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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 97-01-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US high ranking official arrives today
  • [02] Defence Minister leaves for Athens

  • 1400:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US high ranking official arrives today

    Nicosia, Jan 12 (CNA) -- Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department, Carey Cavanaugh, is expected to arrive on the island early tonight, in an effort to reduce tension caused by the Cyprus government's announcement it will purchase Russian surface-to-air missiles.

    Cavanaugh will meet Monday morning with President Glafcos Clerides and Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides. He will later meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

    Late on Monday Cavanaugh will fly to Athens, where he will remain until Wednesday, and will then travel on to Ankara until next Friday.

    According to today's Greek Cypriot press reports, Cavanaugh is expected to ask the Cyprus government to withhold the purchase of the anti-aircraft missiles and will reiterate a US proposal for a moratorium of Greek and Turkish fighters overflights in Cyprus.

    The proposal was originally put forward by the designated US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, during a visit here last summer, in her capacity as the then US Permanent Representative to the UN. It was then taken up by Cavanaugh as well as the UN.

    According to State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns, during his talks with officials in the region, Cavanaugh will try to advance ''concrete actions to reduce tension'' as well as ''overall military activities.''

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

    CNA AP/MA/1997

    [02] Defence Minister leaves for Athens

    Nicosia, Jan 12 (CNA) -- Defence Minister Costas Eliades, accompanied by the National Guard Commander Nicolaos Vorvolakos, as well as the President and members of the House Defence Committee will be leaving for Athens today, to discuss defence issues.

    No official announcement of the Minister's visit to Athens was made, but it is believed it is related to the Joint Defence Pact, agreed upon by the governments of Cyprus and Greece, in November 1993. The latest Turkish threats against Cyprus, after a government decision to purchase Russian- made anti-aircraft missiles S-300, is also expected to be discussed.

    The President of the House Defence Committee Takis Hadjidemetriou told CNA Sunday that the Cypriot delegation will tomorrow hold talks with Greek Premier Costas Simitis and meet Deputy Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    He added that during their five-day visit in Greece, the eight Cypriot MPs will participate in a meeting at the Greek Defence Ministry, under Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who will be accompanied by his political and military advisers.

    According to an official announcement issued here Sunday, the Committee is visiting Athens at the invitation of the Greek Defence Minister and will remain in the Greek capital until January 17.

    Hadjidemetriou said they will also meet with the Greek Parliament Defence Committee as well as the Speaker of the Greek Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis.

    He noted that the invitation was extended before recent tension in Cyprus flared up and added that the Turkish threats will ''unavoidably'' be discussed.

    The President of the parliamentary Defence Committee said Cyprus' defences and the Joint Defence Pact will be reviewed.

    Apart from Hadjidemetriou, the Cypriot delegation is made up of deputies Antonis Karas, Sofoklis Hadjiyiannis, Averof Neophytou, Doros Christodoulides, Costas Papacostas, Nicos Mousiouttas and Marios Matsakis.

    CNA AP/MA/1997

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