, Jun 17 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has arrived in Washington for a working visit, at the invitation of US President Bill Clinton for meetings with Clinton and top US officials dealing with the Cyprus problem.

    The two leaders will have a face-to-face meeting today at the White House.

    Later in the day, the Cypriot delegation headed by President Clerides will meet the US foreign policy team, which includes US Vice-President Al Gore, Secretary of State Warren Christopher and National Security Advisor Antony Lake.

    President Clerides will also meet Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole.

    President Clerides' three-day visit to Washington is concluded tomorrow with meetings with Secretary Christopher and the House of Representatives Speaker, Newt Gingrich.

    He will also have meetings with the House International Relations Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, hosted by the President of the Committee Benjamin Gilman and Senator Olympia Snowe, respectively.

    President Clerides will today give a press conference at the National Press Club, while he is to meet tomorrow the Editorial Boards of American newspapers ''Washington Post'' and ''Washington Times''.

    The Cyprus government has welcomed the increased US interest and involvement in the Cyprus problem and President Clerides is expected to urge President Clinton's more active support towards the realisation of the vision of a reunited, secure, federal Cyprus, free of occupation forces, with its people enjoying the peace dividend of a demilitarised island and prospering in security within the European Union.

    Bipartisan Congressional support for such a settlement has been affirmed by the House of Representatives and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which last year declared in a resolution that ''all foreign troops should be withdrawn from the territory of the Republic of Cyprus.''

    The resolution also expressed support for a comprehensive proposal for the demilitarisation of the island, proposed by President Clerides to break ''the counter-productive climate of fear and mistrust and therefore enhance the prospects of a negotiated settlement.''

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1996

    [02] Greek military planes overfly Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 17 (CNA) -- Four Greek airforce military aircraft flew over Cyprus today as part of a joint Greco-Cypriot defence policy, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry told CNA here this afternoon.

    The spokesman said the four aircraft were in ''the broader region and in early afternoon they flew from Paphos (on the west) to Limassol and Larnaca ports in the south, took a northwestern turn to Nicosia (in the centre of the island) before leaving.''

    ''The flight path was part of training exercises in the framework of our joint defence dogma,'' the spokesman said.

    He refrained from identifying the type of aircraft or their exact flight path and final destination.

    CNA MM/AP/GP/1996

    [03] Dole-Clerides partners on concerns over Cyprus

    Washington, Jun 17 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and US presidential candidate Robert Dole appear to see eye-to-eye on several concerns relating to the Cyprus question.

    The two men met here today for about 30 minutes to discuss some of the issues pertaining to the situation in Cyprus.

    Speaking after the meeting, Dole said ''we have been partners on many of the concerns with reference to Cyprus and we have discussed some of the issues.''

    Asked if demilitarisation was one of these issues, Dole replied ''Yes, and we recalled that in 1978 I introduced legislation on demilitarisation and the President has done the same.

    ''It seems to me it will still be a good idea even though it has been around since 1978,'' he added.

    Asked if his statements were electoral ploys ahead of November's US presidential elections, Dole said ''I am on the record since 1978 so my credentials are good.''

    In his remarks to the press, President Clerides said he reminded Senator Dole that his congressional speech on demilitarisation inspired him to make the proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus.

    ''I have called him the father of the idea of demilitarisation 18 years ago,'' the President added.

    The President's demilitarisation proposal, put forward in a letter to UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in December 1993, calls for the disband of the National Guard and the delivery of its weapons to the UN to be matched with the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops and the disband of the Turkish Cypriot armed forces in a parallel move.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA DA/MM/GP/1996

    [04] Greco-Cypriot defence pact stands firm, says Defence Minister

    Nicosia, Jun 17 (CNA) -- Nobody can neutralise Cyprus' defence pact with Greece, Defence Minister Costas Eliades said here today, in what appears to be a thinly disguised reply to Turkish military manoeuvres in the Aegean and around Cyprus' shores.

    The Minister also said the government has already made appropriate representations to international organisations about Turkey's illegal moves in the area which incorporate Cyprus' northern and eastern shores, occupied by Turkish troops since 1974. The comments came shortly after four Greek military aircraft (F-16) flew over Cyprus in early afternoon as part of training within the joint Greco-Cypriot defence strategy.

    ''The joint defence pact is being implemented and moves on within the deadlines set and nobody can neutralise either this pact or our defence cooperation with Greece,'' the Minister said.

    Today's flights are part of training exercises within the joint defence pact and they are a usual phenomenon, he added.

    ''This has been done before and it will happen again,'' Eliades said.

    Asked if the F-16 flights had anything to do with the ongoing Turkish manoeuvres in the region, the Minister replied ''our exercises bear no relation to the Turkish manoeuvres.''

    The Turkish exercises code-named ''Thalassolykos'' (Sea Wolf) and ''Efessos'' , which started today, are taking place in the Aegean, and cover the area north and east of Cyprus. They are scheduled to end on June 28.

    The Defence Minister confirmed that there were other Greek military aircraft ''in the wider vicinity of Cyprus'' but would not give any further details.

    Eliades denied press suggestions that Nicosia FIR (Flight Information Region) or Cyprus air space were violated today. ''We protest every unlawful move Turkey makes in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus,'' he said, adding the Turkish exercises are being monitored and all appropriate measures are taken.

    A statement by the Defence Ministry, released here today, says that Turkey has issued an illegal notice committing certain areas within Nicosia FIR to its military manoeuvres.

    The statement also said that the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime has unlawfully committed land and sea areas in Cyprus' Turkish occupied part for the Turkish manoeuvres.

    Cyprus Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, who is accompanying President Glafcos Clerides to his US trip, told the Cyprus radio (CyBC) that the Turkish exercises coincided with today's talks in Washington between President Clerides and US President Bill Clinton.

    He said the same had happened when Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos had a meeting with President Clinton and when US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs John Kornblum visited Turkey for talks on the Cyprus problem with the Turkish government.

    The Spokesman said President Clerides will raise the issue when he will meet US Secretary of State Warren Christopher, tomorrow.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [05] Russian Attorney General to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 17 (CNA) -- Attorney General of the Russian Federation Yuri Skouratov will pay an eight-day official visit to Cyprus from June 19-26 at the invitation of Cyprus' Attorney General Alecos Markides.

    The Russian official will be received by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou.

    He will also have meetings with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Alecos Michaelides, Justice and Public Order Alecos Evangelou, Interior Dinos Michaelides, Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades and the House Legal Affairs Committee.

    Skouratov is scheduled to have talks with the Republic's legal services department.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [06] US reiterates wish to work for Cyprus settlement

    Washington, Jun 17 (CNA) -- US President Bill Clinton has reiterated his commitment to work in the months ahead towards a resolution of the Cyprus problem.

    Clinton has requested guidance from Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides about future US moves in this regard and, indirectly albeit clearly, appealed to all the parties concerned with the Cyprus question to make concessions that would lead to a Cyprus settlement.

    Speaking at a photo opportunity session prior to Monday's meeting here with President Clerides at the White House, President Clinton said ''we will use the months remaining in 1996 to do what we can to help resolve the Cyprus issue and to help resolve tensions between the two countries (Greece and Turkey).''

    Asked if he would keep his promise to make 1996 the year for Cyprus, the US President replied ''we are doing what we can but the US cannot control all the events in the region. If it were up to us, we would have a peace and resolution of this a long time ago. We will do what we can to be a positive force there.''

    Clinton said he was ''anxious'' to see if there was anything else the US can do to support a settlement of the matters in Cyprus in a way that is fair to all concerned.

    He said he would be asking his special emissary Richard Beattie to the region in the next few weeks and went on ''I want the President (Clerides) to give me some guidance about what he thinks we can do in this regard.''

    Replying to questions, Clinton said the political instability in Turkey makes things difficult for Turkey to reach agreement on Cyprus. ''It is difficult for any government that not settled to make agreements because agreements normally require some concessions by all concerned,'' Clinton said.

    He expressed the hope that Turkey would soon establish a strong government ''that can effectively enter into agreement with its neighbours.''

    Asked if tension between NATO allies Greece and Turkey posed an obstacle toward a Cyprus solution, Clinton said ''I think it is a problem toward the Cyprus solution.''

    ''We think there would be enormous benefits not only for the Greeks and the Turks but to the solution of other problems in the area and we will continue to do all we can in that regard,'' the US President added.

    In his remarks, President Clerides expressed ''appreciation and thanks for the interest the (US) President is showing in helping to promote a solution to the Cyprus problem.''

    No statements were made after the White House meeting.

    President Clerides is due to have a working breakfast tomorrow with US Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

    He then flies on to London for a meeting on Wednesday with British Premier John Major.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA DA/MM/GP/1996

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