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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-10-15

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

15/10/96


CONTENTS

  • [01] Deliberate shoot-to-kill policy by Turkish troops in Cyprus
  • [02] Cyprus Government launched demarche with permanent UN Security Council members
  • [03] US and Britain condemn new killing of Greek Cypriot civilian
  • [04] British Special Representative in Cyprus for talks
  • [05] UN Force Commander asks Turkish forces in Cyprus not to shoot indiscriminately
  • [06] Cyprus has important role to play in maritime transport


[01] Deliberate shoot-to-kill policy by Turkish troops in Cyprus

The Cyprus Government sees in a different light the murders of unarmed Greek Cypriots by the Turkish occupying troops in recent months near the ceasefire line. Following the unprovoked murder of a fourth Greek Cypriot civilian, the Government views the murders as part of deliberate policy decision of shoot-to-kill.

As Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told the press Monday (14.10.96), following the killing Sunday (13.10.96) of a 58-year old Greek Cypriot who strayed about 50 metres into the Turkish-occupied area near the British base of Dhekelia, this "murder sheds a different light on the previous murders (of two Greek Cypriot youths and a National Guardsman in the summer) and forces us to look at all four murders from a different angle".

"Yesterday's murder", he noted, "was utterly unwarranted, premeditated, carried out in cold blood and is the fourth murder in a row".

The Spokesman pointed out that the way Petros Kakoullis was killed -while collecting snails near the British bases, "shows that the Turkish Cypriot regime acts in bad faith", and added: "We cannot approach this latest murder as an isolated incident", while urging the public to be more vigilant and careful when near the ceasefire line. The government was also making efforts to discourage student protests anywhere near the buffer zone.

Meanwhile, an autopsy carried out on the body of the murdered man by a pathologist recalled from London by the Cyprus Government has shown up three bullet wounds, only one of which was the cause of death. The deceased's son-in-law, who witnessed the killing, has said the victim was shot by Turkish soldiers twice while standing up and after a few minutes was shot once more from close range as he lay wounded on the ground.

[02] Cyprus Government launched demarche with permanent UN Security Council members

Cyprus lodged a protest Monday (14.10.96) to the Ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council in Nicosia, about the unprovoked murder by Turkish troops of yet another Greek Cypriot civilian, 58-year-old Petros Kakoullis, who strayed a few metres into the occupied area. This was the fourth killing in four months.

Cyprus Foreign Minister met the five Ambassadors in his office, explained the circumstances of the murder and asked them to convey the Cypriot Government's demarche to their governments. He said all five diplomats condemned the murder.

Michaelides told the press after the meeting that this was not an isolated incident but part of a series of criminal acts by the Turkish troops, which aim at discouraging those who are interested in a Cyprus settlement.

He added that his government is studying a number of options about protesting the Turkish policy of murdering civilians, including a recourse to the UN Security Council. Michaelides said he was in consultation with Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos to coordinate action within the European Union. He stressed that the latest incidents underline the need to intensify efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

[03] US and Britain condemn new killing of Greek Cypriot civilian

Britain and the United States have condemned the new tragic murder of a Greek Cypriot civilian by Turkish troops through their Ambassadors in Nicosia.

Speaking to the press after meeting the Cyprus Foreign Minister on Monday (14.10.96) British High Commissioner David Madden said:

"I think that the further tragic incident reminds us of the intense need to press ahead with progress towards a settlement", noting that "there had been various ideas floated in the past, as for example, further demanning measures and the idea of banning live ammunition on the buffer zone".

US Ambassador Kenneth Brill described the murder as "deeply regrettable". He stressed the need "to make sure that this kind of incidents do not happen in the future" and underlined US commitment "to try and move the process forward to try and find a way to solve the Cyprus issue".

In London a Foreign Office statement came out in response to questions from the press which said that Britain "strongly condemns the unprovoked killing of another Greek Cypriot. No justification for shooting an unarmed civilian. Britain "calls both communities to refrain from violence, to avoid further confrontation and to exercise restraint in their public statements we will be discussing the incident with all interested parties, including the UN". This latest shooting reinforces yet again the urgency of international efforts to find a political settlement in Cyprus".

[04] British Special Representative in Cyprus for talks

Britain's special envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, who is on a 5-day visit to Cyprus, met with President Glafcos Clerides Monday (14.10.96).

President Clerides relayed to Sir David Hannay his strong protest and deep concern about Sunday's (13.10.96) murder of an unarmed Greek Cypriot civilian by the Turkish troops and the British envoy said he will take up this point in his meetings with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

Speaking to the press afterwards Sir David stressed the need to ensure the necessary groundwork is made so that a meeting between the Cypriot President and the Turkish Cypriot leader could be underpinned by detailed agreements.

He said: "I am confident that there will be such a meeting in 1997. I do not want to put a time frame on it. I think the most important think to do now is to accentuate the preparatory work. I hope my meetings here will help take the process forward".

On a more cautious note, Sir David pointed out that efforts to convene a Clerides-Denktash meeting could go either way and added "anybody who is familiar with Cyprus knows very well, how the best laid plans tend to go off the rails at some stage, we must try to ensure that this time that does not happen.

Replying to questions, the British envoy said he believed that common ground between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides "it becoming easier to identify as we move along".

Referring to the contents of his talks, the British Special Representative said: "I think everyone is working on the framework the UN Cyprus envoy has put forward (bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as described by the Secretary-General) and I think people are working on the guarantees and security that would be needed for both sides if such a solution were to work", he explained.

[05] UN Force Commander asks Turkish forces in Cyprus not to shoot indiscriminately

A statement by the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, UNFICYP, issued Monday (14.10.96) following the murder of an unarmed Greek Cypriot said that "UNFICYP is deeply concerned that once again an innocent life was lost as the result of the deplorable and unnecessary use of lethal force".

It further added that "UNFICYP insists on the principle that no deadly forced be used by either side against persons who cross the respective ceasefire lines or enter the United Nations Buffer Zone".

UNFICYP's Commander, Finnish Brigadier General Ahti Vartianen, has called on the Commander of the Turkish occupation troops on the island, General Ali Yalcin, and requested "in the strongest possible terms" that "he instruct the soldiers under his command not to shoot unless their own lives are threatened".

Meanwhile, Sylvana Foa, UN Secretary General's Spokesperson, has told journalists that "the Secretary-General deplores the incident and the continued violence in Cyprus and the additional loss of life and wishes it all stop". Foa added there would be a formal statement later on.

[06] Cyprus has important role to play in maritime transport

A three-day Europe-Mediterranean conference in maritime development projects opened in Larnaca on Monday (14 October).

The holding of this first conference in Cyprus underlines the island's important role in maritime transport both in a regional and global dimension, Minister of Communications and Works Adamos Adamides said.

Apart from Cyprus, European Union member-states as well as members of the Euro Med Partnership, including Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta and Tunisia are taking part in the meeting of Experts on the Implementation of Multi-Annual Rolling Work Programme for Maritime Transport in the Mediterranean.

The conference deals with four basic areas: the development of maritime transport, the development of ports, maritime safety and the prevention of pollution.

The projects that will be adopted will be eligible for financing by the EU MEDA programme.

In the context of the new regional dynamics, Cyprus could make an important contribution, given its special geographical, historical and cultural circumstances, as well as its prospective membership, the Cyprus Minister said.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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