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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-12-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Arrest - Students' murder
  • [02] Illegal Immigrants - UNHCR - Bill
  • [03] Chinese - Murder - Custody
  • [04] EU - Cyprus - Conclusions
  • [05] Simitis - EU - Turkey

  • 0855:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Arrest - Students' murder

    Nicosia, Dec 12 (CNA) -- Police have arrested a Chinese man wanted in connection with their investigations into the murder earlier this month of two Chinese students.

    Hua Cheng Bu was arrested last night after he was spotted hiding in the central heating engine room of a private clinic in the southern coastal town of Limassol.

    Today he will appear before Limassol District Court. Police are already holding another suspect for the murder of the two Chinese students whose bodies were found in a ravine, in the central Troodos mountain plains.

    CNA MM/AA/1998

    [02] Illegal Immigrants - UNHCR - Bill

    by Anna Andreou

    Nicosia, Dec 12 (CNA) -- Nineteen of 113 boat people rescued in June from a Syrian flagged boat have been granted political asylum by the Cypriot authorities on the recommendation of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

    Among the 19 political refugees 14 are Kurds coming from Syria and Iraq.

    The UNHCR has already completed the report for 111 boat people and handed the files of each one to the Migration Department.

    Sources from the UNHCR have told CNA that their inquiries into the remaining two boat people now living in a local hotel, in the southern coastal town of Limassol have not yet been completed.

    Six more boat people living in the same hotel have filed an appeal with the UNHCR after being denied political asylum.

    Costas Papamichael, a Migration Department officer and Andreas Aristidou, the Director of Foreign and Migration Department have told CNA 30 illegal immigrants were deported.

    Ten Syrians and two Egyptians were sent home in July, three Lebanese and ten Bangladeshis left in August, another Bangladeshi in September and four Nigerians in October.

    Twenty four other illegal immigrants, denied political asylum by the UNHCR, are still in police custody in Larnaca.

    The rest 37 boat people are housed at government expense in Pefkos Hotel in Limassol.

    The captain of the trawler, Syrian National Mohamed Hadjimoustafa, 31, is imprisoned for illegally and dangerously transporting people, including women and children, and one of the boat people has escaped from the hotel.

    The boat was located on June 29 in international waters by a Russian vessel, which having informed the Cypriot authorities, towed the boat to the port of Limassol. She had broken down while sailing from the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli to Libya.

    Aristidou told CNA the boat people "would not find better living conditions in any other European country".

    He said the detainees in Larnaca police headquarters are offered hospitality, protection and are given attention.

    Aristidou pointed out the boat people living in Pefkos hotel in Limassol enjoy all kinds of facilities and at weekends they are allowed to visit the town under supervision.

    On his part, Yiannakis Agapiou, president of the Parliamentary Committee of Human Rights told CNA the report of the committee for the economic migrants is due to be completed and submitted to the House before Christmas.

    The report is due to be discussed by the plenary in January. Agapiou pointed out the report will express the concerns for prolonged detention of the economic migrants and will call on the Cyprus government to solve the problem as soon as possible.

    Nicos Charalambous, Assistant Attorney General, stated to CNA a bill on the political asylum will soon be tabled to the Parliament. He said the bill is almost ready to be submitted to the cabinet and after its approval it will be sent to Parliament.

    Referring to the bill, Agapiou said a House Committee is invited to visit Geneva in January to discuss with UN officials the draft bill.

    CNA AA/MM/1998

    [03] Chinese - Murder - Custody

    Nicosia, Dec 12 (CNA) -- A Chinese national was remanded in custody today for eight days by Limassol District Court in connection with police investigations into the murder of two Chinese students earlier this month.

    Hua Cheng Bu was led to court today after his arrest last night at a private clinic in the southern coastal town of Limassol.

    He is the second Chinese national police are holding in custody in connection with the murder of the students whose bodies were found in a ravine, in the central Troodos mountain plains.

    CNA MM/AA/1998

    [04] EU - Cyprus - Conclusions

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Vienna, Dec 12 (CNA) -- European Union leaders have expressed their support to the efforts of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan for a Cyprus solution and in particular his latest initiative to embark, through his resident representative, on shuttle talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    The EU position is outlined in the conclusions of the six monthly rotating Austrian presidency at the Vienna EU summit, which ends here today.

    In a separate paragraph on Cyprus, the EU Council "reaffirms its support for the efforts of the UN Secretary General for an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem and in particular for the process which his Deputy Special Representative has developed with a view to reduce tensions and achieve progress towards a just and permanent solution."

    On enlargement, EU leaders note "with satisfaction that the six accession conferences with Cyprus, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia have entered into substantive negotiations and reached the first concrete results."

    Describing this as "an important stage in the negotiations", EU leaders invite the Council and the Commission "to maintain the momentum in order to permit intensive negotiations in the first half of 1999."

    The EU Council welcomed the fact that the overall enlargement process "is now well under way" and the Commission's first regular progress report on the basis of its conclusions in Luxembourg and Cardiff.

    It "invites the Commission to present its further report in view of the Helsinki European Council."

    Referring to EU - Turkish relations, the Council "underlines the great importance it attaches to the further development of relations between the EU and Turkey" and in this context "it recognises the central role of the further implementation of the European strategy for the preparation of its (Turkey's) accession in line with its conclusions in Luxembourg and Cardiff."

    Neither Luxembourg nor Cardiff included Turkey in the list of candidate countries eligible to start accession talks. The EU developed a European strategy for Turkey to enhance its ties with the country and asked Turkey to help settle the Kurdish problem, assist the peace effort in Cyprus, iron out its disputes with Greece and put its own house in order as far as respect of human rights is concerned, if it wants to get closer to Europe.

    Commenting on the European Conference, the EU Council notes its work as "a forum for political consultation on question of general concern to the participants."

    EU Foreign Ministers, it adds, will meet in 1999 to examine further the subjects discussed at the European Conference, notably the fight against drugs and organised crimes, including child pornography, and regional cooperation on the environment.

    "The EU Council will consider the future role and membership of the European Conference at Helsinki in the light of a report by the Council on the work in the Conference and other fora engaged in similar work," the Vienna summit conclusions said.

    EU leaders welcomed Malta's decision to reactive its application for membership.

    The situation in the Middle East, in Iraq and the Northern Ireland peace process are also dealt with in the EU conclusions.

    On the Middle East process, EU leaders express regret for the recent violence and call on both parties to show restraint and implement in time and in good faith and to the full the remaining terms of the Wye River Memorandum.

    This, they point out, will contribute to the restoration of trust, which is necessary to conclude the peace process on the basis of what was agreed on in Oslo and Madrid.

    On Northern Ireland, the EU Council underlines the wish of the EU for an active role in the effort for a permanent peace and prosperity in the country and reaffirms the Cardiff conclusions on the Northern Ireland peace process.

    Referring to Iraq, the Council condemns Iraq's omission to cooperate with UNSCOM and calls for compliance with UN Security Council resolutions.

    CNA MCH/MM/1998

    [05] Simitis - EU - Turkey

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Vienna, Dec 12 (CNA) -- Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said here today Turkey is welcome in the European Union as long as it respects international law and order.

    Speaking at the close of the European Union summit, which ended here today, Simitis said Turkey is not unwanted in Europe provided it applies the rules of international conventions and international law.

    His comments came in response to questions inviting the Greek Premier to comment on the reference to Turkey in the EU conclusions, which stipulate that the European Council attaches "great importance to further development of relations between the EU and Turkey."

    The EU also said it recognises the central role of the further implementation of the European strategy for the preparation of its (Turkey's) accession in line with its (EU's) conclusions in Luxembourg and Cardiff.

    Simitis reiterated his position that Greece does not oppose Turkey's European prospect but pointed out that Turkey ought to show willingness for good cooperation and respect of international law.

    He also noted that the EU Luxembourg and Cardiff conclusions form the underlying principle of the Vienna conclusions.

    The EU believes Turkey is eligible for accession but stopped short of including the country in the list of other candidate countries.

    In Luxembourg and Cardiff Turkey was asked to help resolve the Kurdish and Cyprus problems, sort out its disputes with Greece and respect human rights at home before its application for membership is advanced any further.

    CNA MCH/MM/1998
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