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Greece and Cyprus monitoring Turkish provocations
2003-06-09 20:08:09

Nicosia, Jun 9 (CNA) - The governments of Greece and Cyprus are closely monitoring all developments in relation to the provocations of Turkey from the Aegean to Strovilia in Cyprus, and have made all necessary representations, Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said today, noting that the issue of Strovilia will be brought up by Minister of Foreign Affairs Georgios Iacovou during his meetings in the United States.

Asked what Athens and Nicosia thought of the stance of Turkey, Chrisostomides said the two governments ''wonder if it is a systematic policy of Turkey to escalate its provocations to serve her own purposes''.|

Invited to say what these purposes might be, the Spokesman said ''we consider that there is an escalation of provocations (on behalf of Turkey) for her own diplomatic and political purposes, which I think are aims, maybe, of a blackmailing nature against the EU to promote her own interests''.

The Spokesman described today's harassment of an Olympic Airways plane by Turkish fighter jets as ''very serious'', adding that ''the provocations on behalf of Turkey are continuing from the Aegean to Strovilia''.

Replying to questions, Chrisostomides said there was no information that Turkey planned to create more tension in Cyprus, adding that things would clear in due course.

''The Greek and Cypriot governments are monitoring developments very closely and have made the necessary representations'', the Spokesman said.

To questions regarding Turkey's provocations in relation to Cyprus' accession to the EU, Chrisostomides said ''Cyprus' course towards the EU has cleared'' and noted that ''if Turkey is making some actions it is to serve her own aims''.

Asked if it was possible that Turkey believed increasing tension would pressure the EU into giving her a date to commence accession negotiations, the Spokesman said this was possible.

Turkey is violating the status quo ante in the southeastern village of Strovilia, which is in the ceasefire line. Greek Cypriot residents in the area are facing problems with electricity and water supply and telephone connections.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island’s territory.



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