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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-09-20

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Clerides arrives in New York
  • [02] Priceless icons stolen

  • 1235:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides arrives in New York

    New York, Sep 20 (CNA - by Myria Antoniadou) - Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides expects to discuss an initiative to settle the Cyprus problem and the content of the initiative if it is to begin, at his meeting with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Friday.

    Speaking on his arrival in New York Saturday, the President said that overcoming the intransigence displayed by the Turkish side in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, does not only depend on Ankara but also on other factors that can affect Turkey.

    President Clerides refrained from expressing optimism for the resumption of negotiations between the two sides in October adding that this depends on how the situation will develop.

    The President will address the 53rd session of the UN General Assembly on the September 25 and during his week-long stay in New York will also meet the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke.

    President Clerides said that during his meeting with Annan earlier this month in South Africa, on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement's summit, they agreed to meet in New York "to exchange views if an initiative will begin, and if it begins, what its content will be".

    Invited to assess the possibility of the government asking for a discussion of the Cyprus problem at the UN General Assembly, the President said that the NAM countries are favourably inclined towards Cyprus. He based his views on the outcome of his recent meetings in South African and the positive reference to Cyprus in the NAM final communique.

    As for the rest of the UN member states, Clerides said that their position will be assessed during the meetings he and party leaders or representatives will have here in New York this week.

    Replying to a question, the President expressed the view that "not many countries, apart from Turkey, would speak out against Cyprus" during a discussion of the Cyprus question at the UN.

    Referring to the US role in the Cyprus peace efforts, President Clerides underlined that despite any problems President Clinton and Holbrooke may face, the US administration continues to deal "not only with the Cyprus question but also with many other serious problems".

    The President expressed the view that the visit to Brussels of US State Department Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller last week, has nothing to do with a proposal for a moratorium of flights by Greek and Turkish military planes over Cyprus, backed by both the US and Britain.

    He pointed out that for this issue, Miller would have had to visit Greece and Turkey, as well as Britain "that would have some role in monitoring the moratorium" and the UN "to see whether it would be prepared to adopt some kind of resolution on a moratorium."

    Asked if he believes that the deadlock in the peace process could be overcome to allow for the resumption of negotiations in October, the President said "much is possible...we will wait to see how things develop".

    To a question if the resumption of talks depends on overcoming the intransigence displayed by Ankara and Denktash, President Clerides said he does not believe "the issue depends only on Turkey's position".

    He added "there are various factors that could affect Turkey, either positively or negatively."

    President Clerides is accompanied by Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides and Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, while the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Minister, Alecos Shiambos and Cyprus' Ambassador to the US, Erato Marcoulli are also in New York.

    Foreign Minister, Kasoulides will meet his counterparts from at least 16 countries during his stay in New York and is also expected to meet European Union Foreign Affairs Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek and British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Joyce Quin, who has ministerial responsibility for Europe.

    Also accompanying President Clerides are Socialist Party EDEK President, Vassos Lyssarides, the General Secretary of the Democratic Party, Stathis Kittis and the Deputy President of the United Democrats, Michalis Papapetrou.

    Right - wing Democratic Rally leader, Nicos Anastasiades and left wing AKEL General Secretary, Demetris Christofias are expected to arrive in New York today.

    They will all take part in meetings aimed at assessing how the international community sees the possibility of Cyprus asking the General Assembly to discuss the Cyprus problem.

    The final decision will be taken by the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, at a meeting after the President returns to Cyprus on September 29.

    Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos is also in New York and will meet the Cyprus political leadership over dinner on Monday.

    CNA MA/EC/KN/1998

    [02] Priceless icons stolen

    Nicosia, Sep 20 (CNA) -- An unprecedented 18 priceless icons were stolen from the Church of the Apostle Barnabas and Saint Hilarion in Peristerona village on Thursday night, Police announced Saturday.

    The church, estimated to have been built around 1100 BC, is one of the most important religious sites on the island.

    Among the icons stolen are depictions of Saint Barnabas and Hilarion, dating from circa 1816 and artworks of Saint Nicholas, Saint Charalambos and the Ascension of Christ, all of which date from 1849.

    The other icons stolen date from the 19th century. A police statement said the church's collection box was also broken into, although the amount of money stolen remains unknown.

    Police are making inquiries and have alerted ports and airports of the theft to prevent the icons from being smuggled abroad.

    Press reports said Police are looking for a foreign couple who visited the church on the day of the theft.

    CNA EC/KN/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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