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US welcomes cancellation of military exercises
2003-10-13 10:24:27

by Demetris Apokis

Washington, Oct 11 (CNA) -- The US has welcomed a decision by Cyprus, Greece and Turkey to cancel their respective military manoeuvres they had planned for the coming months, saying this would contribute towards a political settlement in Cyprus and regional stability.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher, commenting on this development, said the decision was the result of mutual trust between Greece and Turkey.

''This is a good thing. We welcome the announcements by the Turkish, Greek and the Cypriot governments canceling the annual Fall military exercises on Cyprus. We think the decision contributes to building a positive atmosphere for reaching a comprehensive Cyprus settlement and stability in the Aegean region,'' Boucher said, invited to comment.

Replying to questions, the spokesman said ''we have always encouraged all the parties to forego these military exercises.''

''We see this as having come about because of the kind of mutual trust that's been established between Turkey and Greece over the past few years, and the foreign ministers on both sides had a lot to do with that,'' Bouhcer said.

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