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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-08-19

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus - Protests - UN
  • [02] Madden - Shambos - representation
  • [03] Brill - Shambos - representations
  • [04] Boat people - move
  • [05] Spokesman - Kranidiotis - Bacon

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Protests - UN

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- The government of the Republic has protested the strengthening of Turkish occupation forces on the island and presented the representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in Nicosia with concrete evidence to back its case.

    The oral representations were made by Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry Alecos Shiambos this morning during separate meetings with the ambassadors or charges d'affaires of the "big five."

    Similar demarches were also made to the UN Chief of Mission here, Dame Ann Hercus.

    Speaking after his meeting with Shiambos, US Ambassador Kenneth Brill said his administration had expressed concern about the escalation of the arms race in Cyprus.

    He reiterated US support for a halt in the arms race and a reduction in military forces and equipment.

    British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, said he would check out the information he has been given and expressed regret that the Cyprus problem is increasingly being discussed in terms of armaments.

    Russian Charge d'affaires, Sergey Rogov, reaffirmed his country's support for the demilitarisation of Cyprus and said Russia as a permanent member of the Security Council will do all it can towards this goal.

    Chinese Charge d'affaires, Guo Baocheng, said he expressed his support for a final and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.

    CNA AA/MM/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1610:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Madden - Shambos - representation

    Nicosia, Aug 19 CNA) -- Britain called for a reduction in armaments on the island and a return to discussion on the real issues of the Cyprus problem.

    The statement was made here Wednesday by British High Commissioner David Madden after a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Alecos Shambos.

    The Cypriot official made oral representations to the Ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council about a recent increase of armaments in the Turkish- occupied north of the island.

    The British diplomat said "the way we see the current situation is set out in a number of the Security Council resolutions".

    Madden called "on both sides to reduce rather than increase the arms and armaments and the number of troops in the territory of the Republic of Cyprus".

    Asked if there is specific information regarding an increase of the Turkish forces, Madden said "some information has been given", which "needs to be checked".

    He further said he had no evidence that Turkish occupation troops are in an new attack formation. "I know of no evidence, that is the case," Madden said.

    Asked whether there will be a protest to Turkey, Madden replied negatively, noting that he will report the information and see whether it is correct.

    Defence Minister, Yiannakis Omirou earlier this week said Turkey has been boosting its occupation forces since last summer.

    However, the British diplomat acknowledged that the Cyprus question is turning into a discussion on armaments.

    "We very much regret that the Cyprus problem is increasingly discussed only in terms of armaments," he said and added that Britain wants "to see discussion return to the real issues, the basic issues of a settlement".

    Madden said the only way to solve the Cyprus problem is through negotiations.

    "We want to see a return to the negotiating table and we will be working hard to try that" in very close cooperation, with the UN and with other British allies and partners, he added.

    Madden said the UN General Assembly "is normally a good occasion for some rather productive meetings" in New York.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    According to the UN Secretary-General's report on the UN operation in Cyprus, there are "over 30.000 Turkish forces and some 4.500 Turkish Cypriot troops on the island.

    CNA DP/EC/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Brill - Shambos - representations

    Nicosia, 19 August (CNA) -- The US will seriously look into representations by Cyprus that Turkish troops in the occupied third of the island are increasing their armaments.

    US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, said here Wednesday after meeting Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Alecos Shambos, that the US has an obligation to look into these concerns, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and will investigate them and draw up a report.

    Brill said Shambos raised certain concerns, stressing that the US take such concerns seriously.

    "We have obligations...to look into these kind of things as a member of the Security Council."

    Brill said the US "has for a long time argued that the only way to solve the Cyprus issue is through political means," stressing that this is not an issue which would be resolved through military and security means.

    "It is a fundamental political problem," he said. The American Ambassador said the US has repeatedly expressed its concern about the arms race in Cyprus.

    He said the US strongly supports the Security Council resolutions which call for an end to the arms race, for the reduction of the forces and equipment on the island and as well as sophisticated military equipment.

    This, he said, "is the best policy to pursue". Invited to comment on reports that these armaments were made in the USA, Brill said that this is a matter which they will "look into" because the US take these reports seriously.

    Replying to a questions he also said he was not aware of statements made by State Department Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, that there was no single American weapon in the Turkish-occupied areas of the island.

    However, he said "we are always looking to make sure that our law which covers that issue is being complied with by all concerned."

    "We will take the representation I heard today just as seriously and we will follow up on it as vigorously as we always do," the American diplomat said.

    Asked what the next steps on the Cyprus problem will be, Brill cited the words of an American philosopher that "it is not over until it's over".

    He avoided making any predictions about the outcome of Miller's talks in Ankara.

    Brill said that before he returned to Cyprus from the US, where he was on holiday, he held a number of meetings in Washington on Cyprus but he is a "big believer in private and quiet diplomacy".

    CNA DP/EC/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1900:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Boat people - move

    Larnaca, Aug 19 (CNA) -- Police moved 30 boat people from a Limassol hotel to detention cells in Larnaca early today.

    Thirty Africans from Rwanda, Siera Leone and Sudan were taken in an early morning police operation from the southern port city of Limassol, accompanied by more than 100 policemen and anti-terrorist squad police.

    Three "Black Maria" vehicles were used for the drive to the eastern coastal town of Larnaca.

    Once they saw the detention cells, the migrants chanted "Refugees in prison" but there were no angry reactions.

    Limassol Police Chief, Miltiades Neocleous said the move was necessary to facilitate efforts for their repatriation.

    According to immigration officials, nearly all the 113 boat people, rescued off Cyprus on June 29, applied for political asylum.

    All boat-people applied for refugee status but so far UNHCR only recognised this status to two of them.

    The Cyprus government is making efforts to find countries who will accept the boat people, discovered half starved on a small wooden fishing boat which had been drifting for nearly ten days in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Their vessel had left Tripoli, Lebanon and was heading to a European country before its engine failed.

    Last week, minor clashes occurred between the boat people and policemen who tried to remove a number of them from the hotel.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, said today the government handled the issue in a "purely humanitarian manner and solidarity, right from the start."

    He said the government wants to "remain within the framework of international conventions regarding political refugees."

    CNA MAN/EC/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1950:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Spokesman - Kranidiotis - Bacon

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- Greece was the one who had proposed the option of a flight moratorium over Cyprus in exchange for the postponement of the planned delivery of the S300 Russian anti-aircraft missile system.

    Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said this was the conclusion drawn from statements made Tuesday by Greek Foreign Under-Secretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    The Greek Under-Secretary had said yesterday "Greece does not reject, in principle, a guaranteed no fly-zone since if it is foreseen by the UN and is part of demilitarisation and a procedure to decrease armaments".

    Stylianides said that Greece "had proposed, through Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, the well known no-fly zone".

    Stylianides described Kranidiotis as a co-maker of this policy and added that if the US adopts it (the policy) "especially within the framework of demilitarisation, then we would welcome it".

    The Spokesman ruled out the possibility that President Clerides will take any decisions on the missile issue without the approval of the National Council, the top advisory body on the handling of the Cyprus problem.

    Meanwhile, Stylianides described statements made by US Defence Department Spokesman, Kenneth Bacon about Cyprus as "ambiguous".

    Bacon was commenting on statements made by Admiral Murphy of the Sixth Fleet that it will intervene in volatile places such as Albania and Cyprus.

    The Pentagon spokesman had said the US policy "for both Cyprus and the Aegean is that any disputes there will be resolved peacefully".

    He also said that Admiral Murphy was "talking about a naval presence and the calming effect that it can have in various areas of the world".

    CNA GG/EC/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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