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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-08-22

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] US: ''There is nothing to apologise for'' to Turkey
  • [02] President outlines views to top UN envoy
  • [03] UN committee on missing under fire
  • [04] Any help to settle Cyprus problem welcomed, says Spokesman
  • [05] Government denounces threats against Feissel
  • [06] Spokesman does not reveal details
  • [07] UN Sub-Commission deplores killings
  • [08] Australian opposition urges government for action on Cyprus

  • 1100:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US: ''There is nothing to apologise for'' to Turkey

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- ''There is nothing to apologise for'', US Ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill told Cypriot TV channels last night.

    The Ambassador's categorical statement was made as a reply to a press question whether the United States have apologised to the Turkish government over a statement made last week by US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns.

    ''No, it is not true. There is nothing to apologise for,'' said the US diplomat, after meeting Yiannakis Matsis, the leader of the ruling rightwing Democratic Rally party.

    The Turkish daily ''Hurriyet'' reported last week that Washington had apologised for Burns' comment that ''human life is more important than protecting a piece of cloth''.

    Burn's comment followed the killing of 26-year-old Greek Cypriot demonstrator Solomos Solomou by Turkish occupation troops.

    The young Cypriot, who was taking part in a peaceful anti-occupation demonstration in the UN-controlled buffer zone, on Wednesday, August 14, had tried to lower the Turkish flag.

    The Turkish troops opened indiscriminate fire against Solomou, who received five bullets, and against hundreds of demonstrators and scores of UN peacekeepers. Eleven people, including two British UN peacekeepers, were wounded.

    The Turkish newspaper claimed that the US had apologised to Ankara through diplomatic channels, following Turkish reaction to the statement.

    ''Hurriyet'' described US sources as saying ''Burns has exceeded his official authority with his remarks'' and that his comments could ''ruin his career''.

    The US deplored the killing, saying the response from ''Turkish Cypriot security forces was disproportionate to the threat posed by the protestors.''

    The US State Department Spokesman said ''we are demanding accountability and bringing those responsible for criminal acts to justice,''

    On Sunday, August 11, during a similar anti-occupation demonstration, Turkish extremists savagely beaten to death another Greek Cypriot youth, Tasos Isaac, 24, in the buffer zone.

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

    CNA GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1240 :CYPPRESS:02

    [02] President outlines views to top UN envoy

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides outlined his views on recent developments in Cyprus to UN Secretary-General's top envoy in Cyprus Gustave Feissel, who will communicate them to UN headquarters.

    Feissel met here today with the President amid increasing speculation that Clerides would reject a UN-proposed draft for a joint Greek and Turkish Cypriot declaration on last week's incidents in the UN buffer zone, which resulted in the death of two Greek Cypriots by Turkish occupation forces.

    ''We had a substantive discussion on a whole range of things pertinent at the present time and I will convey the views the President has expressed to Secretary-General Boutros Ghali,'' Feissel told the press after the meeting.

    The UN representative avoided giving any further details about the content of his discussions, arguing that it would not be appropriate for him to comment further at this stage.

    He restricted himself in saying that ''the President expressed his views on all kinds of issues and I will pass them on.''

    The UN proposal for a joint declaration, calls for direct talks between the two sides and the convening of a meeting of military chiefs (commanders of National Guard and Turkish occupation forces) were thought to have been the focus of today's meeting.

    Replying to questions, Feissel said one of the ideas behind the UN suggestion for a joint statement aimed at getting the President and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to ''express more than sadness'' over last weeks' incidents.

    Asked if the proposed statement should include a reference to the Turkey's role in last week's protests and outline the two brutal murders, Feissel replied ''we have expressed our views on the incidents and the UN has been very clear about what happened.''

    There is no need to go over the same stuff a thousand times, he added.

    Feissel is scheduled to have a meeting later today with Denktash, in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1445:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] UN committee on missing under fire

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- A committee, set up under UN auspices to resolve the cases of persons listed as missing in Cyprus, has failed to do its job properly and has also waisted a lot of time, Amnesty International has said in a report, issued in London.

    UN Secretary-General's resident representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel fended off criticism saying the committee ''is not a UN committee.''

    The committee, Feissel explained, was not set up by the UN but by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. He said he had not read the report.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides refrained from commenting on the report, which he said he had not seen yet, but he acknowledged that things concerning the tripartite committee had reached a ''crucial point''.

    The report said ''as a result of structural flaws, insufficient powers, lack of experienced staff and confidential procedures it has not been effective in satisfying even its limited humanitarian goals or in satisfying international obligations concerning investigations of these crimes.''

    It notes that ''the failure of the parties at various times on different matters to cooperate fully with it (the committee)'' has also contributed to its failure, the report said.

    ''Another important reason for its failure is that the Committee fails to satisfy strict international standards which experience has proved necessary for effective investigations of 'disappearances' and of deliberate and arbitrary killings in those cases where evidence suggests that the person concerned was killed,'' the report said.

    It also referred to a statement by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that all Greek Cypriots missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus are dead, many of them killed by Turkish Cypriot paramilitaries.

    Amnesty International calls on the UN to establish a ''new body - an international commission of inquiry - which satisfies the strict international standards for such investigations, with adequate resources and powers, to conduct a thorough and impartial inquiry into all cases of 'disappearance', 'missing' and deliberate and arbitrary killings arising out of the events in 1963-64 and 1974.''

    Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have submitted files on persons listed as missing from their respective communities to the UN committee. The Greek Cypriot side has submitted 1,493 files and the Turkish Cypriot side 500.

    In his comments about the report, Feissel said the committee is composed of a Greek Cypriot, a Turkish Cypriot and a third member appointed by the Red Cross and the UN ''happens to pay for the committee.''

    ''The Secretary-General Boutros Ghali has said he is not happy with the progress the committee is making, and has written to both leaders saying he cannot guarantee the continued UN support for this committee,'' Feissel said.

    Ghali, he added, has called on the two sides to indicate they are serious about moving ahead with the work that lies before them.

    Asked if the committee might be dissolved, Feissel said the UN cannot dissolve the committee.

    ''The only thing the UN can do is to see whether it will continue to support this committee,'' he added.

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1500:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Any help to settle Cyprus problem welcomed, says Spokesman

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- The government would welcome mediation from any country wishing to facilitate a settlement in Cyprus, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides has said.

    Cassoulides was commenting on press reports that Iran had expressed its intention to mediate between Greece and Turkey to reduce tension in their relations.

    The Cyprus problem is one of the key issues that have worsened relations between the two NATO allies, which together with Britain were also guarantors of Cyprus' independence, under the 1960 treaty of establishment of the Cyprus Republic.

    The reports were carried Tuesday after a meeting in Teheran between Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos and his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Velayati.

    ''We have repeatedly said that efforts to settle the Cyprus problem were assigned to the UN Secretary-General through his good offices mission by the Security Council,'' Cassoulides said.

    ''Any country wishing to exert its influence to help the Secretary-General's task is welcomed,'' he added.

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

    CNA MM/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1520:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Government denounces threats against Feissel

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Government denounces any threats against the UN Secretary-General's Resident Representative Gustave Feissel and takes all the necessary measures for his protection.

    This was stressed here today by Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, who added that acting on instructions from President Glafcos Clerides, a senior police officer visited Feissel in order to collect all the necessary information.

    Asked whether Feissel has rejected protection offered to him by the Cyprus Police, as it was reported, Cassoulides cited the UN envoy's statement earlier today, saying that he was misquoted.

    According to reports, Feissel received telephone threats after the brutal killing of a Greek Cypriot young demonstrator by Turkish extremists, in the UN-controlled buffer zone by Turkish extremists, on Sunday, August 11.

    Three days later, the Turkish occupation troops killed another Greek Cypriot demonstrator.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1530:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Spokesman does not reveal details

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- Cyprus Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides refrained from revealing details concerning today's meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and UN Chief's Resident Representative Gustave Feissel.

    President Clerides expressed his views orally to Feissel, who will pass them on to New York, Cassoulides said.

    Asked whether President Clerides expressed views on the idea of a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the issuing of a joint statement on last week's incidents in the UN buffer zone as well as the US-proposed military dialogue between the commanders of the National Guard (the Republic's forces) and the Turkish occupation army, Cassoulides said that views were expressed ''on all issues''.

    The Government Spokesman also said he was not authorised to refer to the content of the proposed joint statement and cited Feissel's statement earlier today, that it would be denouncing last week's incidents at the UN buffer zone, in Dherynia.

    After his meeting with President Clerides, Feissel said one of the ideas behind the UN suggestion for a joint statement aimed at getting President Clerides and Denktash to ''express more than sadness'' over last week's incidents.

    UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali had suggested a meeting between President Clerides and Denktash and the issuing of a joint statement, in a bid to defuse tension created after the killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators by Turkish troops and extremists, in the UN-controlled buffer zone, on August 11 and on August 14.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1815:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] UN Sub-Commission deplores killings

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- The UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities deplores the incidents that took place on August 11 and 14 when two Greek Cypriot demonstrators were brutally murdered and many others wounded by Turkish troops and extremists.

    In a statement approved unanimously by its 26 members, the Sub-Committee ''regrets very much the death of two unarmed Greek Cypriot young men and the injury of many other persons, including UN peace-keepers''.

    Regret is also expressed over the non-implementation of the Sub-Committee's resolutions on Cyprus, ''relating to the return of refugees and displaced persons to their homes in safety and the full restoration of human rights.''

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

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1935:CYPPRESS:12

    [08] Australian opposition urges government for action on Cyprus

    Nicosia, Aug 22 (CNA) -- Australian Labour Opposition has urged the country's government to take a lead in international efforts for a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The notice of motion presented to the Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives by Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurie Brereton ''deplores the fact that more than 22 years after the 1974 Turkish invasion of northern Cyprus, Cyprus remains artificially and tragically divided and that there is still no lasting political settlement in sight.''

    Describing the status quo on the island as ''unacceptable'' it calls for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyprus and notes that division and the presence of Turkish troops have ''no place in an international climate of reconciliation and cooperation.''

    Calling on the international community for urgent action to overcome the deadlock in the Cyprus problem it urges the Australian government to ''take the lead'' in insisting ''the UN Security Council in particular, to take immediate steps to promote a just resolution of the Cyprus dispute, based on relevant Security Council resolutions, including incentives to encourage progress in negotiations.''

    Noting that the recent murders of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators in the UN buffer zone ''is the latest atrocity in a long line of tragic events in Cyprus'', Brereton stressed that ''it would be very timely in such a context for the Australian Parliament to reaffirm its support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and for the position that all foreign troops should be withdrawn from the island.''

    Two Australian MP's, Leo Mcleay of the Labour Party, and Paul Zammit, of the ruling Liberal Party, denounced the killings of the two Greek Cypriot youths by Turkish troops and Turkish extremists, during peaceful anti-occupation demonstrations in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    Mcleay urged the Australian government to actively support the efforts of the Cyprus government to reunite the island, without Turkish troops and Turkish colonist settlers.

    Zammit noted the fact that Cyprus has been divided for 22 years because of the Turkish invasion, stressing the need for the return of Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes and the determination of the fate of the missing persons.

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

    CNA MCH/GP/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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