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Cyprus News Agency (96-06-05)

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Panayiotis Zaphiris <>



  • [01] US can help Cyprus solution in electoral year

    Nicosia, Jun 5 (CNA) -- US President Bill Clinton can assist moves towards a Cyprus settlement, in spite of the electoral campaign he is waging, American ambassador to Cyprus Richard Boucher has said.

    The ambassador believes that the exact steps President Clinton could take would depend on developments in efforts to settle the Cyprus question.

    Speaking after an hour-long meeting with President Clerides, Boucher said ''President Clinton can take decisive steps towards a Cyprus solution'' but their exact nature ''will depend on the circumstance of the time.''

    Asked what kind of steps might be taken, Boucher replied ''whatever is necessary, we have made clear on the part of the US that we are very interested in seeing an early solution to the Cyprus problem.''

    He said the US was engaged in Cyprus ''because of fundamental US interests which we believe coincide with those of the Cypriots in seeing a peaceful resolution and giving security to everybody.''

    Qualifying his reply, the ambassador said the US has been ''preparing the ground for direct negotiations between the leaders'' and added that ''there needs to be a solid foundation for such talks.''

    ''Both sides have to come prepared to negotiate on the issues of concern, so we have been continuing those preparations and at some point we will move to some other stage, which, frankly, I cannot predict right now,'' he noted.

    Asked if this solid foundation necessitated a compromise by both sides on the fundamental issues of the Cyprus problem (security, guarantees, territorial etc.), Boucher refrained from prejudging what each side would want to do.

    ''I think the importance of a solid foundation for talks is that talks should not only involve discussions but rather are prepared and designed to reach agreement. We will be doing what we can to make sure that happens,'' he said.

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

    Ambassador Boucher is scheduled to see the President on Friday morning as well before leaving his Cyprus post on June 12.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [02] Cyprus ratifies Council of Europe convention

    Nicosia, Jun 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus has ratified the Council of Europe (COE) Framework Convention for the protection of national minorities.

    Cyprus Permanent Representative to the COE Andrestinos Papadopoulos handed the Secretary-General of the 39-nation Organisation the instrument of ratification of this convention.

    According to a COE press release, this text is the first legally binding multilateral European instrument for the protection of national minorities.

    It has so far been ratified by Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. It will come into force after ratification by 12 member states. Non-member states may also be invited to accede to it.

    A total of 27 other states have signed the Framework-Convention, including Britain, Russia, Sweden and Switzerland.

    The Framework Convention sets out in the form of provisions, the principles to be respected by the states who are parties.

    They thereby undertake, among other things, to combat discrimination, to promote full and effective equality and the conditions necessary to preserve and develop the culture and safeguard the identity of national minorities. CNA/EK/GP/1996


    [03] Nothing spectacular from Spring-Michaelides meeting expected

    Nicosia, Jun 5 (CNA) -- Nothing spectacular should be expected from tomorrow's meeting in London between Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and his Irish counterpart Dick Spring, diplomatic sources have told CNA.

    The same sources indicated that Ireland, as the next EU president, would probably appoint its own representative for Cyprus. ''I do not see there would be any spectacular promises or developments between the two Foreign Ministers in London tomorrow other than a declaration of intention,'' the sources said.

    Spring will brief Michaelides on the Irish EU presidency programme beginning July 1, 1996, which does not seem to include anything spectacular about Cyprus, the sources added.

    The Irish programme, which moves from presidency to presidency, will focus on unemployment and drug related issues.

    ''We shall do whatever we can to encourage Cyprus-EU accession negotiations and ensure the timetable agreed to is adhered to,'' the sources said.

    Commenting on the recent appointment of a British representative for Cyprus, the sources noted ''the EU is mindful of the plethora of coordinators to add complications to an already complicated scenario anyway, but on the other hand it can only welcome the involvement of a country through its representative who has been at two important decision bodies, the UN and the EU.''

    They said the EU as a whole ''has not got involved yet in the question of establishing a representative for Cyprus'' and noted the appointment of Federico di Roberto as the EU current Italian presidency representative.

    Asked if the Irish EU presidency would follow in Italy's footsteps, the sources replied ''I would say it looks like the Irish presidency will appoint its own representative also, but it is up to the EU Council to decide whether there would be an EU representative or not.''

    Ireland, the same sources said, would have to wait until after the General Affairs Council and the Florence EU Summit before it makes any moves to help push Cyprus' bid for EU accession.

    ''It is very difficult for the Irish presidency to say precisely what can be done one month in advance of assuming the presidency and ahead of the Florence meeting,'' they told CNA.

    On his part, Michaelides, on his way to London for Thursday's meeting, said Cyprus was seeking ''a more substantive EU involvement in efforts to settle the Cyprus question.''

    ''Our aim is to ensure that the first EU Council meeting under the Irish presidency examines ways in which the EU may involve itself in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and exchange views on this matter.''

    He also noted that the EU has to make its own voice heard in these efforts and participate in the content of a solution.

    Michaelides said Spring had shown ''special interest in Cyprus and now is the right time to talk to him.

    Before going to London, the Cypriot Minister will stop over in Athens for talks with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos on the Cyprus problem and EU affairs.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [04] Cyprus expects action, not words from Ghali-Denktash meeting

    Nicosia, Jun 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government would like UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to tell Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that there must be action, and not words, in the Cyprus problem.

    Boutros-Ghali and Denktash were scheduled to meet today in Constantinople (Istanbul), Turkey on the sidelines of the UN world conference Habitat II.

    The meeting was postponed for Thursday morning because Boutros-Ghali was taken ill with food poisoning, according to the Turkish press.

    Meanwhile, Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides stated today that ''we have to enter a process to find common ground on the fundamental issues of the Cyprus question, because 22 years is too long a time. It is high time the problem was settled.''

    The Turkish Cypriot press reported today that Denktash intends to submit his positions on a Cyprus settlement in writing to the UN Secretary-General.

    The UN Chief will have a similar meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides on June 11 in Geneva.

    In New York, UN Secretary-General's spokesperson Sylvana Foa said the newly appointed Special Representative for Cyprus Han Sung-Joo will attend the Geneva meeting.

    The South Korean former Foreign Minister is currently in New York holding consultations at the Department for Political Affairs.

    Foa said the UN Chief would not be presenting any new ideas to Clerides and Denktash but would be listening to the two sides, ''trying to find a common denominator from which to start a new phase of negotiations''.

    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 Republic, a UN member-state.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [05] New Chief of Police appointed

    Nicosia, Jun 5 (CNA) -- Panikos Hadjiloizou, 57, was appointed today new Chief of the Cyprus Police force, in succession of Andreas Potamaris who retires, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said here today.

    President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides has also appointed Stefos Zavros, 56, as the new Deputy Chief of Police, a post held up to day by Panikos Hadjiloizou.

    Accepting his new post, the New Chief of Police thanked President Clerides for the honour and assured him that he will work to upgrade the force and implement law and order.

    President Clerides said he only expected ''absolute enforcement of the law, and meritocracy in appointments and promotions.''

    He added that he expects effective action against organised crime to maintain peace for all citizens.

    Meanwhile, Minister of Justice and Public Order Alecos Evangelou said on Wednesday that more promotions and restructuring of the police force will be announced in the near future.

    CNA AP/MM/1996

    [06] Investigations into killing of soldier continue

    Nicosia, June 5 (CNA) -- Investigations into the killing of an unarmed Greek Cypriot soldier in the UN-controlled buffer zone continue, Defence Minister Costas Eliades told the Press today, shortly before the weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers.

    Asked to comment on a statement by former State pathologist Marios Matsakis that the soldier could have been saved if he had been carried to hospital promptly, Eliades said that he has to see the autopsy report.

    He did however note that ''there can be no doubt there was a delay in transporting the shot soldier to hospital, emanating from the fact that he was shot in the buffer zone and therefore the UN had to oversee his transfer to hospital.''

    This was also admitted by UN peace-keeping force (UNFICYP) Spokesman Waldemar Rockoszewsky who stated yesterday that ''UN action was somewhat delayed by the Turkish forces.''

    Meanwhile UN Secretary General Spokesperson Sylvana Foa described the shooting as ''a very very sad incident'' noting that the 19-year old soldier ''had gone into the buffer zone to trade his hat, or a hat of friend, for that of one of the Turkish Cypriot soldiers.''

    She clarified that this information comes ''from the UN forces'' and added that ''it seems that it was a lark. He was in the zone on a lark. He just wanted to have a hat.''

    Meanwhile Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said that ''important issues are raised as a result of the incident. Firstly the killing of the soldier by the Turks and secondly the question of the monitoring of the buffer zone.''

    He also said that the government has made provisions to the United Nations, UN resident representative Gustave Feissel and the permanent members of the UN Security Council.

    CNA MCH/AP/1996

    [07] Euro-MP condemns killing of soldier

    Nicosia, June 5 (CNA) -- Greek Socialist Euro-MP Yiannos Kranidiotis has condemned the killing of a Greek Cypriot soldier by the Turkish occupation forces in the Nicosia UN-controlled buffer zone.

    In a written statement submitted today to the European Union (EU) Council of Ministers, Kranidiotis asks whether the issue will be on the agenda of the next EU-Turkey Association Council.

    Socialist PASOK Euro-MP asked whether the Council of Ministers will actively support the proposal for Cyprus' demilitarisation, to avoid similar future incidents, pointing out that this was the seventh of its kind caused by the aggressive Turkish occupation forces.

    In another written statement, Kranidiotis asks the European Commission to clarify whether it will create an EU funded Documentation Centre at the so-called ''Eastern Mediterranean University'' in co-operation with the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime .

    CNA AP/MCH/1996

    [08] EU entitled to involvement in Cyprus says Michaelides

    Nicosia, June 5 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides discussed with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos the prospects of the various initiatives to be launched to assist towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after the meeting Michaelides reaffirmed the stance of the Cyprus government that the European Union (EU) ''is entitled to play a role in the Cyprus problem as the island is a future member of the Union.''

    Already the EU summits in Corfu, Greece and Essen, Germany decided that Cyprus and Malta would be involved in the next EU enlargement. On March 6, 1995 the EU Council of Ministers gave Cyprus and Malta a firm date for membership talks, six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    ''We would like a substantial involvement of the EU in efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem, especially regarding the internal aspects of a solution'', Michaelides said.

    He did, however, stress that this does not imply a rejection of the US initiative which the Cyprus government welcomes, and noted President Glafcos Clerides' trip to the US on June 18.

    Michaelides also told the press that he will ask the Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring, whom he is meeting tomorrow in London, to raise the issue of EU involvement in Cyprus at the first Council of Ministers' meeting under Irish presidency, which starts July 1, 1996.

    CNA MCH/AP/1996

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