• Congressmen call for US financial assistance to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus

    Sixteen members of the US Congress support the position that “the U.S. should facilitate a successful reunification of Cyprus through assistance to Cyprus.”

    In a letter dated March 16, the members of Congress call on the House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and Ranking Member Nita Lowey to “include language stating the United States’ position that assistance appropriated for Cyprus should support measures aimed at solidifying the reunification of Cyprus and the unified government in Cyprus” in the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2019.

    “It is important for the United States to continue to play an active role in ensuring that Cyprus – a strategic partner of the United States – and the new federal structure that would arise out of a settlement will be able to cope with any political and fina … (More)

  • Οbama discusses Cyprus issue with Turkish President

    US outgoing President Barack Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have held a telephone conversation during which they discussed Cyprus and expressed hope that upcoming diplomatic engagements will result in an agreement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, a readout from the White House says, regarding the phone conversation the two men held on Tuesday.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with a view to reunify the island under a federal roof.

    Anastasiades and Akinci have decided that the UN-sponsored talks will continue in Geneva, Switzerland. Between January 9-11 the two sides will discuss the remaining issues of the Cyprus problem and present maps concerning territorial adjustments, while on January 12 a conference on Cyprus will be convened with the participation of the guarantor powers as well as other relevant parties as needed.

    According to the White House statement, Obama and Ergodan ‘discussed Cyprus and expressed hope that upcoming diplomatic engagements will result in an agreement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation’.

    The statement says that President Obama spoke by phone with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to express his condolences for the many killed and wounded in the horrific terrorist attack against a nightclub in Istanbul on December 31, for which ISIL has claimed responsibility, as well as the December 17 attack against off-duty Turkish security personnel in Kayseri, for which TAK, a wing of the PKK, has claimed responsibility.

    “The two leaders agreed that Turkey and the United States must continue to stand united in order to defeat terrorism. President Obama welcomed Turkey’s ongoing efforts to work with regional actors to facilitate a nationwide ceasefire in Syria and a return to political negotiations between the Syrian regime and the opposition“, the statement reads.

    It also points out that President Obama and President Erdogan noted recent progress in the Coalition’s campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and agreed on the need to continue and deepen coordination between the United States and Turkey.


  • US reaffirms commitment to just settlement in Cyprus

    The commitment of the United States to finding a just and lasting settlement reunifying Cyprus, as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, is reaffirmed in a cover note, accompanying a report by US President Barack Obama, prepared by the State Department, to the US House of Representatives and the Senate.

    Obama`s bi-monthly report covers developments in the Cyprus problem during the months April and May 2016.

    In the cover note, State Department Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs Julia Frifield notes that UN-facilitated efforts towards a comprehensive solution continued in this reporting period, during which “the leaders and negotiators continued to make progress in settlement talks”.

    “The United States is committed to finding a just and lasting settlement reunifying Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation”, she says.

    In his report, Obama says “the UN Secretary-General`s Good Offices Mission continued efforts to support the reunification of Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation in April and May 2016” and that “Republic of Cyprus President and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci formally met twice in April and once in May”.

    “Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland visited Cyprus April 20. She was accompanied by then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southern Europe and Eastern Mediterranean Affairs Amanda Sloat. Assistant Secretary Nuland met with Anastasiades, Akinci, and UN Special Advisor to the Secretary-General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide”, the report says.

    It adds that “Nuland and Anastasiades discussed bilateral issues, US economic investment in Cyprus, and regional security relations as well as the Cyprus settlement talks” and that “in her meeting with Akinci, they discussed steps toward achieving convergences on several key issues related to the settlement talks”.

    “In her public remarks, Nuland assured that the United States remained `eager to help the sides come to the agreement that all the Cypriot people need and deserve.` During her visit, Sloat also met with Deputy Minister to the President Constantinos Petrides, Republic of Cyprus Spokesperson Nikos Christodoulides, and lead Turkish Cypriot Negotiator Ozdil Nami. Lead Greek Cypriot Negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis visited Washington April 20 and met with State Department and White House officials”, it says.

    The report points out that “on May 13, Eide joined Special Representative to the Secretary-General and head of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Elizabeth Spehar in New York to brief the permanent members of the IIN Security Council; both urged the UNSC to remain united in support of the settlement process”.

    “On May 15, Anastasiades and Akinci issued a joint statement marking the one-year anniversary since they resumed settlement talks in 20I5. In their statement, the leaders underlined their commitment to intensify their efforts in the months ahead with the aim of reaching a comprehensive settlement agreement within 2016. On the anniversary, US Ambassador Kathleen Doherty commended the leaders` progress and assured that `the United States will continue to offer our support in any way we can while maintaining, as we always have, that Cyprus` collective future will be determined by Cypriots, for Cypriots`”, it says.

    Furthermore, it notes that “the Republic of Cyprus held its parliamentary elections on May 22, and eight parties comprise the new parliament. The two larger parties DISY and AKEL won 18 and 16 seats, respectively. Several smaller parties also gained seats: DIKO won nine; EDEK three; Çitizens` Alliance three; Solidarity Movement three; Green party two; and ELAM two. The new parliament elected Dimitris Syllouris of the Solidarity Movement President of the House of Representatives”.

    “Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt visited Cyprus May 25-26 to highlight the economic benefits of potential reunification as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Hyatt delivered the keynote address at a joint business event between the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce. He noted that Cyprus has become increasingly attractive to U.S. businesses and investors, and given its strategic location in an increasingly complex region, Cyprus is a more appealing commercial venue than it has ever been. During a bilateral meeting with Petrides, Hyatt congratulated Cyprus on officially exiting its IMF-funded bailout in March and stressed that a settlement would reinforce that Cyprus is a welcoming place for U.S. business investment. He advocated for Cyprus to create conditions that will allow entrepreneurship and innovation to flourish. During his visit, Hyatt also hosted a roundtable discussion with U.S. energy companies in Cyprus”, the report says.

    It adds that “on May 25,Vice President Biden spoke by phone with both leaders. The Vice President encouraged Anastasiades to seize the moment to negotiate a settlement that would reunify Cyprus as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. The Vice President conveyed the same message in his call with Akinci. The Vice President also pledged continued U.S. support to help both sides reach a successful agreement before the end of the year, and praised the commitment and courage of the leaders for the historic steps they are taking to reunify the island”.

    Finally, the report notes that “a US Congressional delegation visited Cyprus May 27-29. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) led the delegation, which included Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), and Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX). During their visit, the delegation met with Anastasiades, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, and several Members of Parliament from the DISY party. The group also visited the Famagusta/Varosha area) the Hala Sultan Tekke mosque, and the Church and Tomb of St. Lazarus”.


  • US expert emphasises need of adapting federal policing models in a future united Cyprus

    A US expert has emphasized the importance of adapting federal policing models to the anticipated needs of a future united Cyprus.

    David Dobrotka was speaking during a presentation he gave before the bi-communal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters on Tuesday in the buffer zone, in the context of the mandate given to the Technical Committees and in the absence of local experience about federal policing.

    Dobrotka, a U.S expert on police and policing, shared with the members of the Committee his extensive knowledge and experience in the USA and internationally, focusing on “US Law Enforcement Information and Intelligence Sharing Systems”. The speaker, said a Committee statement, “emphasized the importance of adapting federal policing models to the anticipated needs of a future united Cyprus”.

    Members of the bi-communal Technical Committee asked questions and discussed issues arising from the presentation.

    Professor Andreas Kapardis and Hakki Onen, the two Team Leaders of the bi-communal Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters expressed the Technical Committee’s gratitude to the United Nations Police and the US Embassy in Cyprus for their efforts to enhance trust-building measures between the communities in Cyprus.


  • Diplomats address PSEKA conference

    Diplomats from the embassies of the US, the British High Commission, Israel and Egypt, underlined the significance of their relations with Cyprus and expressed the hope that the island will be reunited in 2016.

    They were addressing the deliberations of the World Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) conference which opened in Nicosia in the framework of the 8th World Conference of the Organization of Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK) and the 26th meeting of the Central Council of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and PSEKA.

    US Ambassador in Nicosia, Kathleen A. Doherty said that during the ten months she has been on the island, she has been “struck by the determination and the vision of the two leaders, who are striving to end the division of the island after 42 years”.

    She said the leaders and their negotiating teams have made steady and significant progress.

    Doherty gave an overview of the broader U.S.–Cyprus relationship that has evolved since Vice President Joe Biden`s visit two years ago, making the partnership with the Cyprus stronger and deeper.

    On economy and business matters, she said Cyprus is out of its Troika programme, earlier than expected. The economy, she added, is growing, maybe 2.5 percent this year, and tourism is setting a record, with three million visitors expected this year. President Anastasiades and his economic team, she said, “deserve much credit for turning around Cyprus’ economy and creating new opportunities for businesses”.

    She also outlined business opportunities on the island, adding that more and more U.S. investors and businesses are interested in Cyprus.

    Regarding the energy sector, she reminded that the American company – Noble Energy – is leading the way in the development of resources in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone. “And as we learned just yesterday, for the first time, an American energy major and the seventh largest company in the world – ExxonMobil – has placed a bid on one of Cyprus’ hydrocarbon blocks”.

    She also said that the U.S. Embassy also has been very active in promoting Cyprus’ potential as a regional business hub.

    On the ongoing negotiations, Doherty said “we should all be impressed and heartened by the vision and determination of the two leaders. This is truly a Cypriot-led, Cypriot-owned process – by and for Cypriots”. Noting that there has been significant progress in four of the six chapters of negotiations, as the leaders have stated, some differences remain. “The leaders have stated that they will soon start to discuss territory and security. They are making some tough decisions – for the well-being, stability, and security of both communities”.

    The United States, she pledged, “is helping Cyprus as it prepares for a possible new future. Since 1974, the United States has provided assistance worth more than $500 million to Cyprus, helping to build people to people ties through bi-communal dialogue and exchange among civil society groups”.

    A just solution, she added, “will also require closure for those who don’t know the fate of family members. The Committee of Missing Persons, which now has access to Turkish military sites, is doing critical work. The U.S. has contributed $800,000 to the CMP over the past ten years, including our most recent donation of $250,000 given in March”.

    Doherty also said that a reunified Cyprus would have a federal system of government and her country is sharing information about the U.S. experience with federalism, explaining the relationship between the federal and state governments in the United States, and how a federal judiciary and federal law enforcement agencies work. Furthermore, she repeated the US strong support to the United Nations in its work facilitating the talks.

    She also said the US uses every opportunity to emphasize with Turkey “our belief that a reunified Cyprus is in everyone’s best interest. The President reiterated that message to President Erdogan on the margins of the NATO Summit in July”.

    On the events in Turkey she said the US remains engaged with Turkey and support the democratically-elected government there, but also have raised concerns that it not overreach in responding to the events of July 15.

    She urged communities to hear more about the benefits of a reunified Cyprus. She also said that a regional energy potential will be unlocked in the event of a Cyprus settlement and with greater cooperation between Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, and all other players in the Eastern Mediterranean. “It is not hard to imagine that a reunified Cyprus would become a major commercial and business platform, with opportunities for all Cypriots, of all ages – but particularly for young people”.

    Taking questions, regarding the US relationship with Turkey, Doherty said it is complicated and “it is getting more complicated by the day if not by the minute. The recent events, she said and even today the arrests of journalists is complicating our relationship. It`s very hard to say now what this mean for the bilateral relations.

    To a question on the missing persons issue and how the US government can influence Ankara to give access to the archives, my government has raised the issue of the archives with Ankara and it is a current issue we are pushing very hard on it”.

    Answering another question, Doherty said that in comparison to other negotiations, when the two sides begin talking taxation issues, etc, these are detailed levels never touched before – Turkey has more reasons to come to table

    There are a lot of economic and political reasons why Turkey needs more likely to support a settlement than maybe in the previous years, she added.

    British High Commission Second Secretary, Alexandra Needham, in her speech said we are acknowledging the hugely important role that the diaspora play in relations to the UK and Cyprus.

    She said that in the last few years, we have seen particular and significant shift in relations between the two countries towards a more modern partnership.

    She described 2016 as a landmark year for the UK due to the decision of the british public that the UK should leave the EU.
    While the nature of our future relationship with the EU is still to be determined, I can assure you that the UK wants to maintain the strongest possible relationship with its European neighbours, including Cyprus, as well as other important partners. For the current being the UK will remain a member of the EU and there will be no change to the right of freedoms of these citizens in the UK or British citizens living in EU countries.

    She said EU nationals make a huge contribution to our country and we expect the legal rights of Cypriots in the UK to be protected.

    She also said we hope 2016 will be a landmark year for Cyprus as negotiations on a settlement of the Cyprus issue intensify. We believe a solution will bring clear economic and security benefits for Cypriots to Cypriots and to the region.

    The UK therefore stands ready to do whatever it can to support the negotiation process. We welcome the progress in the negotiations, she said, adding that althorugh there are still challenges, we commend the fact that the hope and commitment of both sides continues and encourage them to seize this opportunity to bring lasting peace to Cyprus.

    Illustrating why Cyprus matters to the UK, Needham said they estimate that 80 thousand British citizens live in Cyprus and over a million British citizens visit the island and it is growing every year.

    We estimate that over a quarter of million Cypriots live in the UK and around 12 thousands Cypriots are students every year. And Cyprus is one of the UK`s top 50 export markets. All of the above point to a growing future for UK-Cypriot relations, she added.

    Asked what is the British government doing to to put pressure on Turkey to come to the negotiating table with real deeds to solve the Cyprus issue, she said that Turkey wants a solution and that her country is working behind the scenes talking and it is the best method that we have in bringing Turkey to the table.

    Answering a question, she said that there is no change in the status of the Sovereign Base Areas after the Brexit. She reminded the land offer to give back to the government give 48% within SBA, noting that “offer of land has not been taken off the table”, adding that discussions have not commenced on that issue. Needham said her country is ready to discuss that when time comes.

    She also said they estimate that there are 65,000 Britons living in the government controlled areas and 15,000 in the occupied north. She also said she would have to look into reports that a member of the House of Lords is living in a home of a Greek Cypriot in the occupied areas.

    Sami Abu Haneb, Deputy head of mission at the Israeli Embassy, said in the last few years both countries have been working and have achieved a strengthening of the bilateral relations, with the first steps towards enhancement being made with the previous government and later continued and further boosted by the present government of Cyprus.

    The discovery of natural gas, he added, raised the prospect of developing a new partnership. “This fact, in combination with the common principles between our two countries, has opened up a new horizon in our relations”. Furthermore, he said the unprecedented level of strong relations the two countries enjoy nowadays, expand in a number of fields, apart from Politics and Energy while there is substantial cooperation involving Economy, Health, Culture, Education, Emergency, Defense, Tourism, Cyber and Innovation.

    He said exports from Cyprus to Israel have been steadily increasing in the last few years, and have reached in 2015 101 million Euros, while the number of flights from Israel has come up to more than 70 per week. The number of Israeli tourists to Cyprus went up to 100,000 in 2015 and is expected to grow significantly in 2016.

    The State of Israel, he added “highly appreciates and cherishes this friendship and cooperation with Cyprus, and we believe there is the potential for even closer ties, both at the level of ordinary people and also in the political field”.

    The challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean region and more broadly, the Middle East, create prospects for the future and a fertile ground for even greater deepening of the relations between Israel and Cyprus, but also with other neighboring countries, he concluded.

    Elsayed Nabil Morsi, First Secretary at the Embassy of the Republic of Egypt, told the conference that bilateral relations between Egypt and Cyprus have developed rapidly in the last three years and reached unprecedented level of cooperation and coordination on all levels.

    In regard to the Cyprus problem, he said “Egypt continues to support the ongoing negotiations between the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots aiming to reach a comprehensive and lasting solution that will reunify the island in accordance with international law and the relevant UN security council resolutions, a solution which will fulfil the aspirations of the Cypriot people.

    Morsi also referred to the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and the trilateral cooperation with Greece and Cyprus which serves as platform to address and tackle the challenges the region is facing. He said Egypt is working with the Cypriot and Greek authorities to prepare the next summit which will take place in Cairo before the end of 2016.

    CNA/EC/GCH 2016

  • Day Two of Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mitov’s US Visit

    Washington, DC/Sofia, July 24 (BTA) – On Day Two of his working visit to Washington, Bulgarian Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov met with Amos Hochstein, Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the US State Department, and Daniel Fried, the State Department’s Coordinator for Sanctions Policy, the Foreign Ministry said. Mitov started his visit on Thursday.
    Mitov also met with Heather A. Conley, Senior Vice President for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic; and Director, Europe Program, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and with Thomas Carothers, Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    Bulgaria’s chief diplomat participated in an Atlantic Council roundtable on strengthening security in the Black Sea Region after the Warsaw Summit. More…

  • Bulgarian Foreign Minister Mitov Confers with US Secretary of Energy Moniz, Trade Representative Froman

    Washington, July 22 (BTA) – Foreign Minister Daniel Mitov conferred here on Thursday with US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and US Trade Representative Michael Froman, Mitov’s Ministry said in a Friday press release.

    Mitov’s meeting with Moniz marked the start of the Bulgarian Foreign Minister’s working visit to Washington. The two assessed highly the cooperation between the two countries in the energy sector and energy security. Mitov welcomed the US’ consistent support for key projects for the diversification of sources and routes for the supply of energy resources in Bulgaria and the region. More…


  • BTA

    Bulgarian Interior Minister, FBI Director Discuss Security Environment and Combat against Terrorism

    Washington D.C./Sofia, July 19 (BTA) – Meeting Monday in the American capital, Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Roumyana Buchvarova and FBI Director James Comey discussed the security encironment and the latest terror attacks in Europe and the United States, said Buchvarova’s Ministry Tuesday. The Bulgarian Interior Minister is on a working visit to the US for talks on counterterrorism, the combat against organized crime, illegal migration and drug trafficking. More…

  • Iohannis: Stoltenberg’s statement confirms Romania’s objectives at NATO summit shaping up

    AGERPRES special correspondent Florentina Peia reports: Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis says the recent statement by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg related to a multinational brigade in Romania confirms the fact that the country’s initiatives and objectives at the ongoing NATO Summit in Warsaw will be found in the final documents of the meeting.

    He also says the NATO summit will discuss important projects to Romania’s security.

    “Today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced NATO will turn a Romanian brigade into a multinational brigade to strengthen NATO’s presence in South-Eastern Europe and to defend against attacks coming from outside the alliance. The statement thus confirms that the initiatives and objectives advocated by Romania at this summit are shaping up and will be found in the final documents of the meeting,” Iohannis said in a Facebook post on Friday.

    President Klaus Iohannis is attending the NATO Warsaw Summit, June 8-9. More…

  • US President Barack Obama pledges to continue supporting efforts to reunify Cyprus

    US President Barack Obama has said that his country will continue to support Cyprus` leaders in their efforts to achieve a just and lasting solution, adding that he is hopeful they will seize this historic opportunity to forge a better future for all Cypriots.

    In his reply to the remarks by the newly appointed Ambassador of Cyprus in the US, Leonidas Pantelides, who presented his credentials to him, Obama congratulated him on “the remarkable progress being made towards a settlement,” stressing that he remains fully committed to supporting Cypriot-led efforts to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Obama noted that the United States values its long history of friendship and strategic partnership with the Republic of Cyprus. “I am pleased that over the past several years we have worked to strengthen our ties, including through greater bilateral trade and investment and by working together to promote peace and security in the region,” he said.

    “Our strong partnership is also reflected in the growing commercial, cultural, and educational exchanges between our citizens,” he said, adding that he looked forward to working with the new Ambassador of Cyprus “as we continue to build upon this engagement for the benefit of Cypriots and Americans.”

    On his part, Pantelides said that in the past months, a greater sense of optimism surrounds efforts to achieve a mutually acceptable resolution in Cyprus in accordance with international law and standards of respect for individual human rights and basic freedoms.

    “My intention is to work with your Administration in a very intensive way in the remainder of its term in office, as well as with Congress, taking full advantage of your Administration`s expressed desire to assist us in these efforts,” he added.

    Pantelides thanked Obama for his country`s “principled support throughout these difficult years and for the assistance you have provided to our efforts, under UN auspices, to peacefully end the occupation and to re-unify Cyprus under a federal framework.”

    Noting that Cyprus still suffers the occupation of one third of its territory by Turkish troops, he pointed out that the resolution of the Cyprus issue and reunification would provide a model of harmonious coexistence and sharing of power between communities of different religious and ethnic consciousness “and this is something that our region and the world could greatly benefit from.”

    He conveyed the warmest greetings from Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades to him, his family “and to the friendly people of the United States of America”, re-affirming, on behalf of the President and the people of Cyprus, “the importance we attach to further developing relations, cooperation and friendship between our two countries and peoples.”

    “These relations are multi-faceted, expanding in recent years and are firmly footed on common values, shared principles and a mutual commitment to promoting international law and the prevalence of human rights. Cyprus and the United States, even though geographically far from each other, share many common characteristics and a history of deep friendship,” he added.

    “We also strive for a common vision of a peaceful Eastern Mediterranean and of a world in which free, prosperous democratic societies work together to effectively tackle the common challenges humanity is facing,” Pantelides said.

    Referring to the turbulent times throughout the globe but especially in the troubled neighborhood of the Middle East, he noted that “in addition to our determination to counter terrorism and religious extremism, at this dangerous transitional time for the Eastern Mediterranean, there is an urgent need to develop ideas about a better future for the peoples of the wider region.”

    “The role of the United States of America is crucial in this development. Cyprus, as a country in very close proximity to this fragmented and tormented region, has oriented its foreign policy to promote the stability of the region and to build bridges of cooperation,” he noted.

    He added that being a small country, member of the European Union, Cyprus is naturally inclined towards cooperative, multilateral, soft-power solutions to the complex problems of the region. “We look forward to exploring ways of working with your Administration on encouraging regional integration and cooperation, thus helping to build the foundations for a more lasting peace. I have the firm belief that our two countries can be effective partners in this effort,” Pantelides said.

    Referring to the discovery of significant amounts of hydrocarbon reserves within the Republic of Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone, as well as the serious potential for greater discoveries, he noted that they have made Cyprus a far more important destination for US investment in the field of offshore energy exploration, infrastructure and related industries.

    “US companies are already active and others are establishing a presence in Cyprus. We will continue working together to promote mutually beneficial commercial and business transactions and to encourage more US companies to become active in Cyprus,” the Ambassador said.

    President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, have been engaged in UN-led talks since May last year, with a view to reunite Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.


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