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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-07-16

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


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Friday, July 16, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] US ‘doesn’t want to pressure anyone’ on CyprusBy Jean ChristouU.S. DEFENCE Secretary William Cohen said yesterday Washington did not want to pressure Turkey or Greece to move towards a resolution of the Cyprus problem.He was speaking at a news conference in Ankara after a meeting Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.Cohen said the division of the island was unacceptable but that the US was of the opinion that it is up to Greece and Turkey to resolve their difference over the division of the island."On the issue of Cyprus we believe the status quo is not acceptable and that negotiations should be instituted quickly and without preconditions," he said.But he made it clear that Washington did not want to pressure either of the two Nato allies to move towards a solution."We do not seek to bring pressure on either Greece or Turkey," he said.Cohen's comments were a repeat of those he made in Athens on Wednesday prior to his departure for Ankara."We are also exploring new ways to improve relations with Turkey but the United States does not intend to pressure anyone," he said.The US Defence Secretary's comment drew a sharp response in Nicosia from House President Spyros Kyprianou, who said yesterday: "I wonder how the problem will be solved if there is no pressure on Ankara?""When the US and other powerful nations speak about ethnic cleansing they first have to take a look at Cyprus. They have not lifted a finger in the past 25 years. Their objective is to see Cyprus divided irrespective of any name that might be given to a prospective solution."But President Clerides expressed no surprise at Cohen's comments."I am not surprised and if I were in his place, going to Turkey, I would not state that I am going there to exert pressure, " he said."Everybody knows how the international political game is played. One does not go to a place and announce that he will be exerting pressure."Meanwhile diplomatic activity on the island began to wind down yesterday as ambassadors and envoys leave for the holidays.Unficyp chief of mission Dame Ann Hercus paid a brief visit to President Clerides before her departure. On Wednesday she paid a similar call to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.She will return to the island in three weeks.German Ambassador Gabrielle von Malsen-Tilborch has also left the island for the holidays, while US Ambassador Kenneth Brill will be departing from his post by the end of the month.On Wednesday Brill, Hercus and British High Commissioner Edward Clay met at the US embassy in what was described by diplomatic sources as a routine meeting.Clay also met Denktash on Wednesday and Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides yesterday.It is believed the series of meetings was held to discuss the post-holiday strategy for the expected resumption of direct talks in the US in October following the UN Secretary-general's call to both sides to return to negotiations.
  • [02] Coup victims remembered as party leaders warn of foreign plotsBy Martin HellicarTHE SIRENS sounded and politicians pronounced as Cyprus yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the 1974 coup.The House of Representatives plenum convened for its customary coup-condemning special session and the island's political elite attended a church service, conducted by Archbishop Chrysostomos and dedicated to those who lost their lives.According to official figures, nearly 100 people were killed 25 years ago in fighting between right-wing coupists, backed by the Greek military junta, and supporters of President Makarios. Makarios was forced to flee as the junta took temporary control of the island, triggering the Turkish invasion of July 20, 1974."Every year we honour those who died defending democracy, freedom and their country. It is a duty we owe to those heroes who gave their lives so that we can live as free people," President Clerides said after the morning church service.Government spokesman Costas Serezis called for unity, adding: "Today is a day to remember, because lack of memory makes the repetition of criminal actions with nationally destructive repercussions easier."At the House, deputies observed a minute's silence in memory of the victims before taking turns to condemn the coup. Their speeches invariably focused on the Cyprus problem.House President Spyros Kyprianou, in his opening address, called on everyone to shoulder their responsibilities "because the future of our children and grandchildren is at stake".He called for unity and vigilance on the national issue. "We must decide collectively, we must know everything, we must make ourselves fully informed about what is being cooked-up on the sidelines of international diplomacy and see what we can do," the Diko leader said.The leader of governing Disy, Nicos Anastassiades, called for national unity. "The coup should not be used for party point-scoring," he urged. Communist Akel has consistently charged Disy with harbouring former coupists.Akel leader Demetris Christofias also called for unity and claimed that the international community was leaning towards recognition of the breakaway self-proclaimed ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’, a move demanded by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash as a precondition for further inter-communal talks."The UN cannot seek a middle way between the positions of the two sides when Denktash's positions are totally opposite to UN resolutions on Cyprus," Christofias said.Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides continued on the same theme. "We should make clear that we will not accept a peace dialogue based on confederation or the recognition of separate entities," he told deputies.Last night, hundreds turned out for an anti-coup rally organised by Akel in Nicosia's Eleftheria Square.Several anti-occupation events are planned by other parties over the coming days, including a rally at the Ledra Palace checkpoint on Sunday.
  • [03] Turks remove checkpoint propagandaBy Jean ChristouPROPAGANDA posters at the Turkish Cypriot checkpoint in Nicosia have been removed and replaced with tourism pictures and visa charges on visitors have been abolished, newspapers in the north reported yesterday.In addition the Turkish Cypriot side is asking the government to lift restrictions on tourists crossing to the north on day trips who are not allowed to shop and who must return by 5pm.But Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis told the Cyprus Mailyesterday there are no plans to change the situation at the moment.The Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibrissaid yesterday that the ‘TRNC Council of Ministers’ lifted the £4 sterling visa fee on tourists crossing to the north at the Ledra Palace.Since it was first imposed at the end of 1997, in response to Britain's clampdown on Turkish Cypriots entering the UK, the number of visitors going to the north has dropped by more than half, from 30,000 a year to 14,000.Following the `cabinet' meeting on Wednesday Turkish Cypriot `Deputy Prime Minister' Mustafa Akinci told Kibristhat all the massacre posters had been removed from the checkpoint in order to prove the Turkish Cypriot side's "desire for peace".Akinci then called on the Greek Cypriot side to reciprocate by removing their own "provocative" photographs and posters.The Greek Cypriot side displays posters of the killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators at protests in Dherynia in 1996.Akinci referred to the posters as something that "kindles the flame of hatred between the two peoples".On the issue of tourists visiting the north, Akinci said the Greek Cypriot side demands that those who cross should not do any shopping and should return to the south by 5pm at the latest.Greek Cypriots from the anti-occupation group Pak have also been running a campaign at the Ledra Palace for the past three years in an effort to dissuade tourists from crossing to the north."The Greek Cypriot administration creates every obstacle to prevent tourists form crossing to the north," Akinci said."We on our part demanded a crossing fee from the tourists, thus contributing to the obstacles created by the Greek Cypriots".He said the Turkish Cypriot side was now trying to send a message to the world on the eve of the July 20 anniversary and spoke about opening a tourist office at the Ledra Palace.Akinci said he had called on Rolandis to suggest the restrictions be lifted. "I have received no response yet to my call," he said.Rolandis told the Cyprus Mailthat he had spoken with Akinci in the past about tourism."He made a proposal in the past to open up the line so that tourists might cross," Rolandis said. "We have not looked into this."Rolandis said the problem would be that tourists staying in the north on holidays and crossing to the free areas would be entering the island through an illegal channel."At the moment we shall stick to the existing situation," he said.
  • [04] Kissinger knocks 1974 plot theoryBy Anthony O. MillerTURKEY'S 1974 invasion of Cyprus not only was not a plot colluded in by the United States, but it was both the unparalleled paradigm of future ethnic conflicts and beyond the control of even the wisest of diplomats, according to Henry Kissinger.He also believes that political forces in Greece, the US and Turkey, including a mercurial US Congress, made it all the more difficult to try to prevent (and, failing that, minimise) the potential damage to Nato, and the actual damage to Cyprus, from Turkey's invasion.These and other assertions lard Chapter 7 of Years of Renewal, the concluding installment of Kissinger's memoirs, just published by Simon and Schuster and available in the US for $35.But if readers seek from the former US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser for US Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford the kind of Cyprus problem mea culpathat US Presidential Envoy for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke offered last year, they will search for it in vain.For Kissinger's version of the events of 1967-74, while genuflecting to their obvious roots in ancient Greek-Turkish animosities, ranges far and wide in ascribing blame to anyone but himself.Kissinger denies there was any Cyprus conspiracy, terming "a mythology" the notion that he and President Nixon "contrived the crisis in pursuit of a vendetta against Archbishop Makarios III... or in collusion with Turkey for unspecified geopolitical objectives.""Contrary to the mythology that the United States encouraged the Turkish invasion -- or even colluded with it -- our strategy during the first week (of the July 15, 1974 coup against Archbishop Makarios) concentrated on removing Turkish pretexts for military action," Kissinger declares.While he and Nixon surely "had our reservations about some aspects of Makarios's policy," he admits, "they were relatively minor irritations, and Cyprus had an altogether low priority in the general scheme of things" as viewed from Washington.The Cyprus crisis was new turf, and not preventable even for America. "It initiated the United States into the archetypal and as yet unfamiliar drama of ethnic conflict," which would in the Bosnias, Lebanons, Rwandas and Kosovos of the remainder of the century become all too familiar to US administrations.Not only were there no "intelligence warnings which were ignored by an administration driven by its dislike of Makarios and its obsession with geopolitics," but there were no red-flag forebodings of the July 15, 1974, coup against Makarios, he writes.In fact, "as late as July 12," Makarios himself declared the Cyprus situation merely "'delicate' but not 'critical,'" Kissinger says. And "the United States, preoccupied with Watergate, did not believe the situation was approaching the critical point" either.After the coup, the US obsession was in preserving Nato's eastern flank from collapsing in a Greco-Turkish war over Cyprus, thus allowing Soviet penetration of the Mediterranean, he says.Between the July 15 coup and Turkey's initial invasion on July 20, Kissinger's files show he warned Turkey against invading Cyprus, while pledging simultaneously to oppose the island's enosiswith Greece -- just as Kissinger claims the US simultaneously opposed the junta then ruling Greece -- as a way of balancing US interests.This, he says, was typical of the US policy of "evenhandedness in defence of America's national interest in the preservation of the eastern flank of Nato."But this policy "...was inevitably rejected by the ethnic adversaries," of Greece and Turkey, which were "obsessed with their blood feud" and refused to negotiate an end to the Cyprus invasion/crisis: Greece threatened to pull out of Nato and called up its reserves, while Turkey bolstered its forces in Cyprus.After Greece's junta fell and democracy returned to Athens, foreign and domestic voices clamoured for either military force to reverse Turkey's second invasion and occupation of Cyprus, or sanctions to be applied against Ankara to punish it.Both were anathema to Washington, Kissinger says, as Turkey was too important to US/Nato ends for military force or sanctions -- a notion seemingly at odds with his claims that America was not geopolitically obsessed vis-à-vis Turkey and Cyprus.Kissinger reveals that, far from delighting in the coup against Makarios solely as a pretext for working its will in Cyprus, Turkey actually wanted Makarios -- the bête noir of Turkish Cypriots -- returned to power so badly that it threatened to "invade Cyprus unless Makarios was restored to power within 24 hours" of his ouster.As Makarios' return in that 24 hours did not occur, the first phase of Ankara's two-stage invasion of Cyprus did, and Turkey quickly dropped any wish to see Makarios or the status quo of his pre-coup presidency restored. America's chief goal then became avoiding an intra- Nato war, securing a Cyprus ceasefire, and beginning negotiations between the parties, he writes.Undercutting all negotiations was the cutoff of all US military aid to Turkey by Congress in October 1974, Kissinger grouses, as "this removed flexibility from both sides".The aid cutoff was welcomed by Greece as a punishment, and by Turkey as a pretext for cancelling negotiations by Kissinger for a Cyprus settlement, he says. It was the last nail in the coffin of conciliation."Our inability to explore seriously any Turkish hint of flexibility froze the Turkish occupation at its maximum extent and facilitated absolute Turkish control" of the occupied part of Cyprus that Ankara holds to this day, Kissinger writes.Despite the occupation, the US secured "its most important objective: the eastern flank of Nato, though strained, remained intact." Greece and Turkey, despite hostilities, stayed in Nato, and the Soviet Union was kept out of the Mediterranean."The communal conflict between Greeks and Turks on Cyprus has proved intractable for centuries," and this, more than any US diplomatic failures, lies at the root of the Cyprus problem, he believes.For "once an ethnic conflict breaks out, its outcome is much more apt to be either a massacre of the minority, or the forcible separation of the ethnic groups, than the restoration of political unity," writes Kissinger.
  • [05] Sentencing of Aeroporos killer postponedBy Charlie CharalambousTHE CRIMINAL court yesterday delayed setting a date for when confessed killer Prokopis Prokopiou will be sentenced for the murder of Hambis Aeroporos.As the prosecution dropped charges on Wednesday of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and Prokopiou had pleaded guilty to killing Hambis in cold blood, the court could have imposed sentencing straight away.But the court chose not to complicate proceedings at this stage by having the prosecution give their closing argument for one of the accused while four other suspects were still on trial.Therefore, it agreed that Prokopiou will either be sentenced at the end of the trial in Nicosia or at another juncture if the need arises.Prokopiou faces a life sentence after Tuesday's outburst when the 35-year-old waiter confessed to gunning down Hambis in a Limassol street on December 16 last year.He also claimed that two co-defendants -- murder suspects policeman Christos Symianos, 35, and ex-special policeman Savvas Ioannou, alias Kinezos, 33 -- were not involved in the killing.The President of the three-judge bench, Michalis Fotiou, said Prokopiou need no longer sit in the dock but that he could attend the hearings if he so wished.Proceedings continued yesterday with a ‘trial within trial’ following objections by defence lawyer George Georgiou over the admissibility of a police statement made by his client Zoe Alexandrou.Georgiou argued the hospital cleaner did not give a voluntary statement, that she was not informed of her rights by police, and that proper procedure was violated.The fifth suspect in the murder trial is cabaret owner Sotiris Athinis, 43, who -- along with his 51-year-old sister Zoe -- has pleaded not guilty to lesser charges of conspiring to kill 36- year-old Hambis Aeroporos.The trial continues.
  • [06] £ 300m may have been poured into Louis IPOBy Hamza HendawiQUICK-profit hopefuls may have poured as much as £300 million this week to snap up as many shares as possible in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Louis Cruise Lines' Ltd, traders said yesterday.The share issue itself is worth only £9.5 million at 40 cents apiece. The title, however, is widely tipped to debut in early August at £1 or £2 and then to rise rapidly in the following days.No exact figure for how much money Cypriots spent to become Louis shareholders will be available before the weekend or early next week, and the traders explained that the £300 million figure was largely an educated guess based on the massive demand over the four days when registers were open in banks and brokerages across the island."Interest is beyond belief and I will not be surprised if it exceeds 30-fold," said Koullis Panayiotou of top brokerage CLR. "The timing made that possible because the issue comes after two successful listings," he told the Cyprus Mail, referring to the recent market debut of Share Link Financial services and engineering firm Caramondani Bros.For the issue to be 30-fold oversubscribed means that some £290 million will be returned to investors, leaving most of them with a much smaller number than they wished for in the coveted title.But there may be a silver lining in their disappointment.Once the balance is refunded to them, which should happen after 15 working days, a flood of money is expected to go to the market either to buy Louis shares in their early trading days, when they are still a relative bargain, or to snap up traditional blue-chips, according to traders."Imagine the expectations of this market when even as little as 10 per cent of the £290 million returned to investors finds its way to the market," said Panicos Kaiserlides of Benchmark Securities.The Louis issue has virtually taken hold of the lives of many people in recent days, and a lot of them are known to have borrowed in an attempt to get a piece of the action. Tales abound of investors who wrote cheques for as much as £1 million knowing that only this way can they get a decent number of shares in Louis."We know that some of the money which came to us is borrowed," said Kaiserlides of Benchmark. Panayiotou agreed, adding: "Some of it also came from other investments and from deposit accounts. This money will never go back to the deposit accounts." He said the market's bullish mood was attracting hordes of new investors."People who never thought they would ever invest in stocks are now in the market. We even have some investors who may not even have heard of the existence of the market until recently," he said."So long as the funds keep coming there is no stopping the market," concluded Kaiserlides.The Louis issue has dramatically raised the stakes in the seemingly unstoppable Cyprus bourse. Yesterday, the all-share index closed at 184.91, the third consecutive all-time high. It was up 3.80 per cent on Wednesday's close.All seven sectors finished in positive territory with a volume worth a decent £16.39 million, of which £4.37 million went to the blue-chips of the banks.The tourism and trading sectors again finished strong with their sub-indices rising by 5.88 per cent and 6.92 per cent respectively.
  • [07] Government ‘close to decision’ on Akamas National ParkBy Martin HellicarTHE GOVERNMENT is now making good headway towards a final decision on the future of the Akamas peninsula, Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous said yesterday.The government vowed to declare the pristine peninsula a National Park ten years ago but has been dragging its feet ever since, wary of local residents' objections.But Themistocleous said "significant" work had been done during a meeting of the appropriate ministerial committee yesterday. The committee heard the government Environment Service's position on what form the National Park should take. A final National Park proposal would now be submitted to the cabinet for approval in the autumn, the minister said.But the opposition of local residents remains a potential obstacle. "On the basis of this proposal there will be negotiation with the (Akamas) communities to secure their consent for the management plan to be implemented in the Akamas area," Themistocleous said.The long delay in taking a final Akamas decision has angered both greens -- who claim the state is pandering to the interests of big Akamas landowners -- and local villagers, who say uncertainty over the future status of the area renders their land useless.The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a state-commissioned World Bank proposal for an Akamas National Park, and the government has adopted this as a template for the area.Last month, Themistocleous said the remaining tourism development zones in the Akamas would be frozen to allow time for a final decision on National Park plans to be made. But the idea was soon abandoned, with the minister saying a decision was near and the development freeze was thus unnecessary.Environmentalists, who support the World Bank plan, fear that the government's reluctance to act swiftly to protect the Akamas will allow further tourism developments in the area -- creating a de facto situation. Local residents favour tourism development.The family firm of former Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has already built a massive hotel complex on the Asprokremnos coast, west of Latchi, after securing planning relaxations from the cabinet.Planning permission has recently been granted for a second 5-star hotel on the same stretch of coast.

  • [01] US ‘doesn’t want to pressure anyone’ on CyprusBy Jean ChristouU.S. DEFENCE Secretary William Cohen said yesterday Washington did not want to pressure Turkey or Greece to move towards a resolution of the Cyprus problem.He was speaking at a news conference in Ankara after a meeting Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.Cohen said the division of the island was unacceptable but that the US was of the opinion that it is up to Greece and Turkey to resolve their difference over the division of the island."On the issue of Cyprus we believe the status quo is not acceptable and that negotiations should be instituted quickly and without preconditions," he said.But he made it clear that Washington did not want to pressure either of the two Nato allies to move towards a solution."We do not seek to bring pressure on either Greece or Turkey," he said.Cohen's comments were a repeat of those he made in Athens on Wednesday prior to his departure for Ankara."We are also exploring new ways to improve relations with Turkey but the United States does not intend to pressure anyone," he said.The US Defence Secretary's comment drew a sharp response in Nicosia from House President Spyros Kyprianou, who said yesterday: "I wonder how the problem will be solved if there is no pressure on Ankara?""When the US and other powerful nations speak about ethnic cleansing they first have to take a look at Cyprus. They have not lifted a finger in the past 25 years. Their objective is to see Cyprus divided irrespective of any name that might be given to a prospective solution."But President Clerides expressed no surprise at Cohen's comments."I am not surprised and if I were in his place, going to Turkey, I would not state that I am going there to exert pressure, " he said."Everybody knows how the international political game is played. One does not go to a place and announce that he will be exerting pressure."Meanwhile diplomatic activity on the island began to wind down yesterday as ambassadors and envoys leave for the holidays.Unficyp chief of mission Dame Ann Hercus paid a brief visit to President Clerides before her departure. On Wednesday she paid a similar call to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.She will return to the island in three weeks.German Ambassador Gabrielle von Malsen-Tilborch has also left the island for the holidays, while US Ambassador Kenneth Brill will be departing from his post by the end of the month.On Wednesday Brill, Hercus and British High Commissioner Edward Clay met at the US embassy in what was described by diplomatic sources as a routine meeting.Clay also met Denktash on Wednesday and Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides yesterday.It is believed the series of meetings was held to discuss the post-holiday strategy for the expected resumption of direct talks in the US in October following the UN Secretary-general's call to both sides to return to negotiations.

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    Friday, July 16, 1999

    [02] Coup victims remembered as party leaders warn of foreign plotsBy Martin HellicarTHE SIRENS sounded and politicians pronounced as Cyprus yesterday marked the 25th anniversary of the 1974 coup.The House of Representatives plenum convened for its customary coup-condemning special session and the island's political elite attended a church service, conducted by Archbishop Chrysostomos and dedicated to those who lost their lives.According to official figures, nearly 100 people were killed 25 years ago in fighting between right-wing coupists, backed by the Greek military junta, and supporters of President Makarios. Makarios was forced to flee as the junta took temporary control of the island, triggering the Turkish invasion of July 20, 1974."Every year we honour those who died defending democracy, freedom and their country. It is a duty we owe to those heroes who gave their lives so that we can live as free people," President Clerides said after the morning church service.Government spokesman Costas Serezis called for unity, adding: "Today is a day to remember, because lack of memory makes the repetition of criminal actions with nationally destructive repercussions easier."At the House, deputies observed a minute's silence in memory of the victims before taking turns to condemn the coup. Their speeches invariably focused on the Cyprus problem.House President Spyros Kyprianou, in his opening address, called on everyone to shoulder their responsibilities "because the future of our children and grandchildren is at stake".He called for unity and vigilance on the national issue. "We must decide collectively, we must know everything, we must make ourselves fully informed about what is being cooked-up on the sidelines of international diplomacy and see what we can do," the Diko leader said.The leader of governing Disy, Nicos Anastassiades, called for national unity. "The coup should not be used for party point-scoring," he urged. Communist Akel has consistently charged Disy with harbouring former coupists.Akel leader Demetris Christofias also called for unity and claimed that the international community was leaning towards recognition of the breakaway self-proclaimed ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’, a move demanded by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash as a precondition for further inter-communal talks."The UN cannot seek a middle way between the positions of the two sides when Denktash's positions are totally opposite to UN resolutions on Cyprus," Christofias said.Edek leader Vassos Lyssarides continued on the same theme. "We should make clear that we will not accept a peace dialogue based on confederation or the recognition of separate entities," he told deputies.Last night, hundreds turned out for an anti-coup rally organised by Akel in Nicosia's Eleftheria Square.Several anti-occupation events are planned by other parties over the coming days, including a rally at the Ledra Palace checkpoint on Sunday.

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    Friday, July 16, 1999

    [03] Turks remove checkpoint propagandaBy Jean ChristouPROPAGANDA posters at the Turkish Cypriot checkpoint in Nicosia have been removed and replaced with tourism pictures and visa charges on visitors have been abolished, newspapers in the north reported yesterday.In addition the Turkish Cypriot side is asking the government to lift restrictions on tourists crossing to the north on day trips who are not allowed to shop and who must return by 5pm.But Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis told the Cyprus Mailyesterday there are no plans to change the situation at the moment.The Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibrissaid yesterday that the ‘TRNC Council of Ministers’ lifted the £4 sterling visa fee on tourists crossing to the north at the Ledra Palace.Since it was first imposed at the end of 1997, in response to Britain's clampdown on Turkish Cypriots entering the UK, the number of visitors going to the north has dropped by more than half, from 30,000 a year to 14,000.Following the `cabinet' meeting on Wednesday Turkish Cypriot `Deputy Prime Minister' Mustafa Akinci told Kibristhat all the massacre posters had been removed from the checkpoint in order to prove the Turkish Cypriot side's "desire for peace".Akinci then called on the Greek Cypriot side to reciprocate by removing their own "provocative" photographs and posters.The Greek Cypriot side displays posters of the killing of two Greek Cypriot demonstrators at protests in Dherynia in 1996.Akinci referred to the posters as something that "kindles the flame of hatred between the two peoples".On the issue of tourists visiting the north, Akinci said the Greek Cypriot side demands that those who cross should not do any shopping and should return to the south by 5pm at the latest.Greek Cypriots from the anti-occupation group Pak have also been running a campaign at the Ledra Palace for the past three years in an effort to dissuade tourists from crossing to the north."The Greek Cypriot administration creates every obstacle to prevent tourists form crossing to the north," Akinci said."We on our part demanded a crossing fee from the tourists, thus contributing to the obstacles created by the Greek Cypriots".He said the Turkish Cypriot side was now trying to send a message to the world on the eve of the July 20 anniversary and spoke about opening a tourist office at the Ledra Palace.Akinci said he had called on Rolandis to suggest the restrictions be lifted. "I have received no response yet to my call," he said.Rolandis told the Cyprus Mailthat he had spoken with Akinci in the past about tourism."He made a proposal in the past to open up the line so that tourists might cross," Rolandis said. "We have not looked into this."Rolandis said the problem would be that tourists staying in the north on holidays and crossing to the free areas would be entering the island through an illegal channel."At the moment we shall stick to the existing situation," he said.

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    Friday, July 16, 1999

    [04] Kissinger knocks 1974 plot theoryBy Anthony O. MillerTURKEY'S 1974 invasion of Cyprus not only was not a plot colluded in by the United States, but it was both the unparalleled paradigm of future ethnic conflicts and beyond the control of even the wisest of diplomats, according to Henry Kissinger.He also believes that political forces in Greece, the US and Turkey, including a mercurial US Congress, made it all the more difficult to try to prevent (and, failing that, minimise) the potential damage to Nato, and the actual damage to Cyprus, from Turkey's invasion.These and other assertions lard Chapter 7 of Years of Renewal, the concluding installment of Kissinger's memoirs, just published by Simon and Schuster and available in the US for $35.But if readers seek from the former US Secretary of State and National Security Adviser for US Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford the kind of Cyprus problem mea culpathat US Presidential Envoy for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke offered last year, they will search for it in vain.For Kissinger's version of the events of 1967-74, while genuflecting to their obvious roots in ancient Greek-Turkish animosities, ranges far and wide in ascribing blame to anyone but himself.Kissinger denies there was any Cyprus conspiracy, terming "a mythology" the notion that he and President Nixon "contrived the crisis in pursuit of a vendetta against Archbishop Makarios III... or in collusion with Turkey for unspecified geopolitical objectives.""Contrary to the mythology that the United States encouraged the Turkish invasion -- or even colluded with it -- our strategy during the first week (of the July 15, 1974 coup against Archbishop Makarios) concentrated on removing Turkish pretexts for military action," Kissinger declares.While he and Nixon surely "had our reservations about some aspects of Makarios's policy," he admits, "they were relatively minor irritations, and Cyprus had an altogether low priority in the general scheme of things" as viewed from Washington.The Cyprus crisis was new turf, and not preventable even for America. "It initiated the United States into the archetypal and as yet unfamiliar drama of ethnic conflict," which would in the Bosnias, Lebanons, Rwandas and Kosovos of the remainder of the century become all too familiar to US administrations.Not only were there no "intelligence warnings which were ignored by an administration driven by its dislike of Makarios and its obsession with geopolitics," but there were no red-flag forebodings of the July 15, 1974, coup against Makarios, he writes.In fact, "as late as July 12," Makarios himself declared the Cyprus situation merely "'delicate' but not 'critical,'" Kissinger says. And "the United States, preoccupied with Watergate, did not believe the situation was approaching the critical point" either.After the coup, the US obsession was in preserving Nato's eastern flank from collapsing in a Greco-Turkish war over Cyprus, thus allowing Soviet penetration of the Mediterranean, he says.Between the July 15 coup and Turkey's initial invasion on July 20, Kissinger's files show he warned Turkey against invading Cyprus, while pledging simultaneously to oppose the island's enosiswith Greece -- just as Kissinger claims the US simultaneously opposed the junta then ruling Greece -- as a way of balancing US interests.This, he says, was typical of the US policy of "evenhandedness in defence of America's national interest in the preservation of the eastern flank of Nato."But this policy "...was inevitably rejected by the ethnic adversaries," of Greece and Turkey, which were "obsessed with their blood feud" and refused to negotiate an end to the Cyprus invasion/crisis: Greece threatened to pull out of Nato and called up its reserves, while Turkey bolstered its forces in Cyprus.After Greece's junta fell and democracy returned to Athens, foreign and domestic voices clamoured for either military force to reverse Turkey's second invasion and occupation of Cyprus, or sanctions to be applied against Ankara to punish it.Both were anathema to Washington, Kissinger says, as Turkey was too important to US/Nato ends for military force or sanctions -- a notion seemingly at odds with his claims that America was not geopolitically obsessed vis-à-vis Turkey and Cyprus.Kissinger reveals that, far from delighting in the coup against Makarios solely as a pretext for working its will in Cyprus, Turkey actually wanted Makarios -- the bête noir of Turkish Cypriots -- returned to power so badly that it threatened to "invade Cyprus unless Makarios was restored to power within 24 hours" of his ouster.As Makarios' return in that 24 hours did not occur, the first phase of Ankara's two-stage invasion of Cyprus did, and Turkey quickly dropped any wish to see Makarios or the status quo of his pre-coup presidency restored. America's chief goal then became avoiding an intra- Nato war, securing a Cyprus ceasefire, and beginning negotiations between the parties, he writes.Undercutting all negotiations was the cutoff of all US military aid to Turkey by Congress in October 1974, Kissinger grouses, as "this removed flexibility from both sides".The aid cutoff was welcomed by Greece as a punishment, and by Turkey as a pretext for cancelling negotiations by Kissinger for a Cyprus settlement, he says. It was the last nail in the coffin of conciliation."Our inability to explore seriously any Turkish hint of flexibility froze the Turkish occupation at its maximum extent and facilitated absolute Turkish control" of the occupied part of Cyprus that Ankara holds to this day, Kissinger writes.Despite the occupation, the US secured "its most important objective: the eastern flank of Nato, though strained, remained intact." Greece and Turkey, despite hostilities, stayed in Nato, and the Soviet Union was kept out of the Mediterranean."The communal conflict between Greeks and Turks on Cyprus has proved intractable for centuries," and this, more than any US diplomatic failures, lies at the root of the Cyprus problem, he believes.For "once an ethnic conflict breaks out, its outcome is much more apt to be either a massacre of the minority, or the forcible separation of the ethnic groups, than the restoration of political unity," writes Kissinger.

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    Friday, July 16, 1999

    [05] Sentencing of Aeroporos killer postponedBy Charlie CharalambousTHE CRIMINAL court yesterday delayed setting a date for when confessed killer Prokopis Prokopiou will be sentenced for the murder of Hambis Aeroporos.As the prosecution dropped charges on Wednesday of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and Prokopiou had pleaded guilty to killing Hambis in cold blood, the court could have imposed sentencing straight away.But the court chose not to complicate proceedings at this stage by having the prosecution give their closing argument for one of the accused while four other suspects were still on trial.Therefore, it agreed that Prokopiou will either be sentenced at the end of the trial in Nicosia or at another juncture if the need arises.Prokopiou faces a life sentence after Tuesday's outburst when the 35-year-old waiter confessed to gunning down Hambis in a Limassol street on December 16 last year.He also claimed that two co-defendants -- murder suspects policeman Christos Symianos, 35, and ex-special policeman Savvas Ioannou, alias Kinezos, 33 -- were not involved in the killing.The President of the three-judge bench, Michalis Fotiou, said Prokopiou need no longer sit in the dock but that he could attend the hearings if he so wished.Proceedings continued yesterday with a ‘trial within trial’ following objections by defence lawyer George Georgiou over the admissibility of a police statement made by his client Zoe Alexandrou.Georgiou argued the hospital cleaner did not give a voluntary statement, that she was not informed of her rights by police, and that proper procedure was violated.The fifth suspect in the murder trial is cabaret owner Sotiris Athinis, 43, who -- along with his 51-year-old sister Zoe -- has pleaded not guilty to lesser charges of conspiring to kill 36- year-old Hambis Aeroporos.The trial continues.

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    Friday, July 16, 1999

    [06] £ 300m may have been poured into Louis IPOBy Hamza HendawiQUICK-profit hopefuls may have poured as much as £300 million this week to snap up as many shares as possible in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Louis Cruise Lines' Ltd, traders said yesterday.The share issue itself is worth only £9.5 million at 40 cents apiece. The title, however, is widely tipped to debut in early August at £1 or £2 and then to rise rapidly in the following days.No exact figure for how much money Cypriots spent to become Louis shareholders will be available before the weekend or early next week, and the traders explained that the £300 million figure was largely an educated guess based on the massive demand over the four days when registers were open in banks and brokerages across the island."Interest is beyond belief and I will not be surprised if it exceeds 30-fold," said Koullis Panayiotou of top brokerage CLR. "The timing made that possible because the issue comes after two successful listings," he told the Cyprus Mail, referring to the recent market debut of Share Link Financial services and engineering firm Caramondani Bros.For the issue to be 30-fold oversubscribed means that some £290 million will be returned to investors, leaving most of them with a much smaller number than they wished for in the coveted title.But there may be a silver lining in their disappointment.Once the balance is refunded to them, which should happen after 15 working days, a flood of money is expected to go to the market either to buy Louis shares in their early trading days, when they are still a relative bargain, or to snap up traditional blue-chips, according to traders."Imagine the expectations of this market when even as little as 10 per cent of the £290 million returned to investors finds its way to the market," said Panicos Kaiserlides of Benchmark Securities.The Louis issue has virtually taken hold of the lives of many people in recent days, and a lot of them are known to have borrowed in an attempt to get a piece of the action. Tales abound of investors who wrote cheques for as much as £1 million knowing that only this way can they get a decent number of shares in Louis."We know that some of the money which came to us is borrowed," said Kaiserlides of Benchmark. Panayiotou agreed, adding: "Some of it also came from other investments and from deposit accounts. This money will never go back to the deposit accounts." He said the market's bullish mood was attracting hordes of new investors."People who never thought they would ever invest in stocks are now in the market. We even have some investors who may not even have heard of the existence of the market until recently," he said."So long as the funds keep coming there is no stopping the market," concluded Kaiserlides.The Louis issue has dramatically raised the stakes in the seemingly unstoppable Cyprus bourse. Yesterday, the all-share index closed at 184.91, the third consecutive all-time high. It was up 3.80 per cent on Wednesday's close.All seven sectors finished in positive territory with a volume worth a decent £16.39 million, of which £4.37 million went to the blue-chips of the banks.The tourism and trading sectors again finished strong with their sub-indices rising by 5.88 per cent and 6.92 per cent respectively.

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    Friday, July 16, 1999

    [07] Government ‘close to decision’ on Akamas National ParkBy Martin HellicarTHE GOVERNMENT is now making good headway towards a final decision on the future of the Akamas peninsula, Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous said yesterday.The government vowed to declare the pristine peninsula a National Park ten years ago but has been dragging its feet ever since, wary of local residents' objections.But Themistocleous said "significant" work had been done during a meeting of the appropriate ministerial committee yesterday. The committee heard the government Environment Service's position on what form the National Park should take. A final National Park proposal would now be submitted to the cabinet for approval in the autumn, the minister said.But the opposition of local residents remains a potential obstacle. "On the basis of this proposal there will be negotiation with the (Akamas) communities to secure their consent for the management plan to be implemented in the Akamas area," Themistocleous said.The long delay in taking a final Akamas decision has angered both greens -- who claim the state is pandering to the interests of big Akamas landowners -- and local villagers, who say uncertainty over the future status of the area renders their land useless.The House of Representatives has unanimously approved a state-commissioned World Bank proposal for an Akamas National Park, and the government has adopted this as a template for the area.Last month, Themistocleous said the remaining tourism development zones in the Akamas would be frozen to allow time for a final decision on National Park plans to be made. But the idea was soon abandoned, with the minister saying a decision was near and the development freeze was thus unnecessary.Environmentalists, who support the World Bank plan, fear that the government's reluctance to act swiftly to protect the Akamas will allow further tourism developments in the area -- creating a de facto situation. Local residents favour tourism development.The family firm of former Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has already built a massive hotel complex on the Asprokremnos coast, west of Latchi, after securing planning relaxations from the cabinet.Planning permission has recently been granted for a second 5-star hotel on the same stretch of coast.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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