Cypriot President Spyros Kyprianou arrived in Damascus on Monday (22 October) for talks with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad.
Cypriot President Spyros Kyprianou arrived in Damascus on Monday (22 October) for talks with Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad. President Kyprianou said last month that he continues to seek justice and freedom the people of Cyprus -- referring to what he called the "totally negative and insulting behaviour of Turkey." Turkish forces invaded Cyprus in 1974 and still occupy and third of the island.
SYNOPSIS: Cypriot President Spyros Kyprianou was greeted by Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad on his arrival at Damascus airport. Mr. Al-Assad was in Moscow last week for talks with the Soviet leadership. It was during his visit that rumours arose about the health of Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev because the Soviet leader failed to participate in the talks between the Syrian and Cypriot delegations.
President Kyprianou has been calling for an international conference on Cyprus. The non-Aligned summit in Havana in September called for the immediate resumption of talks between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot Communities. And Commonwealth heads of government, it their final communique after their Lusaka conference in August, expressed grave concern at the failure to achieve a just and lasting solution in Cyprus. President Kyprianou said he wanted to convey to the world the bitterness of the Sypriot people -- that although five years had been achieved and the world community still tolerated the situation.
President Kyprianou has been solidifying Cypriot relations with the Arab world. Commerce and Industry Minister Andreas Papageorghiou recently returned from Iraq where he attended the Baghdad International Fair. President Kyprianou and President Al-Assad were expected to discuss the situation in the Middle East and the continuing Turkish presence in Cyprus.