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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-21

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Albright, Pangalos discuss Cyprus question
  • [02] Cyprus, British parliament heads meet
  • [03] Second Clerides - Cordovez meeting
  • [04] New High Commissioner to Britain accredited

  • 1150:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Albright, Pangalos discuss Cyprus question

    Washington, Mar 21 (CNA) -- Efforts to settle the Cyprus problem were among issues discussed here yesterday by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    Pangalos told reporters they discussed the situation in Kossovo and developments in former Yugoslavia, initiatives to solve the Cyprus problem and Greco-Turkish relations.

    "We discussed the Cyprus issue and we analysed our view that steps should be taken to decrease, stop or rather reverse the military build-up (on the island)," he said.

    However, the Greek Minister pointed out that this should begin "with aircraft, which are the most advanced weapons."

    "If there are no aircraft, there would be no anti-aircraft systems and then there could be a reduction in tanks which could slowly lead to a better climate," he remarked.

    Pangalos refrained from giving a direct reply to a question whether the Cyprus government's decision to deploy Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles was raised at the meeting.

    "I do not want to go into technical terms. I am not a specialist nor a Cypriot. These issues will be discussed by the Cypriots," he said, pointing to his reference to "no aircraft".

    The Cyprus government decided last January to purchase the S-300's, expected to be deployed later this year, in a bid to bolster the island's defence capabilities against a new offensive by the heavily armed Turkish troops occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory since they invaded in 1974.

    President Glafcos Clerides has said the S-300's will not be deployed if there is sufficient progress in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem or if his proposal for the island's demilitarisation is accepted by the Turkish side.

    Pangalos said during his discussion with Albright, he mentioned that if an agreement was reached for a moratorium of flights over Cyprus, guaranteed by the US, then there would be no use for anti-aircraft systems.

    According to CNA sources, the US Secretary of State seemed to back Cyprus' bid to join the European Union and President Clerides' proposal for Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks, scheduled to begin March 31.

    Clerides has proposed to the EU that "the Turkish Cypriot community nominate representatives to be included as full members of the Cypriot community which will conduct the negotiations."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has turned down the invitation, described by the British EU rotating presidency as "courageous, fair and realistic."

    Referring to Greco-Turkish relations, Pangalos said he reiterated Greece's views that they cannot be improved while Turkey insists on its intransigent positions on the Aegean and the Cyprus question.

    "We agreed to stay in touch and try to find a solution to the problem through our close cooperation," he added.

    The Greek Minister said they also agreed on ministerial visits in a bid to improve economic exchanges between the two countries and cooperation in general.

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1998

    [02] Cyprus, British parliament heads meet

    Nicosia, Mar 21 (CNA) -- Cyprus' House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, and Britain's House of Commons Speaker, Betty Bouthroyd, discussed here today relations between the two parliaments as well as the Cyprus problem and the Republic's bid to join the European Union.

    "I had the opportunity to express my positions on developments in the Cyprus question and to discuss the Republic's EU prospect," Kyprianou said after the meeting, at his residence in Nicosia.

    The House President announced that a House of Commons delegation would visit the island in October and a Cyprus delegation would pay a return visit.

    Kyprianou said he would extend an official invitation to the British Speaker.

    Bouthroyd said the purpose of her visit was "to come and see Cyprus, a country that I have known for a long time and I enjoy coming here."

    Pointing out she was "very well aware" of the political situation in Cyprus, she said prior to her departure tomorrow she would visit the British and the UN troops on the island.

    About 1.200 UN troops patrol the 180-kilometre long cease-fire lines, created after the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory.

    Britain has retained two sovereign military bases on this East Mediterranean island under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Cyprus Republic.

    CNA KN/MA/GP/1998

    [03] Second Clerides - Cordovez meeting

    Nicosia, Mar 21 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides met for over an hour today with top UN Cyprus envoy Diego Cordovez for the second time in as many days.

    Cordovez described the meeting as "very cordial" but refrained from further comment.

    He referred journalists to his press conference later today, but acknowledged that his "comings and goings (between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities) are very useful."

    In his remarks, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides avoided any comment on the substance of the discussions.

    "The government of Cyprus is consistent with its firm position that a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question is its objective and insists on the political framework of the high level agreements and the UN resolutions," Stylianides said.

    The Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities signed in 1977 and 1979 two agreements providing for a bicommunal, bizonal federation in Cyprus.

    CNA MM/MA/1998

    [04] New High Commissioner to Britain accredited

    Nicosia, Mar 20 (CNA) -- New Cyprus High Commissioner to Britain, Michael Attalides, presented his credentials to Queen Elizabeth during a formal ceremony at Buckingham Palace, Friday.

    Following the formal ceremony the new ambassador had a private hearing from the Queen, according to an official announcement.

    The same evening Attalides held a reception at his home for political personalities, members of the diplomatic service, Foreign Office representatives and leading figures of the British Cypriot community.

    CNA MA/KN/1998

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