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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Miller reaffirms US commitment for Cyprus settlement

  • 1740:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Miller reaffirms US commitment for Cyprus settlement

    Larnaca, May 8 (CNA) -- US Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller reaffirmed today American support in efforts for a Cyprus settlement, as well as Ambassador Richard Holbrooke's commitment in achieving this objective.

    Speaking on arrival at Larnaca airport, Miller stressed the need to "keep our eye on the big picture" of the Cyprus problem.

    "Flexibility and creativity are also essential in solving any difficult problem", he said, pointing out that "the Cyprus problem is certainly one of the world's most difficult problems".

    Reaffirming US commitment to efforts for a Cyprus settlement, Miller added, however, he could not promise any success.

    "What I do promise from the US government and this is from President Clinton to Secretary Albright, to Ambassador Holbrooke to myself and all of us involved in trying to bring a resolution to the Cyprus problem is we will give it a maximum effort", he said.

    Miller also reaffirmed the commitment of US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke in efforts towards a settlement.

    "Ambassador Holbrooke will come here when he thinks he can make a difference. He is very much focused on the Cyprus question for which he was brought on board. Holbrooke is totally committed to working on the Cyprus problem", Miller stressed.

    Replying to questions, he also said there is close cooperation between parties interested in a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    "We continue to support a bi-zonal bi-communal federal solution. That is the proposal that is on the table and we are all looking into", Miller said and stressed: "We do not recognise the north as a state".

    The US Envoy will be received tomorrow by President Glafcos Clerides, while on Tuesday he will meet with Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash.

    After the conclusion of his Cyprus' visit he will have further meetings in Athens and Ankara.

    Asked to comment on Denktash's refusal to meet with European Union External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, as well as with British Special Representative for Cyprus, and Representative of the EU Presidency, Sir David Madden, Miller said the reasons are well known to everybody.

    "I think we should all do what we can to contribute to a solution to the Cyprus problem and I think we should just leave it at that", he added.

    The US official also preferred to use the term "realistic" rather than "optimistic" to describe his mission in Cyprus, pointing out that he would have a better appreciation of the situation after he talks to Denktash on Tuesday.

    Commenting on the government decision for the deployment of S-300 anti- aircraft missiles in Cyprus, Miller said it is an issue that causes concern to the US.

    He disagreed, however with the use of pressure against this decision, pointing out that:

    "If a party is going to change a policy it is not going to do it because of tremendous pressure. It just does not work this way in the real world. People and parties change policies because they find it is in their interest to do so", he added.

    Miller also expressed the hope the Cyprus government "will see that it is in their interest to review their policies", concerning the deployment of the S-300.

    Asked whether certain guarantees could be given to the Cyprus government in order to achieve this objective, Miller replied:

    "I am cautious to use the word guarantee because it is one of those tricky words that has a lot of meanings and means different things to different people."

    Commenting on the issue of persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, in relation with the recent confirmation of the death of one them, Miller said the issue will be discussed during the meetings he will have here. "I am prepared to discuss the larger issue of missing persons on both sides in Cyprus and I think that it is pleasing and gratifying that the two sides have exchanged information several weeks ago. It is a very important issue."

    The remains of Andreas Kasapis, one of five Greek Cypriots of American citizenship, missing since 1974 were identified through DNA tests and his family in Detroit was informed of the confirmation of his death by Miller himself.

    Replying to questions, the US official said, "there was no mass grave and there were no other remains that were identified other than Kasapis."

    CNA MAN/MCH/GG/1998

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