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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-12-19
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>
December 19 1999
 Tree of remembranceA CHRISTMAS tree hung with 1,617 yellow ribbons and dedicated to the Greek Cypriots and Greeks missing since Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus in 1974 now stands at the Ledra Palace checkpoint of the Green Line in Nicosia.
The yellow ribbon has become an international symbol of remembrance of people who are being held hostage or are otherwise missing. The ribbon- bedecked tree symbolises Cyprus’ hopes that the fate of those missing in the invasion will soon be established.
Relatives of the missing persons, members of the Cyprus Anti-occupation Movement, refugee associations and students tied the ribbons onto the tree. Each ribbon bears the name of a missing person.
December 19 1999
 Lucky thirteenth?OWNERS of small shops are hoping that Christmas shoppers will splash out their 13th-month salaries in a last-minute spending spree this week to make up for slow sales so far, Povek General-secretary Melios Georgiou said yesterday.
Factors as disparate as the weather and the lure of large department stores and mega-markets have all had an effect on sales, Georgiou said. But the man who heads the Pancyprian Union of Shop Owners said there was one major, basic cause for the sales slump: "There are too many (small) shops for the capacity of Cyprus. This is the most important thing," he said.
Georgiou conceded that department stores, with their expensive, shiny decors and professionally designed displays, draw customers away from his organisation’s smaller shops. And he acknowledged the big stores’ advantage as places where "people can find everything they need". Smaller shops may be well stocked in their speciality merchandise, but they cannot carry the sheer variety of items that the big stores can.
Georgiou said it was too early to draw any conclusions about whether this Christmas shopping season was poorer than previous years, and if so, by what percentage year on year. "The small shop keepers are anxiously waiting for this week’s "rush" – and the effect of those 13th salaries.
December 19 1999
 Passports move for NicosiaNICOSIA residents wanting Cypriot passports will from January 1 follow other towns in getting their documents from their District Administration office. Currently, Cypriots in the capital can only obtain passports from the Interior Ministry’s Migration Department.
According to a government statement announcing the change, however, travel passes, replacements for lost passports, passports for Turkish Cypriots and passports for Cypriots living overseas still have to be obtained directly from the Migration Department.
December 19 1999
 Unficyp addendum an unpleasant development, says ex-minister IacovouBy Athena Karsera
WHILE the United Nations has stated that an addendum to the Secretary- general’s report on Unficyp did not signify a change in UN policy on Cyprus, former Foreign Minister and presidential candidate George Iacovou yesterday described it as an "unpleasant development".
The addendum to Kofi Annan’s report said Turkey supported the Turkish Cypriot position that Unficyp (the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus) operates on both sides of the island "only on the basis of the consent of both parties".
George Iacovou, who ran against President Glafcos Clerides in the 1998 elections, yesterday told Antenna FM radio that he believed Annan had been pressured into taking the action.
"The Turks had opinions before which were not expressed in the Secretary- general’s report but later, in a letter sent to the Security Council," Iacovou said. "Basically the Turkish permanent member published the Turkish Cypriot opinions and positions and circulated them to the Security Council as Turkey’s positions. The fact that the Secretary-general decided to include them in his report is a bad development."
Iacovou added:"A second bad development is that obviously he (Annan) accepted doing it and circulated it as an addendum."
The former minister also said that government was responsible for the form the Unficyp resolution had taken. "It seems that our government was not able to convince the permanent members of the Security Council to accept a routine Resolution used for many years." He argued that "we must not try to fool ourselves" by saying that the Resolution restates what all the others (resolutions) have said.
The Security Council on Wednesday unanimously approved another six-month renewal, until June 15, 2000, of the mandate for the peacekeeping force. The Turkish Cypriot side already controls the movement of Unficyp troops in the north but not through any written agreement or formal dealings.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry, however, issued a statement on Thursday saying that the addendum showed the UN was moving closer to Ankara’s position that the international community should have official dealings with the breakaway regime.
Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou has said that clarifications on the wording of the addendum were expected tomorrow (Monday), when the government would determine its stance towards it.
On Friday, President Clerides summoned the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council, Britain, France, Russia, China and the US, and Unficyp Chief of Mission James Holger to the Presidential Palace.
UN Under-secretary for Peacekeeping Bernard Miyet on Friday told Foreign Minister Yiannis Cassoulides that the organisation adhered to its resolutions and gave an assurance that the UN would in no way make a move constituting recognition of the illegal regime.
Annan’s spokesman Fred Eckhard, also on Friday, said that the addendum did not signify a change in UN policy but merely outlined the positions of the sides involved.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999