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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-03-17

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Interior Minister - To resign
  • [02] T/C pilgrims - Visit
  • [03] President Clerides - British High Commissioner
  • [04] Interior Minister - Statement

  • 1255:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Interior Minister - To resign

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides announced here today his decision to submit his resignation in writing to President Glafcos Clerides by tomorrow.

    His announced resignation comes only a day after Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides resigned "as a matter of principle" because he had disagreed strongly with a Cabinet decision exonerating the Interior Minister from corruption allegations against him.

    Speaking to the press outside the Presidential Palace, Michaelides said the move was necessary as a political act to protect the President, who a few months ago refused to accept Michaelides' resignation following corruption allegations against the minister.

    Thanking President Clerides for his support, the Interior Minister said he intends to remain actively involved in the political arena. MORE LATER

    CNA MM/EC/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1310:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] T/C pilgrims - Visit

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- About 1.200 Turkish Cypriot pilgrims will be crossing over into the free areas of the Republic on March 30, to visit the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca, which is considered to be one of the holiest moslem shrines.

    Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Takis Christopoulos, told CNA that the pilgrimage will be carried out in the framework of the 1997 agreement between the leaders of the two communities on humanitarian issues.

    He also said that the visit will coincide with the Feast of Sacrifice, adding that the Turkish Cypriots will be taken directly to Larnaca in buses and will each be charged two CYP (approximately four dollars) for their transportation.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot press reports said that the illegal authorities would only allow one thousand persons to take part in the pilgrimage.

    The Hala Sultan Tekke was built in memory of Umm Haram, an aunt of the Prophet Mohammed. She is said to be buried in the shrine, after she was killed falling off her mule during one of the frequent Arab raids against Cyprus.

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

    CNA FZ/RG/EC/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1320:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] President Clerides - British High Commissioner

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, has expressed support for the involvement of the G8 (seven more industrialised countries and Russia) in efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Madden said this was probably his final call on the President before his departure for Athens, where he has been appointed Ambassador.

    He said the new British High Commissioner, Edward Clay, will be here in early May.

    Asked to comment on reports that a senior US official is trying to get the G8 engaged in the Cyprus peace effort, Madden said it should be seen "as part of continuing international efforts to help and assist the parties here to come to a solution", adding that "in general terms" he agreed with the idea.

    Madden also said that both British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and US President, Bill Clinton, have talked of "a continuing and very full international effort to assist a settlement".

    "The more countries, who can help, play a role, the greater the weight of that international effort will be," he added.

    Madden leaves Cyprus at the end of the month and in early May he is due in Athens to take up his ambassadorial post.

    CNA MCH/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1350:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Interior Minister - Statement

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Interior Minister, Dinos Michaelides, described his decision to hand his resignation letter to the President by tomorrow as a "political act to protect the President of the Republic from petty politics."

    Announcing his decision after a cabinet meeting, Michaelides expressed respect for the President and gratitude for his solidarity and said he will remain politically active.

    The Interior Minister's decision comes only one day after the Government Spokesman resigned as "a matter of principle" because he had disagreed strongly with a cabinet decision exonerating Michaelides from corruption allegations.

    "It is known that I have been vindicated by all institutional procedures," Michaelides said, adding that "despite this fact, I informed the President this morning that I will hand in my resignation in writing by tomorrow."

    The Interior Minister said he has assessed all facts and decided that "my resignation is necessary as a political move to protect the President of the Republic from increasing petty politics which have obvious objectives and goals."

    Michaelides avoided any further comment saying he will hold a press conference later today.

    In his brief remarks to the press, the Interior Minister said he believes President Clerides' politics is "correct beyond any doubt" and expressed his "respect for the President".

    He also said "it is known that I have sacrificed a promising career in a political party and high-ranking positions for his (President's) reelection."

    Michaelides belonged to centre-right party DIKO and served as Interior Minister during Clerides' first term in office, during which DIKO was a coalition partner.

    In late 1997 DIKO withdrew from the coalition, but Michaelides decided to remain in the government.

    "I have a clear conscience that I have served our country and the people conscientiously. I will remain active in the political arena," Michaelides said.

    He concluded by expressing "gratitude to the President of the Republic for his solidarity and especially the decisive message he sent that he does not abandon but protects his ministers when they are being undermined and slandered."

    CNA MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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