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Cyprus News Agency 96-06-18.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] Solution to Cyprus problem is possible, says Clerides
  • [02] Cyprus and US sign treaty on extradition
  • [03] US to intensity efforts for Cyprus solution
  • [04] Grievances of the enclaved brought to UN attention
  • [05] Minister blasts Turkey for illegal migration
  • [06] Visit of Russian Attorney General postponed
  • [07] Clerides rounds up US visit
  • [08] UN rectify report on Cyprus after protect

  • 1130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Solution to Cyprus problem is possible, says Clerides

    Washington, Jun 18 (CNA) -- A solution to the Cyprus problem that would guarantee permanent peace and security for all the people of the island is indeed possible, President Glafcos Clerides has stressed in a statement at the National Press Club in Washington.

    President Clerides held talks yesterday with US President Bill Clinton and was seeing today US Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

    ''My message is really simple and one that is underscored by the UN Resolutions on Cyprus namely, that a negotiated solution of the Cyprus problem is a matter of urgency'', President Clerides said, stressing that a solution guaranteeing ''permanent peace and security for all the people of Cyprus is indeed possible.''

    Welcoming the personal interest of US President Bill Clinton as well as ''his commitment to work hard to end the division of Cyprus'', President Clerides said the US is in a ''unique position to exert the necessary influences towards Turkey, whose military occupation of part of Cyprus is the single greatest obstacle towards a solution.''

    Stressing that the issue of security must be given ''top priority'' as it is of ''paramount concern to both, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities,'' he noted that if ''we can find common ground on this, it will be easier to establish common ground on the remaining issues.''

    ''The guarantees of the past have tragically failed'', he said, adding it is in this context that he has presented ''a comprehensive proposal for the demilitarisation of the Republic of Cyprus'' and the establishment of a multinational force under a neutral commander, which can include both Greek and Turkish forces.

    ''Only this force should have the right to intervene if the constitutional structure of a federal Cyprus is violated or if one of the two communities is in danger'', he said, noting that ''the determination and decision for intervening must be made by the UN Security Council and not by any individual country.''

    President Clerides also referred to Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU), noting that it ''can have a catalytic effect on the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue'' and urged Turkey to ''respond constructively and decisively to the international call to end the division of the island so that all its citizens can enjoy the benefits of its full integration in the EU.''

    Commenting on the possibility of talks between the US and the Turkish President and military before the formation of a stable government in Turkey, president Clerides said such a possibility has been pointed out by US officials.

    ''It is possible to make a lot of preparatory work by talking to Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and the military until such time as a stable government is formed'', he said.

    Answering questions of the press, President Clerides noted the disagreement between the two sides in Cyprus concerning questions of sovereignty, territory, the withdrawal of ''Turkish or foreign forces'', as well as the question of illegal Turkish settlers that have flooded the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus in an attempt by the occupation regime to change the demography of the island.

    Asked whether he is more optimistic after his meeting with his US counterpart, President Clerides said after 40 years in the political arena he has ''learned a lesson. Never to leave optimistic or pessimistic until you see the results''.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1996

    [02] Cyprus and US sign treaty on extradition

    Washington, Jun 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus and the United States have signed a bilateral treaty on extradition between them.

    The agreement was signed yesterday at the US State Department by Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, who is accompanying President Glafcos Clerides to his US trip, and US Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Peter Tarnoff.

    In a statement, Michaelides underlined the importance of the treaty regarding the fight against international crime.

    He said the treaty will strengthen further the US-Cyprus relations.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Cypriot Minister pledged that Cyprus will do all it can to enhance even further the possibilities of cooperation in the legal and judicial field.

    ''We have already successfully built a very close cooperation in a number of fields such as combating drug-trafficking, international terrorism, money-laundering and other crimes.

    He said Cyprus shares with the US the conviction that it is the moral responsibility of all states to work together in combating crimes of any sort, ''as a way of protecting our own people and the international community at large.''

    Michaelides referred to President Clinton's interest in ending the Cyprus problem, saying ''we deeply appreciate your interest in bringing an end to the violation of the territorial integrity of Cyprus by the continuous presence of Turkish troops that divide our country and our people.

    ''We lay high hopes on your country to successfully promoting the just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem,'' the Cypriot Minister told the US officials, present at the signing ceremony.

    On his part, Tarnoff referred to the close cooperation between the two countries and expressed his pleasure that this treaty was signed during the visit of President Clerides to Washington.

    The State Department's spokesman Nicholas Burns referred to the signing of the treaty, which replaces one dating from 1931.

    He said the new treaty will bring the extradition process for both countries to the modern age.

    ''The treaty reflects the growing cooperation the United States enjoys with Cyprus in the vital area of Law enforcement,'' the State Department spokesman added.

    CNA DA/GP/1996

    [03] US to intensify efforts for Cyprus solution

    Washington, Jun 18 (CNA) -- The US intends to intensify its efforts to narrow the differences between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island, leading to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, according to an official White House statement.

    Referring to yesterday's meeting between US President Bill Clinton and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, the statement says the two leaders ''reviewed the situation on the island and discussed how the US could help promote prospects for a lasting and peaceful solution.''

    President Clinton affirmed US intention to intensify its efforts, ''through further consultations, to narrow differences between the two communities in Cyprus, leading to a comprehensive settlement.''

    Finally the statement notes the visit of US Presidential Emissary Richard Beattie to the region, scheduled for July, ''to begin discussions on the key issues involved in a comprehensive settlement, with special emphasis on security.''

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1996

    [04] Grievances of the enclaved brought to UN attention

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriots representing the interests of enclaved persons in Cyprus' Turkish occupied areas, have brought their grievances to UN attention and demanded the UN take steps to fulfill their mandate in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

    A five-member delegation, including a Greek Cypriot enclaved teacher, met here today UN Secretary-General's resident representative Gustave Feissel to express concern about reports that church property in occupied Rizokarpaso village has been pillaged and that other property belonging to the local primary school was also damaged.

    According to one member of the delegation, Nicos Falas, president of the Karpass Coordinating Committee, Feissel expressed his displeasure with the situation in Karpass peninsula and showed keen interest in the requests put before him.

    Feissel's political advisor Peter Schmitz told CNA ''we assured Mr. Falas that we are pursuing actively all these issues that have been mentioned in our mandate and the Security Council resolutions.''

    A UN report two years ago said the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus is ''severely restricted'' in its movement in the Turkish occupied areas.

    The report also noted that the enclaved Greek Cypriots ''are subject to a system whose long term aim appears to be directed towards the eventual extinction of the Greek Cypriot community in the Karpass.''

    The Greek Cypriot delegation demanded the implementation of UN decisions, including the right to free movement, medical care and to education.

    The delegation has also asked the UN to take steps to ensure the safety of enclaved Greek Cypriots, whose living conditions, according to a 1994 UN report, ''fall far short of the standard of normal life.''

    CNA MM/AP/1996

    [05] Minister blasts Turkey for illegal migration

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- Turkey's attempts to alter the demographic character of Cyprus' northern part, occupied by Turkish troops since they invaded, were denounced by Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides before a European conference.

    Addressing the sixth European Conference of Ministers responsible for migration, currently underway in Warsaw, Michaelides said ''there are some 85.000 illegal Turkish settlers in Turkish occupied Cyprus in addition to some 35.000 Turkish occupation troops.''

    Turkish Cypriots, he said, are forced to migrate in their search for a better future since Cyprus' northern occupied part is rife with crime, social unrest, a high rate of unemployment and economic depression.

    ''We estimate that there are about 80.000 Turkish Cypriots now living in the occupied areas, a drop of about 40.000 from their 1974 original numbers (120.000) and they are a minority in that part of the island,'' Michaelides added.

    The Minister's assertions are echoed in a 1992 report ''On the demographic structure of the Cypriot communities'' by Spanish MP and Council of Europe rapporteur Alfons Cuco who said ''The influx of Turkish settlers has had a real impact on the structure of the population in the northern part of the island.''

    Furthermore, the report notes ''the presence and naturalisation of the settlers indubitably constitutes a further barrier to a peaceful negotiated solution of the Cypriot conflict.''

    ''The arrival and establishment of the Turkish settlers is the most notable demographic occurrence in Cyprus since 1974 (when Turkish troops invaded and occupied Cyprus' northern areas),'' the report adds.

    CNA MM/AP/1996

    [06] Visit of Russian Attorney General postponed

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- An official visit to Cyprus by Yuri Skouratov, Attorney General of the Russian Federation, due to have started Wednesday, has been postponed, it was officially announced here today.

    No reason for the postponement was given. The visit will be arranged for a later date, the announcement added.

    CNA MM/AP/1996

    [07] Clerides rounds up US visit

    Washington, Jun 18 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and US Secretary of State Warren Christopher discussed ways to approach US initiative in the Cyprus peace process to ensure progress towards a settlement of the protracted Cyprus question.

    The talks, which took place here today during a working breakfast, covered the whole spectrum of issues relating to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking afterwards, President Clerides said ''we had an exchange of views with the Secretary of State and his aides on how we should approach the American initiative to ensure it will have some chance of success.''

    Asked if the US has indicated it would talk directly to the Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and the Turkish military, the President replied ''it was confirmed they will move in the direction of Turkey.''

    Clerides said he reiterated his conviction that ''unless there is closer approach on the fundamental issues of the Cyprus problem, any resumption of talks would be fruitless.''

    ''I believe we have made this clear. We also emphasised that the significance of the US initiative is such that, if there isn't sufficient preparatory work and the initiative fails, the disappointment that would ensue will have very serious repercussions,'' the President said.

    President Clerides said the Americans recognise that ''a lot of preparatory work must be done and, of course, the work to be done with Ankara prior to this initiative is also important.''

    Invited to assess his contacts so far in the US, the President said ''I am leaving the US satisfied with the talks I had with President Bill Clinton and here at the State Department.''

    He said ''almost all the issues, including the issue of missing persons, were covered during the talks.''

    Later today he flies to London for a meeting on Wednesday with British Premier John Major. British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind will host a dinner Wednesday for the President. The President will then move on to Florence for the European Union Summit there.

    CNA MM/AP/1996

    [08] UN rectify report on Cyprus after protest

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- The UN Secretariat has issued an corrigendum, acknowledging that soldiers of the UN Peace-keeping Force on the island were prevented for nearly half an hour by Turkish Cypriot soldiers from reaching a Greek Cypriot soldier lying wounded in the buffer zone.

    The text of the report, issued on June 7th, did not include a reference to the time that elapsed between the shooting of the Greek Cypriot soldier and his removal by UN peace-keepers from the buffer zone.

    Following a protest by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Cyprus to the UN about the deletions made to the UN Secretary-General's report on the UN operations in Cyprus, the corrected text reads as follows:

    ''UNFICYP soldiers were prevented for some 25 minutes from reaching the National Guard soldier by Turkish Cypriot soldiers who fired shots in the direction of the UNFICYP soldiers each time the latter tried to move forward''.

    The killing occurred on Monday, June 3, when an unarmed Greek Cypriot soldier was shot by a Turkish Cypriot soldier in the buffer zone when the first walked across to exchange hats with the latter.

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has said that Turkey reacted strongly to the original text of the UN report and two points in the report were amended, one of which related to the time the young soldier laid wounded in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    The second referred to failed UN attempts to reach him because of shots fired by the Turkish Cypriot military in the direction of the UN peace-keepers who tried to get to him.

    CNA EC/MM/1996

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