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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-10-25

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

25/10/96


CONTENTS

  • [01] European parliament sanctions Turkey
  • [02] Joint UN Security Council initiative preferred
  • [03] Upgrading of National Guard merely defensive
  • [04] Cyprus settlement urged on UN Day
  • [05] Services exhibition CYSERV 96
  • [06] Offitec 96 opens its gates


[01] European parliament sanctions Turkey

The European Parliament expressed Thursday (24.10.96) in two separate votes its disapproval of Turkey's record concerning its behaviour in Cyprus, democratisation and respect for human rights.

During the first reading of the 1997 EU Budget, Europarliament dealt a severe blow to Turkey by blocking millions of dollars of aid to Ankara which were earmarked to help Turkey's Customs Union with the EU. The aid blocked amounted to 470 million US dollars (375 million ECUs), with minor sums allowed for aid and human rights organizations and measures to promote democracy.

During the voting to block the funds to Turkey, the European Parliament said these funds should be linked with a respect by Turkey of democratic principles and international law.

It also pointed out that "significant progress towards the political resolution of the Cyprus problem and the Kurdish issue" must be made on the part of Ankara.

Mediterranean financing programmes under MEDA could not be blocked since they come under a unitary block of aid for all countries. The European Parliament said, however, that the Commission should submit programmes for Turkey to Parliament which will take the final decision. EU External Relations Affairs Commissioner Han Van den Broek has expressed grave concern for Turkey's actions.

In Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides said Thursday (24.10.96): "The decision was in broad terms reasonable and fully justified". He pointed out that "The message received by everyone, not just Turkey, is that if financial assistance is required, they have to show respect for fundamental rights".

In a separate voting, the plenary of the European Parliament adopted by acclamation a resolution which "strongly condemns the murder of Petros Kakoullis by the Turkish occupation forces" and asks the EU Commission and the Council to express the "deep indignation" of the European Union to the Turkish occupation forces.

The 8-paragraph strongly worded resolution calls upon the 15EU members to "respond with continued firm pressure on Turkey with the aim of freeing the island of the presence of all Turkish troops" and calls on Turkey to protect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Greek Cypriots, Maronites and the enclaved people and to put an end to violations of those rights and freedoms.

Human rights groups in Turkey's Human Rights Association welcomed the European Parliament's decision.

A delegation of Greek Cypriot deputies were in Strasbourg where they had a series of meetings with leaders of political groups of the Europarliament.

The delegation had successive meetings with the Socialist group President Pauline Green, the President of the European People's Party Willy Martens, the European Radical Alliance President Catherine Lalumiere, the President of the Confederal Group of the European United Left-Nordic Green Left Mr Puerta and the Green Group President Mehtild Rothe.

[02] Joint UN Security Council initiative preferred

The Cyprus government wants joint effort by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to help the UN Secretary-General in his good offices mission to find a solution of the Cyprus problem.

Government Spokesman Yiannakis Casoullides speaking to the press yesterday added that, if this were not possible, then the next choice would be for separate but coordinated efforts.

"Both the US and Britain have assured the government that they act in cooperation with the UN who is the one to take up certain issues on which the governments of the five permanent members cannot act", he said.

[03] Upgrading of National Guard merely defensive

"Upgrading the defensive capability of the National Guard does not pose any danger to the Turkish occupation forces".

The statement was made by Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides in Nicosia today, commenting on Sir David Hannay's article in the Times today that "the present arrangements for each community provide an illusion of security but only at the expense of the other's security".

The exclusive purpose of the National Guard reinforcement is to serve as a deterrent to any possible attack against the Government-controlled areas, making such an attack very costly, Cassoulides underlined.

[04] Cyprus settlement urged on UN Day

Hundreds of people from both sides of the divided island of Cyprus met at the Ledra Palace Hotel situated in the UN controlled buffer zone in an event organized by the UN on the 51st anniversary of the United Nations. (24.10.96)

The UN Secretary-General's Resident Special Representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel speaking at the reception, stressed the need to pursue peaceful coexistence between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the island and for a resolution of the protracted Cyprus problem.

"Five tragic and unnecessary deaths in as many months is a stark reminder that the current situation in Cyprus is untenable and that a settlement is long overdue", he pointed out.

He was referring to the murder of four unarmed Greek Cypriot civilians by Turkish occupying forces and one Turkish soldier of Kurdish origin who was found murdered in his observation post.

"It is important that both Greek and Turkish Cypriots affirm that these tragic incidents do not represent the true sentiments and desires of the people of the two communities in Cyprus and that such incidents must never happen again."

He said "the Charter of the UN is about faith in fundamental human rights and the practice of tolerance."He noted that "first of all the Charter is about living together peacefully."

The President of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides in a message to the UN Secretary- General Dr. Boutros Ghali for UN Day reaffirmed Cyprus' commitment and unwavering dedication to the objectives and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.

He added that we must all redouble our efforts in order to meet the great challenge of our times, which is the realization of the vision of the founding fathers for a world where peace, justice, security and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms will prevail for all.

"We continue to place our hopes on the United Nations for a just, viable and lasting solution to the question of Cyprus through the implementation of all the relevant resolutions," he said.

[05] Services exhibition CYSERV 96

"Services have grown into a dynamic and increasingly important economic sector, resulting in the export of more and more services to Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Indicative of the dynamism of the sector is the fact that in 1995 services had made the greatest contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, reaching about 62%". This was emphasized by President Glafcos Clerides while addressing the opening of "Cyserv 96".

It is the second services Exhibition organized in Nicosia at the initiative of the Employers and Industrialists Federation of Cyprus with the cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

"Cyserv 96" aims to promote the wide range of services offered in Cyprus which are being used by an increasing number of foreign companies and to project Cyprus as a major services centre in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East region.

President Clerides stressed that Cyprus has made a name internationally in banking, accounting, consulting, law, insurance, market research and filming, mainly due to its plethora of professionally trained manpower.

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Kyriacos Christofi stressed in his address that to achieve our aims "we must work hard and show flexibility, adaptability, determination and above all, far-sightedness and vision."

"Cyservs 96" is hold at the International Conference Centre in Nicosia between 25-27 October 1996.

[06] Offitec 96 opens its gates

One of the largest specialized exhibitions held in Cyprus, "Offitec 96", opened its gates on 23 October on the grounds of the International State Fair in Nicosia.

Opening the five day exhibition, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Kyriacos Christofi said that Cyprus is well ahead in the use of advanced office systems. He said the holding of "Offitec 96" will contribute to the island's effort to become a regional trade and financial centre, as evidenced by the fact that many visitors to the exhibition come from neighbouring countries.

The Minister also pointed out that the local service industry contributes around 62% of the island's gross national product.

The types of exhibits shown range from computer to financial services and include the latest trends in communication technology and services.

There are 113 exhibitors displaying the products of 420 companies from 23 countries as well as 25 local industries and services.

Main Index


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


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