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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-04-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Minister - Greece
  • [02] UNFICYP Commander - Extension
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot politicians - Settlement of Varosha

  • 0845:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Foreign Minister - Greece

    Larnaca, Apr 6 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides left this morning for Athens to have talks with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou.

    Kasoulides, who did not make any statements to the press before his departure, returns home later this evening.

    The Cyprus problem, the situation in Yugoslavia, Cyprus' accession process and bilateral issues are on the agenda of today's meeting in the Greek capital, which will also be attended by Greek Alternate Foreign Minister, Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    CNA MAN/MM/GP/1999

    [02] UNFICYP Commander - Extension

    Nicosia, Apr 6 (CNA) -- The Argentinian commander of the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Major-General Evergisto Arturo De Vergara, will stay on at his post until October this year.

    UNFICYP spokeswoman Sarah Russell confirmed to CNA today that De Vergara's term in office, that expired in mid-February, has been extended.

    She said that UN Headquarters in New York are handling the issue of his replacement.

    According to CNA sources, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is refusing to accept the appointment of an UNFICYP commander who comes from an European Union member state.

    Diplomatic sources consider Denktash's reaction as part of his refusal to deal with anyone who has any relationship with the EU as he is strongly opposed to the Cyprus Republic's bid to join the Union.

    For the past two years the Turkish Cypriot leader has been refusing to meet with EU envoys visiting the island and prevented Turkish Cypriots from participating in most bicommunal events in reaction to the start of Cyprus' accession talks with the EU.

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

    Some 1.200 peacekeepers control the 180-kilometre long buffer zone across this eastern Mediterranean island.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [03] Turkish Cypriot politicians - Settlement of Varosha

    Nicosia, Apr 6 (CNA) -- Two Turkish Cypriot political party leaders have strongly criticised threats by their community leader Rauf Denktash that he will bring Albanian refugees from Kosovo to illegally settle in the Turkish-occupied town of Varosha (Famagusta).

    On its part the UN confirmed its adherence to Security Council resolution 550 of May 1984 which "considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible."

    "We stick by the (UN) principles regarding Varosha, that it should be settled by the people who were there before, so there shouldn't be any new settlement," spokeswoman for the UN peace-keeping in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Sarah Russell told CNA today.

    Russell added that UNFICYP is monitoring the situation from its observation posts in the region "as that is what we are there for."

    The eastern coastal town of Famagusta, once a thriving tourist resort, has become an abandoned "ghost town" since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    On Saturday the Turkish Cypriot press reported that Denktash repeated his threats to illegally settle hotels in Varosha, in the new part of Famagusta town, with refugees from Kosovo.

    Turkish Cypriot Communal Liberation Party leader Mustafa Akinci described Denktash's threats as "a show" and said they are "inapplicable", according to reports carried in the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    "We will not solve the Kosovo refugee problem with the operation of some hotels in Varosha," he said, adding that "if Varosha is opened we will face new problems".

    He reminded that the Turkish Cypriot leader had made similar threats in the past.

    Yesterday, leader of the Republican Turkish Party Mehmet Ali Talat said that this issue is part of the Cyprus problem and any change in the status of Varosha will damage relations between the two communities and also between Greece and Turkey.

    "Denktash's claims that he wants to offer humanitarian aid (to the refugees) do not stand, he simply wants to carry out his intentions," Talat remarked.

    He said it will take months to repair hotels in Varosha so that they become habitable, while the Kosovo Albanians need immediate help.

    CNA MA/GP/1999
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