© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
05 February, 1999
Athens voiced support yesterday for a Cypriot proposal that an international force be stationed on Cyprus to oversee the gradual demilitarization of the island.
Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the proposal for the force, envisioned under UN auspices, was "very good, provided the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish sides agree, which to date they haven't."
"The Greek government is in full agreement with the policy being followed by the Cypriot government for demilitarization of the island," Mr. Reppas said.
He said if agreement were reached on the proposal for the force it would be a development that could contribute to a resolution of the Cyprus issue.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides outlined the proposal during a press conference in Brussels.
The proposal provides for a multinational force to be stationed on the island and would allow the withdrawal of Turkish occupying forces and a small Greek force stationed under the 1960 Guarantors Agreement.
The proposal also entails the disbanding of the Cypriot National Guard.
"This force could be deployed on the island even before a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached. It should have a UN Security Council mandate and the consent of Turkey," Mr. Kasoulides said.
He said that the proposal, put forward some years ago, was worth considering at the present juncture, following the Cyprus government's decision not to deploy the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles.
Mr. Kasoulides met Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos in Athens on Wednesday evening.
Clerides: NICOSIA (ANA/CNA)
Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has made it clear that any multi-national force that may be deployed in Cyprus should have its terms of reference and its composition defined by the UN Security Council.
"I would like to see an international force with a mandate from the Security Council, which will decide on its composition", the president said yesterday, replying to press questions.
He pointed out that he would accept either the deployment of a NATO force or a force whose composition will be determined by the UN Council.
Speaking on the same issue, Mr. Kasoulides referred to the Cypriot president's proposal for a multinational force, made up of different countries, including NATO members.
On his part, government spokesman Christos Stylianides said the government is open to discussion but insists that the Security Council should approve its role and composition.
Source: Athens News Agency