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Cyprus News Agency 96-06-28.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] UN calls for talks to end Cyprus impasse
  • [02] Ireland to encourage EU enlargement
  • [03] Cyprus versus Turkey before European Commission
  • [04] Book on Nicosia attracts US President's interest
  • [05] US, Britain agree to coordinate efforts on Cyprus
  • [06] Cyprus to discuss unmanning agreement says Cassoulides
  • [07] Cyprus problem complex, says UN envoy

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN calls for talks to end Cyprus impasse

    United Nations, Jun 28 (CNA) -- The UN Security Council has called for an end to the present impasse, in efforts to settle the Cyprus question, and for the resumption of negotiations to that end.

    In a draft resolution, extending the mandate of the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus, to be approved on Friday, the Council urges the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities to "respond positively and urgently" to Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali's entreaties and "work with him to break the present impasse and establish common ground on which direct negotiations can be resumed."

    The resolution "recognizes that the decision of the European Union concerning the opening of accession negotiations with Cyprus is an important new development that should facilitate an overall settlement."

    The Council again noted that the "status quo is unacceptable" and stressed the "importance of an overall comprehensive settlement."

    Furthermore, it reiterates its concern that ''no progress towards a final political solution'' has been made and shares the view of the UN Secretary-General that ''the negotiations have been at an impasse for too long.''

    The Council said it "deplores the tragic incident involving the fatal shooting of a Greek Cypriot National Guardsman as well as the hindering by Turkish Cypriot soldiers of UNFICYP personnel attempting to assist the National Guardsman."

    Regretting that no progress had been made in prohibiting live ammunition or weapons along the cease-fire line the Council called on both sides to immediately enter into "intensive discussions with UNFICYP with a view to extending the 1989 unmanning agreement."

    Serious concern was expressed about the continuing upgrading of military forces in the Republic of Cyprus and the lack of progress towards a significant reduction in the number of foreign troops on the island.

    Council members stressed "the importance of eventual demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus as an objective in the context of an overall comprehensive settlement."

    Concern was expressed over repeated violations of the airspace of Cyprus which have increased tension.

    Turning to humanitarian matters, the Council regretted that the Turkish Cypriot side had failed to ''respect fully the basic freedoms of the Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the occupied areas.''

    The Permanent Mission of Cyprus to the UN expressed satisfaction with the resolution which it called ''positive'' and conducive to an equitable settlement.

    CNA JD/MM/1996

    [02] Ireland to encourage EU enlargement

    Nicosia, Jun 28 (CNA) -- Ireland, which takes over the rotating European Union presidency on Monday, looks set to push for the Union's enlargement in a ''smooth'' manner, Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring has said.

    In his remarks to the Irish Dail (parliament) earlier this week, Spring told MPs Irish Premier John Bruton had ''underlined to the EU summit in Florence last week the importance of the enlargement process and the priority enlargement will be for our presidency.''

    The Irish presidency, Spring said, ''will seek to ensure a constructive engagement with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and Cyprus and Malta with a view to ensuring that the problem of enlargement can progress smoothly.''

    Referring to the EU's Mediterranean process, Spring said Ireland's presidency envisages various activities, including conferences at ministerial and official level, involving the EU and its Mediterranean partners.

    Justice and home affairs matters, economic transition, maritime transport, culture and fisheries conservation in the Mediterranean would be part of the agenda of these meetings, he added.

    CNA MM/AP/1996

    [03] Cyprus versus Turkey before European Commission

    Nicosia, Jun 28 (CNA) -- A hearing today before the European Commission of Human Rights of the Council of Europe is expected to decide initially whether Cyprus' fourth inter-state legal case against Turkey, for gross human rights violations, will be admissible.

    The Republic's Attorney General, Alecos Markides, heading a team of legal experts in Strasbourg for the hearing, told Cyprus Radio today, the hearing ''is rather difficult in that the two sides have limited time to present their case and reply to any questions asked by either Commission members or their opposite side. Each has 90 minutes.''

    The Commission, he said, will decide in principle whether ''our case against Turkey is admissible or not.''

    The Attorney General said the Cypriot legal team is ready to ''fight a legal battle'' over this case and reply to any new arguments the Turkish side might put forward.

    The case focuses on the position that ''there is massive human rights violations over and above anything that has been dealt with in previous cases,'' he said.

    Markides explained that already written documents with the positions of both sides have been tabled before the Commission.

    ''What remains to be done is to sum up our arguments orally before the Commission,'' he explained.

    ''Should the Commission decide to accept our case,'' Markides added, ''we are likely to have a hearing on the essence of the case, namely the human rights violations to establish whether these have taken place or not.''

    This is Cyprus' fourth inter-state legal case against Turkey. The previous three dealt with the displacement of some 170,000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and properties in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus and other rights as these are enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.

    The Commission issued two reports on the previous cases (one report on the first two and a second report on the last one in 1983). The reports were delayed for nine years before they were made public, he said.

    CNA MM/AP/1996

    [04] Book on Nicosia attracts US President's interest

    Nicosia, Jun 28 (CNA) -- A book by two Greek and two Turkish Cypriots on the island's divided capital Nicosia has attracted the interest of US President Bill Clinton.

    A Greek-American, Nicos Mouyiaris, a personal friend of the US President told him about the book, entitled ''Nicosia'', and President Clinton requested a copy.

    The book was published in both Greek and English last September when Nicosia hosted the ''European Cultural Month''.

    Cypriot poets Michalis Hadjipieris and Nesie Yiasin, artist George Kepolas and academic Niasi Kizilyurek contributed to the book, which includes a collection of poems and pictures inspired by the divided capital, as well as a historical background of Nicosia.

    In their signed copy to President Clinton, Hadjipieris, Yiasin, Kepolas and Kizilyurek thank him for the honour and note that the book is the joined effort of four people ''living in the only divided capital in the world''.

    ''It is a common attempt for peace among all nations and nationalities, a purpose for which you offered to serve in your life,'' they add.

    Ten more signed copies of the book will be given to members of the US Congress.

    CNA AP/MCH/MA/1996

    [05] US, Britain agree to coordinate efforts on Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 28 (CNA) -- The US and Britain have agreed on the need to coordinate their efforts in seeking to secure a Cyprus settlement over the next year or so.

    This was announced at a White House briefing on Thursday which referred to a discussion between US President Bill Clinton and British Prime Minister John Major on the sidelines the Group of Seven Summit in France.

    Clinton and Major, ''touched on Cyprus and compared the conversations they had with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides over the last weeks,'' a White House statement said.

    The statement also notes that the US President and the British Premier agreed they needed ''to coordinate efforts, not undertake separate initiatives but try to combine efforts in seeking to secure a settlement over the next year or so.''

    The two leaders, have also noted, according to the statement ''that the prospect of Cyprus beginning accession talks with the European Union (EU) created a window of opportunity that we needed to seize.''

    President Clinton ''said we are going to continue to try to focus initially on the issue of security as a way to move forward towards a Cyprus settlement'', the statement concludes.

    Meanwhile Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides described the statement as a ''natural development which is in line with previous statements on the need for cooperation and coordination.''

    Asked to comment on Clinton's and Major's statement that they would seek a solution to the Cyprus problem ''over the next year or so'', Cassoulides said ''the government believes a Cyprus settlement is a matter of urgency.''

    He noted a solution is preferable ''before the start of Cyprus-EU accession talks to allow the Turkish Cypriot community to participate in the talks.''

    Cassoulides called on all those interested in assisting towards a solution of the Cyprus problem to concentrate their efforts on convincing Turkey to abandon its intransigent position.

    The Spokesman stressed the need to reach common ground between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, noting that this was also pointed out in the latest UN Secretary-General's report on his mission of good offices, as well as in the Security Council's draft resolution for the renewal of the mandate of the UN peace-keeping force on the island.

    CNA MCH/MA/1996

    [06] Cyprus to discuss unmanning agreement says Cassoulides

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said here today that Cyprus is ready to talk with the Turkish occupation army in order to extend the unmanning agreement, while it will at the same time propose drastic suggestions on the matter.

    Cassoulides, was asked to comment on the draft resolution of the UN Security Council for the renewal of the United Nations Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which calls for the enlargement of the unmanning agreement.

    ''We accept'', Cassoulides said, ''to start immediate talks with UNFICYP and the Turkish military authorities occupying Cyprus since 1974, in order to extend the unmanning agreement of 1989, to cover all the regions of the demarcation line, which are in close proximity to each other''.

    He also said that during the negotiations, ''we will put forward much more drastic suggestions than those the UN presented in June 1996''.

    Asked if the suggestion of the President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides for the extension of the 1989 agreement will be included, Cassoulides said that this will be discussed.

    Cassoulides also clarified that ''the paragraph of the resolution which calls on both sides to begin talks with the UN peace-keeping force is not acceptable, because it refers to the extension of the 1989 unmanning agreement based on the new proposals of the UN in June 1996''.

    He added: ''We will suggest something more drastic than this''.

    CNA RG/MCH/1996

    [07] Cyprus problem complex, says UN envoy

    Nicosia, Jun 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus problem is a complex one, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus Han Sung Joo told reporters today, stressing however that his effort will be worthwhile and he will try his best.

    Speaking after a 90 minute meeting with President Glafcos Clerides today, Han said he feels ''much more enlightened'' after his two meetings with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. He described his meetings as ''especially useful''.

    The UN envoy said that ''some of the fog between the situation and my sight has been removed and as a result the complexity looks even more real.''

    He noted however that he was not more pessimistic as a result of his meetings with President Clerides and Rauf Denktash, whom he also met earlier today.

    Asked whether common ground between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides will be found in the near future, Han said that ''much effort and patience is needed, but you have to strive for it.''

    The UN envoy noted that efforts should not only focus ''on sweeping a final solution'' but that ''incremental improvement of the situation'' should also be sought.

    Clarifying what he means by ''incremental improvement'', Han said ''if there is progress in confidence building, for example, if there is a successful effort in finding some common ground.''

    Asked whether by confidence building he is referring to the Confidence Building Measures proposed by the UN in 1993, Han said: ''I am not saying that these were specifically discussed but those are alternatives that could be pursued at the same time.''

    The UN Representative also had separate meetings today with Greek and Turkish trade union leaders.

    The Greek Cypriot trade union leaders put forward their views on the Cyprus problem, stressing that the status quo is unacceptable.

    They also briefed Han on their efforts for rapprochement with their Turkish Cypriot colleagues, in an attempt to build confidence between the two communities.

    On Saturday Han will be giving a press conference for both Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists, at the Ledra Palace hotel in the buffer zone in Nicosia.

    CNA MCH/MA/1996

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