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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-08-24

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Doctors of the World - Cyprus - Turkey
  • [02] Cabinet reshuffle
  • [03] President Clerides - US Congressmen
  • [04] British deputy - DISY
  • [05] Cyprus - China - Civil Aviation

  • 1455:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Doctors of the World - Cyprus - Turkey

    Nicosia, Aug 24 (CNA) -- A three-member Cypriot medical team which went to Turkey to help victims of the earthquake that struck the country last week returned home telling everybody they were greeted warmly.

    "Thank you my brother," the Turkish driver who ferried them around told them as he bid the team farewell, a press conference heard here today from the team, members of the Cyprus branch of the non-governmental organisation Doctors of the World.

    Nicolas Panayiotou, a Cypriot doctor living and working in France, said "people were kind and polite to us".

    He said Turkey's ambassador to Greece offered the Cypriot team (comprising two doctors and one nurse) free tickets to Constantinople (Istanbul) with the Turkish Airlines but they decided to fly to Turkey last Friday on a Greek C-130 to get there earlier.

    The doctors said they would be ready to go back, if needed, and said the organisation will send medicine to Turkey for the victims.

    They also said that many people were surprised with the fact that a Cypriot delegation went to offer aid, despite the fact that Turkey continues to occupy 37 per cent of their island since invading Cyprus in 1974.

    Nurse Savas Papademetriou said the team was accepted warmly and added "the important thing is that we were there and part of the whole effort and no different from any other medical team."

    He said the three members of the Cypriot team registered as all rescue teams did with Crisis Centres and visited hospitals in the countryside.

    The members of the delegation explained that when disasters of such magnitude occur ordinary doctors can not do much.

    "People needed surgeons more than doctors qualified in other fields of medicine and from a medical point of view we offered little to the victims of the earthquake," he said.

    Panayiotou explained that this is the reason why the team left Turkey, with the consent of the Turkish government, as many others did.

    Practising doctor Argyris Andreou said they were warmly greeted and recounted the farewell story with their Turkish driver.

    "When we were saying goodbye to our driver he embraced us warmly and said thank you my brother," he said.

    The doctors fended off criticism that, being holders of foreign as well as Cypriot passports, they more or less relinquished their Cypriot identity to get to Turkey.

    "We used the method that would get us there quicker. Nobody can question our identity," said Eleni Theocharous, vice president of the Cyprus branch, who has taken part in numerous such missions to war ravaged regions of the world.

    CNA MM/MA/1999

    [02] Cabinet reshuffle

    Nicosia, Aug 24 (CNA) -- Three new members of the cabinet and a new government spokesman will take up their posts tomorrow.

    According to CNA sources the new Defence Minister is Socrates Hasikos, deputy for the ruling Democratic Rally party (DISY) in the district Kyrenia, who replaces Yiannakis Chrysostomis.

    The Health Ministry goes to Frixos Savides who replaces Christos Solomis, while Averof Neophytou, also DISY deputy in Paphos district, takes over at the Ministry of Communications and Works.

    Neophytou replaces Leontios Ierodiakonou who resigned recently to work for an overseas academic organisation.

    The new Government Spokesman is Michalis Papapetrou, deputy vice- president of the United Deomcrats party that participates in the government.

    He replaces Costas Serezis, who resigned yesterday, after being in office for only five months.

    A cabinet meeting is scheduled for tomorrow after the four new members of the government assume their duties.

    CNA MM/EC/1999

    [03] President Clerides - US Congressmen

    Nicosia, Aug 24 (CNA) -- Two US Congressmen have called on Turkey to abide by the rule of law and international law and order, if it wants to be part of the international community.

    They referred to "opportunities" that exist in trying to reach a settlement in Cyprus and said in the case of Cyprus they seek the very same goals the US has sought in Kosovo.

    Robert Menendez and Lincoln Diaz-Balart said the intransigence displayed by Ankara and its puppet regime in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus is unacceptable to the US Congress.

    Speaking after a meeting here today with President Glafcos Clerides, Menendez said a call by the G8 for sustained peace negotiations, the UN's work and the upcoming European Union meeting in Helsinki "are all different avenues that provide an opportunity for a confluence of pressures to be generated that would hopefully move us forward."

    Noting that 25 years of invasion and occupation is just too much, he said this is the time to remind the Turkish government that if it wants to be part of the international community, it should respect the rule of law.

    Ankara, he pointed out, must behave in ways in which the international community will respect and that means respect for human rights, democracy and international rule of law.

    "In the case of Cyprus we have a violation of both human rights, international rule of law by Turkey that has existed for a quarter of a century and it is in moments such as these that I hope Turkey realises that you must act in ways in which you want to be accepted by the international community," he added.

    Menendez said an effort is being made "to bring an end to the division and occupation of Cyprus, seek a reunited government, a federation deriving its powers from the central government and ultimately in many ways try to seek the very same goals that the US sought in Kosovo, where there are so many similarities."

    In his remarks, Balart said that in the US Congress there is a growing realisation that "the intransigence being manifested by Ankara and the (regime in the) occupied part of Cyprus is unacceptable."

    Turkish intransigence, he explained, appears even more unacceptable at a time when the international community moves towards multilateral action to resolve problems of human rights and division in different parts of the world.

    "There is rather a growth of support for a just and long standing solution based on generally self-determination and unity for this island," he said.

    Replying to questions, Menendez said the new American ambassador in Nicosia "has very clear instructions directly from the President about what he wants to see in the rest of his term as president in terms of a Cyprus solution, which is very clearly to seek a solution."

    He announced his intention to circulate a letter to the US president signed by members of the House to tell him how important the upcoming meetings in Athens and Ankara are in terms of stressing the seriousness of the US government resolve to the Cyprus problem.

    CNA FZ/MM/EC/1999

    [04] British deputy - DISY

    Nicosia, Aug 24 (CNA) -- British Conservative MP Nick Hawkins has said it was important to press for the full implementation of the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and welcomed an increased US role in the Cyprus peace effort.

    "It is absolutely vital that we continue to ask questions about Cyprus to ensure that the bipartisan approach that all the major parties in the House of Commons towards helping with the Cyprus problem is continued," he told the press after a meeting with Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the ruling Democratic Rally party (DISY).

    The Conservatives, he said, "will continue to press for the full implementation of the Security Council resolutions on Cyprus."

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Noting that there is now scope for continuing the pressure, he said "it is very helpful that the US seem to be taking a much more proactive line now."

    Hawkins, in Cyprus to attend the 11th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots, said his party will continue developing further its ties with DISY.

    The British MP also met House President Spyros Kyprianou who informed him on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    CNA GG/MM/EC/1999

    [05] Cyprus - China - Civil Aviation

    Nicosia, Aug 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus and China appear ready to enhance cooperation in civil aviation matters and intend to discuss a draft agreement on air links early next year.

    The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works Vasos Pyrgou and deputy minister of the Civil Aviation General Division of China Shen Yuankang met today in Beijing and discussed matters pertaining to bilateral cooperation.

    Both sides referred to the close and friendly relations between the two countries, the support China lends to Cyprus and vice versa and stressed their mutual wish to further develop ties in civil aviation matters.

    They also said the proposed air transport agreement will contribute to increased tourism, trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

    Pyrgos outlined the advantages Cyprus offers as a transit station between Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Gulf countries in air and sea transport.

    CNA MM/EC/1999
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