• Short Summary

    The visit to Greece this weekend (21-22 January) by U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance?

  • Description

    CU Leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, Andreas Papandreou speaking in English

    TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 1: PAPANDREOU: "Mr. Vance was not invited in Greece. He invited himself, and the Greek government was forced to accept his visit. Mr. Vance is not welcome in Greece as a messenger from Turkey and Mr. Ecevit. The Cyprus question is not a question for NATO, it is not a question for the United States, it is not a question to be debated between Greece and Turkey. For Cyprus is an independent republic, a nation, a member of the United Nations. And the problem in Cyprus is one of independence, self-determination and freedom from external interference wherever that may come. Therefore, we cannot understand what role Mr. Vance will play in connection with the Cyprus question. And we are against the decision of the Greek government to accept his visit to Greece at this moment and for this purpose. It should be remembered that Mr. Vance was the man who negotiated with the Greek junta and Turkey in the fall of 1967. As a result of these negotiations, Greek troops were withdrawn from Cyprus by the Greek junta, which made it possible for Turkey to invade Cyprus in the summer of 1974 and to occupy almost 40 per cent of its territory. The Cyprus question is an international question. It is a question for the United Nations. It is not a question either for Turkey, or for Greece or for the United States or of NATO. And this is the reason that Mr. Vance's intervention is not welcome at this moment in Greece."

    U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim, has expressed hopes that proposals on Cyprus to be submitted by Mr. Ecevit would make it possible to reconvene intercommunal talks on the island. Dr. Waldheim, who has just concluded a mission to Greece and Turkey as well as Cyprus, said the promise by Mr. Ecevit to submit concrete new proposals had created a new situation that gave rise to some optimism. Mr. Ecevit is expected to announce his proposals in about two weeks.

    Initials BB/1740

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The visit to Greece this weekend (21-22 January) by U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance has been attacked by an opposition leader there as "unwanted and unwelcome". Mr. Vance announced in Jerusalem, where he has been attending Middle East peace talks, that he would visit Greece on his way back home. His discussions in Athens are expected to include the question of Cyprus. He was also due to make a stop-over in Turkey to see Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit. Mr. Andreas Papandreou, president of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, claimed that the United States wanted to put pressure on Greece to make concessions over Cyprus. Mr. Papandreou, whose party holds 93 seats in the 300-member Greek Parliament, made the attack in a statement on Thursday (19 January).

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