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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-24

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Minister on Russian missiles, EU, Turkey
  • [02] Parties respond to EU Commissioner's comments

  • 1340:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Foreign Minister on Russian missiles, EU, Turkey

    Nicosia, Aug 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus will deploy the Russian S-300 surface-to- air missiles as planned, as long as Turkey continues to occupy part of the island and poses a threat to the island's survival, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said.

    He also expressed the view that Turkey's European aspirations will eventually change its tune on Cyprus and persuade it to help find a negotiated settlement.

    In an interview with the Greek Cypriot daily "Agon" (struggle), Kasoulides said "various western countries, including the US, are disgruntled with the purchase of the Russian missiles, but the S-300 will be deployed unless the reasons for which we were obliged to order them no longer exist".

    These reasons, he explained, will cease to exist when people in Cyprus feel their security is not endangered to a degree that the missiles are needed.

    The missiles are expected to be deployed sometime in the summer of 1998. Turkey has threatened it will launch pre-emptive strikes against Cyprus if they are deployed.

    The Minister also pointed out that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has turned down a proposal from President Glafcos Clerides, during the latest round of UN-sponsored talks earlier this month, to discuss "reduction of military forces and equipment and the demilitarisation of Cyprus".

    "There is no question of postponing the deployment of the missiles as long as the reasons for which we were forced to order them persist", Kasoulides stressed.

    Asked if the US would intervene to achieve progress towards an overall settlement, Kasoulides explained that there are a lot of considerations at stake and the matter is not quite as simple as that.

    Turkey's wish for closer ties with the EU, American desire to see Turkey nearer Europe, the EU perspective on such designs as well as Greece's position that it would back Turkey's European aspirations if the country settles the Cyprus problem and respects human rights, are all part and parcel of a wide spectrum of moves due to take place, he said.

    "Turkey and Denktash have to choose between a return to the negotiating table or implementation of their threats for partial integration of Cyprus' occupied areas with Turkey," Kasoulides said.

    They cannot have both, he underlined, noting that a move to integrate the occupied part of Cyprus would result in Greece blocking Turkey's road to Europe.

    Denktash said at the end of the talks he would not negotiate until the EU either postpones or reverts its decision to start accession talks with Cyprus (in early 1998).

    Turkey on the other hand has repeatedly threatened to integrate the occupied part of Cyprus, if Europe goes ahead with membership talks with Cyprus, in response to EU plans not to do the same with Turkey.

    CNA MM/RG/1997

    [02] Parties respond to EU Commissioner's comments

    Nicosia, Aug 24 (CNA) -- The two ruling coalition partners (Democratic Rally DISY and Democratic Party DIKO) have welcomed statements by European Union Commissioner Hans Van den Broek, who slammed Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for his unacceptable demands on the EU to freeze accession negotiations with Cyprus.

    The main opposition AKEL party has said this kind of statement should only be expected from the EU.

    Denktash's demands, put forward at the UN-sponsored talks earlier this month, effectively blocked the negotiating process and prevented progress towards an overall settlement in Cyprus.

    In a statement, DISY said the party line that Cyprus' accession course is the right move "has been vindicated once more".

    "President Glafcos Clerides' handling of developments at the talks is fully justified and the Greek Cypriot side came out of these talks as the winner," the statement added.

    The party also believes that Van den Broek's position that there is "a window of opportunity to build a framework for a negotiated settlement in Cyprus before the start of accession talks proves the resolve of the EU not to hold Cyprus hostage to Turkish designs."

    DIKO expressed "particular satisfaction" with the Commissioner's statements and expressed hope that it would determine the official EU response to Denktash's tactics.

    "Those really interested to see progress towards a negotiated settlement in Cyprus should follow his (Van den Broek) example," the statement pointed out.

    AKEL described Van den Broek's comments as "a natural thing to do" and added "the EU and the UN Security Council, apart from merely criticising Denktash and Turkey for interfering in EU internal matters, have a duty to take measures to avert a permanent division of Cyprus, which is an imminent threat, using Cyprus' accession course as an excuse."

    Cyprus, which filed an application for EU membership in July 1991, is scheduled to begin accession talks in early 1998, as well as other Central and Eastern European countries.

    CNA MM/RG/1997
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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