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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-03-18

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Photographic document shows missing persons alive in Turkey
  • [02] Transfer of convicts between Cyprus and Lebanon
  • [03] Meeting of Cyprus-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee opens
  • [04] President Clerides receives Moscow Mayor
  • [05] Heaslip calls upon EU to assist in improving atmosphere

  • 1000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Photographic document shows missing persons alive in Turkey

    Nicosia, Mar 18 (CNA) -- A photograph showing three missing Greek Cypriots alive after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, at a hospital in Turkey, was aired here last night by a local private TV station.

    Relatives of one of the three in the picture communicated with Antenna tv station to verify that he is missing since the Turkish invasion, while Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Takis Christopoulos said his department will investigate the matter immediately.

    According to the tv station the photograph had been taken by a Turkish army officer, who took part in the invasion, at a hospital somewhere in Turkey.

    He recently handed it to a Greek Cypriot living in London who, in his turn, sent it to Costas Michael, from Larnaca, whose brother-in-law has been missing since the invasion.

    The picture shows three wounded Greek Cypriots on Turkish hospital beds with obvious injuries, one on the leg, the second in his chest and the third one in his left eye.

    Aglandja Community leader Philippos Petrou called Antenna last night and identified that the person with the injured leg is his son, Petros Petrou, who went missing in Kyrenia when he was 24.

    The photograph shows Petrou with a beard, making it obvious it was taken long after the July 1974 Turkish invasion. Petrou was single and an accountant at a local private company.

    The photograph was forwarded to Christopoulos, who has given instructions for the start of investigations into the matter.

    A spokesman for the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners of War said it was the first time he was seeing this photograph.

    A total of 1619 people were listed as missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, which resulted to the occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory and the uprooting of 200.000 Greek Cypriots from their homes.

    Many of the missing persons were seen or heard in Turkish prisons long after the cessation of hostilities.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [02] Transfer of convicts between Cyprus and Lebanon

    Nicosia, Mar 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Lebanon are to exchange ratification documents on a bilateral agreement providing for the transfer of convicts.

    Cyprus' Justice and Public Order Minister, Alecos Evangelou, flew to Beirut last night for an official visit.

    The agreement for the transfer of convicts was signed between Cyprus and Lebanon in Nicosia, on October 21, 1994, and was passed by the island's House of Representatives in 1996.

    It provides for the transfer of convicts following an agreement between the two neighbouring countries and the consent of the said convicts.

    According to a Justice Ministry press release, such agreements are concluded not only for humanitarian reasons but also for the reduction of problems and financial costs.

    It is noted that 33 percent of the convicts serving in Cyprus' prisons are foreigners.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [03] Meeting of Cyprus-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee opens

    Nicosia, Mar 18 (CNA) -- The process for Cyprus' accession to the European Union will not be easy but no third country has the right to exercise a veto against it.

    This was stressed here today by Tassos Papadopoulos, co-Chairman of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee, at the opening of the 11th Meeting of the Committee.

    Noting the role that the EU can play in efforts for a solution of the Cyprus problem, Papadopoulos described as "unthinkable" the fact that in the case of Cyprus there will be derogations from the acquis communautaire.

    He referred to the postponement of the Cyprus-EU structured dialogue, last month, due to the "insistence", as he said, of certain countries to a wording that could lead to the participation in accession negotiations of the illegal Turkish occupation regime, in the northern part of the island.

    Pointing out that membership talks take place with the legal governments of applicant countries, Papadopoulos stressed that there could be no exception in the case of Cyprus.

    The Cypriot MP described as "contradicting" the participation in accession negotiations of a regime that has repeatedly expressed its opposition to this process.

    Declaring the meeting open, co-Chairman of the Committee Philippe Monfils, said the "main objective is to facilitate Cyprus accession to the EU" and expressed the hope the Cyprus Republic will become the 16th member state of the Union.

    The Belgian Euro-MP, described the situation in Cyprus as "fragile", but added "there is potential for a solution to be sketched out."

    He made special reference to the humanitarian problem of Greek Cypriot enclaved in the Turkish-occupied part of the island.

    "We have requested a meeting with the enclaved but the news is not very good", he said, noting that there is "one in a hundred chance of success in that meeting taking place."

    Describing this as "a great shame" on the part of the Turkish occupation regime, Monfils said, "many are calling for positive gestures to give us signs of optimism" and called on the occupation regime to see this as such a gesture.

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

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [04] President Clerides receives Moscow Mayor

    Nicosia, Mar 18 (CNA) -- Russian experts will visit Cyprus for talks on issues of economic cooperation between their country and this eastern Mediterranean island, especially on Cypriot investment in the Russian capital, Moscow's Mayor Yuri Ruskov said here today.

    Speaking to the press after a meeting this morning with President Glafcos Clerides, Ruskov said they discussed the "very good financial relations between Russia and Cyprus."

    "We agreed that a group of Russian experts be sent to Cyprus to examine issues on economic cooperation and especially on investment projects in Moscow," he added.

    The Moscow Mayor referred to Russian capital's rapid development and called on Cypriot businessmen to invest in the Russian market.

    Ruskov was accompanied by Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Georgi Muratov.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [05] Heaslip calls upon EU to assist in improving atmosphere

    Nicosia, Mar 18 (CNA) -- The leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities are committed in achieving direct negotiations but continue to mistrust each other, EU presidency representative Kester Heaslip said here today, calling upon the EU to find ways to improve the atmosphere.

    Speaking at the opening session of the 11th Meeting of the European Union-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee, Heaslip referred to the UN- sponsored "exploratory, preparatory talks" with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    "It seems to me the two leaders are committed in principle to entering into direct negotiations and are preparing themselves for the necessary process of give and take to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem", he said.

    He noted, however, that President Clerides and Denktash "lack faith in each other's seriousness of purpose and good intentions" and called on the EU to "find ways of improving the atmosphere between the two communities on the island" and "encourage their leaders to approach one another with trust and in a spirit of compromise."

    Referring to the visit to Cyprus of EU Commissioner for External Relations Hans Van den Broek earlier this month, Heaslip said Van den Broek's message to all the people of Cyprus was that accession negotiations will begin on schedule, that it would be preferable if they began against the background of progress towards a political settlement and that most of the grounds of concern expressed by Turkish Cypriots with regard to EU membership are ill-founded.

    "The impact of the Commissioner's messages on both communities must constitute a significant contribution to the developing peace process", Heaslip added.

    The EU presidency representative for Cyprus also made note of his visit to the island last November, pointing out that at the time "President Clerides welcomed the offer of EU assistance and looked forward to the opening of accession negotiations. Denktash did not."

    Cyprus divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion applied for full EU membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997
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