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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-02-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kasoulides - Annan - Holbrooke
  • [02] Kurds - Hunger strike
  • [03] Cyprus - Young businessmen's meeting
  • [04] Icons returned to Cyprus

  • 0950:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Kasoulides - Annan - Holbrooke

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides expressed satisfaction with a meeting he had in New York yesterday with UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

    Earlier yesterday he had a meeting with US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke.

    Kasoulides described his 30-minute meeting with Annan as "productive" and said they discussed the UN Chief's efforts in the framework of his good offices concerning the implementation of recent UN Security Council resolutions 1217 and 1218.

    The two resolutions express support to a fresh UN initiative aimed to promote progress towards a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus and the reduction of tensions on the island.

    Asked whether ways of implementing the resolutions and a deadline for their implementation were discussed, the Foreign Minister said the UN Chief follows the situation and the results of the shuttle talks diplomacy undertaken by his resident representative Dame Ann Hercus.

    "He will decide accordingly for the appropriate timing for talks under his auspices," Kasoulides added.

    The Foreign Minister said the unresolved issue of missing persons as well as the living conditions of Greek Cypriots enclaved in the Turkish- occupied northern part of the island were also discussed.

    Kasoulides said he pointed to the UN Chief that the issue of missing persons which is at a deadlock because of Turkish refusal to implement the July 31 agreement, (reached between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash)" and stressed that the agreement was linked to the work of a fact-finding committee on the missing persons.

    Asked on the prospects of a new round of talks between President Clerides and Rauf Denktash, on humanitarian issues, Kasoulides said "there has been no proposal so far for a new round of talks".

    He added, however, that "previous meetings foresaw a continuation of contacts so that further ways to conduct exhumations would be decided and for new information to be exchanged".

    Replying to a question on the progress in shuttle talks, Kasoulides said "we have not reached the conclusion that Dame Ann's process does not lead anywhere", pointing out that such a conclusion would be premature.

    Asked to comment on his meeting with Holbrooke, Kasoulides said he did not expect to receive any answers concerning US positions but pointed out the meeting was "very useful".

    "We discussed the combination of the various aspects of the Cyprus problem, including the issue of security," the Foreign Minister said, adding that the issue of a multinational force on the island in the framework of demilitarisation was also discussed.

    On his part the US Presidential Emissary refrained from giving any details concerning the meeting, stressing that it was "private".

    He pledged that the US will continue efforts for a Cyprus settlement, pointing out, however, that it is a very difficult problem and it is extremely difficult for progress to be made.

    Holbrooke welcomed the Cyprus government decision not to deploy the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the island, pointing out that it has created a more positive climate.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    Last night, the Cypriot Foreign Minister went to Washington to meet his US counterpart, Madeleine Albright.

    CNA MCH/GP/1999

    [02] Kurds - Hunger strike

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- Some 50 Kurds began today a hunger strike in Nicosia, peacefully demonstrating against the abduction of their leader Abdullah Ocalan by the Turkish authorities.

    The demonstrators temporarily living in Cyprus, spent the night outside the Greek Embassy building in the Cypriot capital, chanting slogans and demanding their leader's release.

    The Cyprus Police cordoned off the area with barbed-wire to prevent demonstrators from approaching the embassy.

    CNA AA/MCH/GP/1999

    [03] Cyprus - Young businessmen's meeting

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- A Junior Chamber in Europe Meeting opens here tomorrow with the participation of more than 80 young businessmen from 35 European countries.

    The opening ceremony of the three-day Meeting will be addressed by Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis, Junior Chamber International President, Yong Suk Choi, and President of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vassilis Rologis.

    Speaking to CNA, Michalis Nikolaou, Secretary of the Cyprus Junior Chamber, said contacts between the participants lead to business agreements and pointed out the importance of European delegates getting acquainted with Cyprus, in view of the island's course of accession to the European Union (EU).

    Nikolaou pointed out that many of the members of the different national Junior Chambers, could be future important economic and political figures.

    Assassinated US President John Kennedy was also a member of his country's Junior Chamber, Nikolaou, remarked.

    During their stay on this East Mediterranean island, the delegates will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and Commerce Minister Rolandis. They will also visit the cease-fire line in Nicosia.

    Cyprus along with Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia and the Czech Republic started substantive accession negotiations with the EU in November last year.

    CNA GG/MCH/GP/1999

    [04] Icons returned to Cyprus

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- Part of an icon stolen from the Antifonitis church in the Turkish occupied area of Kyrenia was returned to Cyprus today.

    Greek collector, Marianna Latsi, who lives in Paris, had purchased the icon without knowing where it had originated from.

    The icon shows the head of an angel and is part of the church's centre fresco depicting the second coming of Christ.

    Cyprus' Honourary Consul to the Hague and Representative of the Church of Cyprus for Stolen Arts, Tasoula Hadjitofi, brought the icon back to Cyprus today.

    Speaking on her arrival at Larnaca Airport, Hadjitofi said that when Latsi was informed that the icon was part of a fresco stolen from a church in the Turkish occupied areas, she promised if that was true to return it to Cyprus immediately.

    On receiving proof, Latsi expressed regret that she did not possess the other parts of the fresco, in order to return them to Cyprus.

    Latsi's collection came to the light during the recent trial of a Dutch couple, who had tried to sell four icons stolen from the same church.

    The Rotterdam District Court accepted that the four icons came from the Antifonitis church, but ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove they had not been purchased in good faith.

    Asked about the four Rotterdam icons, Hadjitofi said the case was not lost, and that the Church of Cyprus had many options.

    She said that if new evidence came to light, the Court ruling could be overthrown.

    Since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the island's northern third, many churches have been looted and artifacts of inestimable value have been sold abroad.

    The destruction and selling of the cultural heritage of the island has featured largely in UN reports over the years.

    CNA MAN/RG/MCH/1999

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