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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-09

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Miller - Cyprus visit
  • [02] Women - Hunger strike
  • [03] Russia - US - Representations
  • [04] Peres - Visit
  • [05] Turkey - Meeting
  • [06] Occupied Monastery - Repairs
  • [07] President - Human Rights Declaration
  • [08] Irish MPs - Visits

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Miller - Cyprus visit

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- Thomas Miller, US State Department Coordinator for Cyprus, arrives here Thursday for a brief 24-hour visit.

    During his stay on the island, Miller is scheduled to have a meeting with UN Resident Representative Dame Ann Hercus to discuss "matters of mutual interest," according to reliable sources.

    The same sources ruled out any discussion on the content of a report by the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus.

    Kofi Annan's report on the operation of the UNFICYP is due out Friday whereas the release of his report on his good offices mission will depend on developments.

    The US official comes to "evaluate the situation as far as Hercus' efforts are concerned," they added.

    Hercus embarked on shuttle talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides in mid October, in a bid to resume talks and reduce tension on the island.

    Miller leaves Friday for contacts in Athens before flying on to Istanbul, (Constantinople) Turkey to attend a meeting of businessmen from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey, to be attended by US Presidential Emissary on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke.

    Miller's visit comes amid increasing speculation that efforts are being made to try and sort out the problem of the deployment of Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus.

    The government of Cyprus ordered the S300 surface-to-air missiles for purely defensive purposes in case of a new Turkish offensive.

    The US, Britain and others have voiced their opposition to the deployment of the missiles and US ambassador in Nicosia, Kenneth Brill, said the US would be ready to discuss the deployment of the missiles anywhere but Cyprus.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] Women - Hunger strike

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- Around 20 women began a three-day hunger strike today in protest against violation of human rights in Cyprus by Turkey, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary since the signing of the Human Rights Declaration, celebrated December 10.

    The event is organised by the Women's Association of Kyrenia, the largest coastal town in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    During the hunger strike the women will stay in tents at the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia, the only place from which one can cross into the areas occupied by Turkish forces since they invaded Cyprus in 1974.

    Speaking at a press conference, Association President Eleni Koliou - Kirkou said UN resident representative Dame Ann Hercus has agreed to meet with a delegation that will hand her a petition for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    She said they are expecting a written confirmation for the meeting. "On December 10th the Organisation is celebrating international human rights day, but its chiefs are closing their eyes to numerous UN resolutions on Cyprus, especially those concerning human rights," Kirkou said.

    She called on countries and organisations that have power to act towards the restoration of the rights of all Cypriots.

    "The people of Cyprus should have the right to live in a free country and enjoy the rights the citizens of the US and the European Union member- states enjoy," Kirkou added.

    Eleni Foka, who taught in the Turkish-occupied areas until last year when she was forced to come to the government-controlled areas for medical treatment, appealed for more international interest "in the violation of human rights in Cyprus" by Turkey.

    The Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe has repeatedly found Turkey guilty of gross violations of human rights in Cyprus.

    Foka, who was not allowed by the Turkish occupation regime to return to her home and pupils, is taking part in the hunger strike.

    Fifty-three year old Androulla Aristodemou said she is participating in the hunger strike demanding "return to our homes in Kyrenia, Famagusta and Morphou and for the determination of the fate of the missing persons."

    In the aftermath of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus the Red Cross had listed 1619 Greek Cypriots as missing.

    CNA AA/MA/GP/1998

    [03] Russia - US - Representations

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- Russia has made representations to the US over statements the American Ambassador to Cyprus has made about the proposed deployment in Cyprus of Russian anti-aircraft missiles the government has purchased from Moscow.

    Diplomatic representations were made in Moscow on Tuesday to the Minister - Counsellor on Political Affairs at the US embassy, John Ordway, a press release from the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Cyprus said.

    The representations, it added, "were made with regard to the unfriendly statements by the US Ambassador in Nicosia, concerning the delivery of the Russian air-defence systems S300 to Cyprus."

    Kenneth Brill, US Ambassador here, said his country had always supported the idea "of the missiles not coming to Cyprus."

    "As long as they are not coming to Cyprus, we are ready to consider almost anything else," Brill said after a meeting last week with President Glafcos Clerides.

    "The Russian side stressed the inadmissibility of the external interference into the exclusively commercial deal, which is related to the sphere of the Russian-Cypriot bilateral relations and is in no way connected to the present deadlock in the Cyprus settlement," the embassy press release pointed out.

    The government of Cyprus has ordered the missile system to defend the country against any possible new Turkish offensive.

    Turkey occupies Cyprus' northern areas since its troops invaded in 1974.

    CNA MM/EC/1998

    [04] Peres - Visit

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and Former Israeli Premier Shimon Peres will meet here next week during the latter's brief visit to the island to participate in the awarding of trade certificates for 1997 to Cypriot businessmen.

    The meeting will take place on Tuesday evening shortly after Peres' arrival to the island. Later the same day, Peres will attend the award giving ceremony during a reception to mark "Hanukkah" candle lighting, marking also the conclusion of the 50th anniversary celebrations since the establishment of the state of Israel.

    On Wednesday morning, Peres will have a working breakfast with political party leaders and later on he will meet House President Spyros Kyprianou and the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    At lunchtime, he will sit at a working lunch with members of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    Peres is scheduled to give a press conference on Wednesday. He leaves later the same day.

    CNA MM/EC/1998

    [05] Turkey - Meeting

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen and their Greek and Turkish counterparts, meeting this weekend in Istanbul (Constantinople), will aim to define ways to move forward with projects in Cyprus that would benefit the island, one of the key figures involved in the meeting has told CNA.

    Stein Stoa, special envoy of the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo, said the meeting "is a continuation of the process that started in Brussels last November and aims at having, after this meeting, a clear strategy on what can be done on different project areas, taking into account the political situation."

    He said the meeting, which starts with a dinner on Saturday and ends at lunchtime on Monday, is entitled "Implementation Conference" and will give the chance to all participants to "sit together, to be open, realistic and specific on issues of cooperation."

    Greek and Turkish businessmen, he explained, will act as "resource persons to give advice and encouragement to the two groups" from Cyprus in a bid to promote rapprochement and joint projects.

    The meeting will be co-chaired by US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, and Jan Egeland, former Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, who has been involved in conflict resolutions in Guatemala and Colombia.

    Present at the meeting will be Dan Smith of the Oslo Institute, David Philips of Columbia University in the USA, US Ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill, US Special Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Miller, and Norway's ambassadors to Greece, Turkey and Cyprus (who is based in Tel Aviv).

    Britain's Cyprus envoy Sir David Hannay may be attending the two-day meeting too.

    One of the Greek Cypriot businessmen participants, Phanos Epiphaniou, told CNA there will be a "review of progress or non progress, as the case may be, of projects we wanted to promote."

    He said the various working groups will discuss issues on projects to be undertaken jointly to help bring the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities closer together.

    Some of the projects relate to the protection of Cyprus' cultural heritage and environmental issues in Cyprus, he explained.

    Epiphaniou said there have been many difficulties in arranging bicommunal business meetings because of the obstacles put forward by the Turkish Cypriot regime in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.

    "Since our Oslo meeting in July this year, we have not met with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots," he added.

    In their Oslo statement the Cypriot businessmen agreed to work to restore jointly historical monuments, enhance telecommunications services, organise joint trade and economic ventures, hold sports tournaments and work for joint environment projects, starting with a solid waste disposal project.

    CNA MM/EC/1998

    [06] Occupied Monastery - Repairs

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- Efforts to carry out the badly needed repairs at the Monastery of Saint Andreas, in the Turkish occupied Karpass peninsula, are continuing in earnest, according to Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Takis Christopoulos.

    "The building needs to be repaired immediately, it is running the risk of collapsing because of the lack of any repairs over the past 25 years," Christopoulos told CNA here Wednesday.

    Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, places obstacles to any effort by the government to have the Monastery on the most eastern tip of the island repaired and claims it is his responsibility to do this job.

    "The government is ready to pay up the cost of all repairs but the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime will not accept any financial assistance from us," he explained, noting that attempts are being made to find the necessary funds from international organisations.

    Christopoulos said he has repeatedly raised this issue with UN Resident Representative Dame Ann Hercus, who said she would try to help.

    The Commissioner also raised the issue with Cyprus rapporteur of the Council of Europe, Andras Barsony, who has visited the occupied part of the island yesterday.

    Meanwhile, the House Refugee Committee has approved a report on the repair and maintenance of the Monastery, signed by two deputies.

    Nearly 1500 Greek Cypriot pilgrims visited the monastery on November 30th, feast day of the saint.

    The monastery is one of the most celebrated places of worship on the island.

    CNA MM/EC/1998

    [07] President - Human Rights Declaration

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- The people of Cyprus continue to rest their hopes in the UN for the "full restoration and safeguarding of their human rights and fundamental freedoms," President Glafcos Clerides has said.

    "Cyprus attaches utmost importance to the issue of human rights and is committed to promoting their full application by all nations and for all peoples," the President said in his message to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    He pointed out that the non-discriminatory implementation of human rights standards "has the ability, along with peace, democracy and development to guide mankind securely to the 21st century."

    Commending the crucial work the UN carries out in advancing the fundamental principles of human rights around the globe, the President added "one cannot, and should not, turn a blind eye to the massive and often flagrant violations of these very same rights and fundamental freedoms that, ironically enough, continue to take place in many parts of the world, even at the dawn of the 3rd millennium."

    Clerides reminded Annan of the extent to which the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people of Cyprus are being flagrantly violated for the past quarter of a century "as a result of the Turkish occupation and continuous military occupation."

    "It is indeed tragic for the people of this small country to commemorate the paramount day of human rights in the presence of occupation forces that continue to keep them forcibly divided, as it is tragic to note that this very day serves as a recollector of the drama of the refugees, the enclaved and of the families of the missing," the President added in his message.

    Turkey, which has invaded Cyprus in 1974, has steadfastly refused to withdraw its 35,000 troops from the island's northern areas in spite of repeated calls from the UN.

    CNA MM/EC/1998

    [08] Irish MPs - Visits

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- A four-member parliamentary delegation from Ireland, headed by Desmond O'Malley, chairman of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, arrives here tomorrow for a six-day visit.

    The Irish deputies, two Senators and two members of the Dail (House of Representatives), will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and meet House President Spyros Kyprianou, and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

    They will also hold talks with Cyprus' chief negotiator in the accession talks with the European Union, George Vassiliou, and meet political party leaders.

    The delegation will also tour the cease-fire line. On Monday evening O'Malley will give a lecture at the European Institute in Nicosia.

    The delegation is made up of TD (member of the Dail) O'Malley, of the Progressive Democrats party, Senator Mick Lanigan, chairman of the Sub- committee on development cooperation of the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, of the Fianna Fail party, TD Austin Deasy of the Fine Gael party and Senator Madeleine Taylor-Quinn of the same party.

    The Irish deputies leave Monday.

    CNA MM/EC/1998
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