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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-05-19

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus ready for bicommunal concert
  • [02] European rapporteur on Cyprus arrives tomorrow
  • [03] Closer trade links between Cyprus and the Ukraine
  • [04] Concerts end, minor clashes

  • 1730:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus ready for bicommunal concert

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- As all is set for tonight's controversial UN- sponsored bicommunal concert by Greek and Turkish pop stars, the Cyprus government said it will not attend but repeated its support to holding the event.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said it was the government's political decision for the President and officials not to attend the concert because they wanted the concert to be purely a "UN and young people's gathering".

    However, he expressed the hope that similar concerts will be held in the future, covering the island's population.

    At the same time, the spokesman reassured that all security measures are being taken by the UN to safeguard the security of all those to attend the concert.

    "Tonight's concert message is the encounter of the youth of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots", Christofides said.

    His statements echoed those of Justice and Public Order Minister, Nicos Koshis, who expressed the conviction that everything will run smoothly at the bicommunal concert and that measures taken will prove in the end, "unnecessary".

    The Minister said he had no reports about the discovery of a bomb at the venue of the concert, as published in a Greek daily.

    The concert has sparked criticism in both Cyprus and Greece, not only about the venue but also about the choice of date, the singers and the absence of an anti-occupation slogan.

    Today, May 19, marks Kemal Ataturk Day, (the founder of modern secular Turkey) and has been declared the anniversary of Turkey's massacre of Pontiac Greeks on the Black Sea, between 1916-1923.

    In the Turkish-occupied areas, the right extremist group "Grey Wolves", responsible for the killings of Greek Cypriots last summer during peaceful demonstrations, claimed they wouldn't have been responsible for the safety of those attending the concert, if the Turkish singer Burak Kut had come to Cyprus via Athens and Larnaca.

    Kut arrived yesterday in Cyprus through the illegal Tymbou airport in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    The Turkish Cypriot press today referred to death threats by the "Grey Wolves" against Kut.

    The extremist organisation called on all Turkish Cypriots to boycott the concert, claiming racial discrimination because Turkish settlers were refused tickets.

    An hour before the concert, the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation and the Pancyprian Anti-occupation Movement, will stage a demonstration at central Eleftheria Square in Nicosia against the concert.

    In Greece, Government Spokesman Demetris Reppas said the two singers should not avoid the nature of the Cyprus problem and the possible repercussions it might have.

    Meanwhile, Greek pop star Sakis Rouvas, who kept everyone guessing until the last minute whether he would attend the concert, arrived on the island early today in a private jet.

    Rouvas was whisked at the Police Headquarters for a briefing from senior police officials and officers of the United Nations Peace-keeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) on the security measures taken by the island's security authorities and the UN.

    Police spokesman, Glafcos Xenos, told reporters Rouvas is not worried at all about tonight's concert and that he is sure all necessary measures have been taken.

    Xenos said the Police was satisfied about the level of measures taken and noted that around 500 officers will be on duty to ensure the concert goes ahead smoothly.

    However, he emphasised that UNFICYP bears the sole responsibility for the security of those attending the event at the abandoned Turkish Cypriot "Cetin Kaya" football club pitch, situated in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    Rouvas made his first appearance around midday, when he was taken to the site of the concert for a general rehearsal.

    Dressed casually in faded jeans and a T-shirt, Rouvas, whose appearance on the island on other occasions caused a sensation amongst the Greek Cypriot female population, did not answer to questions on the reaction his presence has caused but just smiled.

    Rouvas and Kut will give a joint press conference at the end of the concert at the Ledra Palace hotel in the UN buffer zone, opposite the concert venue.

    Meanwhile, the Greek board of the "Abdi Ipekci" award, given to Greeks and Turks who promote Greco-Turkish relations, applauding the two pop stars decision to hold the concert despite the furore, said it will propose Rouvas and Kut for the award of friendship and peace.

    The concert, for which UNFICYP gave out some 6.000 free tickets to both communities, will be attended by representatives of the majority of the island's political parties and foreign diplomats.

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

    CNA EC/AP/1997

    [02] European rapporteur on Cyprus arrives tomorrow

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- Hungarian deputy, Andras Barsony, rapporteur of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, arrives in Cyprus tomorrow for a series of meetings on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    Barsony will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and will hold meetings with House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and the leaders or representatives of the island's political parties.

    He will also confer with the chairman and members of the Cyprus delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the UN Secretary-General's resident representative, Gustave Feissel and ambassadors of Council of Europe member states.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

    [03] Closer trade links between Cyprus and the Ukraine

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus' exports to the Ukraine reached 1.5 million Cyprus pounds in 1996 while imports from this country amounted to 13 m. pounds (one Cyprus pound = two US dollars).

    The figures were released here today by Cyprus' Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Kyriacos Christofi, who inaugurated an exhibition of products from the Ukraine and opened the proceedings of a meeting of this country's Commerce and Industry Chamber.

    The Cypriot Minister expressed the view that this event would contribute towards strengthening even further relations, particularly trade bonds, between the two countries.

    He stressed that the signing very soon of a trade agreement between the two countries would also contribute in this direction.

    Christofi invited companies from the Ukraine to take advantage of Cyprus' geographical position, its modern infrastructure and its forthcoming accession to the European Union and use it as a basis to expand business in the region.

    The Minister reaffirmed the Cyprus government's political will to expand relations with the Ukraine, to the mutual benefit of the two countries. CNA/GP/1997


    [04] Concerts end, minor clashes

    Nicosia, May 19 (CNA) -- A controversial bicommunal UN-sponsored concert by a Greek and a Turkish pop singers ended here tonight, as a second concert, a few hundred yards away, finished in minor clashes between the police and young demonstrators, opposing the bicommunal concert.

    Police arrested about 20 people and three police officers are reported injured, two of them slightly, as a result of clashes with demonstrators, who were throwing stones, burning rubbish and breaking shop windows.

    Greek singer, Sakis Rouvas, and his Turkish colleague, Burak Kut, embraced as they appeared on stage, in a specially adapted football pitch in the UN-controlled buffer zone, and their audience, mostly young Greek and Turkish Cypriots, held hands together and started dancing.

    There was a minor incident when one spectator, from the Turkish Cypriot crowd, formed the sign of the "Grey Wolves" (Turkish terrorist organisation) using his arms. UN peace-keepers quickly seized him and calm was restored in no time at all.

    Present at this bicommunal concert were political leaders or representatives from both communities, foreign diplomats and the UN chief of mission in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, along with other UN officials.

    Meanwhile, the counter-concert, in opposition to the UN concert, ended with the adoption of a resolution calling on the UN to direct their efforts towards implementation of Security Council resolutions on Cyprus instead of organising concerts.

    Police arrested some protestors who threw stones, set fire to rubbish and broke shop windows, as they left Eleftheria square, in downtown Nicosia, in their attempt to get close to the venue of the UN concert. Police responded with tear gas to try and disperse the crowd of protestors, most of whom were young people.

    Initial reports from the nearby streets say a couple of people were injured and an ambulance was at hand to assist them.

    The anti-occupation event was addressed by representatives of the Armenians, the Kurds and Pontiacs, all victims of Turkish massacres and atrocities.

    The event was organised by the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation and the Pancypriamn Anti-occupation Movement.

    All speakers at this event stressed their opposition to the bicommunal pop concert, but at the same time sent their sympathy to the Turkish Cypriots whom they described as "victims" of the Turkish occupation forces, occupying 37 per cent of their island's northern territory since 1974, when they invaded Cyprus.

    Rouvas and Kut will give a joint press conference later tonight.

    CNA AP/MM/GP/1997

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