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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-05-29

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] European security analyst on Cyprus
  • [02] S-300s to be sent to Cyprus, says Primakov
  • [03] EU summit may not deliver goods for Turkey

  • 1200:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] European security analyst on Cyprus

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, May 29 (CNA) -- A senior European security strategist understands the reasons behind the Cyprus government's thinking to purchase anti-aircraft missiles, but does not agree with this decision.

    The Director of the Institute of Security Studies, a Paris-based think tank associated with the Western European Union (WEU), Guido Lenzi, also believes it is essential to engage the players involved in the Cyprus question in a greater number of issues to avoid focusing the problem on one aspect.

    The European Union, he noted, offers this type of engagement for both Cyprus and Turkey.

    "Anything that changes the situation in Cyprus is a new factor that may cause action and reaction," Lenzi said of the purchase of the missiles.

    In an interview with CNA, on the sidelines of the 16th Conference of Directors of European Institutes for International Relations in Nicosia, Lenzi said the purchase "is not helpful" but admitted "I do understand why the government of Cyprus has ordered the missiles."

    "What we need to do as far as the Cyprus question is concerned is to broaden the playing-field, to get countries involved in other situations," he said.

    He said "we have to increase the factors of the Cyprus equation, currently made up of two variables (Cyprus, Turkey)" and pointed out "you must not put all your eggs in one basket."

    The EU, he said, "offers you just that, the chance to put your eggs in different baskets", pointing out that EU integration "is not the solution to the Cyprus issue but an instrument" towards a solution.

    "If we can ensure that Cyprus plays a role in greater number of issues, then our ties with Turkey would be facilitated and this would subsequently alter our situation with regard to the Cyprus problem," he told CNA.

    Lenzi explained that engagement in different issues would give players the ability to bring in others into the problem and help them see things from a different perspective.

    "We have to find and act on common interests which could become the common denominator for those involved in the Cyprus question to assist them in their efforts for a settlement in this framework," he said.

    The Institute, which Lenzi heads, is an independent body which aims to develop awareness of the security needs in matters that do not necessitate NATO intervention.

    "We would step in anywhere European interests are at stake, be it trading sea lanes or the collapse of the Albania government," he explained, stressing that neither the Institute nor the WEU propose or impose solutions to any problem.

    Europeans, he said, "are getting out of the blanket of NATO to deal with such issues" and noted that "intervention in any given situation is not just a matter of military might but involves operational efficiency and political coherence."

    The WEU currently has ten full members (who are also NATO and EU member), five observers (EU members who do not belong to NATO), three associate members (who are NATO members but not EU members Turkey, Norway and Iceland) and ten associate partners from Central and Eastern Europe (who belong neither to NATO nor to the EU).

    Cyprus, he said, has applied to become an associate partner.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] S-300s to be sent to Cyprus, says Primakov

    Nicosia, May 29 (CNA) -- Russian Foreign Minister, Gevgeni Primakov reassured his Greek counterpart that the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles will be sent to Cyprus, the Athens News Agency (ANA) reported from Luxembourg.

    After a meeting with Primakov in Luxembourg today, Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos told the press his Russian counterpart reassured him that the missiles will be delivered to Cyprus.

    Pangalos said Russia is ready to offer every possible missiles-related technical support to Cyprus.

    The government of the Republic of Cyprus decided in January 1997 to purchase the surface-to-air missiles as a purely defensive weapon and said the missiles would not be used unless Turkey launches a fresh offensive against Cyprus.

    The weapons are expected to deployed on the island later this year.

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

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [03] EU summit may not deliver goods for Turkey

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, May 29 (CNA) -- Turkey is unlikely to get much out of next month's European Union summit, widely seen as a landmark event which could persuade Turkey to change its tune on the Cyprus question, if it gets its own way, western European diplomatic sources have said.

    The same sources described as "unacceptable" demands by the Turkish Cypriot leader for recognition of his self-styled regime in Turkish- occupied Cyprus and a freeze of Cyprus' EU application for accession.

    Furthermore, they said Turkish threats against Cyprus in view of the deployment of Russian anti-aircraft missiles "should be taken seriously" and expressed the view that Cyprus would not gain much strategically if it deploys the missiles.

    "The Cardiff summit cannot rewrite Luxembourg and it would be very dangerous to raise high hopes with regard to its expectations," they said.

    They also pointed out that the reaction of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to the Luxembourg conclusions "is mainly the result of misperception" in the sense that Turkey "could not or would not see what the EU was offering it."

    An attempt must be made to change Turkey's perception of what December's meeting in Luxembourg actually offered to the country, they added.

    The EU would lose "credibility if it tries to rewrite the Luxembourg conclusions and on the other hand Turkey has not shown any change in its outlook", they said.

    However, they acknowledged that some from within the EU are raising Turkey's hopes for the June summit in Cardiff.

    EU leaders left Turkey outside their enlargement plans and asked the Turkish government to put its house in order with regard to respect for human rights, its relations with Greece and moves to help resolve the Cyprus question before Turkey joins the list of candidate countries and start accession negotiations.

    Turkey, infuriated by the EU stand which left it in a category on its own, broke off political dialogue with Europe and has hardened its positions on Cyprus.

    The diplomatic sources said Turkey "has always been told there are criteria for all applicants" and expressed hope that Greece would change its stand on the release of funds the EU is committed to allocate to Turkey.

    "This would be one important signal the EU can give to Turkey but this alone is unlikely to shift Turkey's position," they noted.

    Creating a better trade balance and making the best possible use of the customs union agreement with Turkey are other moves the EU can take to improve its relations with Turkey, they remarked.

    CNA MM/GP/1998


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