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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-01

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Denktash urged to attend talks
  • [02] Agreement on missing covers all cases
  • [03] Greek Cypriot side ready for second round of talks
  • [04] Calls for respect of 1975 agreement on eclaved
  • [05] Cyprus journalists protest to Turkey and Nigeria
  • [06] Cyprus takes on world at World Athletics Championships
  • [07] Relatives of missing satisfied with agreement

  • 1550:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Denktash urged to attend talks

    Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- A number of Turkish Cypriot politicians and a fraction of the press in Turkish occupied Cyprus have appealed to the leader of their community, Rauf Denktash, to attend the second round of face-to-face talks with President Glafcos Clerides, scheduled for August 11- 16 in Switzerland.

    In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR) Friday, leader of the Turkish Republican Party (TRP), Mehmet Ali Talat, said "it is necessary (for him) to attend this meeting, so he will do it."

    Denktash has threatened not to attend the second round of UN-sponsored negotiations in August unless the European Union (EU) suspends its decision to start accession talks with Cyprus.

    Talat told LGR "in our community everybody is hoping for a good approach and progress in solving the problem...because we know that a solution will be beneficial to both communities, Cyprus and the region," Turkey and Greece.

    "Denktash is hesitant about attending the meeting with Clerides in Montreux, but we are pressing, we are pushing him to attend because it is very important for the future of Cyprus," TRP leader said.

    Talat also said Thursday's meeting here between the leaders of the two communities was "very encouraging" and said it "helped the climate to become much calmer".

    Another party leader, Mustafa Akkinci, leader of the Turkish Cypriot "Communal Liberation" party was today quoted by the Turkish Cypriot press as saying that Denktash's failure to attend August talks is tantamount to giving President Clerides the "greatest support."

    Noting that failure of the Turkish Cypriot side to take part in the talks will in no way put an end to Cyprus' accession talks with he EU, Akkinci said it will only give the impression that the Turkish Cypriot side does not want a Cyprus settlement.

    An editorial in Turkish Cypriot daily "Halkin Sesi" Friday urges Denktash to attend the second round of direct talks, unless he wishes to see his side accused of opposing the peace process.

    It indicated that "talking does not imply granting concessions" and pointed out that the rights of the Turkish Cypriots are better served through negotiations.

    President Clerides has already said he would attend the talks and Denktash is expected to announce his decision on Monday.

    CNA AP/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1710:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Agreement on missing covers all cases

    Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- Thursday's agreement between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash concerns all persons missing, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said after a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem.

    Pointing out that the agreement "does not concern certain categories but all missing persons", Christofides added, "the deadlock has been broken" 23 years after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    The aim of the agreement "is to determine the fate of every single missing person in the most convincing manner," Christofides said, stressing that the government is willing "to secure the most modern scientific means to determine the identity of each one of them."

    He said that modern means of locating graves were also discussed at yesterday's meeting between Clerides and Denktash, in the presence of UN top envoy in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel.

    The Government Spokesman made it clear that in those cases of missing persons where there is evidence that they are alive, "investigations will continue until their fate is determined."

    Commenting on a call in the agreement for immediate and simultaneous exchange of information between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, Christofides said the two sides will designate a person to collect and exchange information.

    This procedure will take place in the UN framework, who brokered the agreement, the Spokesman added.

    He said a wealth of information has been collected over the years and there is ample time for the Greek Cypriot side to submit it by the end of September.

    Noting that there are persons missing on both sides, Christofides said both carry responsibility and stressed "it is our duty to exchange all information without prejudice."

    "The issue of missing persons is a purely humanitarian issue," Christofides pointed out, stressing that the Greek Cypriot side believes it should not be politically exploited.

    Asked whether the Turkish Cypriot side has made a similar commitment, Christofides referred to the "the spirit and the letter of the agreement" which says the "two leaders agree that no political exploitation should be made by either side."

    Replying to questions, he said that, according to the agreement, if evidence shows there are graves in a country other than Cyprus, then that country may be asked to facilitate further investigations and expressed the hope that if this arises "both communities will jointly call for further investigations."

    Christofides said Clerides and Denktash discussed issues relating to enclaved Greek Cypriots in Turkish occupied Cyprus, their living conditions and their freedom of movement.

    The Spokesman said Cyprus' accession course to the European Union was "neither raised nor discussed" at Thursday's meeting.

    CNA MA/MCH/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1730:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Greek Cypriot side ready for second round of talks

    Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side is ready to go to Switzerland for the second round of UN-led direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said after a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem.

    "We are ready to go to Switzerland", he said, expressing the hope that the Turkish Cypriot side will also respond positively and there will be good will and cooperation towards a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Denktash has warned he would not attend the second round of direct talks, scheduled for August 11 to 16, after the EU reaffirmed a decision to begin accession talks with Cyprus early next year. He has yet to announce his final decision.

    The National Council will meet Thursday, August 7, to discuss a UN document presented to the two sides by Special Advisor of the UN Secretary- General on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, during the first round of talks in Troutbeck, New York.

    Christofides pointed out, however, that "irrespective of progress made in Switzerland, the question of missing persons should be resolved."

    President Clerides and Denktash agreed yesterday to work together to put an end to the agony of the relatives of all persons listed as missing, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, by exchanging information on the location of graves and, to the best extent possible, have the remains of those dead returned to their families.

    CNA MA/MCH/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1830:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Calls for respect of 1975 agreement on eclaved

    Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- An agreement, signed by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides a year after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, constitutes a negotiating paper for the government of the Republic because it can help restore the human rights of Greek Cypriots living in the Turkish occupied part of the island.

    Representatives of Committees and refugee organisations told a press conference here today the people of the occupied Karpass peninsula "insist on the full implementation of the Third Vienna Agreement", which provides for normal living conditions of enclaved Greek Cypriots in occupied Cyprus and safeguards their right to education and religion as well as free movement.

    Full implementation of the agreement, the press conference heard, would be "the first practical measure to build trust and rapprochement between Greek and Turkish Cypriots."

    "The Vienna agreement is an invaluable weapon in our struggle to restore human rights in occupied Cyprus and a point of reference, in addition to being a negotiating document," Nicos Falas, President of the Karpass Coordinating Committee, told the press conference.

    During intercommunal talks in Vienna from 21 July to 2 August 1975, the Turkish Cypriot side agreed with the Greek Cypriot side on a number of humanitarian measures with regard to the enclaved.

    Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, promised to afford Greek Cypriots in the occupied areas free stay and every assistance to lead a normal life, including facilities for education and to practise their religion, and enjoy freedom of movement.

    The reality of the situation, however, has forced thousands of Greek Cypriots to abandon their homes and seek a safer and better living in the government controlled areas of the Republic. In August 1974, after hostilities ended, 20,000 Greek Cypriots had remained in the Turkish occupied part of the island. Their numbers dwindled and today there are only about 500.

    Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner, Takis Christopoulos, said that recently, following the "immediate and active UN involvement, there has been a slight improvement in the living conditions of the enclaved."

    Falas announced his intention not to stand again as president of the Karpass Committee, a post he has held for years, but expressed his readiness to help the just cause in any way he can.

    CNA KK/EC/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1830:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Cyprus journalists protest to Turkey and Nigeria

    Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- The Union of Cyprus Journalists expressed its profound concern and strong protest over the persecution and harassment of journalists in Turkey and Nigeria.

    In a letter to Turkish Prime Minister, Mesut Yilmaz, the Union's president, Andreas Kannaouros, referred to the "continuing and escalating persecution and harassment of journalists and media and the flagrant violation of press freedom and rights in Turkey."

    He urged Yilmaz to "take all necessary steps to put an end to the abominable practices, to ensure the safeguarding and respect of press freedom of expression, the release of all detained and imprisoned journalists, the abolition of law and regulations which are not liberal".

    In a separate letter to General Sami Abacha, Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, in Nigeria, Kannaouros referred to the 15 year imprisonment of journalists Christine Anyanwu, Ben Charles Obi, George Mbah and Kunle Ajibade and called for their immediate release.

    The Union said the four journalists were convicted following unfair trials and are now facing health problems in prison.

    Kannaouros appealed to the Nigerian official to allow the journalists to have the necessary medical care and treatment, as provided by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention Against Torture, ratified by Nigeria.

    It urged the general to "repeal the decrees restricting press freedom and other fundamental human rights and to take measures ensuring for all journalists and the media the right and possibility to exercise their assignment and mission free from harassment and persecution of any kind."

    CNA EC/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1850:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Cyprus takes on world at World Athletics Championships

    Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- The size of the Cypriot contingent to the sixth World Athletics Championships in Athens may be considered modest by international standards with just seven athletes, but that does not dampen the spirits of officials here hoping to make a big splash at the opening ceremony tonight.

    "It's a historic moment for Cyprus which must not pass unnoticed," Cyprus Amateur Athletic Association (CAAA) President Antonis Drakos said. "Cyprus' presence cannot be like that of other countries. We want to do something which will make an impression."

    An impression will indeed be tough to make since some 2,000 athletes from a record 200 nations, the most at any global competition in any sport, will march into the Panathinaikon Olympic Stadium in Athens tonight vying for the attention of an estimated three billion television viewers worldwide.

    Making an impression on the track will be harder still, with the likes of Canada's World and Olympic 100-metre record holder Donovan Bailey and US World and Olympic 200-metre record holder Michael Johnson stealing the spotlight, but the Cypriot squad harbours an inkling of hope for track and field glory.

    "We're talking about the greatest track and field event in the world. Competition is tremendous with all the big stars taking part, so our chances for a medal are nil. It would be a great success if our athletes made the semifinals of their respective events," Drakou said.

    Cypriot 100 and 200-metre champion Anninos Markoulides will carry his country's flag at the opening ceremony tonight.

    "It's a decision which has truly moved me," Markoulides said of the CAAA's decision to have him carry the flag. "I just shudder at the thought that I will enter Panathinaikon Stadium filled with 100,000 spectators. I consider it an honour for me to carry the Cypriot flag into the stadium where the modern Olympics were born."

    Markoulides will head the Cypriot squad made up of Prodromos Katsantonis (100, 200 and 4x100 metres), Yiannis Zisimides (100 and 4X100 metres), Evripides Demosthenous (400 metres), Stathis Stasi (3000 metre steeple chase), Yiorgos Skender (4x100 metres) and the squad's only female member, Dora Kyriakou (200 and 400 metres).

    Markoulides won the silver medal over the 100 metres at the Mediterranean Games in Bari, Italy last June, garnering the title of "most valuable athlete" at the Games.

    CNA MH/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1940:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Relatives of missing satisfied with agreement

    Nicosia, Aug 1 (CNA) -- The Committees of Relatives of persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, expressed today their satisfaction with the agreement reached between the leaders of the two communities for the resolution of this protracted humanitarian issue.

    President of the National Committee for the Missing, Reverend Christoforos described Thursday's agreement, brokered by the UN between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, as a "good start".

    "We will work together with President Clerides to complete this task", he said, adding, "we are convinced we will achieve a good result."

    Expressing similar feelings, President of the Pancyprian Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners, Nicos Theodosiou, stressed the need for "careful handling" of the issue.

    "We welcome the agreement", he said, noting, however, that the agreed procedures have to be kept.

    "This seems to be a good agreement but it needs careful and serious handling", he added.

    Present at the meeting were Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, Attorney General Alecos Markides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Takis Christopoulos and Charge d'Affaires of the Greek Embassy, Themistoklis Demiris.

    CNA MCH/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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