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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-16

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Lebanon - Illegal immigrants
  • [02] Maronites - Espionage - Announcement
  • [03] Annan - Hercus

  • 1000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Lebanon - Illegal immigrants

    Nicosia, Jan 16 (CNA) -- Lebanese authorities refused to accept all 29 illegal immigrants which the Cyprus Police had tried to take back to Beirut yesterday and allowed only six Egyptians who had an entry visa to disembark.

    The illegal immigrants, mainly Iraqis, were dumped on Cyprus's southeastern coast on Wednesday night by a boat that they said came from the Lebanese port city of Tripoli.

    They were arrested almost immediately and loaded onto a police patrol boat on Thursday night to be returned to Lebanon.

    Cypriot and Lebanese officials argued about whose responsibility they were, as the illegal immigrants and 16 Cypriot police officers sat stranded on the patrol boat off Beirut for most of the day.

    A police announcement says a Lebanese naval vessel would not allow the Cypriot police boat to enter the port while the negotiations for the future of the immigrants were taking place.

    The Lebanese authorities refused to accept the illegal immigrants despite the fact that the Cyprus police presented them with testimonies taken from the boat people that they had come here from Tripoli.

    The police boat was ordered to leave and returned to the southern Cypriot port of Larnaca late on Friday, from where the illegal immigrants were taken to police detention cells.

    It is the first time Cyprus had promptly tried to send back foreigners who arrived here illegally.

    Cyprus and Lebanon had reached an understanding that illegal immigrants coming from that country could be sent back within one week.

    The illegal immigrants told the Cyprus police that they wanted to go to Rhodes or Italy and had paid between 800 and 1000 US dollars for the trip.

    CNA FZ/MA/1998

    [02] Maronites - Espionage - Announcement

    Nicosia, Jan 16 (CNA) -- The Maronite religious group of Cyprus has strongly condemned actions of espionage against the Republic by any of its members, underlining that they also face the dire consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    The Maronite representative in Parliament Antonis Hadjirousos, chaired a meeting yesterday attended by religious and other Maronite representatives as well as MP Avraam Antoniou.

    A statement issued after the meeting says they "unanimously and strongly condemn" espionage against the Cyprus Republic by members of the Maronite community.

    On Thursday, police arrested Maronite Avgoustinos Skoullou, 53, from the Maronite village of Kormakitis in the Turkish occupied areas, in connection with police investigations into alleged espionage against the Republic.

    A paper containing information concerning National Guard armaments was found in Skoullou's possession while a camera and a film were found in his car.

    The statement signed by Hadjirousos says that "isolated actions like the ones made known from time to time are unacceptable, illegal and are carried out by people with no ethos and principles."

    It also reconfirms that the Maronites stand by the struggle for justice and freedom in Cyprus and for a country where all communities can live freely and enjoy the human rights.

    Over 2200 Roman Catholic Maronites live in Cyprus, but only some 160 have remained in Turkish occupied Kormakitis.

    "The Maronite community, which has been completely uprooted and whose human rights are violated by the Turkish invading forces, is carrying out its own struggle to survive," it adds.

    The statement says the Maronites "strongly condemn actions of treason and espionage" and call on everybody to be particularly careful in issues regarding the country's security.

    CNA MA/FZ/1999

    [03] Annan - Hercus

    Nicosia, Jan 16 (CNA) -- UN resident representative in Cyprus Dame Ann Hercus is satisfied with her shuttle talks between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, according to an Athens News Agency dispatch from New York.

    Hercus had a private and confidential meeting yesterday with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, it adds.

    The UN resident representative began on-island contacts in October 1998 aimed at reducing tensions and promoting a process towards a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus.

    Hercus is scheduled to return to the island later today. She will meet President Glafcos Clerides on Monday.

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

    CNA MA/GP/1999

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