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Cyprus News Agency 96-06-26.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] President Clerides attends Papandreou's funeral
  • [02] London auctioneers ''ready to be helpful'' on stolen antiquity
  • [03] US Congress impatient with Turkish occupation, says Gilman
  • [04] Church service to honour Papandreou
  • [05] Cyprus issue at London meeting
  • [06] UN envoy seeks detailed views, says Spokesman
  • [07] Partial withdrawl will not settle security issue

  • 1000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides attends Papandreou's funeral

    Nicosia, Jun 26 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides left early today for Athens to attend the funeral of former Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, later today.

    President Clerides is accompanied by Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides. He is due back this evening.

    President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou went to Athens yesterday while other party leaders and representatives are travelling to the Greek capital to attend the funeral service.

    Meanwhile, flags at government buildings are flying today at half-mast while government offices will close half an hour earlier today, at 1400 local time.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    1600 :CYPPRESS:02

    [02] London auctioneers ''ready to be helpful'' on stolen antiquity

    Nicosia, Jun 26 (CNA) -- While the Cyprus government is taking all the necessary steps to have a stolen ancient item withdrawn from a London auction, the auctioneers appear willing to withdraw it if appropriate proof is provided.

    Georgina Whiteman, of the antiquities department of ''Bonhams'' auctioneers in London, told CNA today she ''wishes to be helpful'' and added ''if we have proof and we feel the description we get from you (Cyprus) corresponds to the item we have, then we shall take a position on that.''

    If not, she explained, the auction will go ahead.

    Lot 88 in Bonhams' auction catalogue for July 4 includes an east Greek Geometric skyphos of the late 8th century B.C., believed to be have been stolen from a private collection in Cyprus' northern Turkish occupied areas of the island.

    A spokesman for the Cyprus Department of Antiquities has said the authorities are making the appropriate moves to prove the ownership of this item, which was identified by its proprietor.

    Asked what proof they would need, Whiteman said ''ownership of the item would have to be proven by giving precise details from the archives, such as its registration number, a photograph, a detailed description including dimensions.''

    She said this particular kind of item is ''a very common type'' and noted that had it been an unusual item whose ownership was questioned, it would have been withdrawn immediately.

    Replying to questions, she said the skyphos came from ''somebody in Germany, who had bought it in an auction but we do not know where, and he found it difficult to believe that it could have come from your collection.''

    This person, she said, a German national, ''deals in antiquities, is very well respected and well known, he is not somebody we feel we need to ask questions about.''

    The item ''has obviously passed through many hands, if this is the right one,'' she added.

    Asked what procedure Bonhams follows to place an item on auction, Whiteman said ''anybody can come to bring an item to be auctioned but we are always very careful because there are a lot of pieces offered to us that have been illegally excavated and we always turn those away.''

    CNA MM/MA/1996

    [03] US Congress impatient with Turkish occupation, says Gilman

    Nicosia, Jun 26 (CNA) -- The US Congress is running out of patience with the continuing Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern areas, Benjamin Gilman, Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, has said.

    In a letter to US Presidential Emissary Richard Beattie, Gilman urged him ``to make it clear to the Turkish authorities, particularly the Turkish military, that the patience of the Congress with the continued Turkish occupation of Cyprus is almost exhausted.''

    Welcoming the US Administration's renewed ''active role in encouraging the parties to the Cyprus dispute to resolve this long-standing problem,'' Gilman said ''we cannot allow the fact that Turkey is an important NATO ally to excuse the continued military occupation and territorial claims against another small country that we also value strongly as a friend.''

    Gilman said that the Committee ''appreciates the fact that it will require negotiation and compromise by both sides of the Cyprus dispute to achieve a just solution.''

    But, he added, ''we believe the Turkish military holds the key to allowing such a process to begin, namely by beginning the withdrawal of Turkish military forces from the island.''

    Richard Beattie is expected to visit Cyprus next month as part of American efforts to make headway in the Cyprus problem.

    CNA KN/MM/1996

    [04] Church service to honour Papandreou

    Nicosia, Jun 26 (CNA) -- As the late Greek Premier Andreas Papandreou was laid to rest in Athens, the Cyprus branch of the party he founded, PASOK, held a church service here to honour him.

    The Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos officiated the service at St. John's Cathedral, in Nicosia, in the presence of Acting President Nicos Anastasiades, Defence Minister Costas Eliades, Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Alexandros Sandis, MPs, dignitaries and scores of Greek Cypriots.

    PASOK branch of Cyprus raised funds in Papandreou's memory for the Cyprus Defence Fund, in aid of infrastructure work for one of Papandreou's visions, a Greco-Cypriot joint defence pact, agreed between himself and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides in November 1993.

    In his obituary, General Secretary of the Cyprus PASOK Committee, Nikos Orologas, said ''Papandreou's great loss comes at a very difficult period for Cyprus'' and described him as ''a charismatic leader in the international political arena.''

    He said through the defence pact Papandreou reversed the view that Cyprus was too far away from Greece to be offered protection. The defence pact provides for air, land and sea cover from Greece for Cyprus in the event of a fresh Turkish offensive.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos called for adherence to Papandreou's position that the Cyprus question will only be solved when the national flag is hoisted in Turkish occupied Kyrenia, on the northern coast.

    President Clerides represented Cyprus at Papandreou's funeral today in Athens. Speaking at Athens airport the President said Papandreou had displayed decisiveness to ''defend Cyprus' freedom.''

    ''We are convinced that the manner in which he dealt with national issues would remain as guiding lines for the future,'' Clerides added.

    Flags flew at half mast in all government buildings today and tomorrow the House of Representatives will devote part of its regular session to Papandreou's memory, with speeches from party leaders.

    CNA MM/MA/1996

    [05] Cyprus issue at London meeting

    London, Jun 26 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali is expected to discuss the protracted Cyprus problem with British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind in London tonight.

    According to reliable CNA sources in the British capital, the two men will discuss the Cyprus problem over a working dinner.

    Meanwhile, British Prime Minister John Major reiterated his country's decisiveness to work towards creating the conditions which would allow for negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to begin.

    In a meeting in London yesterday Major reassured Boutros Boutros-Ghali that Britain's special representative for Cyprus, former diplomat Sir David Hannay, will cooperate fully with the UN.

    CNA KT/MA/MM/1996

    [06] UN envoy seeks detailed views, says Spokesman

    Nicosia, Jun 26 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, would like to hear the views and positions of various quarters, according to Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides.

    ''I believe the purpose of his visit here is to seek more views on how to approach the Cyprus question,'' Cassoulides told his daily press briefing.

    Han is on a six-day visit to Cyprus to familiarise himself with the Cyprus question and hear the views of people on both sides of the divide, including trade unions and businesspeople.

    ''Han said he intends to visit European capitals and Washington in an effort to coordinate efforts to make headway in the Cyprus problem,'' the Spokesman said.

    Han, who met President Clerides after his arrival yesterday, met today Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash who is reported to have asked the UN envoy to talk President Clerides into accepting a dialogue to establish if there is common ground to start talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    The UN envoy is scheduled to see the President again on Friday.

    He will also tour the UN controlled buffer zone and give a press conference for Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists on Saturday, before leaving the following day.

    CNA MM/MA/1996

    [07] Partial withdrawal will not settle security issue

    Nicosia, Jun 26 (CNA) -- The issue of security cannot be resolved by a reduction of Turkish occupation troops and a freeze on Cyprus' defence spending, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said here today.

    Speaking to the press, Cassoulides said ''a reduction in the number of Turkish occupation troops and a freeze of the National Guard weapons acquisition programme is not the answer to the security issue.''

    Cassoulides pointed out that within 24 hours, Turkey has the capability to bring back to the island troops which might have been withdrawn.

    ''If one agrees to a partial reduction and withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops, this might imply that one recognises the legal presence of the remaining troops,'' the Spokesman added.

    Cassoulides reiterated President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus.

    The issue of security has been at the core of ongoing efforts to find common ground between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides which would enable negotiations to start.

    CNA MM/MA/1996

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