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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-08-21

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] US President - Cyprus problem
  • [02] US officials - Cyprus question
  • [03] Cyprus - Turkey - Earthquake

  • 1020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US President - Cyprus problem

    Washington, Aug 21 (CNA) -- US President Bill Clinton said that his administration would continue to promote a solution to the Cyprus problem, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    In his bi-monthly report to Congress on the Cyprus problem, Clinton recalled that during the NATO Washington Summit he "met with Turkish President (Suleiman) Demirel and Greek Prime Minister (Costas) Simitis to underscore the importance of a just and lasting solution for all Cypriots."

    He said that Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, conveyed a similar message during talks with her counterparts of Greece and Turkey on the possibility of a resumption of the Cyprus peace talks in the fall.

    Clinton pointed out that the US would continue efforts to promote "a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation".

    Efforts to settle the Cyprus problem have stalled after preconditions set by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the recognition of the illegal regime unilaterally established in the areas of the island occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    He is also demanding that the peace negotiations aim at establishing a "confederation of two states", contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The UN, the Cyprus government and all key players in the peace effort have rejected his demand.

    CNA DA/RG/MA/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1055: CYPPRESS:02

    [02] US officials - Cyprus question

    Washington, Aug 21 (CNA) -- US Congressmen and Senators recently sent letters to Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, and Defence Secretary, William Cohen, requesting that pressure be put on Turkey to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In their letter to Cohen, eleven members of the Senate Armed Forces Committee emphasise their "strong support for the administration increasing its efforts, particularly with the Turkish military, to achieve an overall military and political settlement regarding the situation in Cyprus".

    They said that "given the unity within NATO in the aftermath of the air campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, this would be an opportune moment to intensify US diplomacy in concert with our European allies to achieve a just and lasting peace" in Cyprus.

    The Senators added that "as the cooperation of Turkey's government and military is necessary for a solution to this issue, we request that you urge the Turkish military to work with officials of the Turkish government to bring about a swift and equitable resolution to this decades-old issue".

    They "recommend that as the (US) administration presses forward with peace efforts in the Balkans, an equally sustained and focused plan be implemented to break the stalemate over Cyprus".

    "Doing so would increase stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and would benefit all the respective parties involved, including US interests in the region", they said.

    Meanwhile, Chairman of the Congress Committee on International Relations, Benjamin Gilman, and Committee Member Sam Geidenson, sent a letter to Albright, Cohen, and the National Security Council.

    Gilman and Geidenson request the assessment of the benefits of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem to US interests.

    In their letter, they said that "stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region, the security of Israel, and Turkey's relationship with the United States and Europe should be the focus of your assessment".

    "It would be helpful if the assessment addressed the problems we have experienced, and opportunities that may have been missed because of a lack of a settlement for Cyprus, as well as the positive benefits that may accrue of a settlement can be achieved", they added.

    They requested a reply as soon as possible, "in the light of the brief time left before the new initiative of Cyprus is underway".

    A new effort to break the deadlock in the Cyprus peace process is expected to be launched soon.

    Negotiations have not been held for the past two years, following a precondition put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the recognition of the illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    He is also demanding talks aiming at the establishment of a "confederation of two states", contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    CNA DA/RG/MA/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1230:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus - Turkey - Earthquake

    Nicosia, Aug 21 (CNA) -- Two doctors and a nurse from Cyprus arrived yesterday afternoon in Constantinople, Turkey, to assist in rescue efforts underway following Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

    Neofytos Xenofontos, of the Cyprus branch of Doctors of the World, told CNA the delegation flew to Turkey on a Greek transport plane carrying medical and other aid to the quake stricken areas.

    A second mission will arrive in Turkey later on, to replace the Cypriot delegation.

    The fact that Greek Cypriot and Greeks are trying to help tackle the consequences from the earthquake was welcomed by Turkish Cypriot and Turkish newspapers.

    Turkish Cypriot newspaper "Avrupa" today pointed to the fact that Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, which are considered "enemy countries", rushed to offer help to Turkey, while amiable Islamic countries did not even bat an eyelid.

    Turkish newspaper "Hurriet" journalist, Emir Kolasan, thanked the Greek Cypriot doctors and nurse for their help.

    "We consider it to be a humanitarian debt to thank the doctors from the Greek Cypriot sector of Cyprus", he wrote today.

    He says the Greek Cypriots have proven that "we must not confuse politics with humanitarianism", adding that the same applies to Greece.

    Turkey occupies 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory since it invaded the island in 1974 and continues to maintain a large military presence despite UN resolutions calling for its withdrawal.

    Despite this fact, the Cyprus Red Cross has donated the symbolic sum of two thousand Cyprus pounds (one Cyprus pound trades at 1.8 US dollars) to the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Societies in Geneva to be used for relief efforts.

    At the same time, "Astra" radio station is carrying out a campaign to collect money while accounts have been opened in three banks.

    Meanwhile, "Hurriet" Turkish newspaper stringer in Athens, Nur Badur, wrote a newspiece under the title "Thank you friend", saying that Greeks have given up their holidays to work voluntarily in quake stricken areas.

    CNA RG/MA/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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