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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-07-30

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <>


  • [01] French official starts contacts
  • [02] EU Irish envoy continues to be optimistic
  • [03] UN welcomes Governement position
  • [04] Official Israeli denial of violation of Cyprus air space
  • [05] Fishermen's so-called trial ''adjourned''
  • [06] Cyprus should constitute factor of stability, says Barnier
  • [07] Portuguese journalists condemn assassination on Adali

  • 1230 :CYPPRESS:01

    [01] French official starts contacts

    Nicosia, Jul 30 (CNA) -- French Alternate Minister for European Affairs Michel Barnier was received by President Glafcos Clerides here this morning, at the start of his contacts on the island.

    No details were revealed about the content of the hour-long meeting at the Presidential Palace, which was attended by Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, Under Secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros, Cyprus' Ambassador to France Andreas Pirishis and the Ministry's Permanent Secretary on European Union matters Thanos Michael.

    France's Ambassador to Cyprus Henri Jacolin and Assistant General Secretary at the French Foreign Ministry for European and Economic Affairs Claude Martin also attended the meeting.

    After the meeting Cypriot and French officials held talks at the Foreign Ministry which are believed to have focused on efforts to settle the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' application for accession to the European Union.

    Barnier was due to see Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash at noon in Turkish occupied Nicosia before returning to the southern government controlled areas of the Republic.

    The French official, who arrived last night, leaves later today.

    CNA MM/AP/1996

    [02] EU Irish envoy continues to be optimistic

    Nicosia, Jul 30 (CNA) -- The European Union (EU) Irish Presidency Representative for Cyprus, Ambassador Kester Heaslip, reaffirmed today his optimism concerning Cyprus.

    Speaking to CNA after today's hour-long meeting with UN Secretary General's Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, Heaslip said he ''makes every effort to be of service to the UN.''

    Asked whether he continues to be optimistic after meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday, Heaslip said, ''I continue to become more optimistic the more people I see.''

    The Irish diplomat said that even though he is not ''wildly'' or ''unreasonably'' optimistic he is more optimistic than when he came to Cyprus.

    Asked about his future plans, he said he intends to visit Athens and Ankara for meetings with Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his Turkish counterpart Tansu Ciller.

    CNA MCH/MM/1996

    [03] UN welcomes Government position

    Nicosia, Jul 30 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General's Resident Representative Gustave Feissel described today as ''very good'' the government's willingness to discuss UN suggestions to avoid abductions of Greek Cypriots by the Turkish occupation forces.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides expressed yesterday the government's willingness to discuss ''practical suggestions'' made by the UN concerning the sea line security issue, provided that what will be discussed ''should bear no political significance.''

    Speaking to CNA after a meeting with Irish EU Presidency Representative for Cyprus Kester Heaslip, today, Feissel said Cassoulides' statement was ''very good'', adding that ''obviously things like that can be very helpful in reducing, avoiding incidents and avoiding tensions.''

    Asked whether there have been similar reactions form the Turkish Cypriot side, Feissel said he had ''not heard anything yet'' but stressed that Cassoulides' suggestion ''ought to be pursued.''

    The UN envoy also said he could not tell why the two young Greek Cypriot fishermen, captured by Turkish occupation troops last Wednesday, are still illegally held while four British tourists, captured yesterday, were set free on the same day.

    ''It is not for me to try to guess what was in the minds of those who decided to do these things'', Feissel said when asked to comment on the issue.

    The UN envoy also told CNA that ''no invitations have as yet been sent out'' concerning the military dialogue between the commanders of the National Guard and the Turkish occupation forces. ''It is a matter which we look into and we will see what happens in the coming days'', he added.

    CNA MCH/KN/1996
    1610 :CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Official Israeli denial of violation of Cyprus air space

    Nicosia, Jul 30 (CNA) -- Israel has not and does not intend to violate the sovereignty of any friendly neighbouring country, especially Cyprus, Israeli embassy spokesman Elazar Cohen has told CNA.

    The spokesman has also denied press reports that on July 19 Israeli aircraft violated Cyprus' air space during manoeuvres as part of the Israel-Turkey military cooperation agreement.

    ''No Israeli aircraft or pilots were part of the planes which violated Cyprus' air space on July 19,'' Cohen said.

    He said scheduled flights by civil aircraft from Israel to the West normally cross through FIR Nicosia, which covers a wide area in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    ''Any time our flights to the West pass over Nicosia FIR, we ask for permission from the Cyprus government, which is normally granted. On these occasions, we do not need to cross Cyprus' air space,'' Cohen said.

    The spokesman gave these official reassurances two days before his departure from his post in Cyprus. His replacement, Mati Cohen, arrives later this week from Lima, Peru to take his duties.

    Asked to acknowledge that Israel's military agreement with Turkey has caused concern in Cyprus, Cohen reiterated his government's position that the agreement ''is not against any third country.''

    ''I can assure you,'' he said, ''the agreement does not provide for joint Israeli-Turkish flights over Cyprus.''

    Such flights take place over Israeli or Turkish air space, he explained.

    On his part, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, commenting on the official Israeli statement, reiterated President Glafcos Clerides' position on the matter that five Turkish and not Israeli aircraft had violated Cyprus' air space on July 19.

    The Spokesman said that Israel would apply to the government for permission to fly over Cyprus' air space.

    Israel, he said, ''complies with the decision of the government.''

    CNA MM/MCH/1996

    [05] Fishermen's so-called trial ''adjourned''

    Nicosia, Jul 30 (CNA) -- The two Greek Cypriot fishermen, captured by the Turkish occupation forces last Wednesday while fishing off the eastern coast of the island, have today been taken before an illegal court in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    The so-called trial of Yiannakis Hadjiyiannis, 22, and George Nicolaou, 24, has been adjourned until tomorrow while representatives of the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) were denied presence in the illegal court.

    As UN Spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski told CNA, the occupation regime used the excuse that the two were taken before a so-called ''military court'' to deny UNFICYP presence at the procedures.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot press the two Greek Cypriots were brought before a so-called ''military court'' because they ''violated'', as they claim, ''top restricted military designated area''.

    Speaking to CNA, Rockoszewski also said that despite UNFICYP efforts the families of the two captured Greek Cypriots have been denied the right to visit them.

    Meanwhile UN Secretary General's Resident Representative Gustave Feissel, commenting on the government's willingness to discuss UN ''practical suggestions'' concerning the sea line security issue, provided it ''should bear no political significance'', said it was ''very good'' and ''ought to be pursued.''

    CNA MCH/KN/1996

    [06] Cyprus should constitute factor of stability, says Barnier

    Nicosia, Jul 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus should constitute a factor of stability in the Mediterranean, French Alternate Minister for European Affairs Michel Barnier, said today, stressing his country's determination to assist efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    The French official also indicated that there are ''too many initiatives'' concerning the Cyprus problem and that there should be a European Union (EU) permanent representative to coordinate efforts and promote a settlement.

    Speaking through an interpreter, Barnier, told a press conference that his talks with President Glafcos Clerides, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and other officials, during his one-day visit to the island, were ''candid and cordial.''.

    He said he came to Cyprus to listen to Greek and Turkish Cypriots ''to try to better understand the situation at this very strategic time for the island''.

    Acknowledging that ''France is concerned with the stability in this region'' he noted that in Cyprus there is ''risk for instability or opportunity for stability, depending on how things turn out.''

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Barnier said that ''a number of initiatives have been undertaken in this respect, maybe too many initiatives'', he noted.

    He also indicated that the EU should speak with a ''single voice and single face,'' and have a person who will be ''a high representative for security in European matters, a credible and responsible figure.''

    The French official reaffirmed his country's policy on Cyprus which is to keep ''with the resolutions of the UN that provide for the construction of a federal bicommunal federal state. And this is what we will need to build on from now on''. He also noted that France is more than willing to participate in this process.

    He also said that France has decided to send an official representative of the Government to the island ''to try to find the best way to achieve accession to the European Union for Cyprus.''

    The perspective of EU membership ''is contingent upon a fair and balanced benefit for the entire population of the island,'' he added.

    Asked to comment on Turkey's human rights' record, bearing in mind the 22 year old Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory, as well as the death of 12 inmates in Turkish prisons, Barnier said:

    ''I cannot pretend to say I saw and heard everything in my short stay here'', adding that he ''did not come here to give lessons or to point the finger at anybody and say who is wrong and who is responsible for the damage caused''.

    Referring to the situation in Turkey, he said the EU, ''is very mindful of developments'' in the country and in Turkish prisons.

    France, he said, keeps ''an ongoing dialogue with Turkey'', because it ''cannot possibly afford to isolate such a significant country''.

    On his part, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said the French delegation's visit to the island was ''very important'' because it comes at a time when a great deal of interest for a Cyprus settlement, is shown from many countries.''

    Michaelides stressed that the best time for a Cyprus settlement is the period before accession talks start, six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    CNA EC/MCH/1996
    2020 :CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Portuguese journalists condemn assassination of Adali

    Nicosia, 30 Jul (CNA) -- The Portuguese Journalists Union strongly condemns the assassination of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adali.

    In a statement the union demands ''respect of human rights and freedom of expression'' in the Turkish occupied northern part of the island and stresses that Adali was assassinated because of ''his political options''.

    Kutlu Adali, a columnist for Turkish Cypriot newspaper ''Yeni Duzen'', mouthpiece of the leftist Republican Turkish Party, was assassinated early this month by unknown assailants, near his house in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    He had repeatedly criticised the occupation regime and Rauf Denktash's separatist policy and systematic influx of Turkish colonist settlers in the occupied northern part of Cyprus.

    CNA KN/MCH/1996

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