ISSUED AFTER Mr. CLERIDES' AND Mr. SIMITIS' MEETING
IN ATHENS ON 27 AGUST 1998
The President of Cyprus Mr. Glafcos Clerides and the Greek Prime Minister Mr. Costas Simitis had a meeting in Athens, in the context of their continuing and close consultations.
In view of the Non-Aligned Summit, which will be attended by President Clerides, and the UN General Assembly starting in a few weeks, the two Governments considered it necessary to exchange views on all the parameters of the Cyprus problem and chart the further course of the national problem. They agreed on the handling at the international level on all the aspects of the Cyprus problem and the actions they should take in the near future.
* For the Governments of Greece and Cyprus, the Cyprus issue has always been a question of invasion and occupation. All those who try to limit it to events which are the result of the prolongation of the unacceptable status quo, offer little service to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
* Greece and Cyprus insist on supporting the UN Secretary-General and his Special Adviser's efforts to seek a solution on the basis of the Security Council resolutions and the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979.
* The two countries also insist on respect for international legal order and its enforcement without exception. Otherwise, the international security system loses its credibility and novel ideas are introduced in interstate relations, upsetting international peace and stability.
The two Governments call upon the international community to continue its efforts for the resumption of the intercommunal dialogue and the start of a dialogue on the reduction of armaments and demilitarization. The latest resolutions of the UN Security Council provide an adequate basis for such an initiative. If the international community desires the consolidation of peace and security in our region, it should take initiatives to this end and exercise its influence on Turkey.
* Greece and Cyprus consider that Cyprus' accession to the EU will act as a catalyst in the solution of the political problem, will help bring the two communities together and will create the conditions for a just and viable solution that will benefit the whole of the Cypriot people.
* Greece and Cyprus insist that defending Cyprus' integrity is a fundamental right of the Cyprus Government and Greece's obligation. Consequently, they will not accept the gradual undermining of the sovereign rights of Cyprus or their actions to be dictated by others.
* At this point the Greek Government would like to make it clear in all directions that the Joint Defence Area is not confined to defence planning. It is a commitment by Greece which is guided by the decision to defend Cyprus militarily in the event of a threat.
* In this context as regards the uproar resulting from Turkey's reaction to the specific issue of the deployment of the S-300 missiles in Cyprus, the two Governments repeat once more the following:
- They do not desire confrontation and tension. Their only concern is the defence of Cyprus against the ever-increasing provocative attitude of Ankara and the massive upgrading of its arsenal in the occupied area. The anti-aircraft system which is expected to be deployed in Cyprus is by general admission defensive and threatens only those who dare to attack. It exclusively aims at Cyprus' air defence.
The anti-aircraft system is not an end in itself. The objective of both countries is the safeguarding of peace and security in the region, the defence of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and the safeguarding of the international law.
- The Cyprus Government has made specific proposals based on the logic of the UN Security Council resolutions, namely proposals for gradual demilitarization aiming at total demilitarization. Adoption of these proposals would avert the creation of tension and would lead to the restoration of trust.
- Greece and Cyprus would have no objection, in principle, to the enforcement of a guaranteed no-fly zone as long as this is in the framework of the United Nations and a part of a process which will lead to gradual disarmament. Unfortunately, the Turkish side, pursuing yet again an intransigent policy, shows no interest whatsoever in promoting this idea.
Within this context, President Clerides informed the Prime Minister, Mr. Simitis, that he is open to other ideas which could contribute towards the safeguarding of peace through the gradual reduction of military armaments aiming at demilitarization. Naturally, the Greek Government welcomes the positions of the Cyprus Government and will support every effort to this end.
The two Governments reiterate that the fate of Cypriot Hellenism concerns the Greek nation as a whole and determines its future. Consequently, both countries have a moral duty and political commitment to walk along the same path.