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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-18

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Church - Elections - Limassol Bishop
  • [02] Moslem pilgrims - Free areas
  • [03] President - UN top envoy

  • 0845:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Church - Elections - Limassol Bishop

    Nicosia, Jan 18 (CNA) -- One of the five candidates in the primary phase of voting to elect a new bishop in Limassol, Abbot Athanasios, of Machera Monastery, has obtained an overwhelming majority of representatives, making his election all but certain.

    Out of the 200 representatives, the Abbot secured 150 representatives who support his election. His closest rival Archimandrite Varnavas of Stavrovouni Monastery got 24 representatives.

    The elected laymen will meet in two weeks' time to elect 50 general representatives who with 22 clergymen will elect in mid-February the bishop of Limassol.

    The post became vacant after Metropolitan Chrysanthos was relieved of his duties, following allegations about his involvement in corruption and fraud of millions of pounds.

    The majority of people in the rural areas of Limassol district voted in Sunday's elections whereas urban voters preferred to stay at home, and only half of them bothered voting.

    CNA MM/GP/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1320:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Moslem pilgrims - Free areas

    Nicosia, Jan 18 (CNA) -- About 1280 people from the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus will visit Wednesday (January 20) the Hala Sultan Tekke in the government-controlled areas of the Republic, on the occasion of the religious Moslem feast of Ramazan Bairam.

    Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Takis Christopoulos told CNA that the Moslem pilgrims will be transferred to the Mosque, near the coastal town of Larnaca, by buses.

    They will cross the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia at 0700 local hours (0500 GMT). They will return the same day at 1600 hours.

    According to Christopoulos the occupation regime decided who will attend the pilgrimage and a list with their names was delivered to the authorities of the Republic.

    He said the Cyprus police would take all necessary measures for their safety.

    The Hala Sultan Tekke is located on the shore of Larnaca's salt lake. It is one of the holiest Islamic shrines.

    It was built in memory of Umm Haram, an aunt of the Prophet Mohammed. She was buried on the spot near the salt lake, where she died after accidentally falling off her mule during one of the frequent Arab raids against Cyprus.

    CNA MK/GP/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] President - UN top envoy

    Nicosia, Jan 18 (CNA) -- UN top envoy in Cyprus, engaged in the past four months in confidential shuttle talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, indicated today that there is some progress in her efforts to resume the intercommunal dialogue and reduce tensions on the island.

    Dame Ann Hercus also said the talks will continue, in confidence and described her meetings in London and New York as successful, adding that a UN set of ideas on the fundamental issues of the Cyprus problem remains a "very useful document."

    Speaking after meeting President Glafcos Clerides, Hercus said the length of the talks "depends on progress and I do not believe any of us will waste time and energy if progress is not being made."

    "So you can make a sensible assumption that as long as you see me shuttling, that means that some progress is being made," she added, stressing that "when I stop shuttling, progress is not being made."

    She said both her visits to New York, where she saw UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan, and London, where she met Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, were successful.

    "Minister Cook emphasised the commitment of the government of the UK to the UN process and in particular to the Secretary-General's initiative involving the shuttle talks," she said.

    The Secretary-General, she noted, used the opportunity to assure me of the support of all parts of the UN system for our effort.

    "I am therefore committed to work with determination and creativity my efforts here and the shuttle talks are going to continue in confidence," she added, stressing that confidentiality has been "an essential element in the progress that has been made so far."

    Invited to be more specific about the success of her meetings abroad, she explained her meeting in London was successful in that she brought back a message of "absolute commitment" to the UN process and in particular to the latest initiative of shuttle talks from the British government.

    "I call that a successful commitment," she said. Commenting on a UN set of ideas on an overall framework agreement on Cyprus, she said this was a very substantive document which holds "at its heart the core issues of the Cyprus problem."

    "It is a document that identifies what I believe every commentator on and off island would describe as the core issues, in that sense it is a very useful resource document," she explained.

    She refrained from saying whether President Clerides should expect a response from Turkey following his decision not to deploy the Russian defense system S300 in Cyprus.

    She also said she would not be seeing Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the next ten days because of a Moslem religious holiday.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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