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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Holbrooke holds second meeting today with President
  • [02] US envoy talks with protesters
  • [03] Holbrooke continues shuttle diplomacy
  • [04] New telephone system to link two sides
  • [05] Give us more time, Denktash tells Holbrooke
  • [06] Holbrooke holds "serious talks"
  • [07] Holbrooke, Denktash meeting ends

  • 1555:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Holbrooke holds second meeting today with President

    Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) -- US Presidential Emissary Richard Holbrooke is having a second meeting today with President Glafcos Clerides.

    Following his two-hour long working lunch with the President earlier today, the US emissary left the Presidential Palace only to return an hour later for more talks.

    No statements were made after the lunch.

    This is the third time the two men have met in the past 24 hours, since Holbrooke's arrival Friday afternoon.

    Present at the lunch were Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Attorney General Alecos Markides, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides and Under-Secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros.

    American Ambassador in Nicosia, Kenneth Brill, and State Department Coordinator Tomas Miller were also there.

    It is expected that Holbrooke will have another meeting later today with Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, whom he met in the morning in Turkish occupied Nicosia.

    CNA KN/MM/1998

    [02] US envoy talks with protesters

    Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) -- US top envoy for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, had a brief encounter earlier today with Greek Cypriots protesting the continuing Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus and the violation of human rights by Turkey in Cyprus.

    Holbrooke, on his way to a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader in occupied Nicosia, stopped for about ten minutes to talk to representatives of organised groups and refugee associations who gather every weekend at the Ledra Palace check-point to demand justice for Cyprus.

    According to the chairman of the Anti-occupation Movement (PAK), Aris Hadjipanayiotou, Holbrooke listened carefully to what people had to say and said he would do all he can to help.

    Holbrooke, Hajdipanayiotou told CNA, said he would take into account what he heard from the refugees and the relatives of missing persons in Cyprus, seeking for the past 24 years to find out what has happened to their loved ones during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    "We had the opportunity to express our views. We will be pleased of course if we see that Holbrooke really takes into consideration all we have told him, on the basis of what action he takes," Hadjipanayiotou said.

    PAK chairman said he told Holbrooke that Greek Cypriot refugees will not accept a solution depriving them the right to return to their homes and properties.

    "We told him that any solution should provide for the withdrawal of Turkish troops and Turkish settlers from Cyprus and safeguard human rights, " Hadjipanayiotou added.

    The American diplomat was also made aware of the need to have convincing proof about the fate of each person listed as missing and allow those still living to return home.

    Holbrooke was reminded by protesters that the US has the power to act in the direction of a just resolution of the Cyprus question and that his country provides economic and military assistance to Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus' northern territory.

    CNA MK/MM/1998

    [03] Holbrooke continues shuttle diplomacy

    Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) -- Richard Holbrooke, the man credited with the Dayton agreement that ended the war in former Yugoslavia, is shuttling between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides in a bid to break the current deadlock in the Cyprus question.

    The American diplomat made no statements to the press as he left the Presidential Palace this afternoon, after his third meeting with President Glafcos Clerides.

    At present he is back talking to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, for a second meeting with him. The two men met early this morning.

    Holbrooke is likely to see President Clerides after his discussions with Denktash in Turkish occupied Nicosia.

    There were no statements from the Greek Cypriot side either about the consultations with Holbrooke, who is working for the resumption of the stalled dialogue.

    Present at this afternoon's meeting were Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Attorney General Alecos Markides, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides and Under-secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros.

    US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill and State Department Cyprus Coordinator Tomas Miller, who accompany Holbrooke at his meetings, were also present.

    CNA KN/MM/1998

    [04] New telephone system to link two sides

    Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) -- A UN proposal to provide improved telephone connection between the island's Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, will materialise early next week.

    The idea, fully backed by the US and the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission for Refugees), will increase the annual handling capacity of calls from 100,000 to over 750,000, UN spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski told CNA today.

    The new automated system, at an estimated cost of 80,000 US dollars, will be inaugurated on Monday morning at a ceremony in the Ledra Palace hotel, now under UN control in the buffer zone.

    The present plan is that US Presidential Emissary Richard Holbrooke, on the island for talks with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, will probably inaugurate the system.

    Holbrooke, Rokoszewski said, "put very much his weight" behind this proposal and the US funded the operation through the UNHCR.

    The UN, he said, decided to upgrade the current three line operator assisted connection to 20 automated telephone and fax connection.

    "Callers will dial a certain number allocated by the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, then hear a dialling tone and dial directly," he said.

    The UN, he added, will operate a daily eight-hour directory inquiries service for both sides.

    "For years the UN provided the only phone connection between the northern and the southern part of the island through the UNFICYP switchboard," Rokoszewski explained.

    The existing system, which is manually operated, has become overburdened because of increasing demand from both sides and it was unable to cope with it, he added.

    Telephone conversations had to be cut down to ten minutes to cope with the demand as there were hundreds of calls daily, the UN spokesman said.

    Contact between the two sides of this divided island has been very restricted over the years and things got worse in the past several months when the Turkish Cypriot leader barred all bicommunal events, following a decision by the European Union to start accession negotiations with Cyprus.

    CNA MM/KN/1998

    [05] Give us more time, Denktash tells Holbrooke

    Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has appealed to US envoy Richard Holbrooke for more time to help find a solution to the protracted Cyprus question.

    Speaking before a meeting with Holbrooke in Turkish occupied Nicosia, Denktash expressed the view that Holbrooke "is trying to succeed" and added "I do not think it is an easy task, he has to be patient with us."

    Asked by CNA if he thought Holbrooke will abandon his efforts if he does not succeed, Denktash replied "I hope he will not take that attitude because this is a 34 year-old problem."

    "I do not think, as a very clever diplomat, he expects to solve it within a few days or a few sittings, he should give Cyprus time," Denktash added.

    Outlining the obstacles he sees hampering a Cyprus solution, the Turkish Cypriot leader reiterated his view that the two main obstacles are the application by the legally recognised government of the Republic of Cyprus for membership of the European Union and the international recognition the government of President Glafcos Clerides enjoys.

    CNA MCH/MM/KN/1998

    [06] Holbrooke holds "serious talks"

    Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) -- US Presidential Emissary, Richard Holbrooke, said here today he is having "serious talks" with the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    He also said he would shuttle between the two "for as long as it takes, " and dismissed press suggestions that the purpose of his visit to Cyprus is to invite the two leaders to a joint meeting.

    Speaking just before his second meeting today with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Holbrooke said "as I have said yesterday I did not come here to ask the leaders of the two sides to meet with each other. This is not what I came here for."

    "We had serious talks and I will go back and forth for as long as it is useful," the US envoy said, having spent nearly all day shuttling between President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash.

    In his remarks, Denktash said Holbrooke "is always welcome to be with us and I am sure he will come as long as he thinks he can help us."

    Asked if he was ready to discuss a proposal for a meeting, Denktash said "there has not been an invitation."

    "We are not going to discuss public issues that are confidential," Holbrooke added.

    CNA MCH/MM/KN/1998

    [07] Holbrooke, Denktash meeting ends

    Nicosia, May 2 (CNA) -- Richard Holbrooke, US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, concluded tonight a second meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and said he would be back Sunday morning for a third encounter.

    Tonight's meeting lasted about two hours but no statements were made afterwards.

    Asked if he would see President Glafcos Clerides again later tonight, Holbrooke said he would call the President to see.

    During his first full day of talks here, the US envoy saw the President and Denktash twice at separate meetings.

    CNA MCH/MM/1998
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