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Cyprus News Agency 96-07-12.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Australian Premier pressed for Cyprus action
  • [02] Russian ambassador promises to help enclaved
  • [03] Unificyp increases patrols on Green Line 1500 :CYPPRESS:01

  • [01] Australian Premier pressed for Cyprus action

    Nicosia, 12 Jul (CNA) -- South Australia's State Labour leader, Mike Rann, called on newly elected Prime Minister John Howard for Australia to raise the Turkish occupation of the north of the island within the United Nations, the Commonwealth and other international forums.

    In a letter to the Prime Minister, Rann said he has for some years now, been active in support of a just resolution to the problems of Cyprus.

    The South Australian leader noted the illegal occupation of the northern part of the island by Turkish troops since 1974 as well as the continued settlement programme encouraged by the Turkish government.

    Having stressed Australia's continued support and involvement in the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Rann said it is now important for the Australian government ''to reaffirm its commitment to a continued presence of Australian Police in the UNFICYP''.

    Referring to the 1619 missing persons, since the 1974 Turkish invasion, Rann recalled that he has moved in a resolution to the South Australian Parliament, requesting that the Federal Government actively support the UN Committee for Missing Persons in their work in Cyprus.

    He also requested that the ''government raise the issue of the missing people of Cyprus in the General Assembly of the United Nations''.

    Rann also expressed the view that the Federal Government should ''remind Britain of its clear responsibilities in attempting to resolve the Cyprus issue''. An example would be for Australia ''to take the lead in highlighting the Cyprus issue at the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting'', he added.

    Britain, together with Greece and Turkey is one of the guarantor powers of Cyprus.

    Rann also said that Australia should encourage Britain to take the lead in assisting Cyprus to join the European Union.

    He said Cypriot political leaders ''are keen to secure Australian support for Cyprus' application to join the EU''.

    Finally, Rann expressed concern at claims by the Turkish government that it is negotiating to secure a sister port relationship between Adelaide and Izmir (Smyrne).

    ''I request that the Federal government advice the Brown government in South Australia that any negotiations should be suspended until Turkey removes its troops from Cyprus and obeys international law'', he concluded.

    CNA EC/AP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1900:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Russian ambassador promises to help enclaved

    Nicosia, Jul 12 (CNA) -- The Russian Ambassador to Cyprus, Boris Zenkov, promised here today that he will exert his influence, for Greek Cypriot refugees from the Karpass peninsula to be able to visit the Monastery of Ayios Andreas in their Turkish occupied village.

    The president of the association 'Free United Karpasia', Michalakis Michellis, speaking on behalf of the representatives of the Karpass people and the Maronites, with whom Zenkov met today, asked the Russian Ambassador to show particular sensitivity on the issue of the enclaved and to act without hesitation for their protection.

    Michellis also said that Zenkov briefed them on his activities for the enclaved in the occupied areas, as well as on his efforts to improve their living conditions.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory. The number of the enclaved living in the occupied areas has fallen to about 550, mainly due to the restrictions imposed by the Denktash regime there and the appalling living conditions.

    CNA RG/EC/1996
    NNNN ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

    1920 CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Unificyp increases patrols on Green Line

    Nicosia, Jul 12 (CNA) -- The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is considering increasing its patrols along the Nicosia demarcation line, following incidents caused by the Turkish occupation troops, threatening the security of the residents.

    Residents of the Ayios Kasianos area, in the old part of down town Nicosia, are claiming that over the past few days Turkish soldiers have been throwing stones, metal pieces and even firing shots, causing damages to houses.

    Unificyp Spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski told CNA that yesterday the force held a meeting with the Turkish occupation military forces and was planning another one today at a higher level.

    ''If it brings no result, we will raise the level of patrols'', he added.

    Rokoszewski said the UN patrols the area, but as soon as the soldiers leave the stone throwing begins again.

    ''We are considering further military measures, in the form of more frequent or permanent patrols over there. We will do our best to stop these regretful actions'', Rokoszewski added.

    The Unficyp spokesman described such incidents as ''a well known phenomenon along the buffer zone, where both sides are in close proximity''.

    Rokoszewski expressed disagreement with Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides who has said that these kind of incidents prove that unmanning agreements are futile.

    ''Our position is that these kind of incidents, as well as any other, call for further unmanning,'' the UN spokesman said.

    The area is one of two which come under a 1989 unmanning agreement between both sides. The other is the Roccas Bastion near Nicosia's Paphos Gate.

    Rokoszewski said Unficyp is approaching both sides, on a political and military level, calling for the extension of the unmanning agreement.

    He noted that soldiers on both sides are occasionally engaged ''in this kind of stupid activity which may lead to dangerous incidents if not solved''.

    Rokoszewski said that although this time the incident originated from the Turkish Cypriot side, he can recall many incidents which originated from National Guard soldiers.

    However, he expressed the hope that with further contacts with the Turkish occupation forces and frequent patrols, the problem will be solved.

    Earlier today, Government Spokesman Cassoulides also expressed the hope that Unificyp will soon take the necessary measures.

    Meanwhile, in a press release issued Friday, the Nicosia Municipality said that it is closely monitoring the situation and Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades visited the area today together with representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

    The restoration of houses in the old part of Nicosia was financed by the UNHCR, in a bid to bring families with small children into the area that was deserted after the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern third of the island.

    According to the statement, Demetriades pointed out to UNHCR officials and Unificyp representatives that they have an obligation to protect the residents of the area.

    He said it is ''illogical'' to waste UN money for the restoration of houses, which are subsequently destroyed by aggressive incidents such as this, and warned that families will be forced to leave.

    CNA EC/MA/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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