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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Abbot Nikiforos calls for religious dialogue
  • [02] Police continue investigations into murder of Turkish Cypriot
  • [03] US Emissary will not visit Cyprus in autumn

  • 1150:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Abbot Nikiforos calls for religious dialogue

    Nicosia, Aug 17 (CNA) -- Abbot Nikiforos of Kykko Monastery has suggested a dialogue between the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus and the religious leadership of Moslem Turkish Cypriots.

    In statements to "ASTRA" radio, after a visit of some 650 Greek Cypriots to the Turkish occupied monastery of Apostolos Andreas, last Friday, the Abbot said such a dialogue would contribute towards promoting understanding and respect between the two religions.

    The Kykko Monastery Abbot had officiated the service at Apostolos Andreas, one of the most important pilgrimage sites for the Orthodox of Cyprus, under occupation since Turkey invaded the island in 1974.

    It was the first time so many pilgrims visited the Monastery, on August 15, the day the Assumption of Virgin Mary is celebrated.

    The pilgrimage was the result of a recent agreement between President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, during two meetings they held in Nicosia to discuss humanitarian issues.

    A visit of Turkish Cypriots to the Hala Sultan Tekke, near the southern coastal town of Larnaca, which is one of the holiest Islamic shrines, built in memory of an aunt of the Prophet Mohammed, had preceded.

    In his statements, Abbot Nikiforos expressed regret that "some people", whom he did not name, do not allow a religious dialogue to take place and described the visit as the first "crack" in the wall dividing Cyprus.

    The Abbot of one of the most important and powerful monastery's of Cyprus, made a clear distinction between the attitude of the illegal "authorities" in the occupied areas and that of Turkish Cypriots towards the pilgrims.

    He said the so-called authorities had taken strict measures and enforced a programme of "military discipline".

    On the other hand, he noted Turkish Cypriots "greeted us with a smile and feelings of love and friendship".

    Abbot Nikoforos, who has visited the Turkish occupied areas three times, expressed the view that Turkish Cypriots are suffering and want a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He also said he hopes a settlement will be found and that meetings between the two communities will continue so that better days will come for both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    CNA MA/RG/1997
    1153 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Police continue investigations into murder of Turkish Cypriot

    Nicosia, Aug 17 (CNA) -- Police are continuing investigations into Saturday's murder of a Turkish Cypriot, in the south-western coastal town of Limassol, but are finding it difficult to get a lead.

    According to a Police spokesman, investigations are being carried out "in all directions".

    He noted the victim had "an intense personal life, so it is difficult to pin-point the motives" behind his assassination, but the force is "evaluating information", in an effort to find the killer.

    The police have also said the 37-year-old victim, Jian Nejip Hakkemes, was under inquiry for drug-related offences.

    Hekkemes was shot six times at close range while riding his motorcycle and died instantly.

    The Turkish Cypriot had been arrested earlier this year on suspicion of spying on National Guard military positions, but was released for lack of evidence.

    Greek Cypriot newspapers speculate today that he was probably assassinated by Turkish intelligence.

    CNA RG/MA/1997

    [03] US Emissary will not visit Cyprus in autumn

    Nicosia, Aug 17 (CNA) -- American Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, will not pay a visit to Cyprus this autumn, even though he believes the UN-led negotiations between the two sides managed to break the ice.

    According to a report today in Cypriot "Fileleftheros" and Greek "Kathimerini" newspapers, Holbrooke said he will not visit Athens, Ankara and Nicosia in September, as he was initially planning to do.

    In a telephone conversation with "Kathimerini", Holbrooke said the new American Cyprus coordinator, Thomas Miller, will visit the region next month.

    He noted that conditions for his efforts to break the deadlock in the 23-year-long Cyprus problem are not yet ripe.

    During his regular briefing on Friday, State Department Spokesman, James Rubin, had said Holbrooke will visit the region in autumn.

    Commenting on the deadlock in the five-day talks between President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, which ended on Friday in Switzerland, the American Emissary did not seem disappointed.

    He said the UN Secretary-General's special advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, who carried out the talks, managed to break the ice and bring the two leaders in direct contact even if none of the problems were solved.

    Holbrooke, who brokered the Bosnian agreement, pointed out that President Clerides and Denktash are very difficult negotiators as they both fervently support their interests.

    Joking with the "Kathimerini" correspondent, the American envoy said that, compared to Clerides and Denktash, he looks like a child lost in the forest.

    The American Emissary said one of the most difficult problems in solving the Cyprus question is the connection between Cyprus' European Union (EU) accession with an overall settlement, but refrained from elaborating on his views.

    The Turkish side has stepped up its intransigence over Cyprus' EU bid after last month's reconfirmation, in a Union report named "Agenda 2000", that accession talks with Cyprus will begin next year, as scheduled.

    Holbrooke revealed that last Friday he had a brief conversation with US President, Bill Clinton, on the Cyprus problem, on the sidelines of a meeting dealing with the situation in Bosnia.

    He added that the American President wanted everyone in the region to understand that he actively supports a bizonal, bicommunal solution in Cyprus.

    CNA MA/RG/1997
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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