|Sunday, 3 December 2023|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-14
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 British envoy sees a "sharpened focus" in present Cyprus peace effortSir David Hannay, Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus has completed a series of talks in Cyprus and is flying to Brussels on Friday (14.3.97) where he will consult with UN Special Representative Han Sung-Joo and EU Commissioner Hans Van den Broek on the outcome of his visit here and earlier in Athens and Ankara.
Before leaving Nicosia on Friday morning the British senior envoy said during a joint press conference for Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists: "The concerted international effort (for a Cyprus solution) is taking shape and is taking substance, behind a United Nations lead".
He repeated his expectation that face-to-face negotiations between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will be taking place within the first half of this year.
He also stressed that "the imminence of negotiations is definitely sharpening the focus of earlier talks, it is leading my main interlocutors on the main issues and so a lot of ground was covered".
Replying to a question, Sir David Hannay clarified that by focusing he meant that both sides are now more willing to state their positions rather than keep expanding on their fears of what the other side claims.
Refusing to divulge details of his talks with the two leaders here, Sir David said however that, within a comprehensive solution, a lot of details and time-limits for their implementation will have to be worked out, as in the Bosnien model, but added that he does not expect all this to be achieved during the present preparatory stage of proximity talks.
The British diplomat said the United Nations Representatives and the Secretary-General will convene the next stage of talks when they feel ready, and added:
..."We are working closely with the European Union. Commissioner Van den Broek was here last week together with the EU Presidency representative Ambassador Heaslip, with the United States and with others who are interested in seeing a settlement in Cyprus. And I can identify no differences of approach or objective amongst those who are trying to support this concerted effort."
Warning against underestimating the difficulties that lie ahead, Sir David said he hoped that "on this occasion, the material that is there for a settlement of Cyprus can be brought into the right combination and can be put together into a comprehensive settlement."
He underlined that "the chances of getting a settlement are better than they have been for quite a long time in the past and I think they are also better than prospectively in the future one can see them being, if this opportunity is not taken."
 Greek & Turkish Cypriot journalists meetJournalists from both sides of the Green Line met Thursday (13.3.97) under UN auspices and pledged to work to eliminate distrust and mistrust between the two communities so that "the right to freedom of movement and settlement ... of all Cypriots, Greeks and Turks, all over the island" might someday be shared equally.
The delegates from the Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) and the Trade Union of Turkish-Cypriot Journalists (Basin-Sen) met with the help of the UN Secretary-General's Resident Representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone in Nicosia.
The two groups said that it would be their first of many meetings aimed at solving their common problems, and laid plans to meet again within a few weeks in Nicosia.
Both groups condemned "the artificial line forcibly dividing our island and common homeland, and the policy aimed at keeping, strengthening and consolidating this separation -- contrary to the interests of all the people of Cyprus, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots."
Basin-Sen President, Housein Gouven, said he was delighted to share in holding the meeting, and told reporters the "Greek and Turkish-Cypriots can work together in helping politicians' efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem."
UCJ President, Andreas Kannaouros, declared his group's "readiness and determination to work towards eliminating distrust and mistrust between our communities, and to restore and strengthen confidence and friendship between them."
The UJC proposed organising a joint event to honour the memory of Turkish- Cypriot journalist Kutlu Adali, who was murdered last July in the Turkish- occupied area of Cyprus.
 Cypriot Women to meet across the divideGreek and Turkish Cypriot women will meet in Brussels next month to exchange views and experiences under an EU initiative.
They will also meet Palestinian and Israeli women, already participating in a co-operation programme through the EU.
Around 20 women from each community will meet in Brussels between April 17 and 19, under the umbrella of the Action In The Mediterranean group (AIM).
"A small group of three women from each community will meet on Friday (14.3.97) in Jerusalem, Israel, to prepare the agenda for the April meeting, " said AIM president Simone Susskind.
The six Cypriot women will meet with Israeli and Palestinian women involved in the EU-sponsored scheme, entitled "Jerusalem Link", to be informed about their experiences in this field.
The "Jerusalem Link" acts as a common co-ordinating committee between Israeli and Palestinian women working on both sides of the divide in Jerusalem through their own separate group.
Greek Cypriot deputy and daughter of President Clerides, Kate Clerides,is one of the three women who will attend the Jerusalem meeting today.
The April meeting will be opened by EU Commissioner for External Affairs Hans Van den Broek, and UN special envoy Han Sung Joo is also expected to address the gathering.
 Women personalities from abroad join in Nicosia marchMore than a dozen prominent women and female MPs from abroad will join on Friday (14.3.97) 70 Cypriot women in a march from Nicosia's Eleftheria Square to the Ledra Palace checkpoint as part of an enlightenment campaign on the Cyprus issue.
The visitors are heads of international women's organisations or hold political positions and are visiting the island at the invitation of women's organisations here. The march was organised to mark International Women's Day which was on March 8.
A spokeswoman for the organisers said the purpose of inviting these women here is to give them a chance to see and experience for themselves the consequences of the Turkish invasion in 1974 and occupation of 37% of the island.
The women personalities will visit the demarcation line in Nicosia and the graves of the unarmed civilians murdered by the Turks last August during peaceful anti-occupation demonstrations.
The visitors will today meet President Clerides, Archbishop Chrysostomos and a number of party leaders.
 Slight fall in Consumer Price Index.The Department of Statistics and Research announced that the Consumer Price Index for February 1997 decreased by 1,83 units or 1,55 per cent to 116,24 units compared to 118,07 in the previous month. This is mainly due to price sales discounts in clothing, footwear and furniture. Increases have been mainly recorded in the prices of certain fresh vegetable, local cheese and electricity.
The average rate of increase of the Index for the last twelve months (i.e. March 1996 - February 1997) compared to the preceding twelve months was 3, 08%.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/