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CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY, 96-06-04

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Panayiotis Zaphiris <pzaphiri@glue.umd.edu>

CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY, 96-06-04


CONTENTS

  • [01] Britain's Cyprus Representative starts contacts
  • [02] UN continues investigations into buffer zone killing
  • [03] UN official hopes for move forward on Cyprus
  • [04] British ''obstinacy'' may push Cyprus peace process forward.
  • [05] Foreign Minister to meet Greek and Irish counterparts
  • [06] Cyprus and Brunei establish diplomatic relations
  • [07] Minister of Interior to attent "HABITAT II"

  • 0900:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Britain's Cyprus Representative starts contacts

    Nicosia, Jun 4 (CNA) -- Sir David Hannay, British representative for Cyprus, starts a packed schedule of meetings here today in a bid to move the stalled Cyprus peace process forward.

    Sir David, who arrived on the island Monday, will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and then meet Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides.

    The British official will then cross into the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus for a working lunch with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    He leaves later on Tuesday.

    Last night he attended a dinner, hosted by British High Commissioner David Madden, with political party leaders, U.S. ambassador to Cyprus Richard Boucher and U.N. Secretary-General's resident representative Gustave Feissel.

    In his remarks at Larnaca airport, Sir David said there was no fresh initiative on Cyprus but a concerted effort by the international community to settle the Cyprus question.

    He said common ground between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides must be reached to allow for a new Cyprus initiative to be launched.

    There exist already many ideas, he noted, but these have to be worked at to reach a solution.

    Referring to Monday's murder of a Greek Cypriot soldier in the UN-controlled buffer zone by Turkish or Turkish Cypriot troops, Sir David expressed sorrow and pointed out that this type of incidents indicate the fragility of the present status quo.

    He reiterated his country's support for unmanning military posts in the buffer zone but also stressed the need for progress.

    He also disclosed that President Clerides' proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus would be on the agenda of his talks in Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1200:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] UN continues investigations into buffer zone killing

    Nicosia, Jun 4 (CNA) -- New elements about Monday's killing of an unarmed Greek Cypriot soldier in the UN-controlled buffer zone continue to emerge, a spokesman for the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) told CNA today.

    ''We continue to investigate yesterday's killing and new elements are coming up,'' the spokesman said.

    The conclusions of the investigation, once this is completed, would not be made public, he added, as normal procedure dictates.

    Asked if the UN had established the identity of the killer, the spokesman said ''I expect Turkish Cypriot security forces to be deployed in that area. However the true identity of the person who fired the shots against the Greek Cypriot guardsman has not been established yet, it could be a Turkish Cypriot.''

    Commenting on the UN role in the incident, the spokesman acknowledged that ''our action was somewhat delayed by the Turkish forces.''

    It took the UN peace-keepers about 30 minutes before they reached the body of the Greek Cypriot soldier Stelios Panagi Kalli, aged 19, the eighth National Guardsman killed by the Turks in the last ten years.

    The UN was prevented from getting there earlier by the Turkish military who fired warning shots in the area.

    In the aftermath of the killing, which happened in Ayios Andreas area of the Nicosia buffer zone where the Greek and Turkish Cypriot military posts are in close proximity, UNFICYP commander, Brigadier General, Ahti Toimi Vartiainen, is scheduled to meet National Guard Commander Lieutenant General Nikolaos Vorvolakos to discuss the matter.

    Meanwhile, UN resident representative Gustave Feissel said today ''we are very saddened by this tragic incident and useless loss of life of a young Greek Cypriot.''

    Feissel left this morning for Constaninople (Istanbul) Turkey to attend a meeting tomorrow with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, who is there on the occasion of a UN conference, with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Boutros-Ghali will have a similar meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on June 11 in Geneva.

    Feissel said ''we are pursuing our investigation and I hope that within a couple of days we will have completed it.''

    He said in the meantime, the UNFICYP Commander has already met with the Turkish force Commander raising this matter ''in very strong terms.'' He will also meet the National Guard Commander and there will be further meetings with the Turkish Commander.

    The UN official acknowledged that the UN force can not control the whole of the buffer zone.

    ''Obviously, it is impossible for the UN to stand shoulder to shoulder, so to speak for the entire 180 km of the buffer zone.

    He stressed that the cooperation of the two sides is indispensable in order to ensure the security of the buffer zone and that people from either side do not enter the buffer zone illegally.

    Feissel confirmed that the Greek Cypriot soldier had entered the buffer zone unarmed.

    In New York, UN Secretary-General's Spokeswoman Sylvana Foa referred to the incident, saying a UN sentry observed one Turkish Cypriot soldier walking down the river bed inside the buffer zone while later he heard a single shot.

    "The soldier was observed running back towards where he'd come from. There was only one shot and the guy was seen running back. Within a few minutes the UN sentry went to the area to investigate and was told by Cypriot National Guard personnel that one of their soldiers had been shot. He reported the incident and requested an ambulance, she said.

    Pathologists Eleni Antoniou and Marios Matsakis found that the soldier was hit by two bullets, one in the abdomen and one on the shoulder.

    The spokeswoman said the local UN troop commander went to the scene of the shooting but wasn't able to move to the National Guard soldier as there were three shots fired in the air by Turkish Cypriot soldiers. In other words, the UN tried to move to the scene rightway and they were shot and prevented from going in.

    The UN spokeswoman said after negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot force that caused delay of about 25 minutes, the UN soldiers finally were able to rescue the body. It was taken by ambulance to Nicosia General Hospital. He was reported dead on arrival.

    The Cyprus government has protested to the UN and foreign governments over the incident, which took place in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides described the killing as ''a cold-blooded murder''.

    He stressed that the Greek Cypriot soldier entered the zone unarmed and recalled that the incident had taken place within the no man's land, which is under the UN control.

    All the island's Greek Cypriot political party leaders expressed abhorrence for the soldier's murder.

    Greece's Government Spokesman Demetris Reppas described the murder as an ''act of shame'' for today's civilised world, which reveals the barbarity of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus.

    He said ''this murderous act should draw even more the attention of the international community to the conditions which prevail today in Cyprus'' as a result of the Turkish occupation of the island's northern territory.

    In Washington, State Department Spokesman Glyn Davis, replying to a CNA question said the incident ''underscores, once again, the importance of extending the 1989 unamanning agreement to cover all areas of the UN buffer zone where the two sides are in close proximity. Extension of the unamanning agreement could reduce the risk of tragic incidents such as the one today (yesterday) ''.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1300:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] UN official hopes for move forward on Cyprus

    Larnaca, Jun 4 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General's resident representative to Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, expressed the hope that the situation will move forward on the Cyprus issue, during Boutros Boutros-Ghali's meetings with the leaders of the two communities of the island.

    Feissel was speaking this morning at Larnaca Airport before his departure to Constantinople (Istanbul) Turkey, where the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet tomorrow Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. The meeting takes place on the sidelines of the UN conference HABITAT II in Constantinople.

    Boutros-Ghali will also have a meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on June 11, in Geneva.

    Asked if he is optimistic that something will come out of the meetings, Feissel replied that he tries to avoid such things, such as optimism or pessimism.

    ''We just have to persevere, and keep pushing, hopefully all concerned will realise that a solution is in their own interests and therefore it is very important for the benefit of each community and others that finally we move forward and make progress on this situation here'', he said.

    Feissel noted that this is the first meeting that Denktash and the Secretary-General have had for more than a year. ''The Secretary-General is obviously concerned by the lack of progress during these many months and years and this will give him the opportunity to discuss the matter first hand with Mr. Denktash.

    ''All these will be helpful to the S.G. in getting a first hand up to date impression of the situation and which no doubt will help him consider how the UN can best proceed in order to make progress'', Feissel said.

    The UN diplomat reiterated that the objective of the UN is to bring the two leaders together in direct talks with a view to dealing with all the issues in a comprehensive manner and to reach an overall settlement.

    He noted however that before doing so, ''we want to be confident that such a meeting will be productive, so we have to have some clear indications from both sides that they are ready and determined to move forward.''

    Feissel reminded that Boutros-Ghali will have to submit to the Security Council by the end of June, a special report on Cyprus on his mission of good offices. This report will take into account his meetings in both Constantinople and Geneva.

    Asked what were the results of his meeting in Nicosia last night with Sir David Hannay, the British representative on Cyprus, Feissel said it was just a meeting to review the situation since he (Hannay) is visiting Cyprus for the first time since assuming his new functions.

    "We had an opportunity to discuss things in general, with no particular result", he said.

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

    CNA EC/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1320:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] British ''obstinacy'' may push Cyprus peace process forward

    Nicosia, Jun 4 (CNA) -- Britain's special representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, considers his ''obstinacy'' as one quality that could help him succeed where others have failed, to make progress towards a Cyprus solution.

    He also considers that the plethora of ''coordinators'' on the Cyprus question entails some risks but believes that a concerted effort by all those involved in the problem (UN, Britain, US and European Union) could prove ''fruitful.''

    Sir David, who is in Cyprus for contacts with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, said he was ''determined, not optimistic'' that cooperation among all the outside parties involved in Cyprus ''will prove to be fruitful and can also be very useful with our dealings with the two communities in Cyprus.''

    Asked how he intended to move to make headway in the Cyprus peace process, the British diplomat said those in the international community working on Cyprus ''will need to compare notes, and consider very carefully whether there are prospects to move forward or not.''

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, he said his appointment and that of the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Cyprus ''is a clear sign that the world has not forgotten about Cyprus and does not intend to turn its back on the Cyprus problem,'' even though at times one feels that the Cyprus problem seems to be shrugged off one's shoulder.

    Asked what made him so determined to succeed, Sir David simply replied ''Just obstinacy.''

    ''The work of someone in my position is likely to be fruitful in proportion to the small amount one says in public,'' he said.

    Invited to assess the existence of several coordinators for the Cyprus problem (UN, American, EU presidency, British), Sir David acknowledged ''there are too many'' but hastened to add ''the risk this poses can be avoided. We need a concerted effort in which to avoid getting our wires crossed but, of course, we need the cooperation of both communities in Cyprus.

    ''We shall need to work closely among ourselves to ensure we do not get cross-purposes but I do not think this will happen because I do not think the friends of Cyprus have any conflicts of interest among ourselves,'' he told journalists.

    He said these ''friends'' would like to see a settlement ''in the terms of Security Council resolutions, which is not easy or straight forward.

    ''There are a lot difficult issues that have to be resolved but that is the basis on which we should work,'' he added.

    Describing his discussions with the President as ''confidential and very valuable'' he said his task is to try and ''help narrow the gap between the parties, working with others who are doing the same.''

    Referring to efforts to convene a high-level meeting between President Clerides and Denktash, Sir David said such a meeting ''has to come at the end of a process of careful preparation and everything must be done to ensure that when it happens, it is fruitful and means approaching with care and perseverance.''

    Asked if the political instability in Turkey hinders his efforts, he said development in various capitals ''of course affect the situation'' but it would not be wise ''to condition the pursuit of a Cyprus settlement on the situation in any capital.''

    In his remarks about his talks with Sir David, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said the purpose of the meeting was ''to give the British official a full picture of all the aspects of the Cyprus problem and our positions to allow him to assess the situation and see what the next move would be.''

    ''We welcome any effort by countries or bodies who want to contribute towards a Cyprus settlement. No suggestions or proposals were made at the meeting, it was an investigatory meeting on his part on the Cyprus question,'' the Minister added.

    Commenting on reports that Sir David's appointment aimed at giving Britain the upper hand among EU members as far as the Cyprus peace effort is concerned, Michaelides said ''what I see is an increased interest on the part of EU countries. I do not think there is anything strange in British interest in Cyprus, Britain is a guarantor power and wishes to play a role in the Cyprus question.''

    He did not think a country's interest is there to replace the interest of another body, such as the EU.

    Replying to questions, Michaelides said talks focused on the major aspects of the Cyprus question, including the demilitarisation, security and guarantees of a future federal Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    Turkey has blocked all UN efforts for a settlement, ignoring repeated UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of its occupation troops from this East Mediterranean island.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1515:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Foreign Minister to meet Greek and Irish counterparts

    Nicosia, Jun 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides leaves Wednesday for Athens for a meeting with Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos.

    Michaelides will then fly on to London where on Thursday morning he is scheduled to have a meeting with his Irish counterpart Dick Spring, who will be in London at the time.

    It is expected that discussions will focus on developments in the Cyprus problem and the island's bid to join the European Union. Ireland takes over the EU presidency from Italy on July 1.

    ''I believe this is the right time to see how the EU would move. We consider that after the assumption of the EU presidency by Ireland, the Cyprus question should be a subject for discussion at the EU Council,'' he told the press today.

    The question is how the EU would get involved in the efforts for a Cyprus settlement, he added.

    The Minister noted that Cyprus has been talking to the main EU partners and added ''now we have to talk to the EU presidency and this is why I am going to London.''

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1845:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Cyprus and Brunei establish diplomatic relations

    Nicosia, June 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Brunei have agreed to establish diplomatic relations at High Commissioner's level according to an official announcement released here today.

    The agreement was signed at the Chancery of Brunei Darussalam in New Delhi on May 31, 1996, by the High Commissioners of the two countries in India, Stavros Epaminondas and Adnan Buntar who will represent the governments of Cyprus and Brunei respectively.

    CNA MCH/AP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1710:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Minister of Interior to attend ''HABITAT II''

    Nicosia, Jun 4 (CNA) -- Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides will visit Constantinople on Thursday to head the Cyprus delegation at the UN sponsored International Conference on the Environment and Human Settlements ''HABITAT II'', despite turkish refusal to provide him security.

    Commenting on host turkish government's decision not to provide the Cypriot Minister with a driver, a guide and security during his visit in Turkey, on the grounds that Turkey does not recognise the Cyprus Republic government, Michaelides said today that he has no option but to attend the conference as this was the Council of Ministers decision. He is to address the UN conference on June 9.

    Turkey continues to occupy 37 per cent of the island's territory and is the only U. member state which does not recognise the legal government of the Cyprus Republic.

    He told the press that Cyprus' presence will be of special significance, as the conference will deal with substantial issues that concern all countries, but for political reasons as well, pointing out that it is an opportunity to present refugee housing with regard to the destruction of areas under occupation.

    Asked about the possibility to face a security risk, the Cypriot Minister stated that it's the turkish government's task to provide him same.

    ''HABITAT II'' will set up and adopt a two year work plan aiming to assist a more effective handling of priorities regarding human settlements and housing.

    Michaelides has returned to Cyprus from Helsinki where he took part at the 4th European Conference of Ministers on Cultural Inheritance, where he highlighted the problem of Cyprus' cultural destruction in the turkish occupied part of the island.

    He added that he furnished the secretariat of the ministerial committee with copies of a press release published by turkish tour operators in London for the rental of a Greek Orthodox church in the occupied areas. As a reaction to this the turkish delegation walked out the conference room, he noted.

    CNA AP/MCH/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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