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Cyprus News Agency 96-07-13.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] Party leaders visit tension area
  • [02] Cyprus welcomes Lebanon truce monitoring chair

  • 1420:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Party leaders visit tension area

    Nicosia, Jul 13 (CNA) -- Cypriot political party leaders visited today Ayios Kassianos area, in the eastern part of the walled divided capital Nicosia, where tension mounted in the last few days because of dangerous provocations created by the Turkish occupation army.

    Delegations of three parliamentary parties spoke to the area residents, whose houses are very near to the ceasefire line.

    Ignoring repeated calls by UN peacekeepers in the area, Turkish soldiers throw stones and other objects against the Greek Cypriot residents and their houses and cars, smashing windows.

    Already the Cyprus government has strongly protested to the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which promised to increase patrols in the area in case contacts with the Turkish occupation army did not yield results.

    Yiannakis Matsis, leader of the rightwing Democratic Rally Party, remarked that the Turkish provocations aimed at averting any step towards the right direction.

    Demetris Christofias, General Secretary of the leftwing AKEL, said the Turks were trying to avert every thought to unman the area and called on the government to take the necessary measures to protect the residents.

    Centre-right Democratic Party MP Nicos Moushouttas said his party favoured the return to the situation of the National Guard positions along the ceasefire line, before the unmanning agreement in 1989.

    Meanwhile, AKEL has called on UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to intervene to put an immediate end to dangerous provocations created by the Turkish occupation army along the ceasefire line.

    In a letter to Boutros-Ghali, the opposition party, the second largest in the 56-seat House of Representatives, expresses concern over tension created in recent days by the Turkish occupation troops.

    The Turkish act ''constitutes a sheer provocation aiming at terrorising the residents of the area and obstruct the further extension of the disengagement (unmanning) agreement, which AKEL supports. The actions of the occupation troops have endangered the safety of the residents and mainly of small children.''

    The letter says ''we consider that these provocations escalate the tension and aggravate the situation with unpredictable consequences. This is by far not an indication of good will from the side of Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leadership, nor does it facilitates the climate of understanding and trust between the two communities, which is necessary in order to progress towards a solution of the Cyprus problem,'' AKEL adds.

    AKEL concludes its letter with an appeal to the UN Chief ''to intervene without any delay in order to put an immediate end to these dangerous provocations and avert any further deterioration of the situations''.

    A copy of this letter, signed by AKEL's General Secretary Demetris Christofias, was handed over to UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory. CNA/GP/1996


    [02] Cyprus welcomes Lebanon truce monitoring chair

    Nicosia, Jul 13 (CNA) -- Cyprus has been selected to be the venue of the chair of a five-nation Lebanon truce monitoring group to be based in the south Lebanese border town of Naquora.

    Cyprus welcomed the agreement reached Friday by representatives of the United States, France, Israel, Syria and Lebanon meeting at the US State Department, in Washington.

    Alecos Michaelides, the island's Foreign Minister, told ''Reuter'' that the agreement ''is definitely a move forward''.

    He said ''it is a good development for the whole region. If the peace process continues and concludes it will create a new climate conducive to political and economic cooperation... and a positive climate for achieving a solution to the Cyprus problem''.

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

    This east Mediterranean island republic had in the past offered to host Arab-Israeli peace talks and the headquarters of a Middle East development bank.

    It was agreed the United States and France would be rotating co-chairs, with Washington holding the post for the first five-month period.

    The chair, based in Cyprus, will operate 24 hours to receive complaints of ceasefire violations.

    It will also organise meetings of the monitoring group composed of military representatives to decide within 72 hours how to handle the complaints.

    The group will check compliance with the April 27 ceasefire, which ended a 17-day Israeli blitz against Hizbollah guerillas in south Lebanon.

    CNA GP/1996

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