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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-19

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Parties ponder participation in new government
  • [02] Top UN envoy heads for New York
  • [03] Turk ready to reveal information about Turkish invasion
  • [04] Measures to boost Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Quiet diplomacy to involve T/C in EU process

  • 1000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Parties ponder participation in new government

    Nicosia, Feb 19 (CNA) -- Intense deliberations are taking place in political parties to determine whether they will accept an invitation from President Glafcos Clerides to participate in an all-party government.

    Invitations were sent Wednesday to all parties and MP Alexis Galanos, who broke ranks with the Democratic Party (DIKO) to support Clerides' presidential bid in the second round of the presidential elections last Sunday.

    The main opposition party left-wing AKEL has already said it cannot be part of a government led by Clerides because of fundamental differences in their outlook on the Cyprus question.

    Its electoral partner, DIKO, said it would not participate either because the government has essentially rewarded DIKO rebels, who opposed the party decision to back Clerides' rival, George Iacovou, in Sunday's presidential race.

    DIKO General Secretary Stathis Kittis said Wednesday his party did not intend to respond to Clerides' invitation to participate in the new government.

    The ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) leader Nicos Anastasiades said it would be part of a cross-party government and did not object to the participation of any other party.

    "We will participate and we do not exclude anybody and have no allergy to anybody. We stand by Clerides and his decision to form a government of national unity, and obviously we claim our role in the governance of the country," Anastasiades said.

    Socialist party EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides said the party wished to have the replies of all the parties to Clerides' invitation before it takes its decision.

    He said the party would decide at the end of the week and noted EDEK did not object to the participation of persons who backed Galanos in the election campaign provided they do not participate as DIKO representatives.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] Top UN envoy heads for New York

    Nicosia, Feb 19 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General's Deputy Representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, left early this morning for consultations at UN headquarters.

    The top UN envoy here said earlier this week after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides "we have to get into high gear and I am sure this is what is going to happen."

    Feissel did not disclose anything about the content of his discussions with the Cypriot President, adding it would not be useful to discuss in public the specifics of his meeting.

    In New York he is expected to have meetings relating to the Cyprus question and UN efforts to make a fresh attempt to resume the stalled peace process.

    Feissel's trip takes place prior to a visit to Cyprus by Britain's special envoy Sir David Hannay next week.

    In early March, European Union Commissioner for External Relations Hans Van den Broek will be on the island as well in what is seen as another attempt to persuade the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to participate in accession negotiations Cyprus is due to begin at the end of March.

    US envoys for Cyprus are also expected to visit Cyprus as well.

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

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [03] Turk ready to reveal information about Turkish invasion

    Nicosia, Feb 19 (CNA) -- A leftist Turkish intellectual who was serving as an artillery lieutenant with the Turkish army when it invaded Cyprus in 1974, has said he is ready to come to the island and give the government information regarding that period.

    Yalcin Kucuk, 60, who lives in self-imposed exile in Paris, told an ANTENNA private TV channel journalist he is willing to respond to an invitation from the Cyprus government or the committees of relatives of missing persons.

    The journalist, who interviewed him in the French capital, said Kucuk was prepared to visit the island and give his testimony.

    In the third part of his interview, screened Wednesday evening, Kucuk expressed the view that the Turkish army was not experienced at the time.

    "Soldiers, Kurds or Turks, were eager to kill but I didn't have the same impression for the officers, except some fascists. I don't think the Turkish army wanted to invade Cyprus," he said.

    The Turkish leftist expressed the belief that "at the time the Turkish army was not sure of itself..." despite the fact that "the generals of Turkey were always giving the impression that they were ready to go to Cyprus."

    Replying to a question, Kucuk said their orders were to "clean the villages".

    He also told the story of how he convinced his soldiers not to kill two Greek Cypriots they had captured, one of which was in his mid-seventies and the other a child of about eleven, whom he described as "very brave".

    "My soldiers were ready to kill them as they were the enemy..." Kucuk said, adding he finally convinced the soldiers to take them prisoners so they could be exchanged with Turkish soldiers, an idea that they "liked".

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [04] Measures to boost Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 19 (CNA) -- The Cyprus cabinet has approved amendments to the Republic's income tax law, to allow offshore companies to invest in the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE), without losing their offshore status.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, pointed out that the measure aims "to upgrade the CSE and to turn it into a regional centre".

    As offshore companies are entitled to tax allowances, the measure is expected to boost the CSE volume of transactions, CSE officials said.

    The number of offshore entities registered in Cyprus since 1977 exceeds 27.000 with over one thousand operating offices on the island.

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [05] Quiet diplomacy to involve T/C in EU process

    Nicosia, Feb 19 (CNA) -- Britain will fulfill its mandate from the European Union summit in Luxembourg to involve the Turkish Cypriots in the accession process and intends to engage in quiet diplomacy on the matter, High Commissioner David Madden said here today.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Madden said British envoy for Cyprus and the current EU British presidency representative on the Cyprus question Sir David Hannay will be in Cyprus at the end of next week.

    It is expected that Sir David will have a working day on the island on Friday, February 27.

    Madden said he delivered a message of "warm congratulations from Prime Minister Tony Blair" to President Clerides, who was re-elected on Sunday for a second five-year term.

    Asked if Sir David would be bringing any ideas about Turkish Cypriot participation, Madden referred to the mandate from the Luxembourg summit in December "to pursue ideas for the involvement of Turkish Cypriots in the EU accession process" and added "that is what the presidency will do."

    "We will fulfill our mandate from Luxembourg to try and take discussions on that forward," he added.

    Invited to say what would be a good proposal from the government of Cyprus to enable Turkish Cypriot participation, he noted the "need for quiet diplomacy on this matter" and pointed out "that is exactly what we are going to engage in."

    The Cypriot government had said he would accept Turkish Cypriot participation in the membership talks with the EU provided that the Turkish Cypriots would support the principle of Cyprus' entry into the Union and participate in the Cyprus Republic delegation.

    Replying to questions, Madden said he has discussed with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash the restart of the UN peace process and "remains in discussion with him about the desirability of restarting the UN process and make the best use of the opportunities in 1998 for making progress."

    Attempts to resume the stalled intercommunal dialogue are expected to be given a fresh push in March with visits to Cyprus by various foreign envoys backing the UN, who is spearheading the peace effort.

    Denktash insists that his breakaway regime in Turkish-occupied Cyprus be recognised before he returns to the negotiating table.

    Asked how Britain intends to overcome this problem, Madden recommended patience, imagination and hard work.

    "We all have to be very patient, very imaginative and work very hard and that is what is happening at the moment," he added.

    Commenting on the expected arrival in Cyprus of Russian anti-aircraft missiles, the High Commissioner reiterated his government's position that "it regrets anything that would increase tension or the level of military hardware on the island."

    This, he pointed out, is a position set out in many Security Council resolutions.

    "We have repeatedly called for the reduction of armaments and weapons and armed forces on the island and we would also regret anything which gets in the way of what we are trying to do, which is trying to make real progress towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem in a negotiated way," he added.

    Madden said Britain sees a danger that developments of that kind would add "a new difficulty to the negotiating effort", which is where all efforts are focused this year.

    "We want to make the very fullest use of the possibilities in making progress (towards a settlement)," he concluded.

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

    CNA MM/GP/1998
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