|Sunday, 10 December 2023|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-12
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Foreign Minister completes European TourCyprus Foreign Minister has completed a visit to European capitals where he had meetings with the Foreign Ministers of Italy, Britain, France, Germany and the Dutch Foreign Minister who is now President of the European Union Council of Ministers.
Chief focus of the meetings were developments in the EU accession process of Cyprus and efforts towards a political solution to the Cyprus problem.
The Cypriot Foreign Minister underlined to his European counterparts, his government's willingness to push ahead for a solution and noted that the United Nations initiative for peace negotiations requires the support also of the European Union members.
EU Ministers reaffirmed that accession talks with Cyprus will begin as agreed, six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference, but also pointed out that a solution to the Cyprus problem is urgent and would increase the island's chances for a successful entry into the EU.
Germany's Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel in a statement (10.3.97) after meeting the Cypriot Foreign Minister hailed the beginning this week of intensive proximity talks on the substance of the Cyprus problem, conducted through the resident Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Nicosia Gustave Feissel.
"The aim", he said, "should be to direct negotiations the soonest possible between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
"Our long-term aim is a peacefully united Cyprus inside the European Union. The future of Cyprus cannot be found in division and the insistence on state sovereignty of the communities, but in the common road towards Europe", Kinkel said, adding, "we cannot introduce into the EU neither the Cyprus problem, nor any other unresolved political or territorial problem".
Germany announced the appointment as of 15 February of a special Cyprus envoy, former Ambassador Graf zu Rantzau.
 British special envoy in Cyprus for important contactsBritain's Special Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay arrived in Nicosia Tuesday (11.3.97) afternoon for a four-day visit which coincides with the beginning this week of preparatory proximity talks under the auspices of the United Nations. Sir David had an early morning meeting on Wednesday (12.3.97) with President Glafcos Clerides, followed by talks at the Foreign Ministry.
He is to meet with Greek and Turkish Cypriot political party leaders during a luncheon hosted by UN resident Special Representative Gustave Feissel and in the afternoon he will confer with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in occupied Nicosia.
In statements after his arrival here, Sir David Hannay noted that the intensity of preparations for the negotiations "is clearly stepping up now", adding that he hoped on this occasion to "get both the leaders and their teams to focus as much as possible, on the details of their own future negotiating approach".
He also expressed the hope to "persuade all those involved in Cyprus of the importance of looking at the potential advantages of getting a settlement this year, and working very seriously for a settlement".
"A settlement can be reached, the benefits for everyone here are far greater than the concessions that they would have to make in order to reach it", he said.
The British diplomat underlined that this is a very crucial moment for Cyprus, the chances of making progress now are better than they have been for a long time and that they are probably better than they will be for a long time. We have to have a serious and determined effort to crack this problem, which has been around for too long", he added.
Sir David also said he is working very closely with the UN and with Feissel, explaining "what we are talking about is a concerted effort, one single, concerted effort to achieve a comprehensive settlement, not a whole lot of independent initiatives".
 Police uncover Turkish espionage ringPolice chief Panicos Hadjiloizou said on Tuesday (11.3.97) that his men had uncovered a "very serious case of espionage" following the arrest on Saturday (8.3.97) of two Turkish nationals and one Turkish Cypriot.
All three suspects, who are resident in the free areas, were remanded for eight days by a Limassol district court on Sunday (9.3.97) after police found in their possession military documents and maps of National Guard camps as well as video tapes and newspaper clippings concerning defence spending.
The suspects are Turkish nationals Nedjip Sari Cicekli, 45, and Mustafa Omer Konor, 37, and Turkish Cypriot Dijan Nejip, 37. Both Turkish nationals are married to Greek Cypriots, and Nejip lives with a Greek Cypriot woman.
According to police, Cicekli has admitted to spying on military sites for Turkey, while the other two men are his suspected accomplices.
Police said Cicekli confessed to spying on National Guard positions for the past 18 months for Turkey, for which he had received a sum of ë2,500.
Cicekli is also reported to have named Turks in the occupied areas who recruited him. He has been living in the free areas since 1982, while the other two suspects have been here since 1983.
In a statement to police, Cicekli reportedly said he used to meet his contacts in the mixed village of Pyla, where he would hand over the documents, receive payment and further instructions.
Police say he has also admitted to planting a bomb outside the Kurdistan Workers Party office in Limassol on February 10 1996.
Hadjiloizou said the case concerned not only National Guard military positions, but also the Republic's very existence. He said the next step was to substantiate the evidence, which would be a difficult task as most of the documents were in Turkish.
The police chief declined to comment on press reports alleging the three suspects were also planning to sabotage other strategic sites in the Republic.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/