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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-01

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Church sues Dutch icon dealer
  • [02] Taxi-drivers send message of peace
  • [03] Cypriot Ministers meet EU officials on structured dialogue
  • [04] Cyprus to be part of next EU enlargement
  • [05] Greece appoints representative for direct talks

  • 1000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Church sues Dutch icon dealer

    Nicosia, Jul 1 (CNA) -- The Church of Cyprus has filed a lawsuit against Dutch icon seller, Robert Roozemond, who sold religious relics from a Greek Orthodox church in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus to the Kanazawa College of Art, Japan.

    The Church is suing Roozemond for acting in such a way as to endanger the ownership rights of the Church of Cyprus.

    He is said to have acquired and sold the Royal Doors from the church of Ayios Anastasios, in Peristerona village in Famagusta district.

    The Dutch dealer had originally offered to intervene and secure the return of stolen antiquities (from the occupied part of the island) to Cyprus and requested at the same time information about lists the government has concerning stolen items.

    Roozemond had initially contacted the Republic's Honorary Consul of Cyprus in the Hague requesting information about certain icons from Cyprus, including the Royal Doors of Peristerona.

    In 1990, in a letter he sent to the head of the then Department of Antiquities asking him to confirm that 20 photographs of icons from the occupied areas were genuine.

    Nothing further was heard or learnt about the depicted icons until the Royal Doors of Peristerona church emerged in the possession of the Kanazawa College of Art in Japan.

    The primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, has been kept fully informed about the affair.

    This is not the first time the Church of Cyprus embarks on a legal process to repatriate stolen religious relics, plundered from the island's northern part, which has been under Turkish occupation since 1974 when Turkey invaded.

    In 1990 a US District Court in Indiana ordered an American art dealer, Peg Goldberg, to return a sixth century AD large mosaic, depicting four Byzantine mosaics, to their legal owner, the Autocephalous Church of Cyprus.

    CNA KK/MM/GP/1997

    [02] Taxi-drivers send message of peace

    Nicosia, Jul 1 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriot taxi drivers sent today the message of peace to their Turkish Cypriot colleagues and both pledged to realise a trip from Kyrenia to Paphos next year.

    On the occasion of urban taxi drivers' international day, Greek Cypriot taxi drivers visited today the Ledra Palace check-point at the Nicosia demarcation line and let two white doves, symbols of peace, fly towards the northern Turkish-occupied part of the island.

    A delegation of the taxi-drivers also managed to meet with their Turkish Cypriot colleagues waiting on the other side of the demarcation line.

    The Greek Cypriot taxi drivers offered their Turkish Cypriot compatriots, red carnations and exchanged lighters and pens.

    "I will treasure this lighter and pen for ever", president of the Pancyprian Union of Owners and Drivers of Urban Taxis, Kypros Andreou told reporters.

    "I am very moved", he added, "because for four years I've been trying to meet with my Turkish Cypriot colleagues and this was the first time I managed to do so. I bring you their greetings, their love and their smiles."

    Andreou said they made a pledge that "next year, we will meet and travel together from Kyrenia, in the northern part of the island, to Paphos, in the southwestern part".

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [03] Cypriot Ministers meet EU officials on structured dialogue

    Nicosia, Jul 1 (CNA) -- Cypriot Interior and Education and Culture Ministers, Dinos Michaelides and George Hadjinicolaou, discussed in Luxembourg issues relating to the Cyprus - European Union structured dialogue.

    The two met with officials of the EU Commission and of the Dutch presidency of the EU, who briefed them on the results of the EU Council meeting on audiovisual and cultural issues.

    Michaelides briefed them on a Bill tabled in the House of Representatives concerning private TV and an amendment Bill concerning state radio and TV, which adopt the acquis communautaire.

    He said Cyprus was ready to sign an agreement on Media II programme.

    The EU officials expressed satisfaction with the adoption of the acquis communautaire in audiovisual issues, adding that they expect further promotion of EU-Cyprus cooperation in this field.

    Hadjinicolaou reaffirmed Cyprus' interest in participating in European cultural programmes.

    He briefed the EU officials on measures promoted for the harmonisation of Cyprus' legislation in relation to export of cultural goods and recovery of illegally exported ones.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [04] Cyprus to be part of next EU enlargement

    by Emilia Christofi

    Athens, Jul 1 (CNA) -- Cyprus will be part of the first phase of enlargement of the European Union, Greece's Foreign Undersecretary and Alternate Minister, Yiannos Kranidiotis and George Papandreou, have said.

    They ruled out any institutionalised presence of Turkish Cypriots, as a separate entity, at the forthcoming accession negotiations Cyprus due to start with the EU in 1998.

    Speaking after a meeting here today with Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Kranidiotis said "we exchanged views to coordinate our future moves in a spirit of close cooperation and friendship."

    He said the meeting was part of the regular exchanges Greece and Cyprus maintain as part of coordinated efforts to promote a solution of the protracted Cyprus problem.

    "Our meeting was particularly important in view of the direct talks on Cyprus," Kranidiotis said and added that they discussed ways to push the Cypriot application for EU membership forward.

    On his part, Papandreou said the Commission will issue in mid-July its report "Agenda 2000" on enlargement.

    Asked about the possibility of excluding Cyprus from the first phase of EU enlargement, Papandreou replied "there is no question of excluding Cyprus from the first phase. The fact is that Cyprus will commence accession talks six months after the Amsterdam treaty is signed in Autumn and there is a (EU) decision on this score."

    Reiterating this position, Kranidiotis said the EU Council conclusions in Essen and Corfu stipulate clearly that Cyprus will be involved in the first phase of enlargement.

    "Nobody can doubt this," he pointed out.

    In his remarks after the meeting, Kasoulides said "we had the opportunity to review developments ahead of a six-month period, concerning our accession process in conjunction with EU enlargement and in view of efforts to settle the Cyprus question."

    He said the exchange of views was "useful and would enable us to move ahead and deal with future developments with success."

    Invited to comment on efforts to push for Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks, Kranidiotis reiterated his long-standing position that a Cyprus settlement is not a precondition for the Republic's membership to the EU.

    "This matter is closed. Our position, which we still maintain, is that we exclude any institutionalised presence of Turkish Cypriots, as an entity, " he said.

    Kranidiotis was referring to an illegal entity the Turkish Cypriots set up in the Republic's Turkish-occupied areas, described by the UN as "legally invalid."

    CNA EC/MM/GP/1997

    [05] Greece appoints representative for direct talks

    Athens, Jul 1 (CNA) -- The Greek government announced here today the appointment of Greece's ex ambassador to Cyprus, Alexandros Sandis, as its representative in the wings of the Troutbeck (USA) forthcoming direct talks on Cyprus later this month.

    Sandis will report to Greece's Foreign Under-Secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Sandis will take over as Greece's ambassador to Italy. He will be replaced in Cyprus by Kyriacos Rodosakis, who will come from Moscow to Nicosia later this month.

    CNA EC/AP/GP/1997
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