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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-08-15

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Pilgrimage - Occupied monastery
  • [02] President - Famagusta - Anti-occupation rally
  • [03] Cyprus - Buckingham Palace

  • 1425:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Pilgrimage - Occupied monastery

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Some 1,000 Greek Cypriots including many children, with mixed emotions, crossed today into the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus to visit the monastery of Ayios Andreas for the day.

    "I feel happy and sad at the same time. Happy that I can go to the monastery but sad because of the circumstances under which this trip is taking place," a young girl told CNA today before she boarded one of the buses that took the 963 pilgrims to the most eastern tip of the Karpass peninsula.

    An elderly man said "the last time I went to the monastery was 30 years ago. I am delighted I am going back."

    A young mother, holding her five year old sick child, said she is going there to pray for the health of her daughter.

    The convoy of about 25 buses is accompanied by UN vehicles to facilitate passage through the UN controlled buffer zone, a UN spokeswoman has said.

    She said it is normal practice to provide this type of assistance on such visits.

    Pilgrims, some carrying church candles, gathered early this morning near the Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia and police helped them board the buses which would take them on the three hour long trip to the monastery for a church service (today marks Assumption day, a very important day in the religious calendar).

    Among the pilgrims the priest of Kokinotremithia church Papastavros Christodoulou.

    In the past few years there have been several visits by Greek Cypriots to the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus on special religious days, such as Easter Sunday or Assumption day.

    Similar trips were also arranged for Turkish Cypriots over the past few years to visit places of worship in the government controlled areas of the Republic.

    CNA MM/1999

    [02] President - Famagusta - Anti-occupation rally

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has stressed that the Greek Cypriot side will not capitulate to the Turkish occupation forces, controlling the island's northern part since they invaded in 1974.

    He also said Cyprus is ready for a just and viable solution through peaceful means and called on the international community to show "appropriate understanding" because no solution outside the UN framework will be accepted.

    The President thanked all those who support Cyprus' just cause for freedom and justice and back efforts to find a lasting settlement of the protracted Cyprus question.

    The President remarks come at a time of intense interest in Cyprus and in anticipation of UN sponsored talks to try and make headway towards a settlement, in spite of Turkish Cypriot demands for recognition of the self- styled regime in occupied Cyprus.

    "We are at a time when there is concentrated international interest in a solution in Cyprus. If the Turkish side does not shift from its intransigent positions, then we have to draw courage from our history and continue our fight for the freedom of our homeland," President Clerides told an anti-occupation rally last night, staged to mark the start of Turkey's second offensive against Cyprus.

    The President, addressing hundreds of refugees from the district of Famagusta, pledged that "we shall not bow to the occupation forces but we are ready to work for a peaceful solution."

    "Let the powerful nations who have an interest in a Cyprus settlement know that the solution we are seeking must be within the framework of the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council," he said.

    Cyprus, he added, expects from them to "show the appropriate understanding because we shall not accept solutions beyond those described and outlined in the UN resolutions."

    "We are convinced that through this course of action we can find that solution which will lead to the reunification of our island and the cooperation of its citizens, irrespective of their ethnic origin," he added.

    In his message to the rally, the primate of the church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos said he would pray that God may help free Cyprus and reunite the island.

    Famagusta mayor Andreas Pouyiouros said the illegal Turkish occupation will not be accepted and added "we hope and we fight because we believe in human values and ideals."

    At the end of the rally, a delegation from Famagusta district municipalities handed a petition to the UN calling for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and the return of the town of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants.

    CNA MM/1999

    [03] Cyprus - Buckingham Palace

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The government of Cyprus has not received any information concerning the presence of a ship with Prince Charles on board anywhere near Cyprus, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andreas Pirishis told CNA today.

    He also said the government is looking into the information published in a British tabloid (Mail on Sunday) alleging that people on board a boat threatened the Prince with a harpoon gun in the vicinity of Cyprus.

    A spokesman for Buckingham Palace confirmed to CNA that "the occupants of a boat in the Mediterranean sea approached and tried to speak to two members of the royal family who were nearby and police protection spoke to them and they moved away."

    "Neither the British High Commission, nor the British Bases on the island have notified us about any such incident," Pirishis said, adding that the Republic's High Commission in London has not had any information to that effect either.

    In spite of the fact that the information does not appear to be too serious, the government will look into them, he said.

    Bases spokesman Rob Need said "we have heard nothing officially about any incident."

    The Buckingham Palace spokesman was not in a position to identify the exact location where the incident took place as details are "fairly sketchy".

    The spokesman did not appear to adopt what the paper said about the location of the boat but acknowledged that he could not actually confirm such details.

    He said however that the occupants of the boat that approached the royals were kept by police protection at a "sensible distance."

    He said some of the article "is fairly accurate, some is probably completely inaccurate."

    The spokesman could not confirm if a harpoon gun was waved at the royals (as the article alleges) and said it would be "unwise" to try to make the incident more serious than it really was.

    Asked if the members of the royal family were disturbed by the incident, he said "I should not think so" and added that both in Britain and abroad people shout during royal engagements.

    CNA MK/MM/1999
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