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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-11-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has described the need for a common plan of actions and cooperation both on national as well as on an international level against terrorism as ``the most pressing and urgent objective of our time.``

    ``The most pressing and urgent objective of our time is to draw a common a common plan of actions and cooperation on the national and international level with the participation of all interested agencies and parties to combat terrorism,`` the President said addressing the opening ceremony of the sixth international conference titled ``Terrorism and electronic Mass Media``, taking place in Cyprus.

    Christofias also underlined that the crucial prerequisite for the antiterrorism actions is the elimination of social cause triggering terrorism, social inequality, poverty, starvation and lack of democracy on national and international level.

    In his address, Christofias described terrorism in its various manifestations as ``a plague of our contemporary society.``

    He stressed that international community can confront terrorism when and only if it will unite all its joint efforts, because terrorism does not have a nationality.``

    The President pointed out that the international community should find common grounds in understanding what is terrorism and then confront the phenomenon within the framework of UN resolutions.

    ``Nevertheless, I strongly believe that the crucial prerequisite for the antiterrorism actions is the elimination of social causes triggering terrorism; social inequality and pressure, poverty, starvation, lack of democracy on national and international level,`` he added.

    As regards the role of the Media, President Christofias said that ``more often than not, Mass Media pay more attention to chasing after news and exclusivity of rights.``

    ``Media and particularly television may even fall into a trap and become a victim of the targeted terrorist propaganda transmitting their destructive ideas around the world creating myths and glorification of terrorists and their activity,`` he said.

    Noting that ``the use of censorship is not the way out,`` Christofias pointed out that ``objective self-control as to what and how to broadcast should also be implemented.``

    He cautioned that ``nowadays the Media have no longer exclusive powers,`` due to the presence of the internet.

    ``The internet could be considered as a rising element of power. It is a virtual space where everything is happening without any control or limits,`` he said, adding ``national and international law enforcement agencies will need a lot of time and effort to combat effectively a criminal activity on the internet.``

    Addressing the participants, Christofias recalled that ``for the last 36 years Cyprus remains a victim of the Turkish invasion and occupation.``

    ``All Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, deserve a better fortune in their free and united motherland. We work for the solution of the Cyprus problem in the framework of the relevant UN resolutions, the principles of the international law and the EU acquis, high level agreements of 1977 and 1979 which contemplate a settlement on the basis of a bi-zonal bi-communal federation,`` he said.


    The President of the Syrian Arab Republic Bashar al-Assad accompanied by his spouse, will pay an official two-day visit to Cyprus, on November 4 and 5.

    According to an official announcement, al-Assad will have separate meetings with the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, the President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyan, the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II and the Mayor of Nicosia Eleni Mavrou.

    Christofias and al-Assad will sign a series of bilateral agreements and will address a business forum at the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    President Christofias and his spouse will host an official banquet in honor of the Syrian President and his wife, the announcement concludes.


    Cyprus House of Representatives will officially complain at the relevant bodies of PACE over PACE Presidents behaviour during his visit to the occupied areas House President Marios Garoyian stated here on Tuesday.

    The House representation in PACE made it clear before Cavusoglus visit to Cyprus that he ought not to meet with so called officials of the occupied areas, since such an action would imply a state entity, he said.

    He also said that Cavusoglu had assured the representation that he would not act outside the legal framework, adding that although initially he had suggested to depart from Cyprus through the occupied areas, he had agreed to leave via Larnaca.

    As soon as the House became aware of the possibility of meetings between Cavusoglu and occupied areas ``officials``, he noted, strong steps were taken to prevent this, adding that despite his assurances to the contrary in the end Cavusoglu chose to act as a Turkish official rather than as PACE President.

    This occurrence however, said Garoyian, cannot be used as a precedent for such visits since both PACE and the Council of Europe (CoE) have a very clear position as far as the occupied areas are concerned and recognize only the Republic of Cyprus and the House of Representatives.

    Garoyian also stated that Cavusoglu had misled members of the PACE representation and House officials alike as when asked he had said he had no fixed schedule for his occupied areas visit, adding that assurances as to the legality of his actions were given to Parliament by his entourage not only yesterday but as late as this morning.


    Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, requested on Tuesday the restoration of the occupied Monastery of Apostolos Andreas in Cyprus` Turkish occupied areas. He also requested an Abbot and three monks of the Turkish occupied Monastery of Apostle Varnavas to be allowed to return to the monastery.

    The Archbishop was speaking during a round table meeting he had on Tuesday in Ledra Palace with President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mevlut Cavusoglu and Turkish Cypriot Religious Leader Mehmet Emin Yeltekin.

    The Primate of Cyprus` Church suggested that it is allowed to the Christian Orthodox on the island to be able to restore their churches in Cyprus occupied areas.

    A representative of the Moslem religious foundation EVKAF expressed his disappointment over Archbishop Chrysostomos remarks in the Greek Cypriot press that he would rather see the Apostolos Andreas monastery destroyed rather than be repaired by EVKAF.

    ``As a member of the EBKAF administration I would like to reassure you that we do all we can to repair and restore the cultural heritage monuments and sites in the north in their original form,`` he said.

    He also said that the project that was prepared by the University of Patra in Greece regarding the restoration of the Monastery of Apostolos Andreas in Karpas was approved by EVKAF administration ``and we would like to implement it.``

    ``We have applied to secure the necessary finance to carry out this project and as soon as we secure the finance we will carry out the restoration,`` he added.

    In his statements, Cavusoglu said it was a pleasure for him to have a joint meeting with Archbishop Chrysostomos II and Yeltekin and expressed his appreciation that the two religious leaders attended the meeting.

    He noted that one of his priorities as the President of PACE is to enhance inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue within Europe. I believe that we need this inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue in Europe more than ever, he said. ``We see a rise of extremism, racism, islamophobia, anti-Semitism and such other phobias which are creating dividing lines among the European societies and which are a real threat to our common values like democracy, human rights and rule of law,`` he said.

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