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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-02-12

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Thursday, 12/02/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus Socialists still to decide on endorsing a candidate for run-off elections
  • [02] United Democrats and Liberals to back Clerides for president
  • [03] US State Secretary refers to Cyprus in Senate Committee
  • [04] Looted Byzantine icons found in Germany


[01] Cyprus Socialists still to decide on endorsing a candidate for run-off elections

A marathon meeting of nation-wide socialist party Edek committees to decide on the party's stand in Sundays's (15.2.98) presidential run-off ran into the early hours of Thursday morning (12.2.98), with a vote on the matter postponed for Thursday evening.

Having secured a surprise 10.6 per cent of votes in the first round of elections, Socialist party Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides has been ardently wooed by both the Iacovou and Clerides camps.

Edek's decision is considered crucial in Sunday's race for the presidency, as the two main rivals are running neck and neck with only half a percentage point between them.

The Edek leader lost no time in laying down conditions for his party's support; chief among his demands was an all-party government, a specific policy dealing with the Cyprus problem and the creation of a strengthened national council handling such developments.

Both Iacovou and Clerides accepted these conditions on Tuesday (10.2.98) in return for Edek votes, leaving Edek members last night agonising over three possible decisions: supporting one of the two second-round contenders or inviting Edek voters to follow their consciences.

Reports from the Socialist party meeting have indicated that the most likely decision will be opting for a vote of conscience, which they call a "free vote".

[02] United Democrats and Liberals to back Clerides for president

Following a meeting of the executive Committee of the United Democrats, former president George Vassiliou's party, on Wednesday, 11.2.98, a decision was taken to support the candidacy of incumbent president Glafcos Clerides in next Sunday's (15.2.98) run-off election.

Mr Vassiliou, one of seven candidates, received 3% of the vote in the first round of the presidential elections.

Two smaller parties, the Liberals and the New Horizons, with nearly 2% of the vote between them, have already announced their decision to endorse Mr Clerides.

[03] US State Secretary refers to Cyprus in Senate Committee

"We are working hard to ease tensions in the Aegean and have put unprecedented effort into trying to achieve a Cyprus settlement".

This was stated by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on 10.2.98 when speaking to the Senate's Committee of Foreign Relations.

She also referred to American policy towards Turkey, saying:

"We strongly support the expansion of the European Union into central and eastern Europe, and Turkey's desire to be part of it".

[04] Looted Byzantine icons found in Germany

Nine more Byzantine icons stolen from churches in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus were found by German police in the possession of Greek art-dealer Seraphim Dritsoulas in Munich.

According to information given to the Cyprus police the icons were illegally sold by a Turkish art smuggler.

Aydin Dikmen, 60, a Turkish national living in Germany, was arrested last October, after Munich Police tracked down in his apartment 14 cases and packages containing works of art pillaged from the island's northern part, under Turkish occupation since 1974.

Both the Church and the government of Cyprus have repeatedly protested to the UN, UNESCO, the World Council of Churches and other international organisations about the looting and destruction of the island's 9.000-year- old cultural heritage in the Turkish-occupied areas.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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