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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Clerides says new initiatives in March
  • [02] Palestinian bomber released

  • 1140:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides says new initiatives in March

    London, Dec 6 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides said important developments in the Cyprus problem are expected after the February presidential election on the island.

    Addressing a gathering of Cypriots living in London, last night, President Clerides said various initiatives aiming at a settlement of the Cyprus problem are expected to be launched around March.

    He referred to an American initiative led by US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke and a British initiative under British Special Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay.

    Clerides added an initiative of the European Union will also be launched parallel to the other two.

    "All these initiatives are within the framework of the UN Secretary- General's good offices mission," he noted.

    President Clerides repeated that the process of Cyprus' accession to the European Union could act as a "catalyst" towards a Cyprus settlement.

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

    Commenting on Turkish threats to annex the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island if Cyprus joins the EU, Clerides said this is not much different from the situation today.

    He added, however, that if Turkey proceeds with annexation it should forget any European prospects for a long time and reminded Britain's position against any kind of union of Cyprus with another country.

    Britain, which has retained two sovereign military bases on this east Mediterranean strategic island, since granting independence to Cyprus in 1960, is one of the three guarantors (the others are Greece and Turkey) of Cyprus' independence.

    Clerides told the London gathering that Ankara's negative stance towards a solution in Cyprus has been condemned by the international community.

    He pointed out that "the problem is not between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The problem is Ankara's expansionist policy".

    Speaking on the issue of Turkish settlers, Clerides stressed that they should leave the island.

    Turkish Cypriot sources estimate that more than 80.000 Turkish colonist settlers were implanted in the occupied areas as part of Ankara's policy to change the island's demographic character.

    As a result, thousands of native Turkish Cypriots emigrate mainly to Turkey, Britain and Australia because of the unbearable conditions and the oppressive measures taken by the occupation regime led by Rauf Denktash.

    The regime depends politically, militarily and economically on Turkey, which is the only country in the world recognising the secessionist entity branded "legally invalid" by the United Nations and other international organisations.

    CNA KT/MCH/GP/1997
    1200 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Palestinian bomber released

    Nicosia, Dec 6 (CNA) -- A Palestinian convicted for his part in a bomb attempt against the Israeli embassy, here, in 1988 has been released from detention on the orders of the Supreme Court.

    Omar Hawillo, 31, served just more than half of his 15-year sentence and was released last year after a presidential pardon and remission for good behaviour, but has been in detention ever since, as no country willing to accept him could be found.

    Initially he was sent to Lebanon but he was turned away because his passport was fake.

    Last month he appealed to the Supreme Court which ordered his immediate and unconditional release on the grounds that he was held illegally.

    Hawillo was released from detention yesterday while Cyprus authorities continue to search for a country willing to take him.

    Three people, one of whom the driver of the fatal jeep carrying the explosives, and two Cypriots, were killed and nineteen others injured, during the May 1988 bomb attempt against the Israeli embassy.

    CNA RM/MCH/1997

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