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US welcomes postponement of war-games in Greece, Cyprus, Turkey
2002-10-30 14:36:34

by Demetris Apokis Washington, Oct 30 (CNA) ? The State Department expressed satisfaction over the postponement of military exercises in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

In a statement to CNA, a State Department official said the move would contribute to stability and security in the Aegean region.

"The US welcomes the postponement of the autumn military exercises in Greece, Turkey and Cyprus", the official said. ''We believe that this move will contribute to stability and security in the Aegean region".|

The Cyprus National Guard ''Nikiforos'' exercise was scheduled to start on 29 October and end on 3 November, in conjunction with the Greek ''Toxotis'' war- games in the Aegean. ''Toros'', the annual military exercises held by the Turkish armed forces which were also staged in the northern part of Cyprus controlled by Turkish troops since the invasion of the island in 1974, was to follow later in November.

On Friday, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou announced in Brussels a Greco-Turkish agreement, also subscribed to by the government of Cyprus, to postpone all military exercises, ''as a step to increase confidence and contribute to peace in the area.''

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