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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-11-14
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Cypriot youth condemn pseudostate's existenceNicosia, Nov 14 (CNA) -- Thousands of Greek Cypriot students took today to the streets of the divided capital Nicosia to protest the 14th anniversary of the illegal declaration of the so-called state in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.
The students gathered this morning at Nicosia's central Eleftheria (Freedom) Square.
Later they marched towards the nearby Ledra Palace hotel check-point, near the UN-controlled buffer zone that leaves Nicosia the last divided capital in the world.
Speakers from students' unions denounced the unilateral declaration of independence in the occupied areas of November 15, 1983, recognised only by Turkey.
They demanded the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops and settlers from the island and a just and viable solution to the protracted Cyprus problem, securing the return of refugees to their homes.
Police have taken strict security measures to avert any incidents.
The youth are staging a sit-in protest next to the cease-fire line's barbed wires. An anti-occupation concert is being held.
Check-points on both sides of the divide have been closed.
The UN has deplored the unilateral declaration of independence and called on all states not to recognise the self-styled entity.
At the same time, the UN has urged all states "not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity."
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY1240sCYPPRESS:02 Kaddoumi: We will resort to all means to fight occupation
by Maria Chrysanthou
Nicosia, Nov 14 (CNA)
Nicosia, Nov 14 (CNA)-- Israel has pushed the Palestinians to a tight corner forcing them to resort to all possible means to defend their existence, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Farouk Kaddoumi, stresses in an interview to CNA.
Describing the current situation in the West Bank and Gaza as "deteriorating" and the future as "gloomy", Kaddoumi says prospects for the establishment of a Palestinian state are meagre.
Kaddoumi, based in Tunis, believes the peace process has reached a deadlock due to the continuing violation by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of the provisions of the peace accord and criticises him for changing the "peace-for-land" policy to one of "peace-for-peace".
He describes the Turkish-Israeli military agreement as "bad" and severely criticises US policies in the Middle East, calling the US "a policeman who should stop his atrocities".
Commenting on the situation in Cyprus, he expresses the hope Cypriots will have better luck than the Palestinians have had so far but does not seem very optimistic.
"The situation is deteriorating in the occupied territories (West Bank and Gaza) due to the arrogant position of the Israeli government", Kaddoumi tells CNA.
"They have not implemented the items in the agreement but on the contrary they started searching for pretexts to avoid implementation of what has been agreed upon".
He denounces Netanyahu's refusal to redeploy Israeli forces from the areas agreed in the peace accord and for promoting measures that do not build but destroy confidence between Palestinians and Israelis.
"He is provoking the Palestinians by his daily attitude in order to push them to react and finally to accuse them of jeopardising the Israeli security in the area", he says.
Describing the future as "gloomy", Kaddoumi cites a recent statement by the Israeli Prime Minister, that Palestinians should accept Israeli plans for peace and points out:
"Netanyahu calls for peace-for-peace and not for peace-for-land".
He also cites statements by the Israeli Premier declaring that "Jerusalem needs no further discussions", and arguing that it is the "eternal capital of Israel".
Asked whether this could mean a return to the situation that existed before the peace process or even resorting once again to armed struggle, the Palestinian official says:
"It looks to me that Netanyahu is pushing the Palestinians to an unforeseen future, which means that the Palestinians should fight to preserve their existence".
"The Palestinians have come to the point to ask themselves this is to be or not to be. They have the right to defend their mere existence by all means".
This is legal, he adds and stresses that "occupation should be combated".
Kaddoumi is rather pessimistic concerning the prospects of a Palestinian state as long as the Israelis continue with their policies of "stealing land and violating agreements".
The National Authorities face "difficult times", he says, noting that they "have been deceived" and Netanyahu "is trying to squeeze the people in order to become more angry against the Palestinian Authorities".
He points to the closures of the Palestinian autonomous areas, imposed by the Israeli government, that have resulted to the drop of national income by some 39 per cent and of per capita income below the line of starvation.
Commenting on the military agreement signed between Israel and Turkey, Kaddoumi describes it as "bad".
He says the Arab League and several Arab countries expressed their concern about these new developments in Turkish-Israeli relations to the Turkish government.
They also "denounced the incursion of the Turkish army in Iraq, pointing out that Turkey has to take into consideration such deterioration in Arab-Turkish relations".
The Palestinian official also remarks that "the Iraqi people have suffered enough as a result of the blockade imposed against them".
"It is time for the UN to take this into consideration and lift the blockade which is not against a leader but against the Iraqi people as a whole. It is mainly children and infants that have died as a result of this blockade", he points out.
The UN, he adds, "have been searching for these destructive weapons for six years now. I think that it is enough".
"The Iraqi people have suffered a lot as a result of such actions by the Israeli-Americans who decided the no-fly zone", he argues, and adds:
"They (US) have mobilised their spies in northern Iraq and are encouraging the Turks to go into Iraqi territories. Why should they interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. This policeman should stop his atrocities", he says.
Asked to comment on the prospects of the US initiative launched in an attempt to boost efforts towards a solution of the protracted Cyprus problem, drawing from the Palestinian experience, Kaddoumi does not appear optimistic.
The Americans intervened in Somalia, Afghanistan and Bosnia with no results, he said, pointing out at the same time that in Palestine they remain inactive in pushing the peace process forward.
"They are saying it is left to both parties to agree", he says, noting that if it was as simple as that "we could do it 20 years ago".
Pointing out that the US have not exerted the necessary pressures on Israel to abide by the principles it agreed upon by the peace accord, he adds:
"I do not know whether you will have the same fate or not. Well, I wish you good luck".
Concerning the value of UN Resolutions, the Palestinian official says that no doubt they are a gain but points to the fact that measures should be taken to see to their implementation.
Asked to comment on the problem of settlers, common to both Cyprus and the Palestinians, Kaddoumi describes it as "disastrous".
In the case of the Palestinian territories, he explains, there are 183 Jewish settlements in the West Bank, 19 in Gaza and 32 in Golan Heights, and wonders how easy it is to dismantle such settlements.
"Settlers become rooted with the passing of time, making it harder to remove them", he says, pointing out at the same time that the situation in the Palestinian territories is different to that in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.
"The programme of settlements is not new for the Palestinians, because many of the European countries supported the Balfour declaration. But in your case nobody is supporting such settlements in Europe or other countries".
Concluding, Kaddoumi expresses satisfaction with the support of Arab countries to the Palestinian cause and makes special reference to the decision of a great number of Arab countries not to attend next week's regional economic conference in Qatar.
This decision, he explains, "is not directed against our brothers in Qatar, but is a message to the Americans and the Israelis that regional cooperation cannot take place unless Israel withdraws from all the territories occupied in 1967".
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