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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-11-17

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Monday, 17/11/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkish pseudostate condemned
  • [02] Business conference a success
  • [03] Minister praises women's peace effort


[01] Turkish pseudostate condemned

The Cyprus government on Friday 14.11.97 once again condemned the illegal visit to Cyprus' Turkish occupied areas by Turkey's Vice President Bulent Ecevit, who as Prime Minister in 1974 ordered the invasion of Cyprus.

It also made representations to the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council about the increase in the number of troops Turkey maintains in the northern part of the island.

Ecevit arrived on the island on Saturday 15.11.97 to participate in events marking the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot regime.

The UN Security Council has described the move as "legally invalid" and called on all states "not to recognise any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus."

Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said: "The international community does not forget Turkey's hypocritical and nazi-like behaviour, claiming it invaded Cyprus to restore constitutional order while continuing to perpetrate unforgivable crimes against Cyprus to this day".

Ecevit, he added, "has returned to the scene of his crime and proves that crimes committed in Cyprus against international law and order are carried out by Turkey."

Moreover, the Permanent Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Alecos Shiambos stressed to the Ambassadors that the new Turkish provocations constitute another flagrant violation of international law, the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.

He added that Turkish actions are another indication of Ankara's real intentions to perpetuate its occupation of the northern part of the island and called on the ambassadors to take the necessary measures to persuade Turkey to abandon its intransigent positions and conform to UN Resolutions.

Similar representations will be made to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

On Saturday hundreds of Greek Cypriots protested against the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and the proclamation of the illegal Turkish Cypriot pseudostate, demanding the right to return to the homes from which they had been driven in 1974.

Anti-occupation demonstrations were also staged in Greece and by the Cypriot community in Britain.

[02] Business conference a success

A bicommunal business conference held in Brussels last week has been greeted as a "success".

White House spokesman Mike McCurry has said that the conference was an "opportunity to bring together people interested in the economic future of the island".

He also said it would be "an element of the eventual resolution of a conflict that we have devoted enormous diplomatic effort on, in the course of the past year".

US Presidential Envoy for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke said the conference was a "success", saying that some 50 proposals had been submitted by Greek and Turkish Cypriots, which, he added, would help both communities promote a Cyprus solution through economic co-operation.

Greek Cypriot entrepreneur Phanos Epiphaniou, who attended the conference, said the proposals could be divided into two broad categories: those which businesspeople could implement without the aid of politicians, and those for which political intervention would be necessary.

The most important development to emerge, he said, was a proposal to establish a bicommunal forum to follow through joint economic decisions made by businesspeople.

Also important, he said, was the decision to upgrade the United Nations telephone centre in Nicosia, which maintains a communications link between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The issues of irrigation and water management were also discussed.

In addition, it was agreed that there should be co-operation on the sporting and cultural fronts, with exchange visits between Greek and Turkish Cypriot athletes and the holding of joint art exhibitions.

Earlier addressing the meeting, European Union Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Hans Van den Broek outlined the benefits the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities will reap from Cyprus' accession to the Union.

"The prospect of Cyprus' accession to the EU can act as a catalyst for UN efforts to find a lasting settlement," he said, and pointed out that reconciliation in other conflicts has been brought about through a process which started with economic co-operation.

The Commissioner said the start of accession talks would facilitate efforts to resolve the protracted Cyprus problem and ease ties between Greece and Turkey.

Van den Broek said the EU considers it important that Turkish Cypriots should participate in membership talks, expected to start in April next year, also adding that the Commission also backs Turkish participation in accession talks.

Richard Holbrooke, who was a key-note speaker, backed the notion of offering business incentives to both sides as one pillar of the process the US is trying to advance.

He noted that businessmen can contribute to the lowering of tensions and an increase of communications which the US strongly supports.

Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay said the importance of the Brussels encounter lay in that co-operation among ordinary people can help the efforts of the politicians to find a settlement of the Cyprus question.

[03] Minister praises women's peace effort

Minister of Justice and Public Order, Nikos Koshis, paid tribute to the role of women in efforts to find a peaceful settlement in Cyprus.

Addressing the 4th Ministerial conference between women and men, organised by the Council of Europe in Constantinople, Turkey, Mr Koshis said Cypriot women are "highly politicised" primarily because of the illegal division of the island and the unacceptable status quo.

"Greek and Turkish Cypriot women either as individuals or through their respective organisations have been very active in promoting and assisting the efforts for a peaceful, just and viable solution, which will effectively restore and safeguard human rights and fundamental freedoms for the people of Cyprus as a whole," he said.

He also said that Cyprus has achieved legal equality for women, a very high standard of education and a high level of participation in the labour market.

He advocated more women participation in the political arena but also acknowledged the obstacles facing the female population in such endeavours.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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