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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-03-31

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Missing - Petition
  • [02] Cyprus - Yugoslavia
  • [03] Women - Trade Union Organisations - Yugoslavian Ambassador
  • [04] President Clerides - Lebanon - Syria

  • 1210:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Missing - Petition

    Nicosia, Mar 31 (CNA) -- Relatives of persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus have expressed their deep disappointment for the absence of any progress in efforts to ascertain their whereabouts.

    Some fifty persons gathered at the UN check-point leading to the now defunct Nicosia airport, now under UN control, with a view to delivering a petition to UN resident representative, Dame Ann Hercus, by members of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons.

    Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Nicos Theodosiou denounced the UN stance on the issue of missing persons and was critical of Hercus' reluctance to meet with Committee members.

    He also chastised the UN appointed member of the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) Jean Pierre Ritter as well as the way the entire issue is being dealt with on a political level.

    "We protest more vehemently about the UN position and their mentality on the issue as well as the way the CMP is handling the matter," he added.

    He called on the Cyprus government to undertake a more "substantive and active intervention on the matter."

    In the petition, the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons calls on the UN to "take all necessary steps so that withheld information about the fate of our loved ones will at last be revealed."

    The Committee points out the UN "can and has a duty to perform a serious role in putting an end at long last to this tragic problem by securing the needed convincing information as to what happened to all the missing."

    It describes the non-implementation of UN resolutions on the issue of missing and the lack of progress as "very disappointing" and points out that the continuation of the standstill is a "flagrant violation of fundamental human rights."

    The petition was also handed over to embassy representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council by groups of relatives of missing persons.

    Schoolchildren were also present at today's protest at the UN check- point, waving banners calling for an end to the suffering of the relatives of missing persons.

    Some 1600 persons are listed as missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, but so far only one case has actually been resolved, that of a Greek American, whose remains were located in the Turkish- occupied part of the island.

    The Turkish side has steadfastly refused to cooperate with ongoing efforts and provide information about people who were arrested, and seen being led away alive.

    CNA RM/MM/GP/1999

    [02] Cyprus - Yugoslavia

    Nicosia, Mar 31 (CNA) -- Cyprus will represent Yugoslavia's interests in Britain, it was officially confirmed here today.

    Cyprus Government Spokesman Costas Serezis told the press today that Belgrade's request for Cyprus to represent Yugoslav interests in Britain "has taken its course".

    Replying to a question after a cabinet meeting, Serezis said the Cyprus government was responding positively to the Yugoslav request.

    Belgrade's request was put forward last week and Cyprus is expected to mainly provide consular services to Yugoslav nationals in Britain.

    CNA MA/MCH/GP/1999

    [03] Women - Trade Union Organisations - Yugoslavian Ambassador

    Nicosia, Mar 31 (CNA) -- A delegation of women and trade union organisations handed today a petition to the Ambassador of Yugoslavia in Cyprus, expressing abhorrence and concern over NATO bombardments of Yugoslavia and their solidarity to the Yugoslavian people.

    The organisations express disappointment because, as they point out, the European Union has tolerated the bombings and has proved incapable of expressing any opposition to the genocide taking place.

    They also condemn "the fascist ways of the US which violate every sense of justice".

    Handing the petition to Ivan Mrkic, on behalf of the organisations, Antigoni Papadopoulou, stressed that "the women of Cyprus strongly support that bombings should stop because we know how tragic it is to lose lives and to have children killed".

    She also expressed the women's desire to assist any humanitarian efforts and said the message would be sent that all Cypriot women should participate in the Saturday protest at Eleftheria Square in Nicosia "so that all the people of Cyprus united will express our deep sympathy to your people".

    The Yugoslavian Ambassador thanked the organisations and said he was deeply moved and honoured that they visited him and expressed their support to his country.

    "If all the women of Cyprus are with us then we don't have to fear", he said, adding, "we know we are fighting for a just cause and are simply defending our country. We mean no harm to anyone".

    He stressed the determination of the Yugoslavian people "to stick to UN principles and international law and to the basic right to defend our lives, our people and our state".

    Mrkic also expressed the hope that "soon the criminal attacks against my people and my country will stop and that all the calamity will be over", noting that the ones who suffer most are the civilians.

    "We have many schools hit, many hospitals, kindergartens, cultural centres and shelters. We suffer enormously but we are persistent and devoted to our cause and we will not give in," he stressed.

    CNA MK/MCH/1999

    [04] President Clerides - Lebanon - Syria

    Nicosia, Mar 31 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides leaves for a private visit to Lebanon and Syria on midnight Thursday, on his boat "Kaiti".

    Government Spokesman Costas Serezis announced today that President Clerides will meet his Lebanese counterpart Emile Lahoud on Friday.

    He said Lahoud "asked to meet President Clerides lunchtime Friday. The meeting will be followed by a lunch in the President's honour."

    Asked if the issue of the increasing number of immigrants from Lebanon arriving here illegally will be discussed, Serezis said "all bilateral and international issues will be put forward."

    President Clerides will return to Cyprus on the Orthodox Good Thursday, April 8.

    CNA MA/GP/1999
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