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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-10-30

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 <>

News Update



  • [01] Agreement on the key elements of a solution is required, Foreign Minister tells British MPs
  • [02] Cyprus favours a co-ordinated initiative from UN Security Council
  • [03] Turks shoot at British soldiers

[01] Agreement on the key elements of a solution is required, Foreign Minister tells British MPs

"Discussing elements of a solution in isolation and focusing exclusively on legalistic matters will not get us anywhere. We must go for a package solution seeking agreement on the key elements of a solution".

This was stressed by Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides addressing a large audience of dignitaries in London on 29 October during a dinner organised by the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood of London on the occasion of the anniversary of Cyprus' independence. Among those present were the British Defence Secretary Michael Portillo, the deputy leader of the Labour Party John Prescott, the Foreign Office Minister and former Chairman of the Conservative Party Jeremy Hanley and about 80 members of the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Speaking about the key elements of a solution, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides explained that he was referring to the issues of security, territory, basic freedoms and human rights, constitutional structures and the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. "This approach is now widely accepted and it is definitely the basis of the British and American approach", he said.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that recent events indicate Turkey is continuing its negative and provocative attitude towards any effort for solving the Cyprus problem. He was referring to the murders since last June of four unarmed Greek Cypriots by the Turkish forces in the buffer zone.

He stressed that what the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was trying to do through these murders was to give the message that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together and send a signal to the US, Britain and any others who might be thinking of getting involved in the Cyprus problem that the situation is tense and they should stay out of it.

He added that the problem is not so much that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together, but that Turkish Cypriots cannot live in the occupied area with settlers from Anatolia and therefore keep emigrating to Britain and Canada.

Mr Michaelides reiterated our commitment for working for a solution through political dialogue and not through murders. He said that now some unique opportunities are opening new prospects for Cyprus and its people as a whole, namely the prospect of Cyprus joining the EU, and the present active engagement of those who can effectively help to find a solution.

He also stressed that "whereas our vision is to see Cyprus becoming a member of the EU, our deep agony is to see an end to the division of our land and our people."

Referring to the various initiatives on Cyprus by the UN, US, Britain and the EU, Michaelides emphasized that we need every support we can get, but such engagement must be concerted to be effective. It should also send a clear signal to Turkey that we have come to the end of the line and that the solution will be brought about.

"What is required is the effective political leverage on Turkey and Denktash to make them cooperate", he said.

[02] Cyprus favours a co-ordinated initiative from UN Security Council

The position of the government that it favours a co-ordinated effort by the UN Security Council's five permanent members towards an initiative for a Cyprus solution, was reiterated on 29 October by Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides.

But, he added, "it's up to the 'five' to co-ordinate their actions and brief each other on efforts for a Cyprus settlement, if joint action is not an option for them".

Cassoulides was commenting on statements made earlier during the day by Russian Ambassador to Cyprus, Boris Zenkov, that the Cyprus problem is diverted away from the UN Security Council. The Russian Ambassador, who is soon to be replaced, told reporters after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides that current initiatives are not co-ordinated and stressed that the UN Security Council should be the only body to co-ordinate such initiatives for a resolution of the Cyprus question.

On the same issue the Spokesman pointed out that efforts on Cyprus abroad are at an early stage and added that, since the US initiative has not yet been launched, "we expect this co-ordination will be more evident once these efforts are intensified".

Cassoulides also referred to last week's resolution of the Russian Duma on Cyprus as a "very positive development" and welcomed the fact that the Russian government "faces positively, in a more general way, the efforts for a Cyprus settlement".

A resolution adopted by the Russian Duma on 24 October calls for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the island and urges all parties, involved in the process for a Cyprus solution, to insist on a political settlement within the UN framework, based on all relevant UN resolutions.

[03] Turks shoot at British soldiers

Two British soldiers were the targets of the latest shooting incidents by Turkish soldiers on Tuesday 29 October in Cyprus.

The British Royal Engineers were unarmed and were on a routine job of checking cement poles demarcating the British Sovereign Bases Area (SBA) of Dhekelia from the Turkish-occupied area when they were fired at from the Turkish side.

A spokesman from the British Bases said: "We understand about five shots were fired, one of which hit the vehicle". The men were in uniform but were driving a rented pick-up truck with Cypriot number plates. The vehicle was a couple of metres inside the occupied area. There is no UN buffer zone there and the Bases are adjacent to the Turkish-occupied areas.

Nobody was injured but the British High Commission in Nicosia has already made representations to the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime.

The spot where the incident occurred was barely metres away from the area where only two weeks ago a Greek Cypriot civilian, Petros Kakoullis, was killed by Turkish soldiers as he was collecting snails on a Sunday morning (13.10.96). He was the fourth Greek Cypriot to have been killed by the Turkish occupying troops along the ceasefire line in recent months.

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