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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-03-03

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cypriot FM on European tour
  • [02] CNA Director is Archbishop's Emissary in New York
  • [03] CPA conference starts
  • [04] EU accession, pressure tactic, says British MP
  • [05] Cyprus chairs group on refugees

  • 1000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cypriot FM on European tour

    Nicosia, Mar 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has started a six-European-nation tour to discuss the role of the European Union (EU) in efforts towards a Cyprus settlement.

    The tour will take him to Athens, London, Paris, Rome, Bonne and the Hague.

    The Cypriot Minister is due to meet today in the Greek capital with Deputy Foreign Ministers Georgios Papandreou and Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Later today, Michaelides will speak at a gathering in Athens on "National Strategy and the Cyprus Problem" organised by the Pantion University.

    Among the speakers will be the Defence Ministers of Cyprus and Greece, Costas Eliades and Akis Tsohantzopoulos.

    Tomorrow he will meet in London with his British counterpart, Malcolm Rifkind and Shadow Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook.

    On Wednesday, he will be in Paris to hold talks with French Deputy Minister for European Affairs, Michel Barnier.

    The following day, he will meet in Rome with his Italian counterpart, Lamberto Dini.

    Michaelides will end his European tour with meetings in Bonne and the Hague with German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel and President of the EU Council of Ministers Hans van Mierlo, respectively.

    During the meetings the position of certain EU member states (Britain, Germany and France) concerning Turkish Cypriot involvement in Cyprus' accession talks will also be discussed.

    The Foreign Minister will return to Cyprus on Tuesday, March 11.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [02] CNA Director is Archbishop's Emissary in New York

    New York, Mar 3 (CNA) -- The Director of the Cyprus News Agency Andreas Christofides has arrived in New York to take part, as the official representative of the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, in the formal opening of the "Glory of Byzantium" exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    As the designated emissary of the Archbishop, Christofides will attend the preview and formal dinner Monday evening as a guest of the prestigious Metropolitan.

    The dinner is hosted by the publisher of the New York Times Arthur Sulzberger.

    Some 600 internationals dignitaries have been invited to attend, including government officials, cultural and social leaders, and figures in international business and finance.

    The exhibition has been hailed by the Museum as a "landmark" event, displaying "more than 350 dazzling works of art.

    On display are icons, mosaics, frescoes, exquisite carvings, illuminated manuscripts, as well as coins and jewellery, and sacred and votive vessels from Orthodox churches and monasteries and museums in the United States, Russia, the Vatican, France, Israel, Georgia and Cyprus.

    Among the exhibits are five priceless icons from the Church of Cyprus.

    The five icons are from the churches of Ayios Nicolaos tis Steghis, Kakopetria, the Holy Cross, Pelendri, the Bishopric of Limassol and the Bishopric of Paphos. The latter is a two-sided icon.

    The exhibition, which will last until June 6, covers the second "golden era" of Byzantine culture between the 9th and 13th centuries AD.

    It highlights the major role, which Greece has played in the history of Byzantine culture and its influence on neighbouring countries.

    It also highlights exchanges and mutual relations between Byzantium, the Islamic world and western Europe.

    The Metropolitan Museum issued a 600-page illustrated catalogue of the exhibition, while a varied programme of cultural events is scheduled to include lectures, concerts and guided tours, a photographic exhibition on the Last Greek of Constantinople and an art exhibition by Greek painters.

    In a 45-minute interview yesterday with Public Radio, the CNA Director deplored the continuing desecration of churches in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the lose of irreplaceable religious treasures, a tragedy made poignant by the Byzantium exhibition at the Metropolitan.

    Christofides said the exhibition would remind visitors of the destruction of Cyprus' 9.000-year-old culture in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.

    The Cyprus government and Church have repeatedly protested to the United Nations, UNESCO, the World Council of Churches and other international organisations about the looting and destruction of religious treasures and ancients monuments in the occupied areas.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal. CNA/JD/GP/1997


    [03] CPA conference starts

    Nicosia, Mar 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus called on parliamentarians participating in the 28th British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association (CPA) to "contribute to a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem".

    The appeal was made by Deputy President of the House of Representatives, Nicos Anastasiades, during the opening ceremony of the conference here this morning.

    Anastasiades told the 38 parliamentarians from Cyprus, Britain, Malta, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and the Falkland Islands "to exert every possible effort for the implementation of the decisions of the Commonwealth and the UN resolutions" on Cyprus.

    Referring to the occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory by Turkish troops since 1974, Anastasiades noted that despite repeated UN resolutions and Commonwealth decisions, the European Parliament and other organisations, Turkey refuses to withdraw its troops from the island and persists in committing gross violations of the most fundamental human rights of the Cypriot people.

    On Cyprus' European aspirations, Anastasiades underlined "the crucial importance which Cyprus attaches to acceding to the European Union, without allowing Turkey to veto its accession by prolonging the unacceptable status quo on the island".

    Referring to the CPA, Anastasiades said the aims of the association are to "promote knowledge and education about the constitutional, legislative, economic, social and cultural systems within a parliamentary democratic framework".

    Anastasiades expressed Cyprus' unwavering adherence to the eternal values and ideals of the CPA.

    The leader of the UK delegation, Sir Wyn Roberts, told the conference that the association "understands the difficult situation which confronts Cyprus" and noted that the parliamentarians will "have a chance to see and hear about the problem at first hand."

    He said the CPA appreciates Cyprus' adherence to the principles of the Commonwealth.

    The CPA conference will discuss the issues of EU enlargement, organised crime and drugs, public health and the development of dependent territories - in particular scope for the reform of their constitutional status following the handover of Hong Kong to China.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

    [04] EU accession, pressure tactic, says British MP

    Nicosia, Mar 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) could be used to pressure Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to break the current deadlock in the Cyprus problem, a British Labour MP has said.

    Speaking at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's 28th British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference, currently underway here, British Labour MP, Dr. John Marek, told delegates Cyprus-EU accession talks, slated to begin early next year, could be used to put pressure on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot regime, in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus, to curb their intransigence and start thinking seriously about solving the island's problem.

    "Clearly, one can use accession to the European Union as something on which to put pressure on Turkey and the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island, simply because Turkish Cypriots, I'm sure, want to become members in the EU," Marek said.

    Maltese Nationalist Party MP, Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando, hammered home the point that Turkish Cypriots would be convinced best of the benefits they would enjoy in the European Union, if and when Cyprus becomes a full member of the EU.

    "It would be much easier to convince the Turkish side (and) the Turkish Cypriots with regards to the benefits of full (EU) membership, if Cyprus was accepted as a full member," Orlando said.

    "I appeal to the United Kingdom to give its full support to (Cyprus' EU accession) effort," he added.

    On his part, Cypriot ruling Democratic Rally party MP, Christos Pourgourides, reiterated the Cyprus government's willingness to have the Turkish Cypriots participate in Cyprus-EU accession talks, provided that no recognition of the illegal occupation regime ensues.

    "We very much want the Turkish Cypriots to participate in the process. The difficulty is finding the way so as not to recognise the regime set up illegally in the occupied areas," Pourgourides said.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash declared a self-styled "republic" in the occupied areas of Cyprus in November, 1983, nine years after the Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    The secessionist act has been repeatedly condemned by numerous United Nations Security Council resolutions, while the illegal entity is recognised by no country other than Turkey.

    Marek also referred to the Cyprus government's decision last year to purchase the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, saying the decision has had some positive aspects, which may help in efforts to solve the island's problem.

    "Personally, I don't think the installation of surface-to-air rockets in Cyprus is necessarily a bad thing," Marek said, because "it attracted the attention of the world and the world powers. In some ways, I think the Cyprus government has done well to focus the attention of the world in the problem," the British MP added.

    The United States, Britain and other European countries have expressed concern over the decision to purchase the state-of-the-art missiles.

    The Cypriot government however, allayed any concerns, stressing the missiles were purely defensive in nature so as to counter the constant upgrading and increase of military hardware by Turkey in the occupied areas.

    CNA MH/GP/1997

    [05] Cyprus chairs group on refugees

    Nicosia, Mar 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus chaired the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Group on Refugees and Displaced Persons, which took place in London recently.

    Cypriot Ambassador Michael Sherifis, who chairs the Group, and representatives of 16 Commonwealth countries continued the examination of the tragic problem of the growing number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide, a Commonwealth news release said.

    The meeting focussed attention on the special needs of women and children, who comprise the majority of refugees and displaced persons.

    Members of the group suggested that Commonwealth experience in this area constituted an important resource to be drawn upon in their study.

    The Group will again meet in mid 1997 to finalise its report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General who will convey the findings to Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Edinburgh in October 1997.

    About 200.000 Greek Cypriots (one third of Cyprus' territory) have been forcibly uprooted from their homes by the Turkish occupation troops.

    For nearly 23 years now, the Cypriot refugees are deprived of their inalienable right to return to their homes and properties.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

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