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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 97-01-10

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US warns Turkey over Cyprus
  • [02] Witness hearing in Netherlands for stolen icons
  • [03] Cypriot party expresses disappointment with reactions to S-300
  • [04] Cypriot arrested in London
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [06] Government comments on Turkish threats, US warning
  • [07] EU to operate information centre in occupied Cyprus
  • [08] Diplomats to push for more bicommunal contact

  • 0900:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US warns Turkey over Cyprus

    Washington, Jan 10 (CNA) -- The United States warned Turkey that any military threat against Cyprus it is out of question and that Turkey has no reason to threat the use of military force against Cyprus.

    The State Department's Spokesman Nicholas Burns expressed the hope that the reports about the threats are incorrect and they don't shape or form the views of the Turkish government.

    ''We hope very much that this report from the Anatolia News Agency is incorrect. We hope that it does not reflect in any way, shape, or form the views of the Turkish government''.

    Burns warned Turkey to respect the rules. ''No country and specifically in this case Turkey, should threaten the use of military force against Cyprus.''

    He repeated that the United States ''has made very clear'' its position on the decision of the Cyprus Republic to buy Russian-made surface-to-air S- 300 missiles, but he said ''there is no reason for the Turkish government to run off and threaten anybody''.

    The spokesman stressed that there is a need for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and that the US through the efforts of Carey Cavanaugh, the US State Department Southern European Affairs Director, will try to convince the parties in Cyprus to re-energise the political talks.

    Cavanaugh is expected in Cyprus over the weekend to hold talks with both sides. After Cyprus, he will fly on to Greece and Turkey.

    ''It's no time for the Turkish government to be making wild and dramatic statements which will not, of course, be supported by any sensible member of the international community'', Burns pointed out.

    The State Department spokesman said ''it would be completely out of bounds for Turkey to take this action, and we reaffirm that today (yesterday).''

    When asked by CNA what kind of actions the US government plans to take if Turkey continues its threats against Cyprus, he said ''as a fellow member of NATO, there can be no question that Turkey must not threaten Cyprus; no question about it. And the Turks know that. We thought we'd remind them of that central fact today (yesterday).''

    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/GP/1997

    [02] Witness hearing in Netherlands for stolen icons

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- A witness hearing has taken place in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in connection with four icons stolen from Antiphonitis monastery, in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, and then sold to a Dutch couple.

    The four icons known as ''The Apostles of Antiphonitis'' were last seen in Cyprus in 1974 prior to the Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of Cyprus territory, including the monastery, situated in the northern Kyrenia district.

    Mr and Mrs Lans bought the icons from an Armenian dealer, Mr Degazarian, for the price of some 130.000 US dollars.

    The Rotterdam District Court hearing concentrated on the date of acquisition of the icons, which is claimed to be early July 1975.

    The establishment of the date of purchase is important as Dutch law states that by the passing of a 20 year-period since the date of acquisition, purchases are considered legal, irrespective of whether they were conducted legally or not.

    Proving that the Lans acquired the icons at the alleged time of July 1975 would mean that the Church of Cyprus cannot claim the icons back.

    Three witnesses, a restorer, a friend of the Dutch couple and a journalist, who had interviewed the dealer, who sold the icons to the Lans, were brought forward by the defendants to confirm the alleged date of purchase.

    Neither of the first two witnesses were able to confirm the acquisition date stated by the Lans, while the restorer's statement was in fact contradictory to that of the Dutch couple.

    Journalist Jan Fred van Wijnen from ''Vrij Nederland'' was called to reveal the address of the dealer, who sold the icons to the Lans and the name of the person who brought him in contact with him, but refused to do so, citing his journalistic privilege.

    The statement of the dealer is important to the Lans as according to Wijnen, he stated he sold the icons to the Dutch couple after 1976.

    Speaking to CNA, Honorary Consul of Cyprus to The Hague, Tasoula Georgiou-Hadjitofi said she has a written statement by the dealer confirming that he sold the icons sometime between 1976 and 1978.

    Hadjitofi, who is the representative of the Cyprus Archbishop in stolen antiquities, said even though the Dutch Court has not yet issued a decision the chance was given for greater publicity to cases of stolen icons.

    The Church of Cyprus will now have the opportunity to decide whether to hear witnesses at this stage as well.

    Hadjitofi and the lawyer of the Church, Mr R.W.Polak, are expected to visit Cyprus this month to inform Archbishop Chrysostomos accordingly.

    In the past, the Cyprus Church managed to bring back to Cyprus religious treasures, including frescoes and icons, stolen from Churches in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus and smuggled abroad.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [03] Cypriot party expresses disappointment with reactions to S-300

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- Ruling right-wing Democratic Rally party (DISY) has expressed great disappointment with reactions from the US, Britain, Germany and Italy to the decision of the Cyprus Republic to buy Russian- made S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

    In a written statement delivered to the ambassadors of the four countries in Cyprus, DISY, says they seem ''to deny the people of Cyprus their right to defend themselves against a provocative and aggressive neighbour (Turkey).''

    Noting the rejection by Turkey of government proposals for ''demilitarisation of Cyprus and alternative withdrawal of all military troops behind the Troodos and Pentadactylos mountain ranges'' DISY statement wonders ''what other option except strengthening defence is given to Cyprus.''

    The statement refers to ''increasingly threatening statements for the integration of the occupied territory with Turkey and aggressive actions which resulted in the brutal murder of unarmed Greek Cypriot civilians.''

    It recalls consecutive reports of the UN Secretary-General to the UN Security Council underlining that ''the occupied part of Cyprus has been transformed by Turkey into the most highly militarised area of the world.''

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [04] Cypriot arrested in London

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- A Cypriot, wanted in connection with police inquiries into a bomb explosion in Cyprus against a judge, was due to appear before a London court today for the start of the extradition process.

    The man, Andreas Onoufriou, was arrested Thursday in London, following a joint operation between the Cyprus police and the London Metropolitan police forces.

    Onoufriou, the police said here, is wanted for questioning for placing a bomb under the car of judge Michalis Mavronicolas, 40. The judge and his five-year-old daughter were injured from the blast.

    Police said Onoufriou is also wanted in connection with other serious offences.

    The extradition process will probably be concluded in several days.

    CNA MM/GP/1997

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    80.71 (+0.54)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  89.87 (+0.75)
    Approved Investment Companies          72.52 (-0.01)
    Insurance Companies                    56.27 (-0.37)
    Industrial Companies                   81.41 (+0.23)
    Tourist Industries                     70.46 (-0.14)
    Commercial Companies                   61.53 (+1.50)
    Other Companies                        67.14 (+0.24)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 627085.043
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA GP/1997

    [06] Government comments on Turkish threats, US warning

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- The government appeared pleased with US warnings to Turkey not to take any military action against Cyprus.

    ''The Turkish threats are a flagrant violation of international law and order. There has never been a question of any state having the right to threaten another independent and sovereign state,'' Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said here today.

    The Turkish threats are levelled against Cyprus after the government signed a multi-million dollar agreement with a Russian company for the purchase of S-300 surface-to-air missiles.

    US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns said ''no country and specifically in this case Turkey, should threaten the use of military force against Cyprus.''

    Cassoulides said Cyprus has been under a continuous threat from the presence of some 35,000 Turkish occupation troops, stationed in the island's northern areas since they invaded in 1974, the strong air force in southern Turkey as well as rhetorical threats.

    ''These realities have forced us to go ahead with a programme to build- up our defence capability, to agree to a joint defence pact with Greece and to strengthen our air defences to a satisfactory level,'' Cassoulides pointed out.

    Today's threats from Turkey do not add anything new to the continuing existing threat, the Spokesman said.

    Replying to questions, he noted that should the Cyprus question be resolved or if the government's proposal for demilitarisation is accepted, ''the entire effort to boost our defences will be put on halt.''

    CNA MM/MA/1997

    [07] EU to operate information centre in occupied Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has expressed to the European Union (EU) Commission its disagreement over a Union decision to set up an information centre at the so-called ''university of the eastern Mediterranean'' in the Turkish occupied part of the island.

    During his press briefing today Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides clarified that the government backs efforts to inform Turkish Cypriots about EU matters, but these should not be through an illegal institution that contravenes international law and order.

    The choice of the self-styled university, he said, is unfortunate in that it is an illegal institution, established by a regime the UN has branded legally invalid.

    Top circulation daily ''Phileleftheros'' carried the story about the EU centre and quoted a spokesman for the EU delegation in Cyprus said the centre does not imply in any way recognition of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus.

    ''It is simply a practical move, a technical matter and has no political significance,'' the spokesman told the paper.

    CNA MA/MM/1996

    [08] Diplomats to push for more bicommunal contact

    Nicosia, Jan 10 (CNA) -- Foreign diplomats here have agreed to intensify their efforts for contacts and activities between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island, noting this would help achieve a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    The meeting, at UNFICYP headquarters in Nicosia, reviewed the current situation related to bicommunal contacts and activities, taking into account the recent UN chief's report and the latest Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.

    A press release issued by UNFICYP says ''participants agreed to intensify their concerted approach to promote bicommunal contacts and activities in an effort to help create a climate propitious for achieving an overall settlement''.

    The foreign diplomats also expressed concern that ''the two communities of Cyprus, after decades of division, suffer from mistrust and mutual suspicion.''

    ''This made it all the more important for Cypriots of both communities to establish and maintain contacts to promote reconciliation and learn to work together for a secure and prosperous future,'' the announcement adds.

    The participants at the meeting ''voiced their concern about the obstacles which continued to be placed in the way of bicommunal contacts and activities'' and emphasised that they ''should take place in an unhindered manner and atmosphere.''

    The ambassadors or other diplomats with the Australian, Chinese, Egyptian, French, US, Swiss, German, Slovakian, British, Russian embassies, as well as the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission Gilles Anouil and the UN High Commission for Refugee's chief here, Michael Menning, attended the meeting, chaired by the chief of the UN Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Gustave Feissel.

    CNA MA/MM/1996

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