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Cyprus News Agency 96-06-11.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus President meets UN Secretary-General
  • [02] UN Chief criticises Turks over buffer zone killing
  • [03] National guardsman jailed for leaving post, disobedience
  • [04] Briton jailed for entering Cyprus through illegal entry
  • [05] Interior Minister sees Ecumenical Patriarch
  • [06] Cyprus marks ''SunDay '96''
  • [07] Cyprus in Euro meeting on women
  • [08] House Committees divided among parties
  • [09] Ghali - Clerides see need for common ground
  • [10] Road deaths highest in Europe
  • [11] Labour Minister in overseas meetings
  • [12] President indicates readiness to discuss unmanning

  • 1100:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus President meets UN Secretary-General

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides meets UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, today, at Palais des Nations, in Geneva.

    The two men are expected to review developments in the Cyprus peace process and exchange views on future steps towards a lasting solution.

    The peace process has been blocked repeatedly by the Turkish side, which insists on its negative and intransigent positions.

    Another issue expected to be on the agenda are the UN proposal for further unmanning of areas along the UN-controlled buffer zone, where military posts of the island's National Guard and the Turkish occupation forces are in close proximity.

    Already the two sides on the island agreed in 1989 to a partial unmanning agreement in areas of the old city of Nicosia. The UN proposes extension of this agreement to cover other areas.

    President Clerides has proposed a broader unmanning to be extended between the island's two mountain ranges, namely Pentadaktylos, in the Turkish-occupied northern areas, and Troodos in the free areas of the Republic, in the southern part.

    The Cypriot President has also proposed the complete demilitarisation of this east Mediterranean island, providing for the disbanding of the National Guard and the simultaneous withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops. The proposal also provides for the establishment of an international force to keep peace.

    The humanitarian question of missing persons is also expected to be discussed at the Geneva meeting. The discussion on this issue will take place in the light of Boutros-Ghali's letters to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, setting a number of preconditions before the Secretary-General appoints his new representative in the tripartite Investigatory Committee on Missing Persons, to replace Swiss diplomat Paul Wurth, who has retired.

    Last night, President Clerides attended a dinner given by the UN Chief. It was attended by Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides.

    Also present were the newly appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus Han Sung-Joo and his deputy representative Gustave Feissel.

    After today's meeting, President Clerides will fly on to New York.

    CNA GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1140:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] UN Chief criticises Turks over buffer zone killing

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- UN soldiers were delayed by the so-called Turkish Cypriot security forces in reaching and providing assistance to 19-year-old Greek Cypriot soldier, Stelios Panayi, shot in the UN-controlled buffer zone last week.

    This was noted in a report to the UN Security Council by UN Secretary-General, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, which calls for the six-month renewal of the mandate of the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), until December 1996.

    The report, as quoted by ''Reuters'', refers to last week's ''tragic death of the young national guard soldier'', which illustrates the urgent need of an agreement to unman a number of posts along the cease-fire line where the two sides are in close proximity, and to prohibit the use of loaded weapons there.

    ''In this context I was dismayed at the attempt by the Turkish Cypriot security forces to prevent UNFICYP by the threat of force from fulfilling its duties in the buffer zone,'' the UN Chief says.

    He notes that ''UNFICYP soldiers trying to reach the location of the shooting were delayed some 25 minutes by Turkish Cypriot security forces firing warning shots each time the UNFICYP patrol tried to move forward.''

    In his report the UN Chief also notes that UNFICYP ''lodged a strong protest with the commander of the Turkish forces in Cyprus against this unacceptable forcible attempt to prevent UN personnel from fulfilling their duties in the buffer zone.''

    Boutros-Ghali says ''UNFICYP is also pursuing with the Turkish Cypriot authorities the question of possible criminal proceedings and appropriate disciplinary action''.

    The report reaffirms that Panayi was unarmed and notes that he was shot by a Turkish Cypriot soldier, who ''had been observed by UNFICYP infiltrating the buffer zone with his gun in the immediate vicinity of the spot where the body of the national guard soldier was found.''

    In Nicosia, UNFICYP Spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski was quoted Tuesday by the local English-language daily ''Cyprus Mail'' as saying that both the national guardsman and the Turkish Cypriot soldier were in the buffer zone.

    ''The area where the incident took place has never been disputed. The incident clearly took place in the buffer zone,'' he pointed out.

    The Turks have claimed that Panagi had crossed into the Turkish-occupied area.

    The UN Spokesman confirmed the 25-minute delay in UNFICYP's reaching Panayi, adding that the British UN peacekeepers had made three attempts to reach the wounded soldier and each try was stopped by a separate warning shot from the Turkish troops.

    The UN men eventually reached Panayi after lengthy negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot soldiers.

    Doctors verified that Panayi was still alive when a UN ambulance reached him in the buffer zone.

    Meanwhile, similar observations are made in an ''Sunday Times'' article, June 8, 1996, which says that ''the Turkish Cypriot Wolf Regiment prevented British soldiers from helping a teenage Greek Cypriot conscript whom the Turks had shot'', noting that the young soldier ''bled to death.''

    Noting that the incident occurred on the visit to the island of Sir David Hanney, British Special Representative to Cyprus, the newspaper says that shots were fired by Turkish soldiers against four British UN soldiers who tried to rescue the young soldier.

    As the same article stresses ''belligerent Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces on Cyprus are subjecting British troops serving here with the UN to threats and petty harassment.''

    The British paper also notes that Panayi ''had gone unarmed and in daylight to trade his camouflage cap for a Turkish one.''

    Panayi was the seventh National Guard soldier shot and killed in the buffer zone by the occupation army in the last ten years.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] National guardsman jailed for leaving post, disobedience

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- A 19-year-old Greek Cypriot soldier was jailed by a martial court here today for two months for abandoning his military post and disobeying orders.

    George Karotsakis was abducted in November last year by the Turkish occupation regime when he entered the UN-controlled buffer zone, which separates the free areas of the Republic, in the southern part, and the Turkish-occupied areas, in the northern part.

    Karotsakis had left his military post to exchange chocolates for cigarettes with a Turkish soldier. Eventually he was released after about two weeks in the occupied areas.

    Passing sentence, the court president Christoforos Tseligas said ''the sentence imposed by martial courts in such cases must serve as a deterrent for other soldiers.''

    He described the offences Karostakis committed as ''grave'' and said ''the court has a duty to put an end to the tendency soldiers have to get into contact with Turkish soldiers along the demarcation line.''

    This, he said, is a necessary measure following the murder of seven national guardsmen in the past few years. Only last week, Turkish troops killed a 19-year-old Greek Cypriot soldier, who entered the UN-controlled buffer zone, apparently to talk to the Turkish soldier on the opposite side of the zone.

    The UN said its men in the area were prevented from going near the shot Greek Cypriot soldier by Turkish troops who fired at them.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1410:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Briton jailed for entering Cyprus through illegal entry

    Limassol, Jun 11 (CNA) -- A Briton was sentenced to 15 days' imprisonment today by Limassol District Court for illegally entering the island through an airport, which has been declared illegal entry by the internationally-recognised Republic of Cyprus.

    Jack Jellicoe, aged 19, had entered the free areas of the Republic from the Turkish-occupied areas after arriving there from Turkey.

    He was taken to Nicosia Central Prisons to serve his sentence.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory. The pseudo-state in the occupied areas is recognised only by Turkey.

    CNA EC/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1500:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Interior Minister sees Ecumenical Patriarch

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides met on Monday with Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomeos in Istanbul (Constantinople) where the Cypriot Minister is attending the UN conference on human settlement ''Habitat II.''

    Michaelides briefed the Patriarch about the situation in Cyprus and in particular the problems of the refugees, the enclaved Greek Cypriots in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus and the issue of the persons listed as missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    Vartholomeos informed the Minister about the problems the Greek Patriarchate and Greeks living in Istanbul face.

    Michaelides is scheduled to address the conference on Thursday 13 June. Cyprus is represented at the UN conference by a seven-member delegation.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1551:CYPPRESS:06 Cyprus marks ''SunDay '96'' Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA)

    [06 Cyprus marks ''SunDay '96'' Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA)] -- Cyprus will mark ''SunDay '96'' with an all day seminar on ''Harnessing the Sun.''

    ''SunDay '96'', which will be held on Sunday 16 June, is organised by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) -European Region and twelve countries worldwide will organise events designed to raise awareness of the renewable, non-polluting energies.

    ''SunDay '96'' aims to educate and raise awareness in renewable energy programmes and projects, and ''green'' energies and encourage new initiatives in renewable and non-polluting technologies.

    CNA EC/MM/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1600:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Cyprus in Euro meeting on women

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- A three-member delegation represents Cyprus at a European conference on women's slave trade for sexual exploitation, which got underway on Monday.

    The meeting, which ends today, is organised by the European Union and the International Organisation for Migration and is attended by EU members, Cyprus, Malta, Central and Eastern European countries, the US and Canada.

    Cypriot deputies outlined the measures the government is taking to tackle the problem of sexual exploitation of women and submitted suggestions for drafting out a common European plan of action on the matter.

    The meeting is expected to adopt proposals on further action on migration, law enforcement, cooperation in judicial matters and measures of social policy.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1625:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] House Committees divided among parties

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- Parliamentary party leaders met here today to discuss the distribution of House committees among themselves and initial indications are that the two largest parties will take the lion's share.

    Ruling Democratic Rally party (DISY) and opposition AKEL are poised to chair six House committees each, Democratic Party (DIKO) will get the chair of four committees and EDEK party two.

    A final decision on the distribution of committee chairs among the parties will be taken at a meeting of party leaders on Thursday prior to the regular weekly session of the House of Representatives, the second since May's parliamentary elections.

    House President Spyros Kyprianou said after today's meeting the number of House committees might increase from 15 to 18, if it is agreed to upgrade three special committees to House committees.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1930:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Ghali - Clerides see need for common ground

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali has said the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides must agree on either all or one basic idea before they resume direct talks between them.

    President Glafcos Clerides, who met Ghali in Geneva today to discuss the situation in Cyprus, also holds the view that common ground should be found before the resumption of negotiations between the two sides, otherwise ''there will be another failure.''

    ''It is important to have the agreement of the parties on one specific subject,'' Ghali told the press after the meeting.

    Noting UN flexibility, Ghali said an agreement between the parties may be on ''all aspects, which will be very good, it may be on one aspect so that we may start direct negotiations, which will also be very good.''

    Describing his talks with the President as ''very constructive,'' Ghali said ''we discussed different ideas and we will continue the discussion until we can agree on common ground to be able to resume the negotiations.''

    The UN chief refrained from disclosing any details about these ideas and pointed out ''our next objective will be to find this common ground, which means to find one main idea so we will be able on the basis of this idea to resume the direct talks.''

    He said it was important to ''obtain the agreement of both parties on one common ground among the tenths of subjects discussed in the past 25 years.''

    Replying to questions, Ghali said the sooner common ground is reached the better it will be.

    He also said his special representative Han Sung Joo and his resident representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel will continue proximity talks between the two sides to help find common ground and resume negotiations.

    Ghali also pointed out that it was the job of the UN to find the common ground between the two sides.

    In his remarks after the Geneva meeting, President Clerides said ''we have come to the conclusion after explaining my side's position on the various aspects of the Cyprus problem that we have to work to establish common ground so that we can as soon as possible or rather the soonest possible go to direct negotiations.''

    The President said the present position of the Cyprus question was part of his discussion with the UN chief.

    ''We had an exchange of views on the issue of the missing persons and I have given some talking points to the Secretary-General,'' the President added.

    The two men also exchanged views on measures that need to be taken to prevent incidents such as last week's shooting of a Greek Cypriot soldier in the UN controlled buffer zone. The unarmed soldier was shot in the buffer zone by, apparently, a Turkish Cypriot soldier he went to meet there. The Greek Cypriot soldier was left to bleed to death because UN peace-keepers were prevented by the Turkish occupation troops to take the shot soldier away for medical treatment.

    Asked if he set any conditions for direct talks, the President said ''we have not any conditions'' and added that, to begin direct negotiations, he wanted to have ''sufficient common ground so that we do not come out again empty handed.

    We want preparatory work so that when we meet we have some result,'' the President said, noting that he does not wish to have a repetition of arguments being put forward by both sides.

    The President said he would be happy to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash but not before common ground is found ''because there will be another failure and we have to avoid this.''

    Asked what would constitute common ground for him, the President avoided to give a reply, citing ''difficulties'' that may arise.

    Present at today's meeting were Ghali's top aides Han and Feissel and Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides.

    President Clerides leaves Wednesday for New York and then Washington for a meeting with US President Bill Clinton on 18 June.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2000:CYPPRESS:10

    [10] Road deaths highest in Europe

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- Police figures show that more people die in road accidents in Cyprus than in any other European country.

    This year alone 51 persons died in road accidents, most of which were caused by excessive speed, a press conference has heard. In May alone 17 people were killed in traffic accidents, making last month the worst for road deaths in the past few years.

    Senior police officer George Voutounos told journalists more than 100 persons are killed on the roads annually, another 1100 are seriously injured and more than 3.000 slightly injured in about 11.000 road accidents.

    ''We appeal to everybody to help in our campaign. We need an improved road network, more policing on the roads and proper education of everybody about good road sense,'' he said.

    Police, he added, want all motorbike riders to be forced to wear a protective helmet. Last year only one of eleven riders killed on the road was wearing a helmet.

    He also said police want to see restrictions on the use of mobile phones while driving and more control on the type of bumpers.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2010:CYPPRESS:11

    [11] Labour Minister in overseas meetings

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- Labour and Social Insurance Minister Andreas Mousioutas, in Geneva for the 83rd meting of the International Labour Conference, met today with the General Director of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Michael Hansenne.

    They agreed there was a high level of cooperation between Cyprus and the ILO.

    Hansenne accepted an invitation from Mousioutas to visit Cyprus in the future.

    While in Geneva, Mousioutas, who is accompanied by the Ministry's Permanent Secretary Nicos Symeonides and Cyprus' Ambassador to Geneva Sotiris Zackhaios, will also participate in the Conference of Labour Ministers organized by the ILO on the employment of children and on 13 June, he will attend the Conference of Labour Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement. CNA KN/MM

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2045:CYPPRESS:12

    [12] President indicates readiness to discuss unmanning

    Nicosia, Jun 11 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has indicated he may be ready to discuss what he calls ''substantive unmanning'' along the ceasefire line provided the Turkish side is willing to set, at this stage, a timetable for such a move.

    The President has also reiterated his proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus, submitted to the UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in December 1993.

    Speaking to journalists after a meeting with Ghali in Geneva, President Clerides said Ghali has suggested further unmanning along the ceasefire line where the Greek and Turkish Cypriot military are in close proximity.

    Ghali's suggestion came in the aftermath of last week's killing in the UN controlled buffer zone of a 19-year-old Greek Cypriot soldier by Turkish troops.

    "We reiterated our position that unmanning, as far as we are concerned, means pulling our troops behind Troodos mountain range and withdrawing the Turkish occupation troops beyond the northern mountain range of Pentadactylos,'' the President said.

    If the Turkish side is ready to discuss now a timetable for such a move, he said, ''then we may discuss this.

    Unmanning as an isolated move would not do'', he added.

    At present, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot military are in close proximity in certain areas in the capital Nicosia to the extent that soldiers can speak to each other across the divide.

    The President said he told Ghali that his proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus might be one area which could be discussed between the two sides.

    Funds, which would have otherwise been used for military purposes, can be used to the benefit of both communities, the President explained to Ghali.

    The President also said he discussed the humanitarian issue of the missing persons and requested that more UN investigators, than the present one official, to help the work of a UN investigatory committee working to ascertain the fate of the 1,619 persons listed as missing.

    CNA MM/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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