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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-03-14

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Irish Defence Minister visits Cyprus
  • [02] Cypriot Minister flies to Italy
  • [03] Death of British professor - great loss
  • [04] National Council continues discussion
  • [05] British envoy: Face-to-face Cyprus talks should begin

  • 1205:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Irish Defence Minister visits Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Ireland's Defence and Marine Minister Sean Barrett arrived today in Cyprus to visit the Irish troops in the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    The three-day visit takes place on the occasion of St. Patrick's Day (National Day of Ireland).

    Barrett will be meeting with the new UN Force Commander Ernesto de Vergara, from Argentina, and UN senior officials.

    He will also tour the UN-controlled buffer zone across this eastern Mediterranean island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    The Irish Minister will not be meeting with Cypriot government officials.

    Barrett will leave on Sunday for visits to Lebanon and Syria.

    CNA AZK/GP/1997

    [02] Cypriot Minister flies to Italy

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Communications and Works Minister Adamos Adamides flew to Italy today to visit the "TECNORAMA" International Fair in Bari, at the invitation of the Italian government.

    The Bari Fair specialises in micro-computing and communications in the Mediterranean region.

    "TECHNORAMA" is jointly organised by the Italian Ministry of Telecommunications and the University and Polytechnic of Bari.

    Adamides returns on Sunday.

    CNA GG/AZK/GP/1997

    [03] Death of British professor - great loss

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- The death of the British philhellene, Professor Robert Browning, is a great loss to Hellenism, said Cyprus Education and Culture Minister Claire Angelidou.

    Browning died of cancer at the age of 83. He was well known to Greeks all over the world for his efforts to persuade the British government to return the "Elgin marbles" from the Parthenon to Greece.

    For many years, Professor Browning was Head of Byzantine Studies in the Department of Classics and Ancient History of London University.

    Browning visited Cyprus on various occasions, for lectures and seminars.

    Minister Angelidou sent a message of sympathy to Professor Browning's family, whilst the Greek government has undertaken to pay for the costs of his funeral.

    CNA AZK/GP/1997

    [04] National Council continues discussion

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- The National Council will continue its morning discussion on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem with a second meeting this afternoon.

    The National Council chaired by President Glafcos Clerides is the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem. It is made up of the leaders of the five parliamentary parties.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said Council members were briefed by Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Attorney General Alecos Markides, on contacts they had recently on the Cyprus problem.

    The Foreign Minister visited last week Athens, Paris, Rome, Bonn and The Hague. His talks focussed on the European Union's role in efforts to reach a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem as well as on efforts by some EU countries to involve Turkish Cypriots in the Cyprus-EU accession talks.

    The Attorney-General held talks in London with Foreign Office officials, including Britain's Special Representative on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, who ended today a three-day visit to Cyprus during which he held talks with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Earlier this week a series of UN-sponsored proximity talks started between the two sides aimed at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel is shuttling between the free areas of the Republic and the Turkish-occupied northern part having talks with President Clerides and Denktash.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA EC/GP/1996

    [05] British envoy: Face-to-face Cyprus talks should begin

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Britain's special representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, has said face-to-face talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, for a solution to the Cyprus problem, will take place, and should begin before the end of the first half of this year.

    He said a lot of ground has been covered and believes chances for a settlement are better now and stressed that international efforts are concentrating on reaching a comprehensive settlement.

    Sir David noted the need to defuse tension on the island, and expressed satisfaction with the fact that the two sides are beginning to see the need to focus on what is important to them.

    The British envoy was speaking at a press conference for Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists, at the UN-controlled Ledra Palace hotel in Nicosia, before his departure for Brussels, after a three-day visit here.

    He described his two separate meetings with President Clerides and Denktash, as well as a lunch with party leaders from both sides of the divide, as "extremely useful".

    In Brussels, Sir David will brief the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Han Sung-Joo, and European Union External Affairs Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, on his talks here and his contacts in Ankara and Athens.

    "The question is no longer whether, but when face-to-face negotiations will take place, in a new serious effort to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem," he said in his opening remarks. He added the British government's view is that "that should be before the end of the first half of 1997".

    However, he said the UN Secretary-General will convene such a meeting, on advice from his representatives and after consulting "others who are active" in reaching a settlement.

    Replying to a question, the British diplomat said he does not think "it is very useful at this stage to speculate" on how long negotiations will take, because "the UN still has a lot of work to do" and it depends on "how the leaders address the issues when they get to the negotiating table".

    The British representative noted that the "concerted international effort... is taking shape and substance, behind a UN lead" and noted "close cooperation" with the UN, the US and other interested parties.

    Sir David did not go into specifics about issues discussed, abiding to a commitment both sides have given the UN, who began indirect talks earlier this week.

    The British envoy noted the problems of reaching a solution in Cyprus, which have led to "too many" failures in the past, but said he believes "the chances of getting a settlement are better than they have been for quite a long time in the past".

    He said all parties involved, including the two sides, are "determined" and hopes the "material that is there can be brought to the right combination and can be put together in a comprehensive settlement".

    Replying to a question, he said "what we're talking now is a comprehensive settlement and not a settlement in stages" and stressed the need "to get the details nailed down".

    Britain's former Permanent Representative to the UN explained that "neither party will reach a settlement that is meaningful, without a clear view of some of the detail and of obligations of all parties under the agreement" and cited the solution in Bosnia as an example.

    He expressed satisfaction with the fact that the two sides "are getting a little bit away from general statements and into identification of things that are really important to each side" as that is the basis for negotiation.

    Sir David added he has not noticed "a substantive shift of positions" of the two sides, but noted he "does not think that in the preparatory stage there will be major shifts".

    On the issue of the island's sovereignty, if a solution is reached, he described it as "a little bit theoretical" even though he recognised "it covers substantive worries, concerns, objectives and desires."

    He added this issue will be discussed within the "area we will talk about called political equality" and will be provided for in the Cypriot constitution.

    Asked about a model for the federation to be agreed here, he replied "what we need is a Cypriot model that is consistent with the conditions on this island and the objective of the two communities".

    Referring to a lunch hosted last Wednesday by UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, attended by Greek and Turkish Cypriot party leaders, he said he found it encouraging as it proved they "can engage in a useful and sensible discussion".

    He expressed hope that "with the prospect of negotiations" more such meetings, as well as meetings between other groups, such as businessmen, trade unionists and women, will take place.

    "I hope also that in this period and leading up to negotiations both sides will see the advantage of goodwill gestures, of measures to reduce tension and create a better climate for negotiations," Sir David added.

    Asked about Russia's involvement in the Cyprus question, the envoy said it is "very much part of the discussion, as is proper for a member of the (UN) Security Council" and there are no differences between them "other than the scale of armaments on the island and their role (Russia's) in increasing that".

    He reiterated Britain's disagreement with the Cyprus government's decision to buy the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles and said the situation in Cyprus "has worsened" after the missile deal and the unwarranted killings of two unarmed Greek Cypriots (by Turkish extremists) last summer.

    However, he noted that negotiations "may have to start against considerable tension" and said that in a sense this tension "explains why the international community attaches such high importance to making another serious, substantial and (I hope) successful effort to solve this problem".

    Turkey has so far blocked all UN, US and British initiatives to solve the Cyprus problem.

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

    CNA MA/GP/1997
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