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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-11-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus and Cuba discuss shipping agreement
  • [02] Greek Cypriot pilgrims visit occupied monastery
  • [03] Cyprus helps Chernobyl victims
  • [04] President Clerides on settlers issue

  • 1115:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus and Cuba discuss shipping agreement

    Nicosia, Nov 30 (CNA) -- A Ministry of Communications and Works delegation is going to Cuba today to finalise a shipping agreement between Cyprus and this north-american state.

    According to a Ministry of Communications and Works statement, the agreement is expected to strengthen relations between the two countries.

    Talks between the Cypriot delegation and the Cuban shipping authorities will focus on reciprocal recognition of seamens' certificates, the employment of one country's seafarers in ships of the other, and the obligation to carry out rescue-operations if a ship-related accident occurs.

    Other issues to be discussed, are the creation of a joint committee to deal with shipping issues and the obligation of each country to offer service to ships of the other.

    The three-member delegation, headed by Vassos Pyrgos, the ministry's Permanent Secretary, will return to Cyprus on December 12.

    CNA GG/MA/1997

    [02] Greek Cypriot pilgrims visit occupied monastery

    Nicosia, Nov 30 (CNA) -- More than 1.000 Greek Cypriots today crossed to the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus and are heading to the monastery of Apostolos Andreas, in the eastern tip of the island, for the biggest pilgrimage in the occupied areas since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Clutching metre-long candles and carrying bags with wooden icons, some 1044 pilgrims boarded 23 buses provided by the Turkish occupation regime, to make the 150 km., three hour trip, to celebrate the feast day of the saint.

    It is the second pilgrimage this year to the monastery. More than 650 Greek Cypriots travelled to Apostolos Andreas on August 15, day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

    Elderly and sick people, relatives of the enclaved and the missing, Greek Cypriots living abroad and natives of the region formed the 1000 pilgrims selected out of the 10.500 who applied to the office of the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Takis Christopoulos.

    The pilgrims were levied five Cyprus pounds (around 10 US dollars) by the occupation regime for the trip.

    A mass will be held at the monastery to celebrate the saint's feast day, November 30, according to the Greek Orthodox calendar.

    The 19th century church, which is in desperate need for restoration after 23 years of neglect by the Turkish occupation regime, is believed to be built on the spot where Apostle Andreas ran aground during a missionary journey.

    Some 100 other Greek Cypriots, who were not on the list of people allowed to go on the pilgrimage, also gathered near the Ledra Palace checkpoint, the only place from which one can enter the Turkish occupied areas, anxious to visit the monastery.

    Young women, middle-aged men and a few children, holding candles, icons, lent food and water, virtually begged Greek Cypriot policemen to let them through.

    "Let us go and we will pay a taxi to take us to the monastery", they said before being sent back to their refugee homes, with tears in their eyes.

    The UN told them the buses were full and that no more people are allowed to visit the monastery for security reasons.

    The 500 Greek Cypriots who have remained in the Turkish occupied areas since the invasion, mainly elderly, are also expected to participate in the mass.

    The pilgrims are expected to return to the government controlled areas of the Republic late afternoon.

    Turkish Cypriots were allowed on several occasions to cross the UN- controlled cease-fire line to visit the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Kokkina, in the northeastern part of the island.

    The Turkish Cypriots were permitted to travel on their own buses, without having to pay any levies.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the island, occupying 37 percent of its territory.

    CNA EC/MA/1997

    [03] Cyprus helps Chernobyl victims

    Larnaca, Nov 30 (CNA) -- Fifteen children from the Chernobyl disaster area will spend Christmas with Cypriot families, at the invitation of the newly established Cyprus branch of the International Organisation Chernobyl Union (IOCU).

    President of the association, Andreas Georgiou, told a press conference today that the children's visit will be the first of many events to be held in aid of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster victims, in the mid-eighties.

    The association, he said, will fight against nuclear weapons and their consequences.

    Archbishop Dnepropetrovsky - Pavlogradskiy, Iriney, IOCU President, Vladimir Shovkoshniy, Director of the International Centre Chernobyl Union, Larissa Vesvleskaja and Russian Embassy First Secretary, Vladimir Chipounov, were present at the press conference.

    CNA EC/MA/1997

    [04] President Clerides on settlers issue

    Nicosia, Nov 30 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides reiterated today that a solution of the Cyprus problem must provide for the removal of Turkish occupation troops and settlers from the island.

    "The issue of the Turkish settlers has not been resolved... We will insist that the solution of the Cyprus problem should include two necessary elements, the removal of the occupation troops and the settlers," he said.

    The President was commenting on recent statements made by Britain's envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, that settlers had acquired so called "Turkish Cypriot citizenship" and therefore had the right to remain after a Cyprus settlement.

    The Cyprus government estimates that about 100,000 Turkish settlers have been transferred to the northern part of Cyprus, occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion of the island, in a bid to change its demographic structure.

    The government insists that the removal of all settlers should by accepted in principle.

    "The British government and Sir David may have given some explanations but the issue of the settlers remains," Clerides said.

    Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, discussed the settlers issue with the British envoy in a meeting in London last week.

    Referring to a visit here Monday by European Union (EU) External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, President Clerides said he expects they will discuss the Cyprus issue, the Republic's EU accession course and the composition of the delegation to negotiate Cyprus' accession.

    However, he noted there is no set agenda for the meeting.

    President Clerides also said representatives of Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unions and chambers of commerce could participate in the official delegation which will carry out the negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    "Our condition (for Turkish Cypriot participation) is that the talks are carried out with the official delegation", the president pledged.

    EU accession talks with Cyprus are scheduled to begin in spring 1998.

    CNA MA/EC/1997

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