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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-23

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Reed - mission
  • [02] Kasoulides - interview

  • 1200 CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Reed - mission

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- US Senator, Jack Reed arrives in Cyprus on Wednesday on a fact-finding mission to the region.

    For this reason, Rhode Island State Senator, Leonidas Raptakis and State Representative, Myrna George, as well as a prominent group of Greek and Cypriot Americans met yesterday the US Senator to brief him on key issues in the region.

    Among the issues discussed were the persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the deployment of the S-300 Russian anti- aircraft missile system to the island, the status of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, and "proposals to break the current stalemate and move toward a free, unified and independent Cyprus".

    "After 24 years, not an inch of Turkish occupied territory has been returned to the Republic of Cyprus and it's time for the US to play a more active role in resolving the issue", said Raptakis.

    "By meeting with Senator Reed, we want to promote a consistent US policy that recognises the importance of demilitarising and unifying Cyprus", he added.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third.

    CNA EC/AA/1998
    1420 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Kasoulides - interview

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- The decisions of the National Council regarding the deployment of the S-300 Russian anti-aircraft missile system remain in force, Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides said here Sunday.

    In an interview with the daily "Simerini", Kasoulides also said the purchase of the S-300 is not an end in itself and therefore if the conditions which the government has set out are fulfilled, then they will not arrive on the island.

    Kasoulides said the government is considering ways "to put the issue back to where it belongs", that is in the security aspect of the problem, noting that "it is not right to talk about security matters".

    Kasoulides said he expects to see the outcome of the discussions between President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis in Athens on Thursday.

    He said "our struggle will succeed only if we are in complete cooperation with the Greek government".

    The Foreign Minister said the decision of the National Council regarding the missiles applies.

    The Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question, has decided to deploy the missiles unless there is sufficient progress towards a resolution of the Cyprus problem or moves leading to the demilitisation of the island.

    "The missiles intend to strengthen our defence... especially in the event of an attack by the Turkish airforce", Kasoulides told "Simerini".

    However, he stressed that "if the reasons for which we need the missiles go, we have repeatedly said we will not deploy them (the missiles)."

    The government of Cyprus has repeatedly stressed that the missiles are a purely defensive weapons system and would not be used to attack anybody.

    The decision to order the Russian missiles has come under fire from various circles, including the US and Britain, who consider it would increase tension in the area.

    The President leaves on Wednesday for the Greek capital. He will depart on Thursday afternoon after talks with Simitis.

    Clerides will then head to Durban, South Africa, to take part in the Non-Aligned Movement Summit.

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

    CNA EC/AA/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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