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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN maintains minimum publicity for second round
  • [02] Palestinian begins second hunger strike

  • 1140:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN maintains minimum publicity for second round

    United Nations, Aug 6 (CNA) -- The second round of UN-led face-to-face negotiations between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will take place in a quiet resort near Montreux, Switzerland, under a strict media blackout, UN spokesman Fred Eckhard has confirmed.

    Referring to the venue of the talks, scheduled to take place between August 11 and 16, Eckhard described it as "the Troutbeck of Switzerland" and said it is "a conference facility near Montreux."

    The UN spokesman in Nicosia told CNA yesterday the second round of negotiations will take place in the small Swiss town of Glion, near Montreux. The first round was held at the secluded Troutbeck rural retreat, north of New York, from July 9 to 12.

    Eckhard emphasized the UN wants "minimum publicity for this second round" of talks and noted that even a press photo opportunity is uncertain. "We're fighting to get it," he said, "but don't have a permit yet."

    The first round of talks began with a statement on the Cyprus problem by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, which was open to the press and provided a photo opportunity.

    The UN spokesman said he believed that, as in the first round of talks, the Secretary-General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, who chairs the negotiations, "would brief the journalists after the conclusion of the talks."

    Sources here said the UN have been very much heartened by an agreement reached last week between President Clerides and Denktash to deal jointly and energetically with the missing persons issue.

    The agreement was announced after a second meeting in Nicosia, between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, held at the residence of UN permanent representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel.

    Indications are that the UN will lose no time appointing a new UN representative to the Committee on Missing Persons, to replace a representative who had retired over a year ago.

    President Clerides and Denktash had called on the UN chief to appoint his representative, in the announcement read after their second meeting last week.

    The same sources told CNA the UN will appoint the third member to the Committee, mainly in order to encourage a continued climate of goodwill between the two sides, an unexpected and auspicious development only a week before the Switzerland talks.

    Some 1619 Greek Cypriots and 500 Turkish Cypriots are listed as missing, but efforts to determine their fate have so far failed.

    In their agreement, President Clerides and Denktash pledged to work towards solving this issue, that they will consider as humanitarian and not political. CNA/JD/MA/AP


    [02] Palestinian begins second hunger strike

    Nicosia, Aug 6 (CNA) -- A Palestinian, released a year ago after serving a prison sentence for his participation in the fatal bombing near the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia in 1988, began a hunger strike yesterday to demonstrate the fact that no country will accept him.

    Omar Hawillo, 31, told CNA today he wants to meet Attorney-General Alecos Markides to give him a personal account of his problem and ask the Cyprus authorities to examine his case with the necessary understanding.

    It is the second time in fourty days that Hawillo goes on a hunger strike to protest his plight and it came on the day 23 Iraqi illegal immigrants walked free after spending a year in police cells, despite having served their prison sentences. The 23 men were released following Attorney-General's recommendation.

    "Nobody cares for me, that is why I started a hunger strike yesterday, because I want to be free", Hawillo told CNA here Wednesday.

    He said that five months ago he had sent a letter to Markides but received no reply so far. "A year ago they put me here without any hope. I want the Attorney-General to take an interest in my problem or to come and visit me because I am human too," he told CNA.

    Hawillo said he is not a "murderer. Whatever I did, I did it for my country. Does that mean that I have to die in prison, without anyone to offer me any help," the former Palestinian guerrilla asked.

    Hawillo was jailed for 15 years at the age of 22 for the 1988 bomb attack on the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia which killed three people and injured 19 on a nearby busy bridge.

    He has was released on August 1, 1996, and was deported to Lebanon. However, he returned to Cyprus because of his forged passport. He has since been in detention pending deportation since no country is willing to take him because he does not have a passport and his involvement in the terrorist attack.

    CNA MK/EC/AP/1997
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