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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-10-24

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriots arrested on gun smuggling suspicion
  • [02] Miller considers important Cyprus' EU course
  • [03] Part of Venetian fortifications ready to collapse
  • [04] CNA and DPA to cooperate in the field of news services
  • [05] Turkish Cypriots remanded on gun smuggling suspicion

  • 0910:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Turkish Cypriots arrested on gun smuggling suspicion

    Nicosia, Oct 24 (CNA) -- Two Turkish Cypriots will appear in Court today after their arrest last night on suspicion of smuggling guns from the Turkish-occupied areas.

    Police said Osman Kontoz, 41, a butcher, and 33-year-old shepherd Mustafa Veli, both from the occupied village of Louroujina, were caught crossing Thursday night into the government-controlled areas between Athienou and Lympia with a loaded pistol and a number of bullets.

    Kontoz and Veli had sold on October 18 a pistol and cartridges to two undercover policemen posing as arms buyers and promised to supply them with more arms, according to the Police.

    The two Turkish Cypriot suspects for gun smuggling were due to appear before a local Court today.

    Police press officer Glafcos Xenos said a surveillance plan was set up a few weeks ago covering the cease-fire line area from Lymbia to Pyla, following a tip off that Turkish smugglers were collaborating with criminals in the free areas, supplying them with arms and animals from the occupied areas.

    On arrest, the two suspects are reported to have said: "We are poor. This is our business."

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

    CNA AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1015:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Miller considers important Cyprus' EU course

    Washington, Oct 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus' application to join the European Union (EU) is a new important factor in the Cyprus equation, US State Department's special coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, has said.

    Miller said finding a just and lasting solution to the protracted Cyprus problem is a top US foreign policy objective, noting the key to a breakthrough would be slow and steady progress.

    The State Department's special coordinator for Cyprus was speaking Thursday afternoon before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as President Bill Clinton's nominee to receive the rank of Ambassador.

    "Finding a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus situation is a top US foreign policy objective," Miller said.

    The US fully support the UN peace process to find a solution "within the parameters of a bizonal, bicommunal federation," he added.

    Noting that the Cyprus problem "is not amenable to either quick fixes or instant results," Miller said the search for a settlement "is a process in which slow and steady progress may be the key to a breakthrough."

    He said he was well aware of the difficulties since he had been involved in the issue for nearly 20 years, noting that "with the support of Congress I will try to make a difference."

    The State Department's envoy for Cyprus said he could "see new opportunities to move closer toward ending intercommunal strife on Cyprus".

    He said he would work closely with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Presidential Emissary on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke and Assistant State Secretary Marc Grossman to take advantage of them.

    "One important factor in the Cyprus equation is the application by Cyprus to join the European Union," he said.

    He described this a "positive development" which "provides important, positive incentives for a settlement."

    Miller said the US also support a closer relationship between the EU and Turkey, noting this too can have a positive impact on the overall atmosphere for the settlement process.

    Admitting that the path to a settlement is fraught with difficulty, the State Department official expressed the US administration's determination to advance the peace process, working closely with all parties involved, the UN and the EU.

    He said he was pleased that President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had agreed during his visit in Cyprus to "discuss security issues for the first time ever on a one-to-one basis, under UN auspices, with no preconditions or set agendas."

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

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1020:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Part of Venetian fortifications ready to collapse

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Nicosia, Oct 24 (CNA) -- With the first heavy rainfall a part of the 16th Century Venetian fortifications, in the Nicosia UN-controlled buffer zone, will collapse unless it is immediately restored, a Cypriot official has warned.

    The Cyprus Antiquities Department has written to the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) asking for assistance to save this unique monument surrounding the capital, part of which is in the area occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion.

    Acting Director of the Antiquities Department, Sophoclis Hadjisavvas, told CNA that the part of the wall near Port Giuliana (Paphos Gate) in the government-controlled areas of the Republic has been restored.

    "However, part of the wall which is in the UN-controlled zone is falling apart and will collapse with the first heavy rainfall," he warned.

    The part of the fortification which is in danger of collapsing is just beneath a "children's playground" the Turkish occupation troops built, believed to be a military installation.

    Hadjisavvas said the Antiquities Department is willing to restore this part of the wall, provided that UNFICYP safeguards the security of the workers.

    Or else, he said, we are asking the UN to see to it that the wall is restored.

    The Nicosia walls were built by the Venetians in 1567, when Venice was a powerful state and Cyprus was one of its important possessions.

    They are built in a circular plan with a 4.8 kilometre circumference and have three grand gates of entry, one of which is in the Turkish- occupied areas.

    Hadjisavvas said restoration work on the Medieval fortifications began in 1995 when the capital hosted the European Cultural Month, with aid from the government and the Nicosia Municipality.

    In the past two years restoration work has been stepped up with funds from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

    About 287.000 Cyprus pounds (about 574.000 US dollars) were spent to restore the fortifications last year, whereas 300.000 pounds are expected to be available for 1998.

    The Antiquities Department Acting Director said his Department has undertaken to restore the whole wall, but is not willing to accept Turkish demands for recognition of the puppet regime in the occupied areas for them to be allowed to work there.

    CNA MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1300:CYPPRESS:04
    CNA and DPA to cooperate in the field of news services

    Nicosia, Oct 24 (CNA) -- The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and the German News Agency (DPA) have expressed their readiness to cooperate in the field of news services.

    The issue was discussed here today by CNA Director Andreas Christofides and DPA Board Chairman Walter Richtberg, who is visiting Cyprus.

    The two men exchanged views on the impact of news agencies using modern technology and referred to the two news agencies' plans for development and expansion.

    CNA and DPA agreed to examine ways and means to cooperate in the field of news services.

    Present at the meeting held at CNA premises in Nicosia were CNA Editor-in-Chief George Penintaex, DPA Arab Section Director Nabil Habib Megalli and DPA Cyprus Correspondent Masis der Parthogh. CNA/GP/1997

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1430:CYPPRESS:05 Turkish Cypriots remanded on gun smuggling suspicion

    Nicosia, Oct 24 (CNA) -- Two Turkish Cypriots were today remanded in custody for eight days by the Nicosia District Court on suspicion of smuggling guns from the Turkish-occupied areas.

    The Court heard that Osman Kondoz, 41, a butcher, and 33-year-old shepherd Mustafa Veli, both from the occupied village of Louroujina, were caught crossing Thursday night into the government-controlled areas between Athienou and Lymbia with a loaded pistol and a number of bullets.

    The Police told the Court the two suspects were to be given an advance payment of 15.000 Cyprus pounds (around 30.000 US dollars) by two undercover policemen, posing as arms buyers, to supply them with a number of guns and 170 animals.

    Last night, the two policemen met the two suspects who upon seeing the money delivered a pistol and a number of bullets.

    When the two suspects asked for the money the policemen identified themselves and arrested them, after some warning shots upon resisting arrest, the Court heard.

    The Police also told the Court that, in a voluntary written statement last night, Veli had confessed of smuggling, giving certain claims that are being investigated.

    The Court heard that Veli had also revealed the names of his Greek Cypriot collaborators in smuggling animals from the occupied areas to the government-controlled areas.

    In a verbal statement Kondoz said he would be selling the animals.

    Police had set up a surveillance plan a few weeks ago covering the cease-fire line area from Lymbia to Pyla, following a tip off that Turkish smugglers were collaborating with criminals in the free areas, supplying them with arms and animals from the occupied areas.

    Meanwhile, Justice and Public Order Minister, Nicos Koshis, described the arrest of the two Turkish Cypriots as a "serious blow" to gangs illegally trafficking goods from the occupied areas.

    CNA RG/AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA END
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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