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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-10-11

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Finland - Minister for Foreign Affairs - Visit
  • [02] Boat people - condition - British Bases
  • [03] Morphou - March - Clerides

  • 1140 CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Finland - Minister for Foreign Affairs - Visit

    Nicosia, Oct 11 (CNA) -- Finnish Foreign Minister, Tarja Halonen, arrives on the island here Sunday for a three day visit.

    Heading a six member delegation, Halonen will call on President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides on Monday.

    She will also meet the President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou.

    Halonen will hold official talks with her Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides and will then meet the Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Cyprus to the European Union, George Vassiliou.

    She will also give a speech at the European Institute entitled "Finland in the European Union: Membership from the perspective of a small country".

    On Tuesday, Halonen will meet the Chief of Mission of the United Nations Operation in Cyprus, (UNFICYP), Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Dame Ann Hercus.

    Before departing, Halonen will visit the ceasefire line in Nicosia, accompanied by Mayor, Lellos Demetriades.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA EC/AA/1998
    1410 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Boat people - condition - British Bases

    Nicosia, Oct 11 (CNA) -- The condition of 75 illegal immigrants who were washed up on the coast of Akrotiri in the British Bases on Friday is fine and their humanitarian needs are being looked after.

    A spokesman for the Sovereign Base Areas told CNA here Sunday that the illegal immigrants are "being looked after in terms of their humanitarian needs, ie, food, water, etc and in terms of health they are all fine."

    However, he said "they are obviously concerned about their future." Britain has retained two military bases in Cyprus under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The immigrants, including 10 women, 19 children and five infants, had boarded a vessel in Lebanon and it is said they each paid 2.000 US dollars to be transported to Italy.

    According to the Bases, the group were observed coming ashore near Akrotiri in the western coast, one of the two British Bases, and were rescued and the Bases were in touch with the Cyprus government over the group's future.

    However, Cyprus Attorney - General, Alecos Markides, was quoted by the "Sunday Mail" as saying that "for the time being, clearly the authorities of the Bases are responsible for them".

    He explained that "in accordance with the Treaty of Establishment, the Bases are not within the territory of the Republic. Therefore, for the time being, these people are not in the Republic".

    Markides also told state radio CyBC that the British Bases attempted to hand over the illegal immigrants to the authorities of the Cyprus Republic yesterday but they refused to accept them.

    On his part, Piers Gazalet, British High Commission Spokesman told the "Sunday Mail" that lawyers for the Republic and for the High Commission were discussing who has jurisdiction over the immigrants and that it was too early to comment.

    The Bases Spokesman told CNA that the situation remains as described in the newspaper report. He did not wish to make any comment, noting the issue is a political one.

    He further said the Bases do not have special facilities for such cases.

    "They are being looked after in RAF Akrotiri in some existing buildings that are there, but they are not buildings that are specifically designed for this purpose," he added.

    CNA EC/AA/1998
    1430 CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Morphou - March - Clerides

    Nicosia, Oct 11 (CNA) -- Cyprus President, Glafcos Clerides said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to discuss as a priority issue, the reduction of armaments.

    The President stressed, however, that the international community should be more determined to intervene towards the Turkish side to abandon its intransigent position.

    In his speech at the 18th annual march of the refugees of the Turkish occupied town of Morphou, President Glafcos Clerides stressed that the government is "willing to discuss as a priority, reduction of tension."

    Clerides repeated his willingness to participate in the fresh UN effort for shuttle diplomacy "to ascertain the positions of both sides on fundamental issues".

    Noting that the Turkish side publicly proclaims that it is pursuing a confederation in Cyprus, Clerides said the Turkish proposal has already been rejected by the international community.

    "We will do everything possible to find a solution within the framework of the UN decisions and resolutions", he said, which provide for a bizonal, bicommunal federation on the island.

    "However, our political will... is not sufficient. What is necessary is a more determined intervention on the part of the international community towards the Turkish side", he said.

    The UN-led "shuttle talks" will be led by UN Secretary - General's Resident Representative, Dame Ann Hercus. They aim at breaking the deadlock in the Cyprus problem.

    Clerides emphasised that in the meantime, "we will continue the policy of reinforcing our defence with any weapon we consider that it strengthens our security", noting that this is the aim of the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece.

    However, he stressed that "our aim will be to find a solution to the Cyprus problem through peaceful means, which will be just, viable and functional".

    He assured refugees taking part in the march that "we want a Cyprus where all human rights are restored, including the right of refugees to return to their homes, in Morphou, in Famagusta, in Kyrenia and in Karpasia".

    Morphou residents, accompanied by Cypriot, British, Greek and a Euro MP, held their 18th march towards their hometown, to protest the continuing Turkish occupation of their land and Cyprus' northern third.

    Earlier today, events began with a church service to commemorate the dead of the 1974 Turkish invasion in Astromeritis village, about eight kilometres from Morphou.

    CNA EC/AA/1998
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