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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-06-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government satisfied with EU summit conclusions
  • [02] Government describes Ankara's protests as grotesque
  • [03] Cyprus not included in International Amnesty report
  • [04] US reaction to the landing of Greek aircraft in Paphos
  • [05] UN Chief's report on Cyprus released

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Government satisfied with EU summit conclusions

    Nicosia, Jun 17 (CNA) -- The government has expressed satisfaction with the conclusions of a two-day European Union summit in relation to the position adopted on Cyprus.

    Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said the conclusions are "positive" and thanked Greek Premier Costas Simitis for his "decisive and nationally dignified" position he adopted in Cardiff.

    Stylianides said the government was "surprised" by France's view that Cyprus should be considered a special case, in terms of accession, and said this was a "wrong" move.

    The Spokesman also said that US President Bill Clinton should have addressed himself to Turkey to shift its stance towards Europe.

    Clinton telephoned Tuesday early morning the Greek Premier asking him to accept a draft text which essentially was attempting to place Turkey into the list of candidate countries for EU membership.

    The US President also sent a thinly-veiled warning to Simitis that tension may erupt, should Turkey not receive anything from Cardiff.

    "The EU conclusions, relating to Cyprus, are positive in that they reaffirm once more that Cyprus' accession course will proceed unhindered without any pre-conditions and for that we thank the Greek government and personally Premier Simitis," Stylianides said.

    Speaking after a cabinet meeting today, he said the Greek government handled the issue of Turkey's relations with the EU "very well" at the summit, which ended yesterday.

    "Greece was consistent with European norms and criteria," the Spokesman added, noting that a similar position was also expressed by Britain's Premier Tony Blair.

    Commenting on Clinton's call to Simitis, Stylianides said "he should have intervened first and foremost with Turkey as far as the country's European course is concerned."

    Turkey, he pointed out, should understand that it must give in order to take from the EU.

    "Neither we, nor Greece, are against Turkey's European orientation but Turkey itself must decide whether it wants to follow this course and fulfill the criteria the EU set out," Stylianides told the press.

    Referring to the position Chirac outlined at the summit, with regard to Cyprus, the Spokesman said "we are surprised and the remaining 14 leaders replied clearly to this."

    "Cyprus is not a special case at all, it remains in the same group of candidate countries and proceeds with its accession course without any problem," Stylianides said.

    He also said it was "wrong" for France to have adopted this approach.

    The EU conclusions relating to Cyprus said "the Union's priority is to maintain the enlargement process for the countries covered in the Luxembourg EU conclusions" and notes that "each of these candidates will be judged on the basis of the same criteria."

    Cyprus started accession negotiations in March along with another five Central and East European countries.

    The conclusions also refer to the screening process of the first groups of six candidate countries, noting that seven chapters of the acquis have been completed.

    On Turkey, the Cardiff conclusions said the European strategy on Turkey provides the platform for developing ties with the EU and invites the Commission to carry forward this strategy.

    CNA MM/MCH/1998
    1630 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Government describes Ankara's protests as grotesque

    Nicosia, Jun 17 (CNA) -- The government described as "grotesque" Ankara's protest over the landing of Greek warplanes at a military air base in Paphos.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, said "it is grotesque that a guarantor country which violated the unity of the Cyprus state has been an occupation force since 1974 to lecture Cyprus on sovereign rights and defence agreements which are based on international law".

    The Turkish Defence Ministry, in a statement yesterday, had said "the move by Greek warplanes to begin to use the Paphos military air base is a very worrying and provocative development is aimed at damaging peace and stability on the island".

    Turkey had further said it will, as a guarantor power, take all measures that could be necessitated by this development.

    According to the Treaty of Guarantee, part of the 1960 Constitution establishing the Cyprus Republic, Greece, Turkey and Britain, were given the right of joint or even unilateral action for the purpose of re- establishing the state of affairs on the island.

    Stylianides described as an "illegal action" the arrival of Turkish naval warships at the closed ports in the Turkish occupied north of the island.

    He said the government condemns the move and will make the relevant representations.

    CNA KN/EC/MCH/1998

    [03] Cyprus not included in International Amnesty report

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Nicosia, Jun 17 (CNA) -- Cyprus is not included in the annual International Amnesty Report for 1997, released today.

    The Amnesty Report covers human rights abuses in 141 countries during 1997 and details atrocities committed by governments and armed opposition groups including unlawful killings, torture, "disappearances" and the jailing of prisoners of conscience.

    Greece and Turkey are included in the report, with two pages covering the cases of human rights abuses in the former country and three on the latter.

    Speaking to CNA, Amnesty International Press Officer for the Americas and Europe, Sorayia Bermejo, pointed out that:

    "The fact that a country does not appear in the annual report does not actually mean there are no violations in that country."

    She explained that many times cases are followed "which are not at a level we feel they could be included in the annual report".

    She added that cases still being investigated by the time the annual report is released may appear next year or in a press release in the following months.

    In a press release on the occasion of the 50th anniversary since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Amnesty International Secretary General, Pierre Sane, remarked that "for most people around the world, the rights in the UDHR are little more than a paper promise".

    He said "1,3 billion people struggle to survive on less that one US dollar a day."

    Sane also pointed out that some 35.000 people die of malnutrition and preventable diseases every day and billions of adults, most of them women, cannot read or write.

    He also made special reference to prisoners of conscience jailed in nearly half of the world's countries and to victims of torture in close to two-thirds of the world's countries.

    During 1997, Amnesty International documented extrajudicial executions in 55 countries and judicial executions in 40, while in at least 87 countries people were imprisoned for their ideologies.

    The organisation also recorded cases of torture in 117 countries and "disappearances" in 31 countries.

    In its report on Turkey, Amnesty International makes special note of five "disappearances" and 20 extrajudicial killings.

    It also denounced the attack on the head of the Turkish Human Rights association, Akin Birdal, earlier this year.

    CNA MCH/EC/1998
    2000 CYPPRESS:04

    [04] US reaction to the landing of Greek aircraft in Paphos

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Jun 17 (CNA) -- The US administration said today Tuesday's landing of Greek F-16 fighters at the Paphos airbase escalates tension in Cyprus.

    A State Department official told CNA that they "have addressed many times our concerns about actions such as this one, that escalate tension in Cyprus".

    The official further said that on every occasion the US have pointed out that "such actions not only raise tension but also complicate our task to promote a settlement".

    Four F-16 fighters and a C-130 transport plane landed at the "Andreas Papandreou" military airbase as "part of the implementation of the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece", Cyprus Defence Minister, Yiannakis Omirou, said yesterday.

    Some 35.000 well equipped Turkish troops continue to occupy Cyprus' northern areas since they invaded in 1974.

    CNA DA/EC/MCH/1998

    [05] Government stands firm against Denktash's demands

    Nicosia, Jun 10 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government stressed its intention not to yield to the Turkish Cypriot leader's unacceptable demands for recognition of the illegal entity unilaterally declared in November 1983 in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island.

    Meanwhile the UN will step up efforts during the next month in an effort to break the deadlock in the Cyprus problem and resume bi-communal talks aiming at a comprehensive settlement.

    Commenting on statements by US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, in "Los Angeles Times", that Rauf Denktash's demand for recognition "is what the negotiations were supposed to be partly about," Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said:

    "We do not accept recognition of the illegal entity in the north either before or during negotiations (for a Cyprus settlement) and we will not under any circumstances freeze our course for European Union (EU) accession."

    Stylianides said the government will discuss the issue with Holbrooke during his next visit to the island.

    He added, however, it is not yet known when Holbrooke will pay his next visit to Cyprus.

    Stylianides also said the government is pursuing the necessary initiatives in order to make sure that no problems will arise over the renewal of the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) six-month mandate, expected to be approved later this month.

    Meanwhile, according to CNA sources the new UN Resident Representative, Ann Hercus, will arrive here on July 4 to replace Gustave Feissel who is retiring.

    Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, is also expected to visit the island early next month, in the framework of UN efforts to break the impasse in the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    Sources have also told CNA the UN representative in the tripartite Investigatory Committee on Missing Persons will be appointed soon.

    Jean Pierre Ritter was named by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, as the third member to the Committee to replace Paul Wurth who retired in 1996.

    The Committee was set up in 1981 comprising of a Greek Cypriot, a Turkish Cypriot and a UN representative.

    CNA MA/MCH/AP/1998
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