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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-05-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government satisfied with Israeli assurances
  • [02] Government on Germany's position about EU entry
  • [03] House president appeals to Annan about the enclaved
  • [04] Foreign Minister addresses Strasbourg meeting
  • [05] Government expects new US ideas for Cyprus

  • 1655:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Government satisfied with Israeli assurances

    Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) -- The government of Cyprus is satisfied with Israeli assurances that it will comply with international regulations, if it decides to carry out military flights over the island's air space or within the Nicosia FIR (Flight Information Region) during manoeuvres in the region.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, today revealed that committees from Cyprus and Israel have discussed in detail all issues that have to be taken into consideration during Israeli military overflights in Cyprus.

    Christofides refrained from elaborating on the issue, but said "we are satisfied that issues agreed are adhered to."

    "We would like to believe that there will be no violations (of the Nicosia FIR) and we have indications to this effect," he added.

    The Spokesman also said the government is informed about a joint American, Israeli and Turkish navy exercise scheduled to take place this summer.

    He reiterated that a defence cooperation accord signed between Israel and Turkey last year does not affect Cyprus and described relations between Cyprus and Israel as "excellent".

    There have been reports that Turkey, which occupies nearly 40 per cent of Cyprus' territory since it invaded the island in 1974, the US and Israel intend to carry out military exercises in the region.

    Yesterday, the Cyprus government called on Israel and the US to abide by international law and order and inform the authorities of the Republic about any plans to conduct military exercises over Cyprus' air space or within the Nicosia FIR.

    CNA MM/MA/AP/1997

    [02] Government on Germany's position about EU entry

    Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) -- No European Union (EU) member-state has so far said it will veto Cyprus' accession to the Union, if the protracted Cyprus problem were not solved, but they have pointed out this prospect can boost efforts for its settlement.

    Replying to questions during his daily briefing today, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, also expressed satisfaction with statements made by Germany's special envoy on the Cyprus issue, Detlev Graf zu Rantzau, that his government has not considered the possibility to veto Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    Christofides said Detlev's statement shows determination "to work in all directions for a settlement to the Cyprus question" and that a veto will not be exercised if a solution were not found.

    The Germany envoy came to Cyprus last week for a familiarisation visit during which he was received by President Glafcos Clerides and met Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Noting the government's satisfaction with the German position, the Spokesman stressed "efforts will be carried out so that the Cyprus question does not become a problem for the EU."

    Asked if other EU member-states have given similar assurances, he noted that "until today no country has stated it will exercise its right to veto if the Cyprus question were not solved", but they have said the island's prospect for EU membership offers a chance for a solution.

    "These warnings have to be taken seriously into account," he added.

    Replying to questions, Christofides said that one cannot speculate on the outcome of the efforts for a Cyprus settlement and noted the UN-led proximity talks, aiming to face-to-face negotiations between President Clerides and Denktash, are still under way.

    Cyprus applied for EU membership in July 1990 and a Council of Ministers agreed, in March 1995, that membership negotiations will begin with the government of the Republic six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    CNA MM/MA/AP/1997
    1730 CYPPRESS:03

    [03] House president appeals to Annan about the enclaved

    Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) -- The President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, urgently appealed to the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, to make more humane the life of the enclaved Greek Cypriots in the northern Turkish-occupied areas of the island.

    In a letter to the UN Chief, on behalf of all members of the House, Kyprianou noted that the situation of the enclaved has "reached the dimensions of an intolerable tragedy."

    He said it "is time that something more substantial and tangible were done to implement all pertinent UN decisions and recommendations and the long-standing Vienna III Agreement, in order to put an end to these people's day-to-day suffering."

    The Third Vienna Agreement was signed in 1975 by President Glafcos Clerides, who was at the time the interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot side, and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, aimed at improving the living conditions of the enclaved.

    "This is an urgent appeal to you, Mr Secretary-General, to help these people lead a more normal and more humane life by pressing upon the occupying power to respect the basic rights including that of freedom of movement," Kyprianou added.

    The President of the House referred to the case of the Greek Cypriot teacher in the occupied village of Rizokarpasso, Eleni Foka, who "has been repeatedly denied her basic rights of contacts with her family and free movement, for a prolonged period of time".

    He drew the attention of the UN Chief to the fact that whoever tries to contact the enclaved in the occupied areas "is faced with the unacceptable demands of the occupying regime, which aim at assuring direct or indirect recognition of the illegal secessionist entity established by that regime."

    Kyprianou expressed the fear that the enclaved "can probably no longer bear the inhuman treatment and punishment they are suffering on a daily basis, their only "crime" being that they have stayed in their ancestral homes."

    Ending his letter, Kyprianou called on Annan to exercise his influence so that the "enclaved persons' fundamental rights and freedoms are fully and immediately respected."

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    From the 20.000 Greek Cypriots and Maronites who remained in the occupied areas after the invasion, there are now only 500, mostly Greek Cypriots living in the eastern Karpass peninsula.

    CNA EC/AP/1997

    [04] Foreign Minister addresses Strasbourg meeting

    Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) -- The Strasbourg Summit can provide fresh impetus to respect for human rights, social cohesion and compliance with commitments made by the Council of Europe (COE) member-states, Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides said.

    Addressing today the 100th session of the Committee of Ministers, in Strasbourg, Kasoulides said that democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights have always been the "raison d' etre" of COE and as a result, Cyprus warmly welcomes the proposal to create a post for a Human Rights Commissioner.

    "This institution will provide the Organisation with a high profile in the field of human rights and enhance its visibility to the citizen," Kasoulides said.

    The Foreign Minister added the creation of a new single Court of Human Rights "will no doubt constitute an important step in the field of protection of human rights and fundamental principles."

    Kasoulides pointed to the new challenges faced by the Council of Europe as a result of its recent enlargement, first and foremost the consolidation of democratic security.

    "Despite great accomplishments, recent crises demonstrate that democratic security has not yet been consolidated. While European societies are confronted by new challenges, the broadening and enlarging of the acquis (communautaire) remain nonetheless necessary and relevant," he said.

    The Foreign Minister noted the credibility of the Council of Europe greatly depends both on the compliance by member-states, new and old alike, to their commitments and the effectiveness of the Organisation's monitoring mechanisms.

    "We fully share the view that further development of the monitoring mechanism of the Committee of Ministers is essential and it should become a significant factor when planning the activities of the Organisation," Kasoulides added.

    He also stressed the Council of Europe "must reinforce" its cooperation with other European organisations such as the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU).

    CNA MH/AP/1997

    [05] Government expects new US ideas for Cyprus

    Nicosia, May 6 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government expressed its satisfaction about the American interest for a Cyprus solution and expects the US to put forward new ideas to promote a settlement the protracted Cyprus question.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, told his daily briefing Tuesday there will be some US "new ideas and engagement as well as an appointment of a new personality," within the framework of its efforts towards a Cyprus solution.

    Christofides was commenting on statements made by US ambassador to Athens, Thomas Niles, to a Greek private TV station, that his country is contemplating appointing a new personality to help efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    The US ambassador was quoted to have said his country may come up with new ideas.

    The Spokesman said the government "has no clarifications regarding these new ideas," but stressed that "a lot of effort has to be exerted and new ideas are needed to break the deadlock and achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem."

    "The Cyprus government is informed and is satisfied with the interest shown by the US for a Cyprus solution," Christofides said, describing the American ambassador's statements as an "indication and proof" of such interest.

    He also pointed out that the US may exercise its influence in the Cyprus peace process, within the UN efforts, and added it is up to the American government to decide when to begin its initiative for Cyprus.

    Replying to a question, the Spokesman said there is information that the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, will ask to meet the Security Council five permanent member-states, to exchange views on efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    CNA MM/MA/AP/1997
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