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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-02-01

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Clerides to discuss Cyprus problem with Annan
  • [02] US believes S-300 purchase might complicate negotiations
  • [03] Cyprus protests over Turkish warships visit
  • [04] Ancient limestone lions and shinx revealed
  • [05] Family of murdered Greek Cypriot takes Turkey to court

  • 1030:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides to discuss Cyprus problem with Annan

    Nicosia, Feb 1 (CNA) -- President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides, will be meeting today with the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the annual World Economic Forum.

    This is the first meeting between the two men, since Annan's election as chief of the UN.

    During the meeting, President Clerides and Annan are expected to discuss efforts for a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem and the issue of persons missing since the Turkish invasion and occupation of part of the island, in 1974.

    President Clerides is also expected to put forward talking points on the issue of the missing.

    According to a recent statement by President Clerides, Annan requested today's meeting himself.

    CNA RG/MA/1997

    [02] US believes S-300 purchase might complicate negotiations

    Washington, Feb 2 (CNA) -- The US government has reacted negatively to a statement President Clerides is reported to have made in Davos, Switzerland, that he would be willing to cancel the decision to by the Russian made anti- aircraft missile system S-300, if Turkey agrees to a Cyprus settlement.

    In his regular press briefing, State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns described the purchase of the missiles as a mistake that might complicate negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    President Clerides is reported to have stated, during a press conference in Davos where he is attending the World Economic Forum, that he would swap the deal for the S-300 for a settlement in Cyprus, adding Nicosia does not want to waste money.

    Noting he has seen the wire service reports, Burns said his government's position on the issue has been very clear. ''We believe it's a mistake which complicates all the diplomatic negotiations,'' he said.

    ''It's also a mistake to try to see this purchase as a way to leverage other issues in the negotiations, that are so complex, between the Greeks, the Turks and the parties in Cyprus,'' the State Department Spokesman noted.

    Burns reiterated the US call on the Cyprus government to reconsider its decision on the missile system, pointing out that ''Secretary Allbright has talked about the fact that the US has a very keen interest in playing a role in 1997, a concerted, aggressive role to see that these problems on Cyprus might be resolved.''

    Asked by CNA why the US reacted negatively rather than positively to Clerides' statement, Burns expressed the view that it ''might possibly even complicate the negotiations.''

    Commenting on reaction in Nicosia to the State Department report on human rights Cyprus, that it puts on an equal footing the victim and the aggressor on the island, Burns said ''the US government has had a very clear position for 22 years now on what happened in Cyprus in 1974'', when Turkey invaded and occupied the island's northern third.

    He noted ''this is a political question, that is, I understand, quite emotional for the victims of the occupation.''

    ''Nevertheless,'' Burns added, ''I think we have a sufficient public record.''

    CNA DA/MA/1997

    [03] Cyprus protests over Turkish warships visit

    United Nations, Feb 1 (CNA) -- Cyprus has lodged a strong protest to the UN over the illegal entry of three Turkish navy warships into the Republic's territorial waters.

    In a letter to UN Chief Kofi Annan, the Charge d' Affaires of the Cyprus Mission to the UN, James Drousiotis, noted that two Turkish gunboats and a frigate violated the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as binding decisions of the Security Council on Cyprus and international law.

    On January 25, three Turkish warships had illegally docked in the Famagusta port, closed since the Turkish invasion and occupation of part of the island in 1974, where they remained for five days.

    The warship incident was ''but the latest of a series of continuing provocative acts by Turkey against Cyprus, manifested by threats of the use of force against the Republic of Cyprus in statements made by officials of the Turkish government,'' the letter adds.

    It also points out these threats were recently incorporated in a ''Joint Declaration'', issued January 20, by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, after a meeting in Ankara.

    CNA JD/MA/1997

    [04] Ancient limestone lions and shinx revealed

    Nicosia, Feb 1 (CNA) -- Four lions and two sphinx, guardians of their long dead king, were relieved of their duties yesterday, when they saw the sunlight for the first time in centuries.

    Members of the Cyprus Antiquities Department accidentally stumbled on the six oversized limestone statues, of inestimable archaeological value, while carrying out maintenance and restoration works on the royal tombs of Tamasos, an ancient kingdom, 20km southwest of Nicosia.

    The finds unearthed are all in immaculate condition and date back to the 6th century B.C. when Cyprus was under Egyptian rule.

    Head of the Antiquities Department, Demos Christou, told CNA the statues, found on the outer side of the western royal tomb, are of ''unique style'' and ''possibly decorated the tomb.''

    The lions, one missing an ear and one found in three pieces, are in a crouching position with their teeth bared, while the sphinx are identical to those found in Egyptian museums.

    Christou said that ''investigations will be continued next week, to determine whether there is a third tomb in the area''.

    CNA RG/MA/1997

    [05] Family of murdered Greek Cypriot takes Turkey to court

    Nicosia, Feb 1 (CNA) -- The family of a young Greek Cypriot brutally murdered by extremist Turks during a demonstration, last year, yesterday brought the case against Turkey before the Human Rights Commission of the Council of Europe.

    Lawyer Andreas Papacharalambous, representing the family of 24 year-old Tassos Isaac, told CNA today that their aim is ''to prove that Turkey is responsible for the unjustified killing of Tasos Isaac.''

    Isaac was savagely beaten to death by Turkish extremists, including members of the ''Grey Wolves'', a Turkish ultra-nationalist organisation, on August 11 1996, during a demonstration against the continuing Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus.

    Papacharalambous said that if Turkey is found guilty, the family will then seek compensation.

    Isaac's death was recorded on camera by TV crews covering the demonstration as well as press photographers and was noted in UN reports on the demonstration.

    The Cypriot lawyer said he will also bring the case of retired Greek Cypriot fireman Petros Kakoullis, murdered in cold blood by Turkish soldiers, last September, while gathering snails, before the Commission.

    Turkey is also likely to be in the dock to face charges about the killing of another Greek Cypriot, Solomos Solomou, shot dead by the Turks during a demonstration after Isaac's funeral, on August 14.

    CNA RG/MA/1997

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