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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-10-29
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 British experts' report reinforces Greek Cypriot stance on killing of Turkish soldierThe Turkish version of events which led to the death of one Turkish soldier- of Kurdish origin - and the wounding of another has received a definitive if not fatal blow by a confidential report of military experts of the Sovereign British Bases here.
The Turkish regime had blamed the Greek Cypriots for the killing of the soldier who, they claimed, was found dead at an observation post between the Turkish occupied area and the British bases near Aheritou in southeastern Cyprus.
It was claimed by the Turks to have been a retaliatory act following the murder of two young Greek Cypriot demonstrators last August.
The Government of Cyprus denied the accusation saying that no evidence was ever produced about the involvement of any Greek Cypriot.
Investigation of the case was undertaken by the British Bases authorities and their confidential report leads to the conclusion that the killing must have taken place somewhere other than the observation post where the body was allegedly found. Extracts of the six-page document were published by the weekly magazine "Selides" and by the Cyprus News Agency.
They contain irrefutable evidence by a British military expert that evidential aspects in the observation post where the two soldiers were allegedly shot "did not appear consistent with a serious shooting scene".
"With two men allegedly having been shot at close quarter with a number of rounds fired from a high velocity weapon, I fully expected to find human tissue and debris from exit wounds. There was no evidence whatsoever of such exit wounds debris", the writer of the report says.
He adds that "the position of the shell cases simply did not appear consistent with the ejection pattern of shell cases from an automatic weapon".
The report also points out there were only small patches of blood droplets and that "the inside of the building was otherwise remarkably clean."
The British expert remarks there was only a small path of smeared dried blood outside the observation post, consistent with something having been dragged across the rock. "There was otherwise no visible evidence of a shooting incident", he says.
Both soldiers were removed from the observation post before the Bases police arrived at the scene, according to the British Bases Police report.
 UN Representative says a Cyprus solution possible in 1997The UN Secretary General's resident special representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel has said that a solution to the Cyprus problem is a realistic prospect for 1997 and that accession to the European Union "is an incentive for everybody to redouble their efforts and finish the job next year. This kind of timetable is not unrealistic at all, if you want to do it".
Feissel also explained, during an interview to a Cyprus News Agency correspondent, that to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem the UN backs " comprehensive and direct talks under UN auspices and in his presence" but stressed that talks will not bear any fruits unless there is "give and take".
Referring to recent statements by Britain's special Cyprus representative Sir David Hannay, the UN envoy noted that the notion of having a small number of mainland Greek and Turkish troops on the island is not something new, pointing out:
"The Treaty of Alliance provides for a certain number of Greek and Turkish troops on the island [950 Greek and 650 Turkish]. To say some Greek and Turkish troops will be on the island should not be something that is particularly surprising". The dispute arises because the Turkish side which has at present 35,000 occupying troops stationed in Cyprus wants to leave behind, in the event of a solution, a much higher number of troops than the 650 provided by the Treaty.
Gustave Feissel also told the Cyprus News Agency that a Cyprus agreement must be "reasonable and fair" and expressed the hope that the two community leaders will be able to sell any agreed solution to their respective communities.
On the military talks, which are now underway, Feissel explained that "the talks will be done on different levels, political and military. I have already talked to the leaders of the two communities, the UNFICYP commander will talk to his counter- parts and others to their counterparts".
He said the UN expects to hear the views of the Greek and Turkish sides on the written proposals the UN has submitted to them for extending the unmanning agreement, the removal of loaded weapons along the ceasefire line and the code of conduct of the military on both sides.
Feissel expressed appreciation for Sir David Hannay's "sup- port" in moving things forward on this issue and said the current military dialogue has the same objective as the US-proposed dialogue (which failed to materialise) but adheres to a different procedure.
Asked to comment on progress on the issue of missing persons, the UN representative said the appointment of a UN representative to the Committee of Missing Persons (CMP) "would not do magic".
He also noted that the CMP, set up in the early 1980s, had never received any lead that somebody is still alive. Relatives of the missing have been demanding from the UN Secretary-General to appoint a representative to the committee. On his part, the UN chief invited the two sides to meet four requirements, two of which have not been so far satisfied (the priority and sequence of cases of missing).
 Rifkind: A united Cyprus could easily join EUIn a debate in the House of Commons on 24 October, the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Malcolm Rifkind, underlined that the recent violence in Cyprus has shown how fragile the peace on the island is.
He said that prospects for a political settlement next year are better than they have been for some time.
He added that it would be much easier for Cyprus to join the European Union if it is a united island.
 Russian Duma passes resolution on CyprusThe Russian State Duma on 24 October passed a resolution on Cyprus, expressing concern at the fact that Cyprus continues to remain divided for over two decades now. The maintenance of the status quo is unacceptable, it adds.
The Duma strongly condemns the murder on 13 October by Turkish soldiers of an unarmed Greek Cypriot and expresses the belief that foreign troops must leave the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. The resolution, moreover, supports the efforts of the UN Secretary General to find a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem and calls on all sides concerned to persist until a peaceful settlement is reached on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions.
It calls for all rights and freedoms to be respected in Cyprus so that the refugees of Cyprus may return to their homes in conditions of safety and so that the fate of those missing can be ascertained.
Finally, it expresses the belief that the demilitarisation of Cyprus will benefit all Cypriots and will contribute to the reaching of a speedy, peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem and will be welcomed both in Europe and in the world.
 Cyprus should remain financial and offshore centre"The government is determined to take all necessary measures to ensure that Cyprus will not only remain a Services and Offshore Business Centre but develop further", the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Alecos Michaelides stressed on 26 October 1996.
He was addressing a luncheon in Nicosia organised by the Employers and Industrialists Federation in the framework of "CyServ 96" Exhibition. The Foreign Minister said that Cyprus will study carefully the knowledge and experiences of the 15 EU member states and try to benefit from them.
Referring to the two important challenges we are facing, Mr. Michaelides said: "We are already committed to speed up our harmonisation process with the EU but it is equally important for us to maintain our role as a financial and services centre. These targets are not conflicting. We must find the proper solutions".
More than 25,000 offshore units are registered in Cyprus bringing into the country over Cą161 million (about US$ 322 mil- lion), and employing 2% of the labour force, the Minister noted.
In addition to tax incentives, other advantages offered by Cyprus are its geographical position, high quality of services, its market economy, its legal system, democratic institutions, excellent telecommunications, well- trained workforce and its social environment. In his address, the Minister urged local businessmen to modify their approach and abandon the mentality of protectionism and isolation and learn to live and succeed in a competitive world and respond to the challenge of becoming members of the Europe of tomorrow.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/