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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-19

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus problem not linked to other issues, says House President
  • [02] Cyprus does not see "package-deal" solution
  • [03] Clerides, Feissel discuss missing
  • [04] Defence Minister calls for pressure on Turkey
  • [05] Greece rejects idea of "package-deal"
  • [06] Foreign officials to attend International Fair opening ceremony
  • [07] SPORT: Cyprus beats Ireland

  • 1445:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus problem not linked to other issues, says House President

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, today stressed that efforts to settle the Cyprus problem should in no way be linked to the improvement of relations between Greece and Turkey and the European Union and Turkey.

    Speaking after a meeting here with British Foreign office Southern Department head, David Reddaway, Kyprianou noted that the Cyprus question was going through its "most critical phase."

    "It is a mistake to link the Cyprus problem with the other two issues, because the Cyprus question is a problem of occupation, violation of human rights, ethnic cleansing and Turkish expansionism," he said.

    The House President was commenting on statements made in London yesterday by US President Bill Clinton and British Premier Tony Blair that problems relating to Greco-Turkish relations, Cyprus and Turkey's European aspirations have to be tackled in a comprehensive manner and not in isolation.

    Kyprianou pointed out that the two men may not have used the term "package", but this is how he interprets their statements.

    "Cyprus cannot be victim to a settlement of the other issues," he added.

    The House President said the US and Britain, which is one of the guarantors of Cyprus' independence along with Greece and Turkey and has special interests in Cyprus, could more easily influence developments here if they tackle the problem separately.

    Efforts to settle the Cyprus question have reached a deadlock after demands by the Turkish Cypriot side for recognition of the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application to join the European Union.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said he would not participate in negotiations to settle the problem unless his two preconditions were met.

    Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    CNA MK/MA/GP/1998

    [02] Cyprus does not see "package-deal" solution

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government considers that statements by US President Bill Clinton do not advocate a "package-deal" solution of Greco-Turkish relations and the Cyprus question.

    Clinton told a press conference in London yesterday that these problems cannot be solved in isolation from each other and noted "we will have to proceed on many fronts at once."

    "President Clinton's statements were expected and are in the framework of the declared positions of the US policy. We do not interpret them as being part of a package deal solution of all these problems," Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said here today.

    He said the government considers the statements as part of US policy that regional issues should be moving along in parallel and at the same time.

    The government, he explained, does not believe there should be a give- and-take in these issues (Cyprus, the Aegean jurisdictional disputes and the role of Turkey in Europe's future) to facilitate their resolution.

    "Any positive development in Greco-Turkish relations will inevitably facilitate the climate of procedures in the Cyprus problem and vice versa," Stylianides said.

    He pointed out that each of these issues is independent of the others but acknowledged that there is a link among them.

    "If this linkage moves on in a positive manner, this will be helpful in efforts to solve these regional issues," he added.

    Replying to questions, the Spokesman said the US consider that the time factor is also another linkage among the issues.

    "The government wishes first and foremost to see the process for a Cyprus solution move forward and the US have recognised in the past," he said.

    The spokesman pointed out the government expects to see the resumption of the intercommunal dialogue with a view to finding a solution in Cyprus and next week's visit to the island by US State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Miller is part of this effort.

    Washington has blamed the Turkish side for the failure of US efforts to resume the Cyprus peace process.

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

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [03] Clerides, Feissel discuss missing

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel discussed today, among other topics, the issue of persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    Feissel said the aim is to work out the arrangements in order to enter the second phase of the agreement reached by President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, last July, on the issue of missing persons.

    "We are working out the arrangements for opening the graves and taking out the remains", Feissel said.

    "We had the first meeting (between Greek and Turkish Cypriot representatives, Takis Christopoulos and Rustem Tatar) a few weeks ago and we will have some more meetings", Feissel said, refraining, however, from being more specific.

    During the meeting between Christopoulos and Tatar last month, the two sides are believed to have exchanged ideas on procedural matters on how to go about implementing the July agreement.

    CNA MCH/MM/1998

    [04] Defence Minister calls for pressure on Turkey

    by Katerina Nicolaou

    Thessaloniki, May 19 (CNA) -- Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou today stressed that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved within the framework of a "package deal" concerning Greco-Turkish relations and Turkey's relations with the European Union.

    "The Cyprus problem is an international problem of invasion and occupation of an independent and sovereign UN member-state by another UN state," he said in Thessaloniki, after a meeting with military officials.

    Omirou was commenting on statements in London yesterday by the leaders of the US and Britain who said the problems relating to Greco-Turkish relations, Cyprus and Turkey's European aspirations have to be tackled in a comprehensive manner.

    The Defence Minister called on the US "to put pressure on Turkey so that it backs down from its intransigent positions in efforts to settle the Cyprus question."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, backed by Ankara, has said he will not participate in negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem unless his illegal regime in the Turkish occupied areas of the island is recognised and Cyprus withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    Meanwhile, speaking at an event organised in Serres, in northern Greece, Monday evening, Omirou said there is an on-going "orchestrated" effort to convince that the Cyprus problem arose from a Cyprus government decision to purchase anti-aircraft missiles, and not the Turkish invasion and occupation of part of the island since 1974.

    The Defence Minister described this stance as "hypocritical", pointing out that the Turkish troops in occupied Cyprus are heavily armed and that Turkey spends billions of dollars every year on offensive weapons.

    Omirou said there is reaction "to Cyprus' effort to build its air defence and they ignore the violation of Cyprus' air space by Turkish military planes and Turkey's occupation of part of Cyprus for 24-years now."

    He also warned that the National Guard, the people of Cyprus, as well as Greece "would reply" if Ankara chooses to act irresponsibly when the Russian-made S-300 defence missile system is deployed in Cyprus later this year.

    Turkey has threatened to attack Cyprus if the government goes ahead with the deployment of the S-300 ordered last year.

    "Our message to all who express concern about a possible conflict in Cyprus is to turn to Turkey, to convince it to agree on a solution based on international law and on a steady and guaranteed demilitarisation programme, " Omirou added.

    In such a case, he said, we would not need neither the Russian-made S- 300 anti-aircraft system nor arms.

    The Cyprus government has said it would not deploy the S-300 if there is substantive progress in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem or if demilitarisation is agreed.

    CNA KN/MA/MCH/1998

    [05] Greece rejects idea of "package-deal"

    Athens, May 19 (CNA) -- Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, rejected today the idea of a "package-deal" solution of Greco-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem.

    Commenting on statements by US President Bill Clinton, yesterday in London, suggesting that "we will have to proceed on many fronts at once" and that "both the Turks and Greeks will have to make difficult decisions", Pangalos stressed the Greek side could make no new concessions for a Cyprus settlement.

    "There never was and there could never be a package deal for these two big issues (the Cyprus problem and differences between Greece and Turkey over the Aegean)", Pangalos said, adding that Clinton's statements contained "some inconsistencies."

    He noted that "the issue has never been brought up" during meetings between the Greek government and US officials.

    Pangalos agreed that the Cyprus problem could affect Greco-Turkish relations and vice versa but stressed that the Cyprus problem is one of invasion and occupation, pointing out that this is the way international organisations view it.

    He expressed, however, discontent because contrary to similar situations such as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the situation in Bosnia, the Cyprus problem "has not been dealt with by the international community, the UN and the big powers, especially the US, in a satisfactory manner so far".

    "For 24 years now, Turkey manages to escape sanctions and implementation of resolutions adopted by the international community", Pangalos added.

    Commenting on the call by the US President to both Turks and Greeks to "make difficult decisions", Pangalos said there is no room for further concessions.

    Cyprus has made "unprecedented sacrifices", the Greek Foreign Minister said, referring to the consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion and the occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    He pointed out that ethnic cleansing, which the free world condemned in the case of former Yugoslavia, has taken place in Cyprus as well.

    "Cyprus has accepted a bizonal federation and a series of other conditions, in the direction of Turkish demands", Pangalos said and described as "unprecedented" the demands put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, which brought US efforts to resume bicommunal talks to a deadlock.

    Denktash demanded recognition of his puppet regime in the Turkish- occupied northern part of the island and withdrawal of the Cyprus Republic's application for European Union membership.

    CNA CI/MCH/GP/1998

    [06] Foreign officials to attend International Fair opening ceremony

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- Members of foreign governments will attend the opening ceremony of the 23rd Cyprus International Fair, responding to invitation by Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Nicos Rolandis.

    Greece's Deputy Minister of Development, Anna Diamantopoulou, Syrian Deputy Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade, Fouad Al Sayed, and Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Pavel Dvorak will be attend the ceremony.

    The 23rd International Fair will be officially opened by President Glafcos Clerides on Wednesday May 20, but it will be open to the public from Thursday 21 May to Sunday 31 May.

    More than 500 exhibitors representing some 1.600 companies form 40 countries, will take part.

    CNA GG/MCH/1998

    [07] SPORT: Cyprus beats Ireland

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus' national basketball team beat 57-56 the Irish team today in Helsinki, Finland, in a qualifying match for the European Championship. First half: 31-22.

    Tomorrow afternoon, the Cypriot squad will play against the Norwegian team. CNA/GP/1998

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