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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-08-19

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Peaceful process for settlement, every means if necessary
  • [02] Party leaders object to Clerides-Denktash meeting
  • [03] National Council to examine draft declaration, US proposal
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Cyprus comments on UNFICYP report
  • [06] Turkish Cypriots condemn murders of Isaac and Solomou
  • [07] Clerides: Talks only when common ground is reached
  • [08] Denktash positive for joint statement
  • [09] Clerides rejects meeting with Denktash

  • 1100:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Peaceful process for settlement, every means if necessary

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has made it clear that Cyprus seeks to settle the protracted Cyprus question through peaceful means but also stressed that ''any means'' will be used to defend the island.

    The President's comments were backed by Greece's Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis, who said war is an option, if the need arises.

    The two men met in Salonica, northern Greece, on Sunday where President Clerides flew on Sunday to attend cultural celebrations dedicated to ''Thrace-the Aegean-Cyrpus'', including a theatre production and lectures on the national identity of these outposts of Greek Hellenism in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    ''We shall not allow Cyprus to be seized because if we do, other areas in the Aegean will be put at risk. We shall defend our southern flanks in a decisive manner, '' President Clerides, on his way to the island of Samothraki before returning home later today, said in his response to Arsenis' toast at a lunch in Salonica.

    He also pointed out that ''we shall try to solve the Cyprus problem through peaceful means but we shall not hesitate to defend with every means the rights of Hellenism.''

    Arsenis said the joint Greco-Cypriot defence pact, agreed between the two governments in November 1993, ''is a necessity for Hellenism.''

    ''The defence pact means the political will to fight, if need be, for our national rights,'' Arsenis said.

    Greek Minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Philipos Petsalnikos, who hosted the lunch, spoke on the same wavelength and said that the brutal killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turks and Turkish Cypriots last week in the UN buffer zone ''may signal the start of a campaign to restore law and order in the region.''

    President Clerides and Arsenis are due in Samothraki today to attend the official start of a journey aboard the landing craft ''Samos'', a trip which is part of the cultural programme of events to culminate in a conference in the Greek island of Samos.

    The President returns home Monday afternoon and tomorrow will chair a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question, to decide whether the President should attend a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, following last week's murders by Turkish crowds, including so called Turkish Cypriot police, of two Greek Cypriot protestors who broke into the UN buffer zone.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1120:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Party leaders object to Clerides-Denktash meeting

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- Leaders of the five parliamentary parties here have expressed grave reservations and in some cases downright opposition to a UN-proposed meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Most party leaders also object to a joint declaration by Clerides and Denktash expressing sadness over last week's tragic events on the island and reiterating their adherence to a settlement through dialogue.

    UN Secretary-General's envoy in Cyprus Gustave Feissel is reported to have given President Clerides a letter from Boutros Boutros-Ghali inviting the President to make such moves along with Denktash.

    Local press reports have suggested that the letter was conveyed last week after Turkish troops, including so-called Turkish Cypriot police officers, battered to death an unarmed Greek Cypriot demonstrator in the UN-controlled buffer zone and three days later they shot and killed a second unarmed demonstrator climbing a flagpole to pull down the Turkish flag.

    The reply to Ghali's proposal will be drafted at tomorrow's meeting of the National Council, comprising the five party leader and chaired by the President.

    Ruling Democratic Rally party leader Yiannakis Matsis told Cyprus radio this morning he opposed the idea of a Clerides-Denktash meeting and avoided taking a stance on a joint statement of intent.

    Matsis called on everybody to expose Turkish barbarity, as witnessed on TV footage, and make the best use out of the international publicity Cyprus has obtained following the two killings.

    ''We must reverse Denktash's attempts to claim that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together. The presence of members of the Turkish terrorist organisation 'Grey Wolves' in Cyprus at Denktash's invitation must also be exposed,'' Matsis added.

    Main opposition party leader, General Secretary of AKEL, Demetris Christofias described Ghali's proposal as ''untimely'' and said the idea of a joint declaration will be dealt with at tomorrow's meeting.

    ''Ghali's proposal at this stage is no coincidence. In times of crisis, there will be pressure for a meeting or a solution,'' he added.

    Christofias echoed Matsis' position that ''we must pull the rug under Denktash's feet'' and exploit the recent tragic events.

    House President and ruling coalition partner, Spyros Kyprianou, who heads the Democratic Party, said he opposed both a meeting and a joint declaration and pointed out that the UN puts on an equal footing President Clerides and the representative of the Turkish Cypriot occupation regime.

    ''I believe the attacks against Greek Cypriot demonstrators who broke into the buffer zone and the killings were carried out with Turkish blessing and Grey Wolves and the Turkish occupation forces were under orders to shoot and kill,'' Kyprianou added.

    EDEK party leader Vassos Lyssarides said he objected to a meeting between the President and Denktash and added ''we must not delude ourselves because there will be difficulties ahead in the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly.''

    He also called for a clearer definition of the status quo in the buffer zone where, he said, ''we cannot enter unarmed and yet the Turks can murder there, as if that piece of land is a Turkish zone.''

    Former Cyprus President and leader of the Free Democrats Movement, George Vassiliou, did not favour a Clerides-Denktash meeting but noted that a joint statement, outlining the positions of the Greek Cypriot side could be ''a good thing for us.''

    ''We must exploit international interest in the wake of the two killings in the buffer zone but we must not give the impression that we are afraid to sit around the negotiating table,'' Vassiliou said.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1515:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] National Council to examine draft declaration, US proposal

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and leaders of the five parliamentary parties, comprising the National Council, will study the draft text of a proposed joint declaration by the President and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, and take a decision on the matter, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said here today.

    Cassoulides told his daily press briefing that the UN proposed draft aimed to defuse tension on the island and not the substance of the Cyprus question. He did not elaborate.

    The Council, which meets tomorrow, will also deal with a proposal put forward publicly by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for a meeting between him and President Clerides.

    ''The Government will outline its views at tomorrow's meetings and will listen to the positions of the parties. The President has his own views, which are not necessarily different than those expressed by the parties themselves,'' Cassoulides added.

    He said this topic will dominate discussions at tomorrow's Council meeting which will also deal with a US proposed military dialogue and anti-occupation rallies by Greek Cypriots.

    US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill met last Friday with President Clerides and Denktash to ''urge them that there should be meetings between the military commanders.''

    Some of the measures, proposed by the UN and backed by the US include a ban on live ammunition, a prohibition on the firing of weapons within sight or hearing of the UN buffer zone, the unmanning of military posts along the zone where the two sides are in close proximity.

    Cassoulides said the Council will examine Tuesday the American proposals, Brill conveyed to the President, on ''ways to start a military dialogue.''

    Replying to questions, the spokesman said the US did not suggest a two-phase military dialogue which would allow eventually Turkish Cypriot participation, a demand made by the Turkish Cypriot side and rejected by Clerides.

    The start of a military dialogue between the commanders of the National Guard and the Turkish occupation forces, in the presence of the commander of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, was agreed during a recent visit to Cyprus by US ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright.

    Cassoulides said he had no information on reports that former US Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke will visit Cyprus to help defuse tension.

    The murder of a Greek Cypriot on August 14 in the UN buffer zone, separating the military posts of the National Guard and the Turkish occupation troops, relate to the military talks because live ammunition was used by the Turkish forces, Cassoulides added.

    Turkish troops shot and killed a Greek Cypriot demonstrator climbing up a flagpole to pull down the Turkish flag.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1730:CY PPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    87.37 (+0.53)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  92.97 (+0.52)
    Approved Investment Companies          80.94 (+0.94)
    Insurance Companies                    66.78 (+0.45)
    Industrial Companies                   88.74 (+0.56)
    Tourist Industries                     80.62 (+2.70)
    Commercial Companies                   72.60 (+0.15)
    Other Companies                        88.44 (-0.89)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 349575.580
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1730:CY PPRESS:05

    [05] Cyprus comments on UNFICYP report

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides noted today two important points highlighted in the UN report on last Wednesday's anti-occupation demonstration in the UN buffer zone, during which Greek Cypriot Solomos Solomou, 26, was shot dead by the Turkish occupation forces.

    According to the report issued by the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the Turkish forces were asked not to ''over-react'' and were reminded that ''UNFICYP has sole responsibility to deal with incursions into the buffer zone and that there must be no interference.''

    Cassoulides made special reference to the fact that the report notes that UNFICYP ''was in control of the situation'' and that ''the demonstrators were being rounded up and moved out of the UN Buffer Zone (UNBZ).''

    He also noted that UNFICYP men were in a position to pull Solomou, who had only climbed ''some three metres off the ground'', away in a matter of minutes if the Turkish troops had not opened fire against him.

    Another point made in the report and highlighted by Cassoulides is that the Turkish soldiers fired ''some 25 to 50 rounds indiscriminately into the crowd inside the buffer zone.''

    The UNFICYP report also notes that a middle-aged woman, ''who sustained a serious gun shot wound to the abdomen, was standing outside the UNBZ close to the National Guard checkpoint.''

    ''It is obvious, that the Turkish troops were aiming not just against Solomou but in all directions'', Cassoulides added.

    Two British UN peacekeepers were among eleven people who were wounded during the indiscriminate shooting by the Turkish occupation troops.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1800:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Turkish Cypriots condemn murders of Isaac and Solomou

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriots living in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus have condemned the murder of Tasos Isaac and Solomos Solomou by Turkish troops and Turkish extremists, last week.

    ''We the Turkish Cypriots living in the free areas of the Republic protest for the unacceptable murders, with stones, sticks and guns, of the two Greek Cypriots during the peaceful protest of motorcyclists'', they said in a statement read today at a press conference of the ''Cyprus for Cypriots'' committee.

    The statement has been signed by 35 Turkish Cypriots so far and will circulate among the more than 400 that live in the free areas of the Republic for further signatures.

    Speaking on behalf of the committee, Aihan Mehmet, stressed that the murderers were Turkish settlers and soldiers and not Turkish Cypriots, noting that from the 120.000 Turkish Cypriots who were living in the occupied areas only 40.000 still remain there, while the number of Turkish settlers has reached 90.000.

    ''If Ledra Palace check point opens even for an hour, very few Turkish Cypriots will stay in the occupied areas'', he added.

    Mehmet repeated that Turkish settlers murdered his ex-wife and his 16-year-old daughter on March 3, 1996.

    He said he read of the murder in the Turkish Cypriot Press and that he has unsuccessfully tried to learn more details and the place where they have been buried from the UN.

    According to Mehmet his daughter was beheaded while his wife was stabbed 17 times by Turkish settlers.

    Mehmet said that in the eyes of the leader of the illegal regime in the occupied areas of the island, Rauf Denktash, whom he described as a ''dictator'', he is a ''spy'' and he expressed fears that his life might be in danger. Mehmet stressed however that he will ''speak the truth''.

    ''We would like to organise a joint Greek and Turkish Cypriot event to show the world that we can live together'', Mehmet said and expressed support for demonstrations against the Turkish occupation, provided, as he said, that they are organised.

    Mehmet said that 22 years are too many for the Cyprus problem to remain unsolved and noted that if the great powers wish, the problem will be solved in a matter of hours, ''as has happened in the case of Kuwait.''

    Mehmet said that Turkish Cypriots ''do not wish for their country to be divided.''

    ''We want the Turkish soldiers and settlers to leave and people to return to their homes in the land where they were born'', he added, noting that this is the wish of Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied areas as well but that it is very difficult for them to react.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1900:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Clerides: Talks only when common ground is reached

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides said he did not wish for a perpetuated dialogue with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, which could be exploited to show that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot find a solution to the political problem of the island.

    The Cypriot President was answering press questions while on the Greek Aegean island of Samothrace for the opening of a series of events with the theme ''Trace-the Aegean-Cyprus: United area of defence and culture''.

    He said the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, has agreed that there can be talks with Denktash, ''only when common ground is reached on the basic principles of the Cyprus problem.''

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

    President Clerides stressed that Greek Cypriots ''do not wish for the perpetuation of a dialogue which Denktash uses as a way not to solve the Cyprus problem but to show that the two communities cannot find a solution.''

    Asked to comment about changes in the Turkish Cypriot leadership, President Clerides said because of internal difficulties Denktash is now cooperating with parties which had been rivals in the past.

    He noted that Denktash's former rival, Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party, who is now partner in the illegal government, is one of the Islamist extremists who do not wish for a solution to the Cyprus problem but for the recognition of the secessionist entity in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    Speaking at the opening of the cultural events, Greek National Defence Minister Gerasimos Arsenis stressed that the joint defence dogma, agreed between Greece and Cyprus in November 1993, also aims at defending culture.

    ''We wish'', he said, ''peace, cooperation and understanding with all peoples but we will never compromise on issues concerning freedom, human rights and sovereignty.''

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2010:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Denktash positive for joint statement

    Nicosia, Aug 19 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has replied positively to the UN Chief's request for the issuing of a joint statement about last week's events which resulted in the brutal murders of two young Greek Cypriots by Turkish troops and extremists.

    In a statement to CNA, UN Secretary General's Resident Representative Gustave Feissel said that ''Denktash has already replied'', to Boutros Ghali's request for a joint statement, ''with or without'' a meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash.

    Asked whether Denktash's reply was positive, Feissel said, ''yes it was.''

    The UN official added that he expects a reply by President Clerides tomorrow or possibly Wednesday.

    Feissel refrained from answering what the statement would contain, saying that he did ''not want to go into that'' and that he ''will wait for the President to reply.''

    However, the UN envoy said ''such a statement will be helpful to reduce tension and would help in saying that such a situation is not normal.''

    Asked whether Denktash has given any undertaking to express sadness over the murders or express willingness to stop soldiers firing in the buffer zone, Feissel said: ''I would say that the statement deals with all these things.''

    He also referred to previous UN reports and the UN Security Council statement when asked whether the statement would attempt to place responsibility on anyone for the murders.

    Two UN reports on the tragic events on Sunday, August 11, and on Wednesday, August 14, blamed the Turkish army and Turkish extremists for the murder of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators and the wounding of many others, including two UN (British) peace-keepers.

    Tasos Isaac, 24, was savagely beaten to death by members of the Turkish extremist islamic group the ''Grey Wolves'' and so-called policemen of the occupation regime.

    Solomos Solomou, 26, was shot dead by Turkish troops when he climbed on a flagpole to lower the Turkish flag.

    Both killings took place in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Dherynia area, the eastern end of the 180-kilometre buffer zone, during peaceful anti-occupation demonstrations.

    Feissel noted that the statement does not relate to the US-proposed military talks.

    Asked about the prospects of such a dialogue, he said ''there are still some unresolved questions'' and added that ''we have some things to clarify about this dialogue. We are trying to work things out as apparently there was not a full agreement.''

    The agreement for a military dialogue between the commanders of the island's National Guard and the Turkish occupation forces in the presence of the commander of the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) was reached when US ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright visited Cyprus recently.

    A few days after the agreement was announced by Albright during a press conference in Nicosia, Denktash demanded the participation in this dialogue of the commander of his so-called Turkish Cypriot security forces.

    Denktash's demand was rejected by President Clerides.

    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/MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2040:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Clerides rejects meeting with Denktash

    Larnaca, Aug 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides rejected this evening a UN-proposed meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash aimed to defuse tension on the island.

    He told the press on his return from Greece, that it is very early for such a meeting with Denktash.

    The Cypriot President revealed that the proposal for a meeting between him and Denktash was put forward by UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali during a telephone conversation last Friday.

    President Clerides said the UN Chief had ''suggested a meeting with Denktash and the issuing of a joint statement to defuse the tension. I have answered that it is very early for such a meeting'', he added.

    UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel told CNA this evening that Denktash has given a positive reply to such a joint statement ''with or without'' a meeting with President Clerides.

    The UN Chief's suggestion will be examined during a meeting tomorrow afternoon of the National Council, the island's top advisory body to President Clerides on the handling of the Cyprus problem.

    The Council is chaired by President Clerides and is made up of the leaders of the five political parties represented in the House of Representatives.

    Referring to his trip to Greece, President Clerides stressed that the message he brings from Greece is that ''hellenism stands by the side of the Cyprus people''.

    He added ''the great importance of the joint defence dogma (between Cyprus and Greece) has been understood by all.''

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

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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