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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-10-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN envoy to visit Cyprus November 18
  • [02] US official backs security talks
  • [03] Denktash concludes US visit
  • [04] Benazir Bhutto addresses seminar
  • [05] EU accession course a catalyst for Cyprus solution, says FM
  • [06] Relationship between Islam, modernity and West
  • [07] Anatoli Gromyko says Russia is also part of Islam
  • [08] Islam, West need understanding
  • [09] Children's exhibition moves to Washington

  • 0820:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN envoy to visit Cyprus November 18

    by James Delihas

    United Nations, Oct 30 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, told CNA that he is finalising arrangements for his trip to the region and intends to "arrive in Cyprus, Tuesday, November 18".

    Nicosia will be the first leg of his itinerary expected to also include Ankara, Athens, London and perhaps Brussels.

    Reached by phone in Quito, Ecuador, where he makes his home, Cordovez described his upcoming visit as a "fact-finding trip and will of course include consultations with the two leaders to determine the possible nature and timing of future steps".

    Cordovez said that he and the Secretary-General "had decided some time ago that I should go to Cyprus" and all that remained was the opportune moment.

    He said he was also responding to invitations to visit Cyprus from President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, extended to him during the talks that he mediated at Glion, Switzerland, in August.

    Contrary to what has appeared in the press, Cordovez has been to Cyprus before, this however being his first official visit since appointed Special Advisor in April.

    Known for a tenacious approach to problem-solving (it took six years for him to successfully negotiate the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan) Cordovez said he felt that the UN "had a duty to keep knocking at the door" of parties in dispute.

    "Obviously, the knocking has to be such that the doors will open and you will be listened to", he added.

    Other considerations have probably had a part in the decision to go to Cyprus at this time.

    Kofi Annan must submit a report to the Security Council sometime in December on the current status of the Cyprus problem.

    The Security Council is known to be jittery after the collapse of the Glion talks, the responsibility for which it placed squarely at the feet of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    The UN chief has made no secret of his concern about increased tension on the island as well as between Greece and Turkey, and the "belligerent rhetoric" that he says has been "emanating from both (Cypriot) communities".

    Cordovez might be expected to try to bank these fires as best he could before the Secretary-General reports to the Security Council.

    Secondly, with the Cyprus Problem lately assuming front-burner importance in Washington, European capitals, the European Union and elsewhere, the United Nations may fell it should re-assert its principal role in the search for a solution.

    Lastly, the European Union's summit meeting in Luxembourg, expected to formalise Cyprus' inclusion in the next phase of EU enlargement will also take place in December.

    Turkey has been sidelined in the current enlargement phase and its feathers ruffled, and Denktash has been threatening to jettison the peace process if Cyprus proceeds with joining the EU.

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

    CNA JD/GP/1997

    [02] US official backs security talks

    by Dimitris Apokis

    Washington, Oct 30 (CNA) -- A top US official has said his country wants more security talks in Cyprus as he considers the situation on the island and in the Aegean "too dangerous".

    Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Marc Grossman described security talks between the Cyprus President and the Turkish Cypriot leader as "a good start".

    After an agreement for the start of security talks announced in Cyprus by US Secretary of State Madelein Albright, during a stop-over last month, President Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash had one meeting in Nicosia.

    The meeting did not yield results as Denktash rejected the idea of a discussion on all security issues something the Greek Cypriot side considers necessary.

    The UN resident representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, has stated he will carry on with his efforts on security talks.

    "We think it was a good thing that these talks took place. We want more of the talks to take place and our assessment was that it was a good start but we need to do more," Grossman said in his testimony at the House International Relations Committee.

    The Assistant Secretary said the US "want to pay very close attention to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and relations in the Eastern Mediterranean."

    "One of the important ways to do that is that both Mr Clerides and Mr Denktash speak to each other directly."

    Asked by Committee Chairman, Ben Gilman, if there was any progress in the security talks, Grossman said "the fact that they began a conversation on security I believe is progress."

    He said the US message to both sides is "go back to these talks, make them face to face, work on issues of security, get this job accomplished."

    In his prepared statement for the Committee, Grossman said that the Clinton administration is "focused on relations between Greece and Turkey and the situation in Cyprus."

    He added "the situation in the Aegean and Cyprus is too dangerous to allow it to be untended."

    The American official pointed to next week's meeting between the Premiers of Greece and Turkey, in Crete, and said his country wants them to have "positive conversations".

    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/MA/GP/1997

    [03] Denktash concludes US visit

    Washington, Oct 30 (CNA) -- The Turkish Cypriot leader has concluded a visit to the US where he met American officials to discuss the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Rauf Denktash's visit ended Wednesday with a meeting with the US House International Relations Committee.

    According to CNA sources only seven Committee members attended the meeting, among them its Chairman Ben Gilman, the ranking minority member Lee Hamilton, Dan Burton, Christopher Smith, Robert Menendez and Alcee Hastings.

    The same sources said representative Lee Hamilton was very tough with Denktash and made it clear that it is time for progress in the Cyprus issue.

    UN and other international efforts to solve the 23-year-old Cyprus problem have so far failed due to the Turkish side's intransigence.

    In the two rounds of UN-led talks held this summer, Denktash refused to negotiate unless the European Union (EU) frozen its decision to start accession talks with Cyprus next Spring.

    The Turkish side has also threatened to partially annex 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory, occupied by Turkey since it invaded the island in 1974, if accession talks begin.

    Diplomats here consider the Turkish Cypriot leader's visit to the US as not so successful and believe he did not achieve his expectations.

    His main effort was to begin a campaign against Cyprus' application to join the EU.

    Denktash met Presidential Emissary, Richard Holbrooke, State Department Cyprus special coordinator, Tom Miller, and journalists.

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1997

    [04] Benazir Bhutto addresses seminar

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- Former Premier of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto today stressed that extremist forces in both the Western and Islamic world do not reflect the people and pointed to the need for compromise from both sides.

    Bhutto is in Cyprus on a one-day visit and today addressed a seminar on "Political Islam and the West" organised in Nicosia by the World Centre for Dialogue in cooperation with the Middle Eastern Studies Programme of the Rutgers University in theSA U.

    More than 500 people, half of which from abroad, are attending the two- day seminar.

    The seminar has attracted prominent academics, government officials and experts, interested in a dialogue between the West and Islam.

    "I think it's very important for us to realise that there are extremist forces in every society, but the extremists do not reflect the people and the nation as a whole," Bhutto said in a statement to the press.

    "I think it's important for us to encourage the forces of moderation and to realise that it is one earth and we are witnessing the emergence of the global citizen and we ought to have new global values that ought to include a spirit of compromise."

    She expressed the firm belief that "life is about making compromises."

    "If one is not ready to make compromise then one cannot have peace of mind," Bhutto said.

    She refrained from replying to a question if she considers the Cyprus problem a religious conflict, a conflict of cultures or something more than that.

    "Pakistan is very close to Turkey so asking me to comment on the Cyprus issue is very difficult, because I am your guest and I don't want to hurt any hearts here," she said.

    Bhutto reassured she will not be meeting any Cyprus government officials because she is here only for a day and not because of political reasons.

    This is her second visit to Cyprus. She visited the island in 1993, when she represented her country as Prime Minister in the Commonwealth summit held in Limassol.

    The former Premier said she will remain in politics even though she is not keen on being Prime Minister again.

    "I am in politics. I'm not too keen to be Prime Minister again. Some people think once is enough, I think twice is enough, but politics is in my blood, I want my party to come in office and obviously I will run for some office."

    Asked if she believes she can get a fair trial for her husband, Bhutto said she is "deeply concerned" about her husband and added this year has been "dreadful" for her and her family.

    "Now most recently the Swiss have frozen some accounts which are not mine and suddenly the press is announcing these are my accounts and I have a million dollars. I wish I did but I don't, so it's been very difficult this year," she concluded.

    CNA MA/GP/1997

    [05] EU accession course a catalyst for Cyprus solution, says FM

    London, Oct 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, reiterated that the island's European Union (EU) accession course will have a catalytic effect on efforts for a political solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The Minister was speaking during a Wednesday dinner given by the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood here and attended by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott, Heritage Secretary Chris Smith, Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Howard, and members of Parliament and the House of Lords.

    Kasoulides referred to the recent Turkish attempts to impede substantive progress during the UN-sponsored direct talks in Switzerland by bringing preconditions to the negotiating table.

    The Foreign Minister also talked about the steps taken by Turkey to implement the threat to annex the occupied areas if the island continues with its EU accession course.

    However, Kasoulides said "we still consider the Cyprus accession course will have a catalytic effect on efforts for a political solution of our problem."

    "Our insistence on avoiding public statements linking solution with the accession course does not mean we have chosen the second over the first one, " he said.

    "Neither does it mean we have not understood the message of the EU that we must undertake every possible effort to solve the Cyprus problem," Kasoulides added.

    Kasoulides pledged the government "will certainly play its part to the utmost extend for a solution," noting it should be pointed out to the other side that "Cyprus' accession course remains unaffected."

    The Minister returns to Cyprus this afternoon with President Glafcos Clerides.

    Both had attended last week the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Edinburgh.

    CNA KT/EC/AP/1997

    [06] Relationship between Islam, modernity and West

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- The relationship between Islam, modernity and the West was examined during a meeting here on "Political Islam and the West".

    The two-day seminar, which opened this morning, is organised by the Centre for World Dialogue, under the auspices of the University of Cyprus and in cooperation with the Middle Eastern Studies Programme and the American Rutgers University.

    Judith Miller, Senior writer of the New York Times, speaking about "Islam and modernisation", said "Moslems lead the world in almost next to nothing, least of all technology".

    She noted the fact that as their populations rapidly grow in the next century, 50 million new jobs will be needed in Moslem countries.

    At this point, she referred to Israel's openess, dynamism and high technology, something which is greatly contradicted with Arab countries.

    She said that "in this unstable Middle East, the only stable thing is the men who rule it. It is time some of them left the scene".

    Among the problems in Islamic countries, Miller noted the inferior role which women play stressing that they are seen as only "child breeders and carers".

    Professor Leila Babes of the Catholic University of Lille, speaking about "modernisation of Islam", stressed that modernity is a result of the emancipation of society coming from the historical process.

    The argument between Islam and modernisation stems from the incompatibility of modernisation and religion, she added.

    Professor Enzo Pace, Director of the Department of Sociology of the University of Padua, spoke about the image of the Catholic church and Islam in Europe.

    He said that we are now witnessing a significant development in the Catholic Church which has treated Islam as "the other, as distant, different and hostile" but has now changed to a position of "nearness".

    "The Church regconises Islam as a religious subject of equal importance, but without drawing all the conclusions, both social and juridical, which stem from this new attitude".

    However, he stressed that in the European socio-religious area, Islam, is still seen as a "potential rival".

    The Church, he concluded, "seems concerned to play a mediatory role which still appears to oscillate between the temptation of hegemony and the search for moral consensus with different cultures."

    Noushin Yavari d'Hellencourt, of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, referred to changes in Iran following the revolution and the recent elections in the country.

    She said as a result, the young Iranian is "now more educated and informed" and this is a result of a profound change in society and not a result of magic.

    There are now 18 million Iranians studying in universities, schools and colleges, in contrast to around 2.000 before the revolution.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

    [07] Anatoli Gromyko says Russia is also part of Islam

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- "Russia is in itself part of the world of Islam", said Professor Anatoli Gromyko, President of the Russian Centre of Policy Evaluation in Moscow.

    Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a seminar entitled "Political Islam and the West", taking place in Nicosia, the son of former USSR Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko, said Russia "is part of both the west and the east".

    He noted that 12 million Russians are Moslems, making Russia "a part of the world of Islam".

    In his statements, Gromyko condemned radicalism and terrorism on both sides, noting that it should be cured and terrorists should be denounced.

    Gromyko noted that "future global relationship should be the relationship of partners, and not the relationship of the horse and the rider."

    "Christians and Moslems should not only become partners but also brothers", he stressed.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

    [08] Islam, West need understanding

    Nicosia, Oct 30 (CNA) -- Speakers at a two-day seminar on the relationship between the Moslem world and the West stressed here today the need for dialogue in order to achieve mutual understanding.

    They also underlined the importance of concentrating on the similarities between the Islam and the West and not only the differences.

    Over 500 participants, including distinguished academics and government officials, gathered here today to air their views on "Political Islam and the West", organised by the Centre for World Dialogue and the Middle Eastern Studies Programme of Rutgers University, in the USA.

    In her opening address to the seminar, former Pakistani Prime Minister pointed out "the West meets Islam at the doorway of Europe" and said "the tension points of a clash are there, but it is not inevitable".

    "Sensibility, communication and a spirit of compromise is necessary to promote understanding," the former Premier said.

    She said the Islamic Asian world feels let down by the West for stopping its economic assistance after the end of the Cold War.

    Bhutto supported the West is "selective" in the application of values" and that the West likes to think of Moslems as "terrorists and fanatics".

    "Whether we like it or not, whether it must be so or not, the world seems to be increasingly looking at the values and morals of the West, and the values and traditions of Islam as mutually exclusive and confrontational," she added.

    "Muslims expect nothing from the West but basic respect," Bhutto stressed.

    Keynote speaker at the morning session, Professor John Esposito, stressed the secular world view one finds in the Western world is not the only world view. He compared this attitude to radical Islamic fundamentalism.

    "Cognizant of a Western tendency to see political Islam as a threat, many Muslim governments have used the danger of Islamic radicalism to deflect from the failures of their governments or the suppression of Islamic radicalism," Esposito said.

    The director at the Washington DC Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding said today people should think not only of their differences but also their similarities.

    "There can be no dialogue unless both sides come together in a sense of mutual consent and responsibility," he stressed.

    In a message to the seminar, UNESCO General-Secretary Federico Mayor pointed out today's attitude from both the West and Islam is dictated by a misunderstanding from both sides.

    In the message, read by his special advisor Dr. Ehsan Naraghi, the UNESCO chief said the Organisation "is in the process of a major project to promote dialogue".

    "The task before us is to promote deeper awareness of what the West and Islam have in common," he added.

    CNA MA/MM/1997

    [09] Children's exhibition moves to Washington

    Washington, Oct 30 (CNA) -- An exhibition of children's art from Cyprus opened in Washington Wednesday by the country's Ambassador to the US, Andros Nicolaides.

    The exhibition, titled "From Books to Brushes: The Story of Cyprus Through the Eyes of its Children", will remain open until November 30.

    Opening the exhibition Ambassador Nicolaides said through the eyes of the children "we see the discernible marks that have been engraved in the children's hearts by (Turkey's) invasion, occupation and continued division of Cyprus".

    The paintings, drawn by children aged between 9 and 11, were first exhibited at an annual festival in Cyprus to honour those who sacrificed their lives for their country.

    The artists come from the Elementary School in Emba, a small village near the southwestern city of Paphos.

    CNA DA/RM/MM/1997
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