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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-15

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek Cypriot side positively disposed towards UN document
  • [02] Greek Cypriot pilgrims leave for occupied Monastery
  • [03] Clerides, Denktash and Cordovez to give press conferences
  • [04] Montreux ideal setting for talks

  • 0130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Greek Cypriot side positively disposed towards UN document by Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side appears more positively disposed towards a UN document submitted during the Cyprus peace talks, while the Turkish Cypriot side continues to be intransigent, citing the European Union (EU) factor as the cause hampering progress towards a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus problem, according to reliable sources.

    On the other hand, the UN seems to stick to its guns and argues that the paper, in UN terminology a "non-paper" since it has yet to be adopted, should remain as it is and does not appear prepared to amend its content.

    Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem to the UN Secretary-General, Diego Cordovez, "is trying to secure the consent of the two parties to proceed with the first part of his document (proposed text of a joint declaration) and if this is not possible, then he will probably seek other means to issue his own statement at the end of this round of talks", the sources said.

    They also pointed out that "whereas earlier Thursday the position of the Greek Cypriot side was a positive predisposition, now one can say there is a greater degree of positiveness" about Cordovez's paper and his intention to issue a joint declaration.

    Asked what has brought about this change, they said "a wish to contribute to a Cyprus settlement".

    The issue at hand, they explained, is whether a joint statement would be issued at the close of the five-day talks and added that if Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "is ready to accept the Cordovez document as it stands, then the Greek Cypriot side will also accept it, but if he comes back with remarks on its content, then the Greek Cypriot side will follow suit."

    The UN envoy, they noted, "insists on the document he has submitted and does not wish to amend it".

    Denktash has raised reservation about references in the paper to political equality and human rights issues.

    It is also clear that the Greek Cypriot side has already settled on ways to handle "any eventuality that may arise", which would serve its two primary objectives, namely to ensure that it is not blamed for any possible deadlock in the talks and to achieve progress.

    Denktash, on the other hand, has not even consented to outline his views on the Cordovez document at today's meeting and uses the guise of the EU to explain his intransigent position, the same sources pointed out.

    "The Turkish Cypriot side continues to recall the EU decision to start accession talks with Cyprus as the reason why it does not accept to sign a joint statement and quotes some issues of substance included in the Cordovez paper, claiming this is worse than any previous paper", they added.

    The Turkish Cypriot side, they stress, has not moved an inch "on any point and on any aspect of the Cyprus problem and it is wrong to blame the EU for the course of the talks when the real reason is its own intransigent stand".

    The Greek Cypriot side believes that the EU course has nothing to do with the UN procedure to negotiate a settlement in Cyprus, stressing "it is a separate course which will continue".

    Both Greece and Turkey, the sources noted, "favour Turkey's European course and wish to help in that direction but here we are trying to reach a negotiated settlement".

    EU sources have repeatedly pointed out that it would be extremely difficult to change the 1995 Commission decision to begin membership talks with Cyprus as this would involve the consent of all 15 member states and a very long process of negotiations and talks.

    Meanwhile, speaking on the sidelines of the talks Thursday, Denktash blackmailed not to attend another round of negotiations unless the EU dropped its plans for accession talks with Cyprus.

    Denktash was quoted as saying that "the EU has succeeded in creating the best impasse ever on the Cyprus problem" and supported that EU accession talks with Cyprus "does the damage in the negotiating progress (for a settlement in Cyprus)."

    "We say no (to a third round of peace talks). This is the last round until the EU decides," he added.

    Both Denktash and Ankara stepped up their intransigence for a settlement in Cyprus after the EU issued a report named 'Agenda 2000', last month, with which it reconfirmed that accession talks with Cyprus would begin next year.

    The Switzerland talks, which began August 11 and are expected to end today, follow face-to-face negotiations between President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash in Troutbeck, near New York, last month.

    CNA MM/RG/MA/1997

    [02] Greek Cypriot pilgrims leave for occupied Monastery

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Hundreds of Greek Cypriot pilgrims journeyed this morning to the monastery of Apostolos Andreas on the tip of the Turkish- occupied Karpass peninsula to hold mass on one of the holiest days on the Greek Orthodox calendar.

    The 619 Greek Cypriots and 47 Greek Cypriot United Nations employees made the 150 kilometre, three-hour trek on approximately 14 buses provided by occupation regime authorities.

    The pilgrims were levied five Cyprus pounds (some 10 US dollars) by the Turkish Cypriots for the trip, but were not obliged to provide identification at the point of departure.

    Dozens of pilgrims who were not originally on the list of people selected for the trip, jostled with police near the Ledra Palace checkpoint to have their names written down so that they be allowed to make the trip.

    Some of the last-minute worshipers had to run towards the Turkish Cypriot checkpoint to catch the last of the buses leaving for Apostolos Andreas.

    Government and occupation regime authorities agreed that 600 or so Greek Cypriots would be permitted to travel to the monastery today to hold mass on the day of the Assumption of the Virgin.

    A throng of people awaiting to board the buses at the Turkish Cypriot checkpoint did not encounter any difficulties, but occupation regime agents in civilian garb made their presence felt as they monitored the process closely.

    It is reported that Turkish Cypriot agents accompanied the pilgrims throughout the journey.

    A marked police presence was also evident on the government-controlled side, as officers cordoned off all roads leading to the Ledra Palace checkpoint.

    All pilgrims had to pass through a police roadblock across from the Nicosia courts, just 300 metres from the Ledra palace checkpoint, to have their names checked off.

    The pilgrims are expected to return to the government controlled areas late this afternoon.

    Some 400 Turkish Cypriots were allowed last week to cross over the UN- controlled ceasefire line to visit the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Kokkina in the northeastern part of the island, three miles west of the Turkish occupied areas.

    The Turkish Cypriots were permitted to travel on their own buses, without having to pay any levies.

    Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded the island in 1974. Turkey continues to occupy 37 percent of Cyprus with 35,000 troops. The 180 kilometre-long ceasefire line cuts across the island, separating the free from the occupied areas.

    CNA MH/MCH/1997

    [03] Clerides, Denktash and Cordovez to give press conferences

    by Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The second round of the UN sponsored direct talks on Cyprus is expected to end this afternoon, as the leaders of the communities and the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, scheduled separate press conferences.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was the first to announce a press conference at 14.30 local time, while an hour later, (15.30) President Glafcos Clerides will meet the press and at 16.30 Cordovez will give a press conference on the results of the talks.

    Meanwhile, the two leaders met earlier today in what may be described as the last session of the second round of the direct talks.

    President Clerides and the island's political leadership which is accompanying him, are expected to return to Cyprus tomorrow. CNA MM/EC/MCH


    [04] Montreux ideal setting for talks

    by Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The tranquility, privacy and the sense of effective but not overpowering security that prevail in the little town of Montreux and the surrounding area are the primary reasons the UN has chosen this venue for the second round of direct talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, the Vice President of Montreux Municipality said.

    Ernest Guibert told CNA the "discreet but effective" security measures taken by the federal authorities and the authorities of the Canton of Vaux as well as a feeling of ease and hospitality have "contributed to the pleasant atmosphere" between the two delegations.

    This atmosphere was evident during Wednesday's dinner at Roches de Naye, some 2.000 metres high on the Alps, accessible only by foot or cable car.

    "It was back in April this year that we were first informed that our community will host the UN-led talks in Switzerland, but confirmation came in June," Guibert said today in an interview here with CNA.

    Official preparations to get the venue and everything else ready began "a few days before the start of the talks" Guibert noted, although officials had visited and inspected the area well ahead of schedule.

    He explained that the practical organisation of the talks was undertaken by the federal and Canton Vaux authorities.

    Montreux lies near Canton Vaux.

    Guibert pointed out that Montreux is well known all over the world for its "hospitality, tranquility, privacy and positive atmosphere it offers all its high profile visitors, and there are a lot of them from all over the world".

    Montreux, Glion and other small villages spread over spectacular mountain slopes are "a very popular tourist resort because of the reasons I mentioned earlier on as well as the mild and very pleasant climate it enjoys in the summer months".

    With a population of about 21,000, the Montreux area has about 20 hotels with a bed capacity of around 3,500, Guibert said.

    Tourists flock here from all over the world, including one-day visitors or people who own property and spend a couple of months in the summer here, most of whom come from the Arab countries.

    CNA MM/MH/MCH/1997
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