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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-08-22

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Minister - Overseas Cypriots
  • [02] World Congress - Overseas Cypriots

  • 2250:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Foreign Minister - Overseas Cypriots

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said tonight that "it is obvious now that the international community wishes and wants to see the Cyprus problem solved as soon as possible", adding that one should show restraint in one's expectations, given Turkey's intransigence.

    Opening the 11th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots, on behalf of President Glafcos Clerides, Kasoulides said that European Union members are also in a state of urgency for a settlement, "because the problem is European, and concerns them directly".

    He said that overseas Cypriots are urged at this period in time to "intensify" their efforts worldwide, to promote the "need for a solution of the Cyprus problem and the unification of the island", divided since Turkish troops invaded in 1974.

    Kasoulides added that the international community is aware of the fact that "the Turkish side, as far as rhetorics are concerned, shows no intention of solving the problem."

    He also referred to Turkish attempts to set preconditions for the resumption of stalled peace talks, adding that the Greek Cypriot side "has never set preconditions and does not intend to do so now".

    "The international community should know that any attempt to satisfy even some of the preconditions the Turkish Cypriot leader sets out would be a huge mistake, apart from the fact that it would be illegal and unjust," he pointed out.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash demands international recognition of his self-styled regime in occupied Cyprus and calls for state to state talks.

    The Foreign Minister added that the Greek Cypriot side would decide on how to reply to the anticipated invitation by the UN chief for talks, which will outline the form and the method of the proposed negotiations.

    Referring to world developments, Kasoulides said after the Kosovo crisis, the international community cannot invest so much to consolidate peace and security in the Balkans and work for a settlement in the Middle East but leave "a black hole in this same region."

    He said the people of Cyprus should be reserved in their expectations, if the positions of the Turkish side remain intransigent.

    He also stressed the need for unity, and made special reference to Greece's assistance to Cyprus regarding the joint defence pact and the island's EU accession course.

    Kasoulides said that "overseas Cypriots are expected, as always, to undertake action and promote these messages everywhere, over the next few months", in view of fresh moves to help solve the Cyprus problem.

    He said that Cyprus is "proud" of its overseas community, which has kept alive, all these years, "traditions and customs, and the national, religious and cultural heritage, as well as its ties and love for Cyprus".

    CNA RG/MM/1999

    [02] World Congress - Overseas Cypriots

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- The 11th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots opened here tonight amid calls for increased vigilance and intensified efforts to avert any unwanted development or imposition of an unjust solution at a time many described as "the most crucial" in the Cyprus peace effort.

    The opening ceremony heard pledges to continue the struggle for freedom for Cyprus from leaders of the Cypriot communities abroad, Cypriot party leaders, the President of the House of Representatives, the Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos and Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos called on overseas Cypriots to maintain their religious and cultural heritage and resist the temptation to be fully assimilated in the countries they reside.

    He said the people of Cyprus are waging a war for their national survival and demanded the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops and illegal settlers from the island's occupied areas.

    "Our only strength is our insistence and persistence for the implementation of the rule of law and the principles of law and order and human rights," he said, reiterating his opposition to a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    House President Spyros Kyprianou said Cyprus is going through the most crucial phase in its history and stressed the need for "unity of purpose, goals and planning."

    "We shall be faced with a terrible dilemma: either sign for a geographical and ethnic division or continue our struggle," he warned, noting that the Turkish side is unlikely to shift away from its intransigent positions.

    Expressing virtually no faith in pledges given by world leaders to Cyprus, he cautioned against adverse developments and stressed that nobody has the right to tell Cypriots to sign up to unacceptable solutions.

    Greek Deputy FM Gregoris Niotis referred to the "unprecedented" cooperation between Athens and Nicosia, noting that the Cyprus question is "the top national priority" for Greece.

    He said Cyprus' bid to join the European Union as a full member is also a very important strategic goal and added that having learned from past mistakes, Greece and Cyprus are boosting their defence cooperation in the context of a joint defence pact.

    Manolis Christofides, Presidential Commissioner for overseas Cypriots, extended warm thanks to all overseas Cypriots for their invaluable contribution in keeping the problem of Cyprus alive and promoting efforts for a just and viable solution.

    He called for an enhanced service for overseas Cypriots and proposed to set up a parliamentary committee to deal with matters relating to overseas Cypriots.

    Haris Sofoclides, president of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots, conveyed a message of hope and support to Cyprus and said he backed efforts by the government to resolve the Cyprus question.

    Philip Christopher, President of the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus said there is an obligation to many, but most to the generations to come, to continue working for a just settlement.

    "We have the right to be disappointed but as long as we live, there is hope and we shall continue to struggle for freedom," he said.

    Andrew Athens, president of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad, said "today we are at a crossroads in our struggle as the political climate in Europe has shifted against ethnic cleansing."

    Noting that the US is perhaps the only power to be in a position to exert some pressure on Turkey, he vouched that he will continue "unceasingly to press on with the US administration" for a just settlement.

    "We have a window of opportunity now before the election campaign moves into high gear," he added.

    Delegates from all corners of the globe (US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, Europe) will begin their deliberations Monday morning and conclude on Thursday.

    They will report on their activities, get briefed about the latest developments in Cyprus and discuss ways and means to improve coordination and cooperation worldwide.


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