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Cyprus News Agency 96-06-12.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] US official avoids to comment on Cyprus initiatives
  • [02] UN to pursue "appropriate action" after killing in buffer zone
  • [03] Britain's representative in Cyprus in early July
  • [04] Cyprus disappointed at change of original text of UN report
  • [05] Rapist jailed for twenty years
  • [06] Aggelidou calls EU to protect Cyprus' cultural heritage

  • 1115:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US official avoids to comment on Cyprus initiatives

    Washington, Jun 12 (CNA) -- US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns has avoided to refer to the specific initiatives Washington plans to undertake on Cyprus.

    Asked to comment on the US intentions regarding the upcoming visit of Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides to Washington, Burns answered that it will be inappropriate for him to comment before the arrival of President Clerides.

    As he put it ''I'd prefer to let the President come to the country and have discussions before I announce many days ahead of time what initiatives we will be undertaking.''

    President Clerides was due to fly today from Geneva to New York for meetings with representatives of the permanent members of the UN Security Council and US Presidential Emissary on Cyprus Richard Beattie.

    On June 18, President Clerides will hold talks in Washington with US President Bill Clinton.

    Yesterday he had a meeting in Geneva with UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

    Referring to the efforts by the United States towards a solution to the Cyprus problem, Spokesman Burns said the US is trying by discussions with all parties to be helpful.

    ''As you know, we have made an effort over the last month or two, to try to talk to all the parties and see what can be done,'' Burns said.

    He said that is a part of an ongoing effort by the United States to be helpful towards a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    ''It's part of our ongoing effort, through Ambassador (Richard) Beattie and Ambassador (James) Williams and Ambassador (Richard) Boucher, to try to be helpful on this,'' Burns concluded.

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

    CNA DA/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1230:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] UN to pursue ''appropriate action'' after killing in buffer zone

    Nicosia, Jun 12 (CNA) -- The UN intends to pursue ''appropriate action'' with the Turkish occupation forces and the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus pertaining to last week's killing in the UN-controlled buffer zone of 19-year-old Greek Cypriot soldier, Stelios Panayi.

    In his report on the UN Peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said ''UNFICYP strongly protested to the Commander of the Turkish forces in Cyprus the unauthorised entry of an armed Turkish Cypriot soldier into the buffer zone, the shooting incident and the hostile action, including live fire against UNFICYP.''

    The force, Ghali says, ''is pursuing with the Turkish forces and the Turkish Cypriot authorities the question of appropriate action and has requested that UNFICYP police investigating the killing be able to interview the Turkish Cypriot soldier involved in the incident.''

    According to reports from New York, an initial draft of this paragraph referred to the possibility of ''criminal proceedings''. A UN spokesman in Nicosia was not ready to comment on how the report was prepared and merely said ''it is a concerted effort by the UN mission in Cyprus and the UN Secretariat.''

    The report said ''an unarmed National Guard soldier was shot and killed inside the UN buffer zone and the investigation revealed that the lethal round was fired by a Turkish Cypriot soldier whom UNFICYP has observed entering the buffer zone with his rifle strung across his back.''

    A shot was heard shortly afterwards and the Turkish Cypriot was seen running back, the report said.

    ''UNFICYP soldiers were prevented from reaching the National Guard soldier by Turkish Cypriot soldiers who fired shots in the direction of UNFICYP soldiers each time the latter tried to move forward,'' the report said.

    Ghali expressed ''dismay at the Turkish Cypriot Security Forces attempts to prevent UNFICYP by the threat of force from fulfilling its duties in the buffer zone.''

    UNFICYP Commander Brigadier-General Ahti Vartiainen resubmitted to both sides an ''updated version of the detailed proposal to unman their positions at a number of locations where the cease-fire lines (in some cases only a few metres apart) are in close proximity to each other.''

    The UN spokesman said this version is really ''an adjusted version of an earlier UN proposal for further unmanning and it does not really contain anything new.''

    Last week's killing, the spokesman said, ''added to our perseverance to push on with unmanning and fresh efforts will made in this direction.''

    Vartiainen has already talked to the commanding officer of the Turkish occupation forces and is due to see today National Guard Commander Lieutenant General Nicolaos Vorvolakos to brief them on the UN investigation into the killing and discuss further unmanning.

    Ghali's report also refers to other areas UNFICYP is involved in as part of the force's mandate. The presence of the 1,197-strong force ''remains indispensable'' to achieving the objectives set out by the Security Council, Ghali said in his report, recommending a six-month extension of the mandate of the Force until the end of this year.

    ''Delaying an overall settlement is to the detriment of both communities, as well as to Greece and Turkey,'' Ghali notes, repeating that the status quo is ''not an acceptable option.''

    On the issue of enclaved Greek Cypriots in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, Ghali said ''Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern part of the island were subjected to severe restrictions and limitations of many basic freedoms, which had the effect of ensuring that inexorably, with the passage of time, the communities would cease to exist.''

    Measures implemented by the occupation regime to rectify their plight are ''very limited and insufficient for what is required,'' he notes.

    The UN Chief describes the northern part of Cyprus as ''one of the most densely militarised area in the world with over 30,000 Turkish and 4,500 Turkish Cypriot troops and with some 20 per cent of the area reserved for military purposes. ''

    He notes that both sides have continued to improve their military capabilities but the National Guard ''remains much weaker that the Turkish forces in Cyprus.''

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

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1420:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Britain's representative in Cyprus in early July

    Nicosia, Jun 12 (CNA) -- Sir David Hanney, Britain's special representative for Cyprus, arrives in Cyprus on July 6 for a five-day visit to meet a wide spectrum of people on both sides of the divide to enable him to form a clear picture of the situation in Cyprus, a British High Commission (Embassy) spokesman told CNA today.

    During his stay, the second in as many months, Sir David will see Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash as well as all the political parties on the island, if possible, he added.

    Sir David will aim to travel extensively throughout Cyprus to talk to businessmen and other people, including some of the newly-elected deputies, to hear different points of views.

    He is not expected to visit the enclaved Greek Cypriots living in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.

    The British official, formerly Britain's permanent representative to the UN, will also visit the two British military bases here and visit various places with the UN.

    The spokesman said Britain believes that there will not be any major developments in the Cyprus question at this stage.

    ''This is how things are looking at the moment, they may change but this is a fair assessment of the British view. We do not expect any fireworks up until the time just before Cyprus and the European Union embark on accession talks,'' the spokesman added.

    Sir David is putting all his weight on the Cyprus problem and will focus ''solely on the Cyprus question'' unlike the Americans who seem to be involved in various other troubled areas around the globe.

    Noting there is no competition between the British and the American representatives for Cyprus in their attempts to push the stalled Cyprus peace process forward, the High Commission spokesman said Britain ''has far greater interests in the island and in seeing a settlement than the Americans do and we take the prospects of a settlement and of EU accession very seriously.''

    The presence of the British military bases in Cyprus and the Republic's prospects for EU accession are matters that affect Britain directly, he added.

    Britain has retained to sovereign military bases on the island under the 1960 Treaty of establishment of the Cyprus Republic in 1960.

    Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, applied for full EU membership in July 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1500:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus disappointed at change of original text of UN report

    Nicosia, Jun 12 (CNA) -- Cyprus is disappointed at the drop of references, from a UN report, to last week's killing of a Greek Cypriot soldier in the buffer zone, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has said.

    In an interview with the Cyprus radio CyBC from Geneva, Michaelides said ''We have been informed that Turkey reacted strongly to the original text of the UN report and there was a change in two specific points.''

    References to the time the young soldier laid wounded in the UN-controlled buffer zone and failed UN attempts to reach him because of shots fired by the Turkish Cypriot military in the direction of the UN peace-keepers who tried to get to him are the two points in question, the Minister said.

    ''This causes great disappointment to us and we have sent a written protest to the UN on the matter,'' he told CyBC.

    ''If the UN find it difficult to record in their report that the soldier was lying in the buffer zone without any help for about 30 minutes, this causes serious doubt and concern as to whether UNFICYP can effectively control the buffer zone,'' Michaelides added.

    The Minister pointed out that should the UN inform the government that such information about dropping these references is wrong, ''then this is a different matter.''

    The killing happened on Monday, June 3, when an unarmed Greek Cypriot soldier was shot by a Turkish Cypriot soldier in the buffer zone when the first walked across to exchange hats with the latter.

    Asked if the government was not concerned about Turkish intervention in UN circles to make changes, the Minister said ''had Turkey's attitude not been tolerated, measures would have been taken in accordance with chapter seven of the UN Charter on Action with respect to threats to the peace, breaches or the peace and act of aggression.''

    Referring to Tuesday's meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali in Geneva, Michaelides said Ghali found the President's proposal for talks on an agreed timetable for further unmanning along the ceasefire line ''positive'' and said he would look into it.

    Michaelides said the President had requested from Ghali more effective measures to help settle the protracted Cyprus problem.

    The Minister said the Turkish Cypriot side remains firm on its intransigent position on the Cyprus question.

    ''We reiterated our insistence that common ground must be found on the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem before we start a new round of direct negotiations,'' the Minister said.

    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
    1520:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Rapi]] jailed for twenty years

    Nicosia, June 12 (CNA) -- A man accused of the abduction and rape of a mother and her underage daughter has been sentenced by the Assize Court to 20 years imprisonment.

    Andreas Spyrou Yiangou, 31 and father of two, was found guilty of the abduction and rape on April 8, 1995 of a mother and her 15-year old daughter.

    The woman, accompanied by her daughter, was driving her car near the city-centre when Yiangou jumped into the car and forced the mother to drive to a deserted area in the outskirts of Nicosia. He then repeatedly raped both women.

    The court described as unprecedented for Cyprus the fact that the abduction took place in the city-centre at ten o'clock in the evening, while they also stressed the need for heavy sentences to act as a deterrent.

    The trial took place behind close doors for the protection of the victims.

    CNA MCH/EC/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1525:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Aggelidou calls EU to protect Cyprus' cultural heritage

    NICOSIA, Jun 12 (CNA) -- The need to protect the cultural heritage of Cyprus in the Turkish occupied areas has been stressed by Education and Culture Minister Klairi Aggelidou, at the Ministerial Meeting on the Cyprus - European Union (EU) Structured Dialogue in the cultural and audiovisional fields, held in Luxemburg.

    Noting the systematic looting and destruction of cultural heritage in the since 1974 Turkish occupied northern part of the island, she stressed that Europe should ''actively and effectively contribute to its protection.''

    Aggelidou also pointed out that the recognition by the European Commission, ''that Cyprus is an integral part of the European mosaic, has brought the island today, to the threshold of accession.'' She added that the meeting was ''a further expression of the importance which the EU attaches to the structured dialogue as an important tool for preparing Cyprus for its accession.''

    Regarding the audiovisual sector and specifically Cyprus' efforts and participation in the Media II programme, Aggelidou reaffirmed the Government of Cyprus declared policy ''to harmonize even at this stage where possible, its legislation policies and practices with those of the EU.''

    The Minister finally expressed her appreciation to EU officials and particularly the Italian presidency for the assistance offered to Cyprus so far.

    CNA KN/MCH/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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