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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 97-01-08

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US supports Cyprus demilitarisation but...
  • [02] US official on European tour on Cyprus
  • [03] Greek-American leaders express concern over US criticism
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] US initiative still on course, says Spokesman
  • [06] French Centre stages Greek civilisation exhibition
  • [07] US role in Cyprus to heighten, says Albright
  • [08] Mugabe calls for urgent steps in Cyprus

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US supports Cyprus demilitarisation but...

    Washington, Jan 8 (CNA) -- The US State Department has described Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the complete demilitarisation of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus as a "positive and a very worthy objective".

    Washington's position was set out yesterday by US State Department spokesman Glyn Davis, responding to a question by CNA at the regular press briefing.

    He said in the context of radically reducing the level of armaments and troops on the island demilitarisation is a very objective.

    ''As we noted in our statement of January 6, underscoring our concern about the purchase of Russian missiles, the United States believes that the island of Cyprus is too militarized,'' he said.

    The US has reacted to the decision of the Cyprus Republic to buy Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

    The spokesman indicated that ''steps need to be taken to radically reduce the level of armaments and troops on the island and we have worked toward that end. In that context, demilitarisation is a very worthy objective.

    ''Furthermore, President Clerides' proposals to redirect funding from military tasks to support economic development and peace-keeping are positive.''

    However, Davis noted that demilitarisation is fully connected with progress on other fronts in the island.

    ''On Cyprus, however, demilitarisation cannot proceed in isolation. Given the history and level of mistrust on the island, one cannot shift from thousands of foreign troops and excessive levels of armaments to zero troops overnight.

    ''On Cyprus, steps toward demilitarization must be accompanied by progress on other fronts. This requires significant work on basic questions such as how the two communities are to share political power and how overall security will be assured,'' he added.

    The State Department spokesman pointed out that the U.N. Security Council recently referred to the demilitarisation of Cyprus as an important objective in the context of an overall comprehensive settlement.

    In an exclusive statement to CNA, Davis said the new military facility in the government-controlled southern part of Cyprus ''raises tensions and invites a tit-for-tat response.''

    He said ''military escalation on either side - whether of arms, troops, or military construction - raises tension, invites a tit-for-tat response and moves us further away from a negotiated settlement. This is harmful.''

    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/GP/1997


    [02] US official on European tour on Cyprus

    Washington, Jan 8 (CNA) -- US State Department Southern European Affairs Director Carey Cavanaugh will embark on a European tour later this week on the Cyprus problem.

    His four-nation tour will take him to Holland, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

    He is expected to try to achieve a breakthrough in the current stalemate in the Cyprus peace process.

    Cavanaugh's European trip follows a strong reaction from Washington to the decision of the Cyprus Republic to buy Russian-made S-300 surface-to- air missiles, which caused angry reaction from Turkey.

    He is also expected to urge Greece and Turkey to ban military overflights in Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    The State Department official will accompany to the Hague US Assistant Secretary for European Affairs John Kormblum, in order to confer with European leaders.

    From the Hague, Cavanaugh will fly on to Nicosia, Athens and Ankara.

    CNA DA/GP/1996

    [03] Greek-American leaders express concern over US criticism

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- Greek-American leaders have expressed concern over the US State Department's criticism of the Cyprus government's decision to purchase the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile system.

    The Greek-American leaders had meetings with top US State Department officials, including, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, John Kornblum, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Marshall Adair, and Director of the office of Southern European Affairs, Carey Cavanaugh.

    According to a press release issued by the International Coordinating Committee - Justice of Cyprus, the Greek-American leaders expressed concern over US criticism.

    They said Turkey, which has recently threatened with war against Cyprus if it purchased the S-300's, ''could interpret US criticism of the defence system as an encouragement to pursue its aggressive threats and actions.''

    The community leaders said the US strong reaction to the island's air defence system ''is an indication of how committed they are to removing Turkish troops from Cyprus and ending the 22-year-old division of Cyprus.''

    The press release added ''the State Department officials indicated that if anyone believes their hard reaction is reserved for only one side, just watch what they do if Turkey acts on its threats against Cyprus or takes actions which might interfere with the delicate Cyprus settlement process.'' CNA MCH/GP/1997


    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    80.83 (-0.30)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  89.88 (-0.38)
    Approved Investment Companies          72.96 (-0.57)
    Insurance Companies                    56.96 (-1.21)
    Industrial Companies                   82.26 (+0.19)
    Tourist Industries                     70.08 (-1.39)
    Commercial Companies                   61.26 (+0.18)
    Other Companies                        66.30 (+1.75)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 503093.135
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting. CNA MM/1997
    1505 :CYPPRESS:05

    [05] US initiative still on course, says Spokesman

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- The US has not warned the government that it would withhold its much-anticipated initiative to push for a settlement in Cyprus, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said here today.

    The Spokesman dismissed press reports that American ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill handed President Glafcos Clerides a note warning the US will halt its initiative on Cyprus unless the government cancels the much-publicised arms deal, for the purchase of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

    ''The US has expressed concern about the arms deal. We have made it clear that we do not intend to deploy these missiles against anybody unless others attack us,'' Cassoulides told the press.

    ''We hope we will not give either the chance or the pretext to anybody to attack. We hope 1997 will be a time for political dialogue which will focus on the search for a political solution of the Cyprus problem,'' he added.

    He also said the government awaits the US initiative and ''looks forward to preparing the ground for a political solution to the Cyprus question.''

    Replying to questions, Cassoulides said some of the international representations made to Cyprus about the arms deal related the forthcoming moves on the Cyprus question with the missiles agreement.

    ''These representations, however, do not imply that efforts towards a settlement will be put on halt,'' Cassoulides added.

    Commenting on Turkish war-like threats following the arms deal, Cassoulides noted that Cypriots are peace-loving people and their intentions are peace-orientated.

    Commenting on Brill's assertion that the acquisition of the Russian long-range anti-aircraft missiles places Cyprus in the Aegean geostrategic sphere, Cassoulides said it's the presence of Turkish occupation troops in Cyprus and the 90 Turkish fighter planes, stationed in southern Turkey, that change the balance in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    ''If the Turkish air-force had not aggressive intentions towards Cyprus, why has it stationed fighters opposite the island, when it has to oversee a lengthy border line?,'' the Spokesman added. CNA MM/AP/1997


    [06] French Centre stages Greek civilisation exhibition

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- An exhibition on Greek civilisation, hosted by the French Cultural Centre, is a tribute to the people of Greece and Cyprus by the French School of Archaeology in Athens, Director of the Centre, Jean- Paul Capdevielle, told a press conference today.

    The exhibition, entitled ''Greek Space'', will take place between January 17 until March 2 in Nicosia.

    Capdevielle said the exhibition will reflect Greek civilisation through maquettes of archaeological sites the Athens School has brought to light during the past 150 years. The maquettes will present finds from Dilos, Delphi and Argos in Greece, and Amathus, one of Cyprus' ancient kingdoms.

    French Ambassador Henry Jacolin, speaking at the press conference, described the exhibition ''as a fine and modern conception as well as a source of cultural wealth.''

    ''This effort is part of our cultural policy in this country'', he said, adding that the exhibition marks, in a very profound way, how old and strong the bonds are between France and hellenism.

    On the sidelines of the exhibition, which will be opened by the French Ambassador and Cyprus Commerce and Industry Minister, Adamos Adamides on January 17, eminent academics will give lectures on the island's archaeological treasures. CNA EC/MM/1997


    [07] US role in Cyprus to heighten, says Albright

    Washington, Jan 8 (CNA) -- The US is prepared to play a heightened role in promoting a Cyprus solution this year, Madeleine Albright, widely expected to obtain US Congressional approval for the post of Secretary of State, said here today.

    In her remarks before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Albright referred to the ''long standing disagreement'' which remains unresolved in Cyprus.

    ''We are prepared in this new year to play a new heightened role in promoting a resolution in Cyprus,'' she told the Committee hearing, and pointed out that ''for any initiative to bear fruit, the parties must agree to steps that will reduce tensions and make direct negotiations possible.''

    Albright told the Committee that in 1996 the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides ''moved no closer to a final decision on the status of the island.''

    She said disturbing incidents of violence marred the climate for negotiations and noted that ''related differences between NATO allies Turkey and Greece affect European stability and our vital interest.''

    In his opening statement, the Committee minority leader, Democratic Senator Joseph Biden urged both the US President and the Senate's Foreign Relations Committee ''to make the reunification of Cyprus one of our highest diplomatic priorities.''

    Biden expressed the belief that ''the most sensible policy is the complete demilitarisation of the island, the withdrawal of all foreign forces and firm guarantees for the safety and right of minorities.''

    He also noted that Cyprus remains a divided country for more than 22 years and praised Albright's support in the administration's initiative to appoint a special presidential envoy for Cyprus.

    The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is expected to confirm later today Albright's appointment as the new Secretary of State, the first woman to ever hold this post.

    The US is expected to launch an initiative for a Cyprus solution to reunite the island, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied Cyprus' northern areas in 1974. CNA DA/AP/MM/1997

    1945 :CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Mugabe calls for urgent steps in Cyprus

    Larnaca, Jan 8 (CNA) -- Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has called on the international community to take ''vigorous steps'' and address the Cyprus question as quickly as possible.

    He also told Turkey it should not seek to enhance its territorial ambitions by occupying part of Cyprus and urged Ankara to adhere to the rule of law and respect the sovereignty of Cyprus.

    ''It cannot be right to leave injustice uncorrected, it cannot be right that external forces seek to enhance their own territorial ambitions by occupying another country, in this case Cyprus,'' Mugabe said on his departure from the island, after a three-day official visit here.

    He pointed out that the occupying force, Turkey, must realise the world today is founded on ''togetherness, international law and good relations.''

    ''We want these relations to exist between Turkey and Cyprus, but not on the basis of occupation but on the basis of recognising each other as equal sovereign states, irrespective of the size of the state,'' Mugabe underlined.

    He called on the international community, through the UN, to ''take vigorous steps to address the problem of Cyprus'' and pledged that Africa will ''do its best to urge the new UN Secretary-General to attend to the problem as urgently as possible.''

    Acknowledging Cyprus' assistance to Southern Africa during the liberation struggle, Mugabe said this part of the African continent ''has a role to play (towards a settlement in Cyprus) and it is time for us to reciprocate.''

    Mugabe called for closer economic and cultural cooperation and expressed the hope that a bilateral agreement could help in this direction, through establishing a joint commission whose task would be to identify areas of cooperation and put forward suggestions to that end.

    Warmly thanking President Glafcos Clerides and the people of Cyprus for their hospitality, Mugabe extended an invitation to Clerides to visit Zimababwe, which was readily accepted.

    Bidding farewell to Mugabe, President Clerides expressed hope the two countries will continue their cooperation in many international issues and in matters of mutual interest.

    Expressing gratitude to Mugabe for his stance on Cyprus, the President said this is based on ''international law, recognition of human rights for all and freedom from occupation.''

    Clerides also noted Mugabe's continuous support for Cyprus in various international fora, including the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement and the UN General Assembly.

    ''Your visit here has strengthened considerably the spirit of understanding and friendship and cooperation between our two countries,'' he concluded. CNA MM/MA/1997


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