The United States special envoy, Mr Clark Clifford said on Sunday (20 February) that talks he had with Greek officials in Athens had left him with a new sense of seriousness about Cyprus and other problems involving Greece and Turkey.
CU Mr Clark Clifford seated at news conference
SV Newsmen seated
SCU Mr Clifford, seated speaking between (from left to right) Greek Ambassador to New York, Mr Alexandrakis, Mr Theodoropoulis of Foreign Ministry and US Ambassador to Greece Mr Koubisch
TRANSCRIPT: CLIFFORD: "The main interest we have had in coming to Greece is to further the bilateral arrangements that exist. We value the friendship of the government of Greece and of the people of Greece. We also do have an interest in NATO. We have supported NATO for 30 years. But we understand the attitude of the Greek government and their concern regarding the alliance. We respect their position in that regard. So if undue emphasis was placed on NATO, it did not truly represent the nature of the talks that we have ???. Of course, there was a reference to NATO, but that by no means was the main subject. It was only of minor importance in the long series of problems that we discussed."
After his talks in Greece, Mr Clifford is due to fly to Turkey for further talks. He is also scheduled to go to Nicosia for talks on the Cyprus problem.
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Background: The United States special envoy, Mr Clark Clifford said on Sunday (20 February) that talks he had with Greek officials in Athens had left him with a new sense of seriousness about Cyprus and other problems involving Greece and Turkey. Mr Clifford had spent two days in Athens for talks with Greek officials about the Greek-Turkey disputes over territorial rights in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus. He said he realised the problems were more serious than they were believed to be in Washington. Mr Clifford also asked the Greek government about the possibility of Greece returning to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) from which it withdrew in 1974 after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.