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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 96-12-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <,cy>


  • [01] US-EU summit discuss Cyprus
  • [02] Euro Court to issue decision on case against Turkey by Maria Myles
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Clinton's statement positive, says government
  • [05] Cyprus' security not to be decided by third parties
  • [06] Government comments on Rifkind's points
  • [07] Parties react to Britain's positions on Cyprus
  • [08] Rifkind offers clarifications on sovereignty

  • 0920:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US-EU summit discuss Cyprus

    Washington, Dec 17 (CNA) -- US President Bill Clinton has reiterated his commitment and his intention to work for a Cyprus solution.

    Clinton made this pledge at a joint press conference with European Commission President Jacques Santer and Irish Prime Minister John Brouton, whose country currently holds the European Union (EU) presidency, after the conclusion of a US-EU summit in the White House, yesterday.

    ''We have spent a lot of time, since I've been in office, trying to minimise tensions and resolve difficulties between Greece and Turkey,'' Clinton said.

    In particular, he added, ''I have made an effort to try to resolve the problems over Cyprus.''

    President Clinton expressed the belief that the future of the EU and the US ''will be much brighter and much less troublesome if these things can be resolved.''

    The US President also expressed his intention to do whatever possible, during his second term, in order to promote a solution of the protracted Cyprus problem.

    ''I can only say, from my part, that I intend to do whatever I can, in these next four years the American people have given me, to try to help work out the situation in Cyprus and work out the problems generally between Greece and Turkey,'' he said.

    On his part, the European Commission President said the policy of the EU regarding Cyprus did not change and that Cyprus is a candidate for EU membership.

    ''For Cyprus, we didn't change our policy, not at all, because Cyprus is a candidate to become a member of the European Union. And we clearly defined that on March 6, 1995,'' he noted.

    Santer reiterated that negotiations for enlargement with Cyprus will start six months after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).

    ''This conclusion, we hope, would be finished under the Dutch presidency in June 1997. So we are starting with the negotiation at the beginning of 1998,'' the European Commission President clarified.

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1996

    [02] Euro Court to issue decision on case against Turkey

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Dec 17 (CNA) -- The European Court of Human Rights will issue its decision on a case brought against Turkey by a Cypriot refugee for alleged violation of her human rights.

    Titina Loizidou, a Greek Cypriot from the Turkish-occupied town of Kyrenia, leaves for Strasbourg today to hear tomorrow's ruling on the case, considered to be a landmark in that it may open the way to other refugees to claim their human rights through the courts, if the European Court rules in her favour.

    Loizidou claims that Turkey violates Article 8 and Article 1 of Protocol 1 of the European Convention of Human Rights.

    Article 1 provides that ''every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions'' and Article 8 stipulates that ''everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life.''

    Loizidou brought her case against Turkey in July 1989 alleging violation of her right to ''peacefully enjoy'' her property, which lies in the area of the Republic of Cyprus under Turkish occupation since 1974.

    In March 1991, the European Commission of Human Rights declared the application admissible and a Grand Chamber of 18 judges was constituted to hear the case.

    In March 1995 the Chamber rejected Turkey's objections to the admissibility of the case and concluded that by reason of the presence of her armed forces in occupied Cyprus, preventing the government of the Republic of Cyprus to exercise its jurisdiction in that area, Turkey cannot be excluded on the ground that jurisdiction in the occupied part of the island is exercised by the self-styled regime, set up by the Turkish Cypriots and recognised only by Turkey.

    Loizidou is accompanied to Strasbourg by her husband and one of her two lawyers, Ioanna Loizidou, who, together with Achilleas Demetriades, argued her case before the Court.

    The Republic of Cyprus will be represented by lawyer Toula Polychronidou.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 17 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    80.94 (-0.18)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  90.01 (+0.02)
    Approved Investment Companies          73.07 (-1.75)
    Insurance Companies                    55.33 (+0.02)
    Industrial Companies                   82.36 (-1.77)
    Tourist Industries                     70.99 (+0.67)
    Commercial Companies                   62.08 (+0.49)
    Other Companies                        67.67 (+0.45)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 1325577.430
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1996
    1700 CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Clinton's statement positive, says government

    Nicosia, Dec 17 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has welcomed a statement by US President Bill Clinton reiterating his commitment to work towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    In a statement after the conclusion of a US-European Union (EU) summit in the White House on Monday, Clinton said he would ''try to help work out the situation in Cyprus.''

    ''The fact that President Clinton reiterates his personal interest in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, is something we consider positive, '' Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told the press today.

    He also said the Cyprus problem was brought up in the meeting because of the island's application for accession to the EU, and reiterated the government's view that the US and the EU must coordinate their efforts to facilitate a Cyprus settlement.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with European Commission President, Jacques Santer, and Irish Prime Minister, John Bruton, whose country currently holds the EU presidency, Clinton also said he will try to ''work out the problems generally between Greece and Turkey.''

    Commenting on this, Cassoulides noted that it is Turkey that has claims over Greek territory.

    CNA MCH/MM/1996

    [05] Cyprus' security not to be decided by third parties

    Nicosia, Dec 17 (CNA) -- The security of the Republic of Cyprus is related to the strength of the Turkish occupation army and will be decided by the government and not any third parties, Government Spokesman, Yiannakis Cassoulides, said here today.

    Commenting on a statement by British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, that the Republic's arms purchase programme is ''a big step in the wrong direction'', Cassoulides said the island's defence ''is to be decided by the Cyprus government and not any third parties.''

    ''It is understandable that third parties may be concerned about our arms programme because our defence capability is upgraded but it should be understood that Cyprus has the right to defend itself,'' he stressed.

    He reiterated the government's readiness to reconsider and discuss issues relating to its arms programme, if there is agreement on the complete demilitarisation of the island.

    President Glafcos Clerides has put forward a proposal for the complete demilitarisation of the island, including the disband of the National Guard and the Turkish Cypriot forces with the simultaneous withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops, occupying the island's northern part since 1974 when they invaded.

    ''We do not intend to attack anyone and our weapons will only be used for defence purposes,'' Cassoulides stressed.

    The Spokesman said ''the government would have been happy if the international community were to have acted far earlier on this matter and not now, at a time when we have to arm ourselves for defence purposes.''

    CNA MCH/MM/1996
    1845 :CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Government comments on Rifkind's points

    Nicosia, Dec 17 (CNA) -- The government has refrained from taking a stance on a ten-point document Britain's Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind has unveiled here on Monday, in a bid to press on with the peace effort on this divided island.

    ''It is not a question of agreeing or disagreeing with Rifkind's elements. We have our own views, and we agree with some of the points he has made and disagree with others,'' Government Spokesman, Yiannakis Cassoulides, said here today.

    He also pointed out that the three-page document is not intended to be seen as common ground between the positions of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides but instead as ''an outline of Britain's views which could form the basis for progress.''

    ''We still need a lot of work in the context of an intensive preparatory process to hope for an agreement between the two sides on the main aspects of the Cyprus question (security, guarantees, territory, and constitutional matters),'' he said.

    Rifkind spelt out his government's position on the main aspects that make up the Cyprus question and argued for a comprehensive settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    He also advocated a single international personality for the federate state that will emerge from negotiations and backed international guarantees as may be agreed by the parties.

    On Cyprus' prospect for accession to the European Union, Rifkind indicated he favoured membership talks to be conducted after a federation is established.

    Cassoulides said he agreed with Rifkind's position that the solution of the problem must be based on UN resolutions and the notion of a bizonal, bicommunal federation and backed also the principle of political equality, which is not equated with numerical equality.

    The Spokesman stood firm on his position that the Republic of Cyprus cannot be dissolve if separate referenda among the Greek and Turkish reject the proposed solution, that would emerge from negotiations.

    ''We have always supported the idea of separate referenda but it must be made clear that the Republic of Cyprus cannot be dissolved, because, if the result of these referenda is negative, that which will remain is the Cyprus Republic,'' Cassoulides told the press.

    On the security issue, he said the government backs the demilitarisation of the island and the stationing of an international force to ensure the implementation of a settlement and safeguard peace.

    The Spokesman said guarantees for a federal Cyprus could increase in numbers and abolish the right of unilateral intervention on the part of Turkey. The present system of guarantees names Greece, Turkey and Britain as the three guarantor powers.

    On the territorial issue, Cassoulides said a settlement must allow the return of two thirds of the Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes under Greek Cypriot administration and secure the right to return and to property for the remaining one third.

    Commenting on Rifkind's position relating to EU accession prospects, Cassoulides said ''we adhere to the EU decision stipulating that accession talks will begin six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference.''

    He also said any negotiations would take into account the benefits the Turkish Cypriot community will obtain from EU accession.

    ''If we reach a settlement, then the federal Republic of Cyprus will negotiate the terms of accession. If not, the internationally recognised government of the Republic will conduct the negotiations,'' he pointed out.

    CNA MM/MCH/1996

    [07] Parties react to Britain's positions on Cyprus

    Nicosia, Dec 17 (CNA) -- Political party leaders have criticised the views outlined yesterday by British Foreign Minister, Malcolm Rifkind, on the situation in Cyprus, which he believes could form the basis of a detailed settlement in Cyprus.

    Main opposition left-wing AKEL General Secretary, Demetris Christofias said the absence of a reference, by Rifkind, to a single sovereignty and a single citizenship, a federal state of Cyprus will have, is ''a grave omission.''

    ''If Britain wishes to fulfill its role as a guarantor power of the Cyprus Republic and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, it should turn its attention to Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to demand compliance with UN resolutions,'' Christofias stressed.

    Dissatisfaction with Rifkind's stance on the issue of sovereignty was also expressed by centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO) leader, Spyros Kyprianou, who noted that the British official refers to one international personality but not to one sovereignty.

    Kyprianou said Rifkind had not right to ask the government to put a halt to its arms purchases programme before a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    He also opposed Rifkind's adherence to the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, which gives Turkey the right to intervene in Cyprus unilaterally, and criticised Britain for its failure to do its duty as one of the three guarantor powers (the other two are Greece and Turkey).

    Rifkind, Kyprianou said, should have addressed himself to Ankara, and not to the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus.

    Socialist EDEK leader, Vassos Lyssarides described Rifkind's ten elements as ''unacceptable and provocative,'' and stressed that ''by no means do they assist towards a viable solution of the Cyprus problem.''

    ''Rifkind speaks of one sovereignty but by introducing the idea of two separate referenda (held by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities) does in fact speak of double sovereignty,'' Lyssarides said.

    He also criticised the British Foreign Secretary for equating the government's legitimate efforts to build up its defences against Turkish expansionism with the illegal presence of Turkish occupation troops on the island.

    On his part, United Democrats' leader, George Vassiliou, said Rifkind's points contain ''more negative elements with regard to sovereignty, the return of refugees and Cyprus' accession to the European Union.''

    CNA MCH/MM/1996

    [08] Rifkind offers clarifications on sovereignty

    London, Dec 17 (CNA) -- British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, clarified today that his reference to a federal Cyprus with a single international personality also implies a single sovereignty, as provided by UN resolutions. ''I do not think there is any conflict between the two,'' Rifkind said in an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR), when asked to explain his statement that ''the federation will have a single international personality,'' while UN resolutions also call for a ''single sovereignty.''

    Rifkind said ''there will be one international state called Cyprus'' which will be federal and ''will have a sovereign personality on that basis'', adding that there will be two autonomous zones in this state.

    ''That, I think, is common ground between Greek and Turkish Cypriots,'' he said, noting that the two communities should discuss the precise way to move forward.

    ''It will not be something that can be imposed from the outside,'' he said.

    Asked to evaluate his recent trip to Cyprus, where he met President Glafcos Clerides, Foreign Minister, Alecos Michaelides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, Rifkind said ''progress will be slow'', but added that both communities realise that ''1997 will be a year of opportunity.''

    ''That is a point both President Clerides and Rauf Denktash said and expressed publicly,'' he added, and described as ''encouraging'' the endorsement by both communities of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Expressing the hope that the objective of direct negotiations early next year will be achieved, Rifkind pointed out the need for ''political will, fundamental agreement on certain aspects of policy and a lot of preparatory work.''

    ''No settlement can be imposed on Cyprus,'' the British official said, stressing that an agreement will only be reached if the two communities and their respective leaders strive in that direction.

    Asked about Turkey's role in efforts for a Cyprus settlement, Rifkind said both Greece and Turkey, should use their influence ''in a very positive and constructive way.''

    Commenting on the role of the US and the European Union (EU) in efforts for a solution, Rifkind said ''the international community should act as a single force in this respect.''

    ''The UN takes the lead, Britain, the US and the EU all have contributions to make'', he said, adding that they could ''preside over talks and coordinate the positions of the various parties.''

    CNA MCH/MM/1996

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