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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-02-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Minister - US trip - Cyprus problem
  • [02] Foreign Minister - Ocalan

  • 1630:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Foreign Minister - US trip - Cyprus problem

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side would respond positively to an invitation to talks by the UN Secretary General, if these were to be held on the basis of UN resolutions on Cyprus, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, has indicated.

    The minister, who returned Saturday from a two week visit to the US, said he asked for more effective American moves in the direction of Turkey to break the current deadlock and noted that any diplomatic activity would be seen after April's elections in Turkey.

    "If there is an invitation from the UN Secretary General for talks on the basis of the UN resolutions in the form we have always held discussions in, we stand firm on our policy on the matter," he said, adding that no such invitation has been formally put forward.

    He also noted that "the objective of diplomatic activity will be the resumption of the intercommunal dialogue on the basis of UN resolutions on Cyprus."

    He said there was some talk about a possible attempt to invite (the two sides) for talks but this was not a formal invitation to the two sides.

    "If this were to happen, it would be after the elections in Turkey," he said.

    Kasoulides said during his meetings with US administration officials he advocated a "more decisive support by the US of efforts to settle the Cyprus question and asked that the US policy should not be discouraged by Turkey's intransigence and negative positions and must proceed with more pressing moves in the direction of Turkey."

    The minister said he indicated to the US that it could adopt a more firm condemnation of Turkey for the current impasse in the Cyprus peace effort, a clearer condemnation of Turkey because the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime hampers bicommunal contacts and a more firm stand on issues such as the case against Turkey, brought to the European Court of Human Rights by a Greek Cypriot which ruled that Turkey violates her human rights and is responsible for what happens in the occupied part of the island.

    He said President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for demilitarisation was also put forward in conjunction with his idea for the deployment of a multinational force with a mandate from the Security Council, which could, either before a solution or within the context of a solution, create the appropriate climate leading to a successful outcome of negotiations.

    Replying to questions, Kasoulides said the demilitarisation proposal seems to be seen in a favourable light in the US at a time when the US backs the dispatch of an international peace force in Kosovo.

    The minister said he pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot leader cannot get anything in exchange for his return to the negotiating table and stressed that the Cyprus government will not accept any kind of acknowledgement of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, in the sense of recognition of the existence of this entity without any formal recognition by states.

    "I do not wish to create any wrong impressions among the people of Cyprus about the outcome of US efforts to achieve a settlement and my understanding is that diplomatic activity would be more evident after the Turkish elections (in April)," he said.

    In his remarks to the press, Kasoulides said some US Congressmen have undertaken to push for a special resolution and debate particularly at the US Senate on the human rights of the enclaved, which Turkey's occupation troops in the northern part of the island abuse.

    He said he sensed a US tendency to back Cyprus' bid to become a member of the European Union, without linking this attempt to the peace effort.

    Kasoulides said at his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, he reiterated Cyprus' support for his good offices mission and asked him to continue his effort to implement the recent Security Council resolutions which call for a reduction of tension and arms and the resumption of negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    Annan said his mission falls within the framework of these resolutions and he would work towards their implementation.

    Kasoulides asked the UN chief to ensure that an agreement reached between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in July 1997 on the issue of missing persons must be implemented. The agreement calls for the exchange of information on the location of graves and the return of remains of those proven to be dead to their relatives.

    "We also asked Annan to look into the suggestions of his predecessor on the issue of enclaved Greek Cypriots living in Turkish occupied Cyprus on the basis of the Vienna III agreement (which provides for fundamental human rights and normal living conditions of the enclaved)," he said.

    CNA MM/AA/1999

    [02] Foreign Minister - Ocalan

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has stressed that neither the government nor the Republic of Cyprus have anything to do with the alleged Cypriot passport Turkey claims to have found in the possession of the Kurdish leader, Abdullah Ocalan.

    The minister also told a press conference today that Cyprus will not fall in the trap Turkey is laying out, exploiting the Ocalan case, to disguise its totally negative stand on efforts to settle the Cyprus question.

    Kasoulides, who returned from a two week trip to the US on Saturday, expressed regret at comments by Ocalan's secretary that Greece had betrayed the PKK leader and handed him over to Turkey and appeared somewhat critical of actions by individuals which, unwittingly, may lead a country into difficulties.

    "Turkey knows very well that Cyprus was not involved at all in the case of the Kurdish people to claim their rights. Cyprus sympathises with the struggle of the Kurdish people to claim their freedom, human rights and cultural identity, in the way the people of Kosovo are entitled to these rights as this is the same issue," he told the press.

    However, he pointed out that Cyprus has its own difficult struggle to wage for freedom and "it cannot and is not in a position to wage other peoples' struggle."

    Replying to questions, he said a Cypriot passport, held by a Cypriot citizen, must not be given to anybody else.

    "The passport, according to the law, belongs to the state and is given to a specific citizen to use as means of identity in other countries," he stressed.

    Asked to comment on the so-called Cypriot passport, allegedly found in Ocalan's possession, the minister said "the Republic of Cyprus and its government has nothing to do with the alleged passport which appeared and which falsely and in totally distorted manner Turkish premier Bulent Ecevit has tried to present it as a diplomatic passport."

    Turkey's propaganda has found in the case of Ocalan an opportunity it was seeking to justify its totally negative stand and hostile disposition against Cyprus and Greece, he said.

    "I believe it would be wrong if we were to try and fall victims of Turkey's propaganda which wants to justify its negative stand by putting forward false claims and various things which, as things stand, it can put in the mouth of Ocalan, held in isolation without the application of fundamental human rights, as expected in similar cases," Kasoulides explained.

    Commenting on claims by Ocalan's secretary that there was a sell out by Greece which handed over the PKK leader to Turkey, the minister said "I do not believe that there was any possibility that any Greek politician, present or former, wilfully intended to lead matters in such a way that would allow Ocalan to fall into the hands of the Turks."

    He refrained from commenting on the way the Greek government has handled the whole affair but pointed out that Europe would not assume its responsibilities on this matter and Greece was left alone to deal with the case.

    "This was a wrong approach of the issue," he added. Replying to questions, he said the Cyprus issue is at a very sensitive phase and history should teach us that any action must not be taken by initiatives of individuals but must be discussed and decided by the democratically elected and responsible leadership of the country.

    "Many times, in good faith, people may act or take some initiatives which could tow the entire country to something which is not desirable," Kasoulides added.

    He backed yesterday's statement by Greece's Government Spokesman Demetris Reppas who said Greece will not tolerate the anti-Greek hysteria of Ocalan's secretary who adopted the most obscene Turkish propaganda.

    She (secretary) claimed on Saturday that Greece had handed the PKK leader to Turkey and called for a change of government in Greece.

    Reppas called on foreign citizens residing in Greece to respect their host country and stop claiming a role which belongs only to the sovereign people of Greece.

    "I have to admit that as a Greek Cypriot, I was upset by the statements this lady has made," Kasoulides said.

    CNA MM/AA/1999
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