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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-08-08

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: "HR-Net News Distribution Manager" <dist@hri.org>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus Israel messages for each other
  • [02] Slight earth tremour off western coast
  • [03] Meningitis strain identified - may have been imported
  • [04] Bikers on the way to Peireus
  • [05] Intensive talks an option for Cyprus, says top UN envoy
  • [06] Turks not expected to enter buffer zone, says top UN envoy
  • [07] Military talks still on the cards
  • [08] Cyprus has no information about Dayton-style conference
  • [09] Cyprus protest against airspace violation
  • [10] Greek Defence Minister to visit Cyprus
  • [11] Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots meet unexpectedly
  • [12] Police action plan to control bikers

  • 1050:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus, Israel ferry messages for each other

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- Israel has often acted on behalf of the government of Cyprus by communicating messages the Cypriot authorities have requested to pass on to the US, Europe and possibly Turkey, reliable diplomatic sources have said.

    The same sources have also said Cyprus has passed on messages on Israel's behalf to Arab countries.

    Speaking to CNA on condition of anonymity, the diplomatic sources said Israeli Ministers, when asked to convey messages concerning the Cyprus problem, oblige because ''the continuation of the Cyprus question does not contribute to the Middle East peace process.''

    The same sources indicated that former Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres had communicated messages following requests from the Cyprus government.

    They also noted that Cypriot Ministers ''meet and discuss various issues with Arab officials.''

    The Cyprus government refrained from commenting on the matter.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, the diplomatic sources pointed out that any ''positive development'' in Cyprus would affect the Middle East peace process in a positive manner.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of this east Mediterranean island since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    The same sources said Israel's experience of the Oslo talks right through to the Madrid Peace Conference in October 1993 ''is being examined and adapted in other parts of the globe.''

    They also believe that Greek and Turkish Cypriots have the will to solve the Cyprus issue but politicians will have to show their readiness to settle the problem.

    Reaching an agreement, they pointed out, means ''bridging a gap and that means compromise by both parties.''

    Enhanced relations between Israel and Cyprus, the sources said, have a reciprocally beneficial effect on both countries.

    They added Cyprus is a neighbouring country which upholds democratic values, and maintains good relations with most countries in the region.

    The diplomats said Israel would like to benefit from this.

    The fact that Cyprus has been selected as the venue of the chair of the five-nation Lebanon truce monitoring committee is a demonstration of good relations between the two countries, they added.

    They said Cyprus may very well host negotiations on the Middle East peace process.''

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1100:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Slight earth tremour off western coast

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- A slight earth tremour, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, was registered in the sea area, some 20 kilometres off the western coastal town of Paphos.

    Mathiatis Seismological Centre said today the tremour was recorded at 0756 local time (0456 GMT) and was felt only in Paphos.

    No injuries and no damage was reported.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1200:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Meningitis strain identified - may have been imported

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- Health Minister Manolis Christophides has said the recent outbreak of meningitis may have been imported into the island through contact with tourists.

    He told a press conference on Wednesday that the strain of meningitis was identified by University of London experts as coxcackie B, an enterovirus that can be passed on from person to person.

    ''This type of meningitis virus also appeared in Britain this year and was detected in other countries, including France, Sweden and Russia,'' he said.

    So far 206 people, 178 children and 28 adults, were affected by viral meningitis in the past five weeks, most of them in the southern coastal town of Limassol.

    Specialist doctor Androula Eleftheriou said identifying the origin of the virus was an almost impossible task.

    She said the infection is showing signs of subsiding.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1250:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Bikers on the way to Peireus

    by Rebekah Gregoriades

    Volos, Aug 8 (CNA) -- Bikers, taking part in an anti-occupation ride from Berlin to the Turkish-occupied town of Kyrenia in Cyprus, are on their way to the Greek port of Peireus to board a ferry for Cyprus, the last leg of their ten-day journey.

    They arrived here late Wednesday night and were warmly greeted by members of the Greek Motorcycle Federation.

    In Volos, the 120 Cypriot and European bikers, who set off last Friday from Berlin, were joined by another 20 Cypriot motorcyclists and other Italian bikers, who reached Volos earlier in the day.

    In Athens, bikers intend to lay a wreath at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, if time permits. They have fallen behind schedule because of delays on the Yugoslav border, which forced them to take a detour via Romania and Bulgaria, a move that put them back by almost 24 hours.

    The bikers, in high spirits despite their racing against the time, are expected to arrive in Cyprus on Saturday morning, a day ahead of the planned protest rally along the 180-kilometre long UN-controlled buffer zone across the island.

    Both the government and the UN have warned against trouble in the buffer zone while the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime, in occupied Cyprus, has told the bikers to stay out of its so-called state or there will be serious repercussions.

    In Cyprus, the Association for the protection of Human Rights issued a statement welcoming the ''peaceful and lawful anti-occupation rally'' which it considers is part of the lengthy struggle of the people of Cyprus to achieve respect of human rights, grossly violated by Turkey since its troops invaded the island and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    ''We call on the UN and in particular the UN peace-keeping force (UNFICYP) to avert any threatened action by the Turkish occupation troops, which violate the UN Charter,'' the Association said.

    The Association called on the motorcyclists to maintain the peaceful nature of their protest and give their ardent support to the bikers for Sunday's rally.

    CNA RG/MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1410:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Intensive talks an option for Cyprus, says top UN envoy

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- UN resident representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel considers that confidential intensive negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides aimed at reaching an agreement is very much on the cards as a possible option to try and settle the protracted Cyprus question.

    But Feissel has pointed out that there is nothing new happening now that has not been discussed or dealt with in the recent past to warrant increased attention to press reports from New York that ''mediators are working to convene a Dayton-style conference'' on Cyprus.

    Commenting on the report carried by ''Reuter'' yesterday, Feissel said ''there is nothing happening today to make you think there is something going on today which was not going on yesterday.''

    Feissel said the UN has often said ''the two leaders should get together as soon as there is clear indication they are willing to negotiate on the basis of give and take across the board.''

    He said ''we also believe that the approach to be followed in such negotiations should be on a comprehensive basis.''

    He added ''one possibility that has always been envisaged is that when the two leaders get together they should stay together until they finish the job.''

    Feissel considered that the use of the name ''Dayton'' in this context ''gives the impression this is something new,'' but, he said, ''if the word Dayton is deleted, we see in the report what we have been talking about as a possibility for a long time.''

    Asked if gruelling, intensive negotiations, similar to the Dayton talks, were on the cards for Cyprus, the UN envoy replied ''everybody has always envisaged that the best way to deal with the Cyprus problem is for the two leaders to enter in direct talks for comprehensive talks on all issues.''

    Replying to questions, he said ''various people believe that it may be easier to hold talks outside Cyprus and this is one consideration people have talked about but no decision has been taken on this matter.''

    Invited to assess the possible stand Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash would take on this issue, Feissel said ''I do not think that is something they would object to. This is something we have discussed with both leaders.''

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of this east Mediterranean island since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1450:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Turks not expected to enter buffer zone, says top UN envoy

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- The Turks have no right to enter the buffer zone and the UN does not expect them to do so during Sunday's anti-occupation protest by thousands of bikers, UN Deputy Special Representative for Cyprus Gustave Feissel has said.

    Asked if the UN had any contingency plans to prevent the Turkish occupation troops from moving into the buffer zone, Feissel said ''the Turks have no right to move into the buffer zone and they know that and we do not expect them to do that.''

    Feissel was commenting on press reports that the Turkish Cypriots, in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, would go to great lengths to prevent any biker from entering their self-styled state.

    The organisers of the protest, the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation, have often stressed the peaceful nature of the protest but both the Cyprus government and the UN have expressed concerned about the possibility of incidents during the rally.

    Feissel said the UN had no information from the Turkish Cypriots that they seriously intend to fire live ammunition against the bikers, as Turkish Cypriot press reports have suggested.

    He said the UN ''has been in touch with the Turkish Cypriots and kept them informed about the very serious efforts that are being made on this side to keep this thing under control.''

    The Turkish Cypriots are nervous too, he added and explained that everybody is concerned about the potential danger and the need to prevent violation of ceasefire line and buffer zone.

    ''The Cyprus government and police have done a very good job in getting themselves ready,'' Feissel told CNA and expressed the hope that it will all work out in a peaceful way.

    UN spokeswoman in New York Sylvana Foe said yesterday that the large number of bikers, estimated at 7,000, give rise ''to some concern that the demonstrators may attempt to enter the buffer zone, thereby creating unnecessary tension between the two communities.''

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

    Some 1,200 peacekeepers monitor the cease-fire agreement and patrol the 180-kilometre buffer zone across this east Mediterranean island.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1520:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Military talks still on the cards

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- The UN hopes to have a clearer picture in the next few days about the convening of a dialogue between the military chiefs of the National Guard and the Turkish occupation forces, UN top envoy Gustave Feissel said today.

    Speaking to CNA, Feissel said ''we still hope we can have the military talks but things have not been nailed down completely.''

    This, he said, will become clear soon, in a few days.

    Noting the distinct delay in having the talks, originally scheduled for July, Feissel was adamant that the military dialogue ''is not dead as yet.''

    He said such a dialogue would be very useful for the two commanders because it would give them the chance to discuss technical problems.

    ''We are trying to get things clarified and hopefully have the meeting, but we are not quite there yet,'' Feissel acknowledged.

    The military talks were announced by US ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright, during her visit to Cyprus last month but obstacles have emerged since then because of a request by the Turkish Cypriot regime to have their own ''commander'' at the talks.

    The original invitation to the dialogue had always envisaged to be addressed to the National Guard commander and the Turkish occupation forces commander.

    Soon after the announcement, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash requested that the ''commander'' of his self-styled forces, who is actually a Turk, be present at the talks.

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has made it absolutely clear that the Greek Cypriot side would not attend the talks if the Turkish Cypriot so-called forces commander is there.

    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
    1720:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Cyprus has no information about Dayton-style conference

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has no information about the convening of a Dayton-style conference for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    This was said by Acting Government Spokesman Spyros Arotis when asked to comment on a ''Reuter'' report from the UN yesterday, that mediators involved in the protracted Cyprus dispute are working to convene a Dayton-style conference early next year.

    The Spokesman reiterated the government's stance that direct talks between the two sides in Cyprus should take place after common ground is found on the basic issues of the problem.

    Earlier today, UN resident Representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel told CNA that confidential intensive negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, aimed at reaching an agreement, is very much on the cards as a possible option to try and settle the protracted Cyprus question.

    Commenting on the report, Feissel said ''there is nothing happening today to make you think there is something going on today which was not going on yesterday.''

    He added the UN has often said ''the two leaders should get together as soon as there is clear indication they are willing to negotiate on the basis of give and take across the board.''

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

    CNA AP/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1810:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Cyprus protest against airspace violation

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has protested to the United Nations against the violation of Cyprus' airspace by Turkish military helicopters yesterday.

    The helicopters flew over the government-controlled part of the capital Nicosia, south of the demarcation line.

    Acting Government Spokesman Spyros Arotis told the press today that the island' Foreign Ministry had made the necessary representations to the United Nations.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 of this east Mediterranean island's territory since 1974, in violation of numerous UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1830:CYPPRESS:10

    [10] Greek Defence Minister to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- Greece's Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis will visit Cyprus by the end of this month, the Cyprus government announced today.

    Acting Government Spokesman Spyros Arotis said Arsenis together with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will welcome the Greek navy vessel ''Samos'', on August 31, at Limassol port.

    The arrival of the ship is part of the cultural events, ''From Thrace to Cyprus'', which will start on August 18.

    President Clerides and Arsenis will attend the opening of the cultural events, on August 18, on the Aegean island of Samothraki.

    President Clerides will leave from Cyprus on August 18 and will return the next day, Arotis added.

    CNA AP/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2000:CYPPRESS:11

    [11] Greek and Turkish Cypriots meet unexpectedly

    Paphos, Aug 8 (CNA) -- A group of Greek and Turkish Cypriots had an unexpected meeting today at a village situated in the free areas of this east Mediterranean island, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    A bus carrying some 30 Turkish Cypriots through the free areas back to their nearby village Limnitis in the occupied part was stopped this afternoon at the village of Kato Pyrgos, north-west of the capital Nicosia.

    The village inhabited by Greek Cypriots is situated at the western end of the demarcation line dividing Cyprus into two since 1974.

    Kato Pyrgos community head Krinos Theocharous along with some adults and a group of children got in the bus and greeted the Turkish Cypriot passengers. The kids offered them juices and flowers.

    Theocharous had a few minutes' talk with Yirdirim Ibrahim Kaparas, community head of Limnitis. Both were very close friends since their childhood.

    The Greek Cypriot community head said the aim of all those manifestations, that lasted only for ten minutes, was ''to show that Greek and Turkish Cypriots can live together in peace on this island.''

    He added that ten minutes were enough to show that peaceful coexistence of the two communities is possible.

    At the escort of the Cypriot police and the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) the Turkish Cypriot bus left for Limnitis.

    The Turkish Cypriot people were allowed to pass through the free areas after a permission was granted by the Cyprus government.

    They had taken part in a ceremony at the nearby Turkish Cypriot enclave Kokkina, on the occasion of the battle fought in the Tylliria area, in August 1964, when Turkish plane bombed the area.

    The group was joined there by some other 500 Turkish Cypriots taken to Kokkina from the occupied areas by a ferry boat.

    Present at the Kokkina ceremony was Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who was the main speaker.

    CNA SS/AP/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2030:CYPPRESS:15

    [12] Police action plan to control bikers

    Nicosia, Aug 8 (CNA) -- While about 200 Cypriot and European bikers, who are to stage an anti-occupation ride in Cyprus on Sunday, began the last leg of their trip, the island's police chiefs had two meetings today to discuss an action plan to avoid incidents during the ride.

    The bikers, on 150 motorcycles, set off for Cyprus from Berlin last Friday, were scheduled to board a ship at Pireus port, Greece, today, for Cyprus. They are expected to arrive at Limassol port here Saturday morning.

    The following day they will stage a peaceful ride organised by the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation and supported by the Federation of European Motorcyclists. About seven thousand bikers and other Greek Cypriots are expected to take part.

    Their aim is to demand freedom of movement all over the island, a right denied to Greek Cypriots since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern third.

    Meanwhile, the Chief of Cyprus Police Panicos Hadjiloizou and senior police officers met this morning to discuss an action plan for the day of the ride to avoid incidents or trouble in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    After this meeting at Police Headquarters, the police chiefs went to Dhekelia, in the southeastern part of the island, where they met British Sovereign Base Area, Chief Constable Eric Valance, to discuss co-ordination between the two police forces on the day of the ride.

    During their ride on Sunday, the motorcyclists are to pass through areas controlled by the British Bases in Cyprus, very near to the Turkish-occupied areas, considered as highly sensitive.

    The Cypriot and British police chiefs also visited the part of the route the bikers will take, that falls within the British Base areas.

    Both Hadjiloizou and Valance refrained from disclosing any details of the action plan.

    In a statement to CNA earlier today, a British Bases spokesman said their police force will ''positively discourage people'' from entering the buffer zone through the Bases.

    Both the Cyprus government and the UN have warned against trouble in the buffer zone, while, according to Turkish-Cypriot press reports, the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime has threatened to go as far as firing shots against any person who tries to cross its so-called ''borders''.

    CNA MA/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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