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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-03-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] US official in Europe for Cyprus
  • [02] Intensive talks on Cyprus in Brussels
  • [03] Relatives of missing persons appeal to big powers
  • [04] Cyprus President meets British envoy

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US official in Europe for Cyprus

    Washington, Mar 12 (CNA) -- Carey Cavanaugh, the US State Department's Director for Southern European Affairs, is traveling to key European capitals to discuss developments in the Cyprus problem and other issues involving eastern Mediterranean.

    Responding to a CNA question, the State Department's Spokesman Nicholas Burns said "Carey Cavanaugh, who has been our point person on Cyprus and other questions involving the eastern Mediterranean, is in Europe this week."

    He said Cavanaugh has been in London and he will be travelling to Brussels, Germany, The Hague, and Paris for discussions with European governments on the situation in the eastern Mediterranean. That includes Cyprus the Greek-Turkish differences, and other issues that "we're concerned about."

    According to Burns the US official will be in Europe for two weeks before returning to Washington. "He doesn't have any plans right now to travel to the eastern Mediterranean," the Spokesman said.

    Burns was asked by CNA to comment on discussions in Cyprus. He said "we are aware of those discussions. Of course, we support any initiative that would bring parties together on Cyprus that would encourage direct talks, that would encourage progress on these issues."

    A round of indirect talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash led by UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel started this week in Nicosia.

    The State Department Spokesman said "it's not just to the United States to promote progress here. So David Hannay, a man for whom we have great respect, is in Cyprus. He is, of course, the Special Negotiator of the United Kingdom. We have a very close association with the United Kingdom on this particular issue. We encourage the UN Secretary-General and his representatives to be involved. There's more than enough work to go around."

    Britain's representative on the Cyprus problem, Sir David Hannay, arrived in Cyprus yesterday and today is having meetings with President Clerides, Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Burns emphasised that "all of us in the international community, I think, perceive that it's time for Greece and Turkey, for the Cypriot government and for others on Cyprus -other parties - Mr Denktash, to sit down and talk to each other and to try to resolve some of these problems and make some headway."

    The US spokesman said US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind had a long discussion about Cyprus.

    "She had a conversation on this issue (Cyprus) with Malcolm Rifkind last evening when he was here. It was a long discussion of the problems on Cyprus. Both of them are committed to doing something," Burns said.

    He added "ultimately, it's not up to the United Kingdom and the United States or the United Nations. It's up to the parties in the region to make progress, and they can't use, as a crutch, all these international mediators for lack of progress. Fundamentally, they've got to make a decision in the region to make these changes."

    So far, Turkey has blocked all UN, US and British initiatives for 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.

    CNA DA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1130:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Intensive talks on Cyprus in Brussels

    Brussels, Mar 12 (CNA) -- Important talks on the Cyprus question will take place this Friday in Brussels, between European Union (EU) Commissioner for External Relations Hans Van den Broek and envoys of the UN, the US, the EU and Britain on Cyprus.

    EU sources told CNA here that Van den Broek will have separate meetings with UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, the Representative of the EU presidency on Cyprus, Kester Heaslip, Britain's envoy, Sir David Hannay, and the Director of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department, Carey Cavanaugh.

    Cavanaugh is currently on a tour of European capitals, discussing the Cyprus problem and the stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Apart from Brussels, he will be visiting London, The Hague, Bonn and Paris.

    The EU sources told CNA that US presidential emissary on Cyprus, Richard Beattie, is expected to be in Brussels for the talks, but could not officially confirm this.

    The talks aim at discussing the ways the EU can contribute to current intensive efforts for a Cyprus solution, in view of the island's bid to join the EU, the same sources said.

    Cyprus is scheduled to start membership negotiations six months after the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), in accordance with a decision taken by the EU Council of Ministers, in March 1995.

    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/AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1250:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Relatives of missing persons appeal to big powers

    Nicosia, Mar 12 (CNA) -- Relatives of persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus have appealed to the big powers to help resolve the 23-year-old humanitarian question of missing persons.

    Representatives of the committees of relatives of missing persons handed over today petitions to the embassies of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council, the European Union and UN resident representative, Gustave Feissel.

    The petitions were delivered by a joint delegation of the Pancyprian Committee of Parents and Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners of War and Missing Persons and the National Struggle Committee for the Missing.

    "We appeal to you once again in order to emphasise the bitterness and the agony of the thousands of relatives of missing persons in Cyprus, due to the standstill, for 23 years, on the purely humanitarian problem of missing persons, the continuation on which constitutes a flagrant violation of their fundamental human rights," the petition says.

    It notes that the non-implementation of the various UN resolutions on the missing persons in Cyprus and the lack of progress of the UN Investigatory Committee "are interpreted by us not only as indicative of the Turkish attitude, but also as an outcome of the tolerance shown by others to this inhuman situation."

    The relatives call on all countries to "perform a serious role in putting an end at long last, securing the restoration of the human rights of our missing persons and their relatives.

    "This can only be accomplished by the determination of the fate of all the missing, through a thorough investigation on the depth of each and every case of missing person, completed by a strengthened and effective Investigatory Committee, under the auspices of the UN," the petition adds.

    The missing persons' relatives urged all ambassadors to exercise on the Turkish side every possible influence to persuade it to abandon its inhuman attitude and sincerely cooperate for the determination of the fate of all missing.

    "We expect that your country, at this crucial time, will take all necessary steps, because only then will the expectation of those who look to your country as a leading power in the field of human rights be met," the petition says.

    A total of 1619 people were listed as missing persons since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, which resulted to the occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory and the uprooting of 200.000 Greek Cypriots from their homes.

    CNA AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1350:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus President meets British envoy

    Nicosia, Mar 12 (CNA) -- Britain's envoy on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, described the current phase of talks for a Cyprus solution as an "intensified preparatory process" and expressed the hope that direct negotiations between the two sides will start within the first half of this year.

    Speaking to the press after a two-hour meeting with President Glafcos Clerides with whom, he noted, had a "very good talk", Sir David said he is working "very closely" with the UN in a bid to find a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    He pointed out that neither himself, nor the UN resident representative Gustave Feissel, or President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will "at this stage of intensive preparation, be talking about the specific topics, about the subjects discussed about who said what in public."

    "Not because we are trying to be particularly secretive but just because it really isn't conducive to the development of the process, which is very sensitive on all sides and which all of us hope is going to be more successful than the previous attempt to negotiate a solution," the British diplomat explained, noting this is in "everyone's interest."

    Asked whether his talks and contacts in Cyprus are within the framework of the proximity talks that have already started, the British envoy said he only heard the phrase "proximity talks" from the Cyprus press.

    "There is an intensive preparatory process that is underway," he said, noting this is led by the UN and "we are hopefully strengthening and assisting this process."

    Sir David said the "talks are not separate in any way", pointing out "it is all part of a concerted effort by the international community led by the United Nations to find the way through the problems that have previously blocked the solution."

    He stressed that what is underway "is in our view an intensified preparatory phase" and said "I cannot identify or describe subjects."

    The British diplomat declined to comment on press reports that he had brought with him some ideas about some of the differences on various aspects of the problem.

    He noted that British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind's ten points echoed "his view in December of the way in which things might develop."

    "Obviously they are part of my approach to this, but we are not trying to get anyone to sign up to them or to subscribe to them," he added.

    On the conclusion of the preparatory phase, Sir David said this is a matter of the UN Secretary-General and expressed the hope "he (UN chief) will convene face-to-face negotiations before the end of the first half of 1997."

    Asked if he is more optimistic this time, Sir David said he did not want to "qualify degrees of optimism." It is quite clear that the problems are genuinely very difficult, he added.

    However, the British envoy said he was not the slightest bit discouraged.

    "I believe that now everyone is getting to grips with the imminent convening of face-to-face negotiations," he added noting "that is a process which I am trying to assist as well."

    Sir David had also a meeting with Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides.

    In the afternoon, he will cross into the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

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

    CNA AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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