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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-02-24

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

Tuesday, 24/02/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus congratulates UN Secretary General on agreement with Iraq
  • [02] Turkey continues systematic plundering of cultural heritage in occupied areas
  • [03] Robin Cook to meet Clerides and Denktash
  • [04] Sir David Hannay on Cyprus visit
  • [05] Kranidiotis arrives in Cyprus for contacts


[01] Cyprus congratulates UN Secretary General on agreement with Iraq

The Cyprus government congratulated yesterday the UN Secretary-General on the agreement he signed in Iraq. This "constitutes an invaluable contribution to peace and is an example and proof of what the UN can achieve when they have the necessary power at their disposal," Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said.

The government has also recognised the contribution of the US and their allies in concluding the agreement.

"The Republic of Cyprus would like to hope that in its case as well the UN will have the necessary decisive backing from the member-states to implement the resolutions on Cyprus," Mr Christofides added.

[02] Turkey continues systematic plundering of cultural heritage in occupied areas

"It is sometimes claimed by the occupying Power, in order to justify its unlawful policies, that historic buildings can be given new functions related to the needs of contemporary life. One wonders whether turning a church into a sheep pen is "a new function given to historic buildings"."

The above is stated in a letter of protest to the UN Secretary General by Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos.

What is happening to the religious and cultural properties in the occupied area of Cyprus is a direct violation of international law, Ambassador Zackheos says, citing specific recent examples of such grave violations.

"What we are witnessing is an officially sponsored, systematic and well- executed plan by Turkey to destroy by any ways and means the basic tenets of the civilization of Cyprus in an effort to distort history, alter the demographic character of the island and pursue a policy of division of the island", is added in the letter which yesterday circulated as a UN document.

"It is time to stop holding Cyprus and its people hostage to the past, and to start looking towards a common future of prosperity, democracy and enjoyment of human rights, including cultural rights, for all Cypriots without discrimination", the Cyprus Ambassador stresses in his letter.

[03] Robin Cook to meet Clerides and Denktash

The president of the European Council, British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook will meet Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, in a last attempt to bring Turkish Cypriots to the EU - Cyprus negotiating table.

Cook made this statement after yesterday's meeting of the EU Council of Ministers in Brussels, where the 15 member states were also briefed on the result of last week's presidential elections in Cyprus.

The British Foreign Secretary will meet President Clerides on March 12 on the sidelines of the EU Conference in London. A date has not yet been set for the meeting with Denktash, although it is thought that it will take place before accession negotiations start at the end of March.

Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister, George Papandreou, reiterated in Brussels yesterday the Cyprus government's position that the Turkish Cypriots should be represented in the negotiations, adding that it was up to the Turkish Cypriots to respond to President Clerides' invitation..

It was also confirmed by the EU Council yesterday that the accession process will be launched on March 30 and 31 in Brussels.

[04] Sir David Hannay on Cyprus visit

Britain's representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay will be on the island at the end of this week for meetings on Cyprus' upcoming European Union accession talks and on an attempt to pave the way for the restarting of negotiations between the two sides.

The discussions regarding EU accession are expected to focus on the question of Turkish Cypriot participation in the negotiations.

Sir David, who arrives on Thursday, will be received by President Clerides on Friday morning, but Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, has turned down a request for a meeting.

Britain has already expressed its displeasure with Denktash's position and called for the "Turkish Cypriots to have a real say in the accession talks", calling also on Denktash to take advantage of the "opportunity" on offer to him.

While in Cyprus, Sir David will hold meetings with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, former President George Vassiliou who is to head up the EU negotiating team and leaders and representatives of Turkish Cypriot political parties.

Moreover, the British representative will meet with UN ,US and EU officials on the island. Before leaving on Friday he will give a press conference at the Ledra Palace hotel in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia.

Meanwhile, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides clarified yesterday that any proposal to bring Turkish Cypriots into EU accession talks must abide by UN resolutions prohibiting direct or indirect recognition of the pseudostate.

[05] Kranidiotis arrives in Cyprus for contacts

Greek Foreign Under-secretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis, arrives in Cyprus tonight, on a six-day visit to discuss President Glafcos Clerides' visit to Athens on March 10.

Kranidiotis will discuss the President's forthcoming visit, as well as matters regarding Cyprus' accession course to the European Union and the participation of Turkish Cypriots in membership talks.

Kranidiotis will be received by President Clerides tomorrow morning and he will also have meetings with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and House President Spyros Kyprianou.

Moreover, he will meet political party leaders, Archbishop Chrysostomos and the commander of the National Guard.

Mr Kranidiotis will have talks with Britain's representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, who will be visiting the island, US ambassador Kenneth Brill and others.


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


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