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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-06-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] No more concessions, Greek President stresses
  • [02] Earthquake felt in Cyprus
  • [03] Cyprus' EU membership to help Europe
  • [04] Stefanopoulos expressed bitterness and disappointment with UN

  • 1600:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] No more concessions, Greek President stresses

    Paphos, Jun 27 (CNA) - Neither Greece nor Cyprus will make any more concessions to facilitate a Cyprus settlement, Greek President Constantinos Stefanopoulos said here today.

    He said both nations fully back international efforts, under UN aegis, for a solution of the protracted Cyprus problem and criticised Turkey for putting forward new demands towards this goal.

    Stefanopoulos reiterated that Cyprus and Greece have a duty, not a right, to defend themselves and chastised the world community for denying the Republic of Cyprus basic defence needs while at the same time arming Turkey.

    The Greek President also told Turkey that Greece, as a NATO member state, will come to Turkey's rescue if it is attacked and assured his neighbouring country that Greek armaments are defensive.

    "Cyprus and Greece have made all the possible concessions so far to facilitate a Cyprus solution and it is about time to say once more there will be no more concessions, there is no room for that," the Greek President said at a ceremony where he was declared an honorary citizen of this western coastal town by its mayor Fedias Sarikas.

    He stressed that both Greece and Cyprus want to see Cyprus reunited and its people, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, together and added "our goal is to strengthen as much as we can international initiatives under the aegis of the UN Secretary General" to enable him to push forward efforts for a solution.

    Noting that both Greece and Turkey are NATO members, Stefanopoulos wondered why Turkey and those who arm her are wary of Greek and Cypriot defences.

    He said the Turkish side not only arms itself but also wishes to consolidate the fait accompli and added "the powerful nations on earth allow, facilitate and offer plenty of arms to Turkey but deny Cyprus basic defence needs."

    "We shall defend ourselves and shall arm ourselves as long as it is necessary", Stefanopoulos stressed, adding that this is a national duty and not a right.

    Concluding his speech, he expressed the hope that Cyprus will soon be freed of Turkey's illegal presence in its northern part where some 30,000 heavily armed Turkish troops occupy one third of the country since 1974.

    Declaring Stefanopoulos an honorary citizen, Sarikas welcomed him warmly and said his presence here sends the message that Greece stands by Cyprus with all its strength.

    CNA MM/RG/1998

    [02] Earthquake felt in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- An earth tremor, some 600 kilometres outside Cyprus, was felt in the capital Nicosia and other areas of the island.

    There are no reports of any injuries or damage at this stage. Initial reports from the Geological Survey Department suggest the epicentre of the tremor, which took place just before four o'clock this afternoon, was located out at sea, to the east of the island.

    A second tremor was registered ten minutes later, a spokesman for the Department told CNA.

    A Reuters report said the epicentre was in southern Turkey and the tremor killed twelve persons.

    CNA MM/RG/1998

    [03] Cyprus' EU membership to help Europe

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus looks forward to its membership of the European Union in the near future where it hopes to play an active and constructive role, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said.

    Noting that Cyprus seeks equal treatment with other applicant countries, he pointed out that Cyprus, being the only Mediterranean applicant, can act as a link between Europe and the Middle East.

    In his address to a meeting of twinned Mediterranean cities, Kasoulides presented a brief outline of Cyprus' history, with special emphasis on the continuing Turkish occupation of part of the island, since the summer of 1974.

    The Minister said that despite Cyprus' small size, it seeks no special treatment from Europe but instead offers to play a role as Europe's gateway to the region.

    "Our foreign policy, founded mainly on our European orientation, is also addressed to the Middle East. We hope that our traditionally friendly ties with Israel and the Arab countries will be useful to the EU not only on the political front but also on the economic front and will contribute towards consolidating our country as a basis for the expansion of European businesses in regional markets", Kasoulides said.

    He noted that Cyprus' European prospect is a fundamental part of efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus question.

    "Our accession to the EU is considered to be the framework which would help us to overcome many of the difficulties we are facing", he explained.

    Any settlement will meet the concerns and fears of Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike, as long as it complies with the acquis communautaire, he added.

    CNA MM/RG/1998

    [04] Stefanopoulos expressed bitterness and disappointment with UN

    Limassol Jun 27 (CNA) --The UN has received tepid thanks and critical remarks from Greece's President, Constantinos Stefanopoulos, who told a huge gathering here today, the international organisation has not been effective in its efforts to resolve either his country's disputes with Turkey or the Cyprus question.

    Stefanopoulos, the first Greek head of state to visit Cyprus officially, was speaking in the city's central square where mayor Demetris Kontides made him an honorary citizen.

    The Greek President backed a proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus, put forward by President Glafcos Clerides, and reiterated that both Greece and Cyprus are not war-loving people, but are ready to defend themselves if the need arises.

    Stefanopoulos, visibly moved by the warm welcome, conveyed a message of support and solidarity to the Cypriot people and reassured them that their cause is just.

    "I am not obliged to thank the UN for its efforts (to iron out Greco- Turkish differences and settle the Cyprus question) but I would like to accompany my thanks with bitter feelings of disappointment because their efforts so far have been ineffective because they have bowed before Turkish intransigent positions", Stefanopoulos said.

    He stressed that Greece will spare no effort or sacrifice to offer whatever it can to help Cyprus.

    "Cyprus and Greece feel the pressure exerted on us from (certain) powers and this pressure obliges us to resist", he said, noting that "we do not want any kind of confrontation but we are ready (to resist) and safeguard peace and peaceful coexistence between the people".

    The Greek President said "those who propose to live without armies are those who are of a peaceful disposition, and this is what Cypriot Hellenism is offering the other side".

    President Clerides' proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus, first presented in December 1993, was renewed a week ago in a letter to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan along with a commitment to reconsider the issue of non-importation of new weapon systems to Cyprus provided there is progress towards demilitarisation.

    He expressed hope that Cyprus will soon be reunited and part of Europe and assured its people that Greece will be by their side.

    Presenting Stefanopoulos with the city's golden key, mayor Demetris Kontides expressed deep pride and sincere gratitude for the visit and said Cyprus looks to Greece for support in its struggle for freedom and justice.

    "As long as Turkey continues to occupy our land, we shall continue to fight for a just and lasting settlement through peaceful means", Kontides stressed.

    Noting Greece's efforts to help find a solution in Cyprus, the mayor said that Greece and Cyprus should make every effort to ensure that the international community undertakes concerted action to curb Turkish intransigence, the main cause of tension.

    CNA CS/RG/MM/RG/1998

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