During his nine-day stay, Christofi will have talks with high-level Clinton Administration trade and commerce officials, as well as US Chamber of Commerce executives, top United Nations officials and others.
He is also scheduled to attend events with US travel industry figures, tour operators and trade press to promote Cyprus' tourism product.
Christofi will confer with Greek Cypriot community leaders in New York and has been invited to deliver the keynote remarks at an event condemning the July 20, 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern third.
After New York, he will travel to Washington to hold talks with US officials and businessmen.
Imports from the United States, one of the biggest suppliers of goods to Cyprus last year, reached 217 million Cyprus pounds (about 434 m. US dollars), amounting to 13.3 percent of total imports.
Nearly two thirds of these imports were re-exported making Cyprus and excellent platform for launching US marketing efforts in the region.
Christofi will also attend a working lunch with editors of ''Forbes'', the business magazine, and will be among the guests of honour at a dinner to be given by Caspar Weinberger, who was Secretary of Defense in the Reagan administration.
Nicosia, Jul 19 (CNA) -- Slovakia will continue encouraging bicommunal contacts between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island, but believes that the regime in the Turkish-occupied north should do more to promote these contacts.
This was the view of the Ambassador of Slovakia, Milan Tancar, in an interview to CNA, speaking before his departure from the island this week.
Tancar was the first ambassador of Slovakia, formed after the declaration of the sovereignty of Slovakia in 1992, which was the result of the ''Velvet Revolution'', which overthrew the communist rule.
The Slovak embassy opened in 1993, soon after the independent state of the Slovak Republic was established.
Tancar said his stay on the island was very pleasant and praised Cyprus as ''a beautiful country with beautiful and hospitable people, who are very close with the mentality of the Slovaks''.
He said Cyprus is a country with democratic principles and a very high standard of economy which is growing and meets the criteria of the EU countries. However, the island has a problem which he described as ''really very, very difficult''.
The former republic of Czechoslovakia initiated the meetings aimed at bringing Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot party leaders or their representatives together to get to know each other better and build an environment of confidence between the two sides divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Asked how far the bicommunal talks were promoted during his stay on the island, Tancar said he continued what was done by the Czechoslovak embassy. Five meetings were organised in 1995 and were attended by all Greek Cypriot leaders and all leaders in the Turkish-occupied areas, apart from Dervis Eroglu of the National Unity Party.
''The role of the meetings is part of the mosaic of the contribution to the solution of the Cyprus problem. It is very important for the leaders to sit down together to bring more confidence between them and to have a channel to discuss openly and freely, face to face, the position of their parties in the Cyprus question,'' he said.
The ambassador added ''nobody is expecting a solution from these meetings, but are rather a part of all these elements which will form a final solution of the problem''.
Tancar referred to the embassy's efforts to expand the size of the meetings. He said in December, the European Union ambassador Gilles Anouil attended the meeting and talked about the benefits from Cyprus' accession to the EU.
The Slovak embassy expects UN resident representative Gustave Feissel to attend a forthcoming meeting. ''We hope that September or October will be a good time to bring the leaders again together''. Tancar suggested that there should be five to six meetings a year.
Asked to comment on the atmosphere at the meetings, Tancar said it is ''very friendly, and I know it will continue''. He said the meetings can help to strengthen the cooperation between the parties and ''bring some better understanding''.
However, the Slovak diplomat acknowledged that the Denktash regime is preventing bicommunal contacts.
Recently, a gathering was organised at the United Nations' headquarters which was attended by the ambassadors of the countries involved in the bicommunal activities.
However, the activity was not attended by Turkish Cypriots, because the Denktash regime did not allow them to go.
''We found that really a lot of activities or initiatives are broken down by the authority of the Turkish Cypriot community because they did not give permission to attend the activity'', he said.
During his last meeting with Denktash, Tancar asked him why the Turkish Cypriots were prevented from attending. The answer from Denktash was that since the so-called authorities are causing all the problems, then all the activities should be held at the Ledra Palace Hotel situated in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia or in the occupied areas.
''This is not the balance, because we know that sometimes even the Ledra Palace is a problem to come together'', Tancar said.
Denktash promised to take some measures to overcome these problems, said Tancar. Immediately after their meeting, Denktash refused a delegation of the Cyprus Union of Journalists to attend the funeral of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kudlu Adali, who was murdered in the occupied areas.
''I feel that it is very very important to have both communities to bring as many people as possible together, such as journalists, unions, students and others to have the possibility to talk and to see each other,'' Tancar said.
Asked how he feels a solution to the problem would come, Tancar said ''first of all you need a favourable international climate,'' he said.
Secondly, what is also needed is a ''favourable internal climate'' with people from both sides, wanting to live together. He proposed having a referendum to see if there is a wish for both sides to live together.
The most difficult questions are those of sovereignty, territory and security guarantees. ''If both communities can agree on these, the rest is just technical'', he said.
To a question how there can be sovereignty when the 18 per cent (the Turkish Cypriot community) wants sovereignty, Tancar acknowledged there is a problem, but noted that both sides have to compromise on some precepts which are limited. A solution will come but it is not easy, he added.
Asked if Cyprus can use the way Czechoslovakia separated, Tancar stressed that no parallel should be done between the developments in his country or any other country. ''Each country has its own history, its own problems. If you want to use it as an example, it will not work. We decided to split the country for purely economic reasons. Do not copy any other country. You have your own identity, you have to find your own solution to your problems,'' he said.
Referring to the relations between Cyprus and Slovakia, Tancar described them as ''very good'' dating from the time when Czechoslovakia supported the island during the invasion of the Turkish army.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.
Regarding diplomatic relations, Tancar said Slovakia maintains a very high-level political dialogue with Cyprus. He cited the visit of Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides to Slovakia and the visit of the President of the Slovak parliament to Cyprus.
''We achieved a lot, we can achieve more. We are not satisfied with the level of how things are now, but the trade rose by 57 per cent in 1995, compare to 1994.''
Tancar said there is prospect to promote economic cooperation. ''We have many goods to offer to Cyprus and they are very competitive, while in Cyprus there are many goods which are needed in Slovakia''.
Regarding relations in the tourist field, Tancar said Slovakia is a new destination to Cypriots. There are now two regular flights by Air Slovakia between Larnaca to Bratislava.
''Cyprus is still a little bit expensive for our people'', he said but for this year tour operators are promoting both Cyprus as a destination for Slovaks and Slovakia for Cypriots.
''In the next two years, you will see quite a big boom (in tourist arrivals from Slovakia) because Cyprus will be known as a centre of tourism'', the Slovak ambassador concluded.
Hundreds of Cypriot and European motorcyclists will participate in the European motorcycle ride from Berlin to Kyrenia, a Turkish-occupied northern coastal town, to be organised between August 2-11 by the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation (CMF) in cooperation with the Federation of European Motorcyclists (FEM).
Denktash said the motorcyclists would be ''arrested'' and their bikes ''confiscated'' if they crossed the so-called borders ''illegally.''
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.
Commenting on Denktash's threat, CMF President George Hajicostas assured that the ride would take place, as originally planned, both in Europe and Cyprus.
Hajicostas said he notified the Brussels-based FEM presidency about the Turkish Cypriot leader's stance and added that ''it was mocked.''
Denktash was speaking to Greek Cypriot journalists, covering yesterday's meeting with Madeleine Albright, the US Permanent Representative to the UN.
He said the Euro MPs would be ''arrested'' since ''they will be coming not as Euro MPs but as visitors trespassing on territory.'' He added Euro Mps don't recognise his pseudostate so ''naturally, they will be arrested.''
According to the Turkish Cypriot press earlier this week, Denktash said that any attempt to cross the buffer zone ''will be severely punished.''
Since the ride will be attended by both Greek Cypriot and European bikers, the Turkish Cypriot leader warned the embassies of European countries on the island of his intentions and urged them to inform their respective governments.
The bikers will leave Berlin on August 2 and will arrive in Cyprus on August 11, where they will be joined by a number of Euro MPs. On that day, they will attempt to enter the occupied areas to visit the occupied towns of Kyrenia, Famagusta and Morphou.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution, condemning the ''insufficient'' measures taken by the pseudostate to bring those responsible before a court.
It expressed concern for the increasing terrorist actions in the Turkish-occupied areas of this east Mediterranean island.
Adali, a columnist in Turkish Cypriot daily ''Yeni Duzen'', was murdered on July 6 outside his house in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Nicosia. No action has so far been taken by the illegal regime.
Turning to the Cyprus issue, the European Parliament recognised ''the need for a solution to the Cyprus problem in the context of European Union membership.''
It also underlined the importance of the island's accession talks, which ''will contribute to a solution to the Cyprus issue that could assure the protection and promotion of human rights for all Cypriots.''
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.
Cyprus applied for full EU membership in 1990. The EU Council of Ministers has given Cyprus a firm date for the start of membership talks, six months after the EU Intergovernmental Conference.
Omar Ahmad Hawillo, 36, was convicted in 1988 to 15 years imprisonment after being found guilty of taking part in the most terrible ever terrorist bomb attack in Cyprus, in the morning of May 11, 1988. As a result three persons were killed and 17 wounded.
Hawillo triggered a booby-trapped car driven by a fellow Palestinian, who failed to park the car outside the Israeli embassy. The bomb exploded on a central bridge, some 200 metres away from the heavily-guarded embassy building, killing the driver and two Greek Cypriots.
George Anastasiades, Nicosia-based Central Prisons Director, told CNA today that Hawillo applied for having a Syrian passport, enabling him to travel to an Arab country.
The Prisons Director said the Palestinian refused to leave the island, expressing fears about his personal security.
Hawillo served only 8 years and 3 months from his 15-year sentence. Anastasiades explained that the Palestinian received several presidential pardons. His sentence was also reduced because of his good behaviour in jail.
The Director said Hawillo would be released in 25 days but gave instructions for his release yesterday.
In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR) marking 22 years of continuous Turkish occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory, Green said ''people are not forgetting about it, which is what many of the international community would like to see.''
There is huge strength of feeling amongst Cypriots across the world to support and get a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem'', the Euro-MP said, adding that the ''strength of feeling is not going away.''
Noting that ''there is a lot of diplomatic activity at the moment because people are now aware of the desperate need to solve the Cyprus problem'', Green also pointed out the difficulties involved but promised to ''keep Cyprus on the international agenda.
''I have tried to keep Cyprus on the agenda of the European Parliament and I think we have succeeded in doing that and that is why we now have such a clear statement from the Council on Cyprus' future in Europe'', she added.
Referring to her meeting in Brussels with British representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, Green said he ''will not express pessimism or optimism'', but ''he is just going to flog on with the work he knows he has got to do''.
Commenting on the assassination in the Turkish occupied areas of Turkish Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adali, Green said she ''tabled an emergency motion to denounce the assassination of Kutlu Adali and to make the point that this is just part of a rapidly growing series of terrorist activities.''
''There is not just the Denktash voice of the Turkish Cypriots'', Green stressed. There is, she said, the progressive voice of Turkish Cypriots who despite their differences with the Greek Cypriot community, want a solution for Cyprus within the European Union (EU). This voice, she noted, is increasingly harassed without anyone ever brought to justice.
Green also said that she has asked this week for an interim report from the European Commission, in September, on the implementation of the customs union with Turkey and the EU.
''We are not satisfied to wait until December for a full report, because we are so dissatisfied with the way things are going in Turkey'', she added. CNA/ MCH/EC/1996
According to a statement issued by the Central Committee of the Conference, the fellowship considers ''unacceptable the present situation created by the continued occupation of 37 per cent of the island, as well as violations of human rights and basic freedoms.''
CEC expresses the hope that recent initiatives ''will intensify and expedite the search, in a coordinated way, for a negotiated political settlement which will restore the unity of the island , grant freedom of movement for all its inhabitants, ensure information about all missing people and facilitate the return of the displaced people to their homes.''
CEC also welcomes the stated intentions of the European Union (EU) to start negotiations, within six months of the conclusions of the Inter-governmental Conference, for Cyprus' accession to the EU which will benefit all the inhabitants of the island.
Concluding, CEC representatives express support to``all initiatives in reconciliation by local communities as their contribution to a just and lasting peace.''
This was stated to CNA here today by Elazar Cohen, First Secretary and Commercial Attache of the Israeli Embassy, when asked to comment on the recent agreement reached in Washington that Cyprus will be the venue of the chair of a five-nation Lebanon truce monitoring group to be based in the south Lebanese border town of Naquora.
Cohen described the decision as an ''important development that will serve to reduce the friction between Israel and Lebanon.''
He stressed that ''the fact that Cyprus has been selected to be the venue of the chair, reflects the importance of the island, regarding the peace process in the Middle East''.
Cohen further noted that the countries involved in the peace process, maintain good relations with Cyprus and said that the fact that Cyprus belongs to the region is another advantage.
''I am sure that both Israel and the Arab countries will further enjoy the assistance of Cyprus in the peace process'', he added.
The Cyprus government had welcomed the decision reached by representatives of the US, France, Israel, Syria and Lebanon at the US State Department last Friday.
Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has described the agreement that it ''is definitely a move forward''.
In his message on the 22nd year of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus, PSEKA President Philip Christopher says that ''after 22 years of injustice, nothing has changed, Cyprus is still a divided country.''
Noting that ''battles for justice are never easy'', Christopher stresses the importance of waging a ''war against propaganda and the distortion of truth.''
''It is a war against 22 years of outrageous crimes committed against hundreds of thousands'', Christopher says urging nobody to give up efforts for a just solution to the Cyprus problem.
''If sometimes you get discouraged'', he stresses, ''please think of the enclaved people of Cyprus. For every minute of every day for the past 22 years, these people have lived under the Turkish gun, under inhumane conditions. If they can continue to speak out despite the violent consequences that follow, think of how much more we can do.''
Finally Christopher stresses that efforts for justice for Cyprus must be re-doubled and that Cypriots abroad should renew their commitment for a ''Cyprus united and free.''
Nicosia, Jul 19 (CNA) -- The people Cyprus were gathering at the Ledra Palace checkpoint this evening to condemn tomorrow's 22nd anniversary of the Turkish invasion of the island.
The gathering at Ledra Palace is the climax of events which began on July 15th, condemning the coup d'etat, engineered by the military junta, then ruling Greece, which aimed at toppling the then President, Archbishop Makarios, and offered Turkey the pretext to invade the island five days later.
Political party leaders, Archbishop Chrysostomos, the primate of the Cyprus Greek Orthodox Church, and a representative from Greek municipalities, will join their voices in condemnation of the twin crime against Cyprus.
The gathering is organised by occupied municipalities, refugee associations, the missing persons' committees, youth and women's organisations.
Greek Cypriots in Greece, Britain, the United States, Australia and other countries are staging gatherings and memorial services to honour those who died during the invasion.
Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides went to Rhodes earlier today to represent the government at a memorial service to be held there tomorrow organised by Cypriots living on the island.
In New York, the government will be represented at events to mark the invasion by Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Kyriakos Christofi.
In the occupied areas, the bleak anniversary is being ''celebrated'' by the Denktash regime. In a provocative move, Islamist leader Necmettin Erbakan is due to arrive tomorrow in the Turkish occupied north, at the invitation of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash. Bulent Ecevit, who served as Turkish premier during the invasion, will also attend events in the occupied areas.
Political parties and various organisations on the island, condemned in statements the invasion and continuing occupation, calling for justice for Cyprus.
Ruling right wing Democratic Rally party (DISY) pays tribute to those who died during the invasion in defending their country. It also expresses sorrow over the drama of the persons missing since the invasion, and support to the enclaved, who have remained in the occupied areas.
Left wing AKEL, condemns once more the Turkish invasion and conveyed a message of hope, noting that the aim of withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops and settlers, remains unchanged. This can be achieved through a federal Cyprus in conditions of peace, democracy and respect for human rights for all Cypriots, AKEL adds.
The Free Democrats Movement, calls on the people and leadership to begin a ''political struggle'' to end the division and notes the need to take up initiatives towards this goal.
Sirens will sound in the morning to remind the time the Turkish invasion was launched, west of the town of Kyrenia while church bells will ring across the free areas of the island. All activity throughout the free areas will stop for three minutes, starting at 1005.
A formal memorial service, will be held at St. John's Cathedral which will be attended by President Glafcos Clerides, the island's political and military leadership, Greece's Maritime Minister Kosmas Sfiriou and Greek members of Parliament. The service will be officiated by Archbishop Chrysostomos.
Using the coup as a pretext, Turkey launched an attack by sea, land and air, committing unprecedented atrocities and violations of human rights, looting, raping and killing in cold blood.
In violation of UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire, Turkey proceeded with the onslaught and by August 16, 1974 brought under its occupation 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory, forcibly uprooting 200.000 Greek Cypriots, one third of the island's total population, from their homes and properties.
Thousands, including civilians, women and children were killed, while hundreds of persons, including civilians went missing and are still unaccounted for.
Prisoners of war, who were released, testified that they saw or heard other Greek Cypriots held in prisons in mainland Turkey long after the cessation of hostilities. Many of them were listed as prisoners of war by the International Red Cross Society. Turkey still refuses to come up with any information about their fate, despite efforts by a UN Investigative committee, set up in 1981.
The audacity of Turkey and its disrespect for international law reached its peak in November 1983 with the unilateral declaration of the ''Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus'', which is recognised only by Turkey.
The Denktash regime grossly violates the human rights of the enclaved. As a result, the number of Greek Cypriots living in the occupied areas, which after the end of hostilities was about 20.000, has dramatically fallen to around 523. Seventy-five per cent of them are elderly people. This decline is due to coercion and physical violence exercised against them by the Denktash regime.
Turkey's expansionist policy still continues. In its attempt to alter the island's demographic character, it has imported thousands of Turkish settlers. According to a report prepared by Spanish Parliamentarian Alfons Cuco and presented to the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the number of settlers has reached 80.0000.
In addition there are some 35.000 heavily armed Turkish soldiers. This include around 30.000 Turkish troops, together with some 4.500 Turkish Cypriot troops.
Efforts to eradicate and destroy all elements of the 9.000 year old Cypriot history and culture and transform the occupied areas into just another Turkish province continue unabated. The so called ''authorities'' in the north are engaged in a systematic looting of orthodox churches and the plundering of the island's cultural heritage. CNA EC/MCH /1996