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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-02-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Acting President comments on Clinton's report
  • [02] Minister turns down suggestions - UNFICYP: There was shooting

  • 1535:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Acting President comments on Clinton's report

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- The time has come for the government to remind the Congress that the Turkish arms in Cyprus are American, contrary to international law and US legislation, said here Saturday acting President Spyros Kyprianou.

    He made the statement, invited to comment on remarks made by US President Bill Clinton in his bimonthly report to the Congress, released yesterday.

    Clinton had expressed concern about Cyprus government's decision to purchase the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles system S-300 and the resulting threats of a military strike from Ankara.

    Noting that the report maintains ''equal terms'' Kyprianou said it was ''totally unacceptable'' that the government's decision to purchase the S- 300 system, for purely defensive reasons, was placed on equal footing with the arms of the Turkish troops occupying Cyprus which are ''basically American''.

    He said the government should formally appeal to the Congress for an embargo over the sale of US arms to Turkey.

    ''I do not know whether the current composition of the Congress would help towards such a direction, but we have an obligation to examine (the possibility),'' Kyprianou said.

    Kyprianou stressed that we should emphasise that Turkey violates the sovereignty, territorial integrity of Cyprus with its continued occupation and threats.

    The President of the House of Representatives further said he will discuss the issue with the leaders of the political parties in the House.

    Acknowledging the superiority of the Turkish armaments, Kyprianou said what the Greek Cypriot side should do, is to increase its defence capabilities thus making it difficult for Turkey to try anything else on the island.

    At this point, Kyprianou emphasised that whatever is ''necessary military wise and has been scheduled within the framework of the joint defence pact, agreed between the governments of Greece and Cyprus, in November 1993, should be implemented.''

    However, he clarified that ''our choice is not a military solution of the Cyprus problem, but a peaceful procedure.''

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA EC/AP/1997

    [02] Minister turns down suggestions - UNFICYP: There was shooting

    Larnaca, Feb 8 (CNA) -- The shooting incident near the Turkish Cypriot village Louroujina, last Thursday morning, was a ''well planned fabrication'' of the Turkish occupation troops, Defence Minister Costas said here today.

    At the same time the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) released Saturday its observations on the case, noting that automatic fire was heard by an UNFICYP observation post and a patrol base in the area.

    Eliades said a thorough investigation into information given to the Cyprus government by UNFICYP, ''has shown that no Greek Cypriot soldier or civilian were involved, as there has never been such an incident.''

    The Defence Minister said that the whole story was a ''well planned fabrication, aimed at creating problems in the military dialogue,'' currently underway between the National Guard and the Turkish occupation troops, under UN auspices.

    It was further aimed at affecting efforts for a Cyprus settlement, he added.

    Later today, UNFICYP released an announcement on its actions and observations into the ''shooting incident near Louroujina on February 6, 1997.''

    According to the announcement ''a burst of about ten rounds of automatic fire was heard by an UNFICYP observation post and by an UNFICYP patrol base near Louroujina'' in the early hours.

    ''Strong winds at the time made it impossible to determine the direction of the shots,'' the announcement added.

    UNFICYP said that at first light, one of their officers ''was shown an intermittent, five metre-long trail of blood stains in the immediate vicinity of an observation post located south-east of Louroujina at the Turkish forces cease-fire line.''

    The trail consisted of five spots of ''varying amounts of blood'' leading from the flagpoles in front of the observation post towards the UN- buffer zone ''but not into it''', it said.

    ''UNFICYP thoroughly searched the buffer zone in the area concerned, both on the ground and from the air and did not find anything which could shed further light on the matter,'' the announcement noted.

    The presence of the UN peacekeeping force in the area was ''immediately increased'' it added, noting that UNFICYP ''is in close contact with the military authorities on both sides, in order to defuse possible tension.''

    The Cyprus government has repeatedly turned down Turkish allegations that a shooting incident took place. The Turks allege that shots were fired against a number of Greek Cypriots who tried to lower the Turkish flag in the area, wounding one of them.

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

    CNA TA/AP/EC/1997

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