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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-10-26

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Poland's First Lady backs abortion bill
  • [02] UN hopes for 1997 solution
  • [03] Ledra Palace protest continues

  • 1400 CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Poland's First Lady backs abortion bill

    by Emilia Christofi

    Nicosia, Oct 26 (CNA) -- Women must be given the choice to have an abortion, Poland's First Lady, Jolanta Kwasniewska, told CNA in an interview during her four-day visit to the island, accompanying some 70 children who are on a short holiday here.

    Commenting on criticism by Pope John Paul of a decision by the Polish parliament to legalise abortion on social or financial grounds, she said abortion was not a means to control the population and added ''this is a very complicated issue.''

    ''I think the women must have a choice, sometimes,'' Kwasniewska told CNA.

    ''What we are talking about is abortion in special circumstances, such as rape or cases when women have mental problems. In these circumstances, women usually remain alone,'' she remarked.

    Kwasniewska said state help to young mothers is insufficient, and many of them live in small towns and villages.

    Asked if women have equal rights in her country, she said ''I have never felt that we must fight with men''.

    ''Well educated women are in the same position as men'' she said, noting that Poland's government spokesperson is a lady.

    ''Sometimes, women must be twice as good as men to be in the same place, but in my life I was a businesswoman, and when I work I never had to face this problem'', she added.

    Kwasniewska arrived on the island Friday and attended a lunch given by President Glafcos Clerides and First Lady Erini Clerides. She also toured the demarcation line dividing Nicosia since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    ''It is a very sad and horrible place, and unfortunately it still exists since 1974. I hope that soon this situation will change, and I wish you peace,'' she said, expressing her feelings after the visit to the demarcation line.

    Kwasniewska said Poland and Cyprus shared a similar past in that both countries fought many wars for years.

    Poland's special geographical location, between Russia and Germany, and Cyprus's very special place, between three continents, have contributed to their fate.

    She said the people of Poland are aware of the Cyprus problem because they have lived through the same experience.

    ''We are very sensitive to these problems,'' she said.

    Referring to the purpose of her visit, Poland's First Lady said she is accompanying children from the poorest areas of Poland.

    The children, aged between 10-15, come from large families of up to ten children, or from divorced families, from small villages in the south eastern part of the country, where unemployment is high.

    This holiday, she added, is ''an absolutely fantastic opportunity for them as many of them are enjoying a vacation for the first time.''

    The children follow their own programme which includes visits to all the main towns and archaelogical sites.

    To help ease the problems faced by children with special needs in Poland, Kwasniewska has established a foundation for the handicapped children and is now talking about the creation of a charity, with the participation of volunteers.

    ''I think we have a lot to do in this area'', she said.

    Today, Poland's First Lady will visit the tomb of the late Archbishop Makarios III at Kykko Monastery, on the Troodos mountain range, and lay a wreath. She will then travel to the western coastal town of Paphos, where Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides will host a lunch for her.

    She will also visit the ancient amphitheatre of Kourion, on the southern coast. The First Lady leaves on Monday, after a dinner on Sunday with all the children.

    CNA EC/MM/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1410 :CYPPRESS:02

    [02] UN hopes for 1997 solution

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Oct 26 (CNA) -- The UN shares Britain's view that a fair and reasonable solution of the Cyprus problem is a realistic prospect in 1997 and believes it should not surprise anyone if some Turkish troops remain on the island as part of an agreed settlement.

    Furthermore, the UN considers that direct talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides are the only option to solve the protracted Cyprus question and these will not succeed unless the two sides are prepared to ''give and take.''

    The ongoing military dialogue, the UN said, is conducted on different levels (political and military) with ''all the people on the ground'' and should be completed within a month.

    UN Secretary-General's resident representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel has told CNA ''the notion of having Greek and Turkish troops on the island is not something that is coming out of the blue but was there from the beginning.''

    ''To say something like that, should not be surprising,'' he pointed out when invited to comment on the view expressed by Britain's representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay who implied, indirectly albeit clearly, that some Turkish occupation troops will remain in Cyprus after a solution.

    ''The Treaty of Alliance provides for a certain number of Greek and Turkish troops on the island. To say some Greek and Turkish troops will be on the island should not be something that is particularly surprising,'' he explained.

    Feissel also said that given the prospect of accession to the European Union, a resolution of the Cyprus problem in 1997 is a realistic expectation.

    ''The EU is an incentive for everybody to redouble their efforts, and finish the job next year. This kind of timetable is not unrealistic at all, if you want to do it,'' he noted.

    The UN envoy fully backed ''comprehensive and intensive direct talks under UN auspices and in his presence'' but stressed that talks will not bear any fruit unless there is ''give and take.''

    ''If people say 'I favour a solution but it has to be my way,' that does not work and we will not get anywhere,'' he said and added that the political leaders here realise that ''whatever they may say, the only option they have is to work out a settlement because anything else is not the answer to Cyprus.''

    Feissel said an agreement must be ''reasonable and fair'' and expressed the hope that the two community leaders will be able to sell any agreed solution to their respective communities.

    On the military talks, he said the UN expects to hear the views of the Greek and Turkish sides on the written proposals the UN has submitted to them for extending the unmanning agreement, the removal of loaded weapons and the code of conduct of the military on both sides.

    ''The talks will be done on different levels, political and military. I have already talked to the leaders of the two communities, UNFICYP commander will talk to his counterparts and others to their counterparts,'' he explained.

    Feissel expressed appreciation for Hannay's ''support'' in moving things forward on this issue and said the current military dialogue has the same objective as the US-proposed dialogue (which failed to materialise) but adheres to a different procedure.

    Feissel declined to identify the ''two sides'' that would be involved in the dialogue but implied that the National Guard, the Turkish Cypriot forces and the Turkish occupation troops would take part in the talks.

    ''The two sides means all the people with whom we are dealing with on the ground,'' he said.

    On the issue of persons listed as missing, Feissel said the appointment of a UN representative to the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) ''would not do magic''.

    He also noted that the CMP, set up in the early 1980s, had never received any lead that somebody is still alive. Relatives of the missing have been demanding from the UN Secretary-General to appoint a representative to the committee. On his part, the UN chief invited the two sides to meet four requirements, two of which have not been so far satisfied (the priority and sequence of cases of missing).

    He also said he had not seen a report by US ambassador Robert Dillon on the result of his investigations into the fate of five American citizens listed as missing.

    The report is thought to be under consideration by the US Congress and leads to the conclusion that all five are believed to be dead and deplores the time lost over the past 20 years in dealing with this humanitarian issue, while it praises President Glafcos Clerides' efforts towards a resolution of the problem.

    Feissel said the peaceful protest by Greek Cypriots at the Ledra Palace check-point, near the buffer zone, ''is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and friendship'' and hinted that such protests should be avoided not to ''exacerbate the situation.''

    Organised groups of individuals distribute leaflets to tourists in an effort to encourage them not to visit the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1450 :CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Ledra Palace protest continues

    Nicosia, Oct 26 (CNA) -- A peaceful protest by various groups to try and persuade tourists not to visit the northern Turkish occupied part of Cyprus continues for the second consecutive weekend, despite government objections to it.

    Today, some 50 people, including an MP, the president of the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation and relatives of Greek Cypriots recently murdered by the Turks, gathered at the Ledra Palace check-point, near the UN controlled buffer zone, and distributed printed matter to tourists.

    The organisers explain to tourists that Greek Cypriots are prevented from visiting the occupied areas by the Turkish occupation troops and ask them not to go in support of their demand for freedom and justice on the island.

    Many tourists, obviously moved by what they hear, turn back. Others prefer to ignore the pleas by Greek Cypriot refugees.

    The government and the UN have expressed reservations about the protest and Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said he was ready to explain the government's position on the matter to the organisers, who seem adamant to continue their protest.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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