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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-07-16

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Albright arrives in Athens to discuss Cyprus
  • [02] PKK leader sends message of solidarity
  • [03] Cyprus welcomes EU Ministers resolution
  • [04] National Guard Commander to meet US military officers
  • [05] Russian Attorney General to visit Cyprus
  • [06] Clerides Albright not expected to bring specific proposals

  • 1250:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Albright arrives in Athens to discuss Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jul 16 (CNA) -- Medeleine Albright, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, begins a three-nation tour today that will take her to Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

    Albright is accompanied by US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus Richard Beattie, State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus James Williams, the Director of State Department's Office of Southern European Affairs Robert Cavano and specialists from the Pentagon.

    The US official, who was due to arrive in Athens today, will focus on efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the Greco-Turkish dispute over the Aegean Sea.

    Albright will be received tomorrow by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    After Athens, Albright will come to Cyprus to hold talks with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides.

    A military officer, who will accompany Albright, will hold separate talks with Greek Cypriot National Guard officers and Turkish occupation army officers.

    After Nicosia, she will fly on to Ankara to meet Turkish government officials on July 18 and 19.

    The Cyprus radio (CyBC) reported today that Albright was bringing proposals concerning a reduction in the number of Turkish occupation troops on the island in exchange of a reduction in Cyprus' defence expenditure.

    State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns told CNA last week that the scope of Mrs Albright's trip to the region is to ''raise the profile'' of Cyprus on US foreign policy agenda.

    Burns said the US ''overall goal for Cyprus remains the same: The establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in which political and human rights of both communities in Cyprus are assured''.

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

    CNA GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1515:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] PKK leader sends message of solidarity

    Nicosia, Jul 16 (CNA) -- The leader of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) Abdullah Ocalan, has sent a message of solidarity with the people of Cyprus, on the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of Turkey's invasion and occupation of the island's northern third.

    In a recorded message, translated and issued in London by the ''Greek Kurdish Solidarity Committee'', Ocalan notes that Cypriots ''have suffered a lot'' from Turkey, whose policy towards both Cypriots and Kurds is the same.

    Turkey's aim which has not changed, he explains, ''was to leave us with no identity and to exterminate us.''

    Ocalan adds that the Kurds and the Cypriots ''have common problem'' making it ''crucially important'' for them ''to be in solidarity and good relationship''.

    The PKK leader criticises western governments because, he says, they ''are completely ignoring our struggle and your struggle as well'' and ''are supporting Turkey by remaining silent.''

    He adds his people are struggling ''under incredible conditions in order not to be exterminated, as it happened before''.

    Ocalan says the Turkish state is using people to fight against each other and reassures that ''we will not allow'' it to enforce this policy anymore.

    ''The Kurdish people'', he says, ''are not being used against you anymore, they are fighting for you as well.''

    ''We believe that the liberation of our people is your liberation'', the Kurdish guerilla leader says, noting that ''a very strong friendship bridge has been established'' between the two peoples.

    Ocalan calls on the people of Cyprus to support the Kurds and ''be as strong as ever and not lose their faith'' in their struggle for the liberation of the island.

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

    CNA MA/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus welcomes EU Ministers resolution

    Nicosia, Jul 16 (CNA) -- Cyprus government welcomed Monday's resolution by European Union (EU) Ministers, calling on MEDA members, including Turkey, to respect democracy and promote ''good neighbourliness''.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told the press today that, with the resolution, the 15 EU member states express solidarity towards Greece.

    He said that the EU countries also support that differences, such as the one over the sovereignty of the islet of Imia, should be solved by the International Court of The Hague. They also reiterated their support for respect of international law and conventions.

    Describing the EU countries' position as positive, Cassoulides added that since Greece took what it believes was satisfactory, it went ahead and lifted its veto of the European Union trade and investment plan for the Mediterranean, called MEDA.

    Greece had blocked for months the MEDA programme due to dispute with Turkey which claimed sovereignty over islets in the Aegean.

    ''The Greek government has set out various preconditions which we (the government) believe were satisfied and we support the handling and actions of the Greek government in promoting its national issues as best as it (Greece) believes'', Cassoulides added.

    The Spokesman added that during yesterday's debate at the EU Foreign Ministers meeting, the appointment of Irish diplomat Kester Heaslip as Ireland's Special Representative on Cyprus was not discussed, neither EU participation in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    CNA EC/AP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1855:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] National Guard Commander to meet US military officers

    Nicosia, Jul 16 (CNA) -- The military officers accompanying Madeleine Albright, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, on her three-nation tour have asked to meet the commander of the National Guard, Nicolaos Vorvolakos during their contacts on the island on Thursday.

    Speaking on Tuesday during his daily news briefing, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides confirmed that the US military officers have requested to hold talks with Vorvolakos.

    However Cassoulides could not confirm if the American military officers will hold separate talks with the commander of the Turkish occupation troops on the island.

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

    The Spokesman added that the meetings will be held ''within the framework of the need for talks with Turkey's military, whose influence in Turkey's political issues, especially on Cyprus, is well known.''

    Asked if the meetings with the US military officers, both in Ankara and Cyprus, are going to lead to a different kind of contacts and a search for other issues, Cassoulides agreed and noted that ''possibly this has to do with UN resolution 1062.''

    The resolution contains, among other, provisions calling for reciprocal measures to prohibit along the ceasefire lines live ammunition or weapons, expresses concern about overflights in the airspace of Cyprus and asks that all minefields and booby-trapped areas inside the buffer zone are cleared.

    The Spokesman added that Cyprus's stance on extending the 1989 unmanning agreement and the UN proposal to freeze defence expenditure is well known and ''has not changed.''

    He said that the Cyprus government considers ''unsatisfactory'' a reduction in the number of Turkish occupation troops on the island in exchange for suspending the National Guard's armament.

    He explained that Turkey has the ability to replace its troops on the island in less than 24 hours, whereas the National Guard is unable to replace its armament within such a short time.

    Furthermore, Cassoulides said that the issue would be considered if only a ''guaranteed deadline for withdrawal of troops from Cyprus was agreed beforehand, eventually leading to the complete demilitarisation of the island.''

    Finally, the Spokesman underlined the importance of the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece, and said that this will be abolished with Cyprus' demilitarisation.

    CNA AP/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1930:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Russian Attorney General to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jul 16 (CNA) -- Attorney General of the Russian Federation Yuri Skouratov arrives on the island tomorrow for an official visit at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart Alecos Markides.

    The Russian official will be received by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou.

    He will also have meetings with the Ministers of Justice and Public Order Alecos Evangelou, Interior Dinos Michaelides, the House Legal Affairs Committee and the President and members of the Supreme Court.

    Skouratov is scheduled to have talks with the Republic's legal services department.

    CNA EC/AP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2030:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Clerides: Albright not expected to bring specific proposals

    Limassol, Jul 16 (CNA) -- There are no indications that the US will ask Cyprus to abolish its joint defence pact with Greece, President Glafcos Clerides said here today.

    In statements after addressing the annual general meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Agents Association, in this coastal town on Tuesday, Clerides was asked whether the Greek Cypriot side would accept abolishing the pact, in case no agreement is reached on a deadline for the island's demilitarisation.

    The President said ''definitely no'', adding that if a demilitarisation agreement which would be implemented within a reasonable time was agreed, it would certainly provide for a reduction of the Greek Cypriot side's defence expenditure.

    Commenting on his scheduled meeting on Thursday with Madeleine Albright, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, Clerides expressed the view that he does not expect that the US will insist on the freezing of armaments or the abolition of the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece.

    He noted it was the Greek Cypriot side which raised the issue of the island's demilitarisation and stressed ''our side is ready to discuss any issue during the meeting with Albright.

    I do not think that Albright will bring along any specific proposals'', Clerides added.

    Finally, he said that only a solution plan providing for Cyprus' demilitarisation and guarantees can be connected with a reduction of defence expenditure.

    CNA AP/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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