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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Committee to sort out information on missing to be set up
  • [02] Yilmaz says he is willing to cooperate with US on Cyprus
  • [03] US official optimistic for a solution

  • 1235:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Committee to sort out information on missing to be set up

    Nicosia, Aug 4 (CNA) -- Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Takis Christopoulos, will today begin efforts to set up a committee that will sort out information regarding Greek Cypriots missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    The committee will be established after an agreement between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, last week, after a meeting in Nicosia, to determine the fate of missing persons from both communities.

    Christopoulos told CNA today the committee is expected to be set up this week and will then meet to decide on the action plan to be followed.

    He said that judges, coroners and geneticists may be included in the committee, adding that scientists or special equipment for location of mass graves will be brought to Cyprus from abroad if the need arises.

    CNA MK/MCH/MA/1997

    [02] Yilmaz says he is willing to cooperate with US on Cyprus

    Washington, Aug 4 (CNA) -- Turkish Prime Minister, Mesut Yilmaz, expressed willingness to cooperate with the US in efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    At at the same time, however, he claimed that the Cyprus government's decision to purchase the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile system poses a threat to Turkey's national security.

    In an interview with the American newspaper "Washington Post", yesterday, Yilmaz said he will work with the US government for a solution to the Cyprus problem, "especially if Richard Holbrooke (US Presidential Emissary on Cyprus), the architect of peace in Bosnia, is involved, to stop Cyprus from becoming another Bosnia."

    "We have to cooperate to bring a just solution, and the parametres of this solution are well known: two communities, bicommunal, bizonal," the Turkish Premier said.

    Asked to comment on ultra-nationalistic positions recently expressed by Turkish Deputy Premier, Bulent Ecevit, Yilmaz claimed that "Cyprus has become a national security problem since the Greek Cypriots announced their plans to purchase missiles."

    "We cannot tolerate such a move since that will be a threat to our homeland", Yilmaz claimed.

    Ecevit, who was Prime Minister during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, has recently threatened with the annexation of the part of the island Turkey occupies, if the European Union begins accession talks with the government of Cyprus.

    CNA DA/MCH/MA/1997

    [03] US official optimistic for a solution

    Nicosia, Aug 4 (CNA) -- US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Pickering, expressed optimism about the prospects for a Cyprus settlement and reaffirmed his government's commitment to assist UN efforts in this direction.

    In an interview with Greek daily "Avgi", Pickering said, "I am optimistic now that we have an opportunity, perhaps one that has not come along for a long period of time."

    He said the appointment of Richard Holbrooke as US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, "gives a great deal of optimism", and described him as the person "who has a magical touch in diplomacy."

    The US Undersecretary urged "the Cypriot parties to continue the talks" and noted that the work undertaken by the UN Secretary-General was "very significant."

    "Ambassador Holbrooke's efforts will be devoted to that effort," he added. Holbrooke, he said, "will most probably visit the region in the Autumn."

    Pickering dismissed as "internal politics" provocative statements by Turkey's Deputy Premier, Bulent Ecevit, as well as his participation in celebrations organised in the Turkish-occupied part of the island to mark the 23rd anniversary of the invasion.

    "Both Greece and Turkey have internal politics, we understand that and I do not want to say anything that in any way disturbs the tranquility of what the leaders in both countries would like to achieve in their own internal political arrangements," he said.

    Pickering also said that even Ecevit's visit to the Turkish-occupied areas was not enough to discourage the US "about both the need and the opportunity to continue to work with the parties to try to take advantage of the opportunities."

    Asked whether the US attempts to link Cyprus' accession to the European Union with simultaneous progress in the relations between the EU and Turkey, Pickering said "the question of who belongs to the EU must be decided by the EU."

    He noted, however, that "the door should not be shut prematurely" on Turkey.

    "We believe that Cyprus should join the EU as a bizonal, bicommunal state", he said.

    CNA DA/MCH/MM/1997
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