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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-13
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Procedural points agreed for proximity talksGovernment Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides confirmed on Wednesday (12.3.97), that the two sides in the proximity dialogue have agreed on the procedure which UN's Resident Representative Gustave Feissel has proposed. It includes four points:
(a) Both President Clerides and Mr Rauf Denktash have agreed to refrain from statements "which might upset the climate in which discussions should take place".
(b) The element of confidentiality will be kept to.
(c) Each side will "examine gestures of goodwill that may need to be taken in order to facilitate the process".
(d) The UN Secretary-General's Representative will decide on the agenda and the issues that need to be raised at each meeting.
The Government Spokesman said there is no deadline concerning the completion of proximity talks. "It has been agreed that proximity talks will be conducted by Mr Feissel and there will be meetings with each side twice a week", he added. Feissel will be meeting President Clerides on Wednesdays and Fridays and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
 Sir David Hannay's talks aimed at strengthening sensitive preparatory processReferring to his talks here in Nicosia British Special envoy Sir David Hannay said:
"There is an intensive preparatory process that is underway", he said, noting this is led by the UN and "we are hopefully strengthening and assisting this process".
Sir David said the "talks are not separate in any way", pointing out "it is all part of a concerted effort by the international community led by the United Nations to find the way through the problems that have previously blocked the solution".
He stressed that what is underway "is in our view an intensified preparatory phase" and said "I cannot identify or describe subjects".
Speaking to reporters after a 2-hour meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Sir David stressed that it is in everyone's interest not to talk about the contents of the talks, because this was a "sensitive" process.
Asked about British Foreign Secretary's ten point document, Sir David said:
"Obviously they are part of my approach to this, but we are not trying to get anyone to sign up to them or to subscribe to them".
 Petition on Missing Persons handed to Security Council's Permanent FiveRelatives of the missing persons handed petitions to the embassies of the five permanent members of the Security Council, the EU and the UN Special Representative, calling on them to intervene to help resolve the 23-year- old issue of 1619 missing persons since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The petitions were handed over on Wednesday (12.3.97) by a joint delegation of the two committees representing the relatives of the missing.
"We appeal to you once again", the petition said, "in order to emphasise the bitterness and the agony of the thousands of relatives of missing persons in Cyprus". It stressed that the lack of progress was a "flagrant violation of their fundamental human rights".
The petition also pointed out that the non-implementation of the various United Nations resolutions on the missing and the lack of progress by the UN Investigatory Committee "are interpreted by us not only as indicative of the Turkish attitude, but also as an outcome of the tolerance shown by others to this inhuman situation".
The relatives called on all countries to "perform a serious role" in putting an end to the situation and securing the restoration of the human rights of the missing persons and their relatives.
This, they said, could only be accomplished through a "thorough investigation in depth of each and every case of missing person, completed by a strengthened and effective Investigatory Committee, under the auspices of the UN".
 Democratic Rally Party leader resigns his postThe President of the ruling Democratic Rally Party, (DISY), Yiannakis Matsis, in a surprise move announced his resignation last night (Wednesday, 12.3.97) to an extraordinary party conference, called to resolve a row about when to hold new leadership elections.
Matsis became leader of the party in 1993, after the Democratic Rally's then leader and founder Glafcos Clerides, won the presidential elections.
The resignation of Yiannakis Matsis came as a shock to his party, which has been recently beset by internal rows and leadership disputes.
The latest disagreement over new party leadership elections was resolved by a compromise vote at Wednesday's conference, which stipulates that a new leadership should be elected by June, but for a two-year term instead of the normal four year period. This would give the new party leaders a fresh mandate ahead of the important presidential elections of February 1998.
The extraordinary party conference also voted to call upon Matsis to return to his post, but according to press reports, his decision is irrevocable, though he might stay on until the new party leadership is elected in June.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/