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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-11-28

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

Friday, 28/11/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] British policy remains unchanged, Hannay reassures
  • [02] European Court holds final hearing in case against Turkey
  • [03] Britain and Greece agree on Cyprus' EU accession course
  • [04] EU expects "positive signs" from Ankara
  • [05] More mosaics found in Germany as Cyprus calls on UN to stop destruction of its heritage
  • [06] Cyprus participates in environment meeting
  • [07] Double taxation agreement with South Africa


[01] British policy remains unchanged, Hannay reassures

There has been no shift in Britain's policy of not recognising the illegal regime unilaterally declared in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus in 1983, the British Foreign Office announced yesterday.

The statement was issued in response to reactions in Cyprus to remarks made by Britain's special envoy for the Cyprus problem, Sir David Hannay, in an interview with a Cypriot daily, that Turkish settlers living in the occupied areas were now part of "reality" and have been given Turkish Cypriot "citizenship".

"Sir David Hannay made clear... that nothing in his remarks during his interview with the Greek Cypriot newspaper "Phileleftheros", imply or was intended to imply a shift in Britain's policy of not recognising the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' which remains unchanged", the statement clarified.

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides last night raised the issue in London with Hannay himself.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Kasoulides said that the British envoy had told him that he had never advocated that all the settlers should remain in Cyprus. He clarified that Sir David was simply referring to certain humanitarian cases where he believes it would be difficult for some settlers to leave the island, such as, those married to Cypriots.

Evidently the interview can be considered as unfortunate, Mr Kasoulides added.

The Minister said, moreover, that during the meeting with Sir David they had discussed ways to enable the UN-sponsored talks on Cyprus to start in March next year and continue unhindered.

They had also looked into Cyprus' accession course towards Europe and reiterated that accession negotiations will start next April as agreed.

On his part, Sir David, asked about the Paris meeting on Cyprus yesterday, described it as a very useful briefing meeting, during which Mr Cordovez briefed the Special Representatives of various EU countries on his visits to Ankara, Athens and Cyprus.

[02] European Court holds final hearing in case against Turkey

The European Court of Human Rights yesterday reserved its final decision on whether Turkey should pay Greek Cypriot Titina Loizidou compensation for occupying her land since 1974.

The court has already ruled that Turkey violated her human rights by denying her access to her property in Kyrenia since the invasion. After the landmark decision last December, Loizidou decided to seek damages from Turkey.

Her lawyer, Achilleas Demetriades, told the Cyprus News Agency after yesterday's final compensation claim hearing that European Commission President Stephan Trechsel had told the court Turkey should pay L100,000 in pecuniary damages and L20,000 in moral damages.

"We are asking for L621,900 in damages, plus costs, and an equal amount in moral damages," he said, adding that these figures were based on the 1974 value of the land Ms Loizidou owns in Kyrenia, plus a 12 per cent annual rise in its value.

Attorney-general Alecos Markides appeared for the government at yesterday's hearing in Strasbourg.

The court heard that Turkey had sent a letter to the court on June 18 in an attempt to have yesterday's hearing postponed "until a political solution is found for the Cyprus issue." The request was turned down.

The court's final decision is expected at a later date.

[03] Britain and Greece agree on Cyprus' EU accession course

Britain and Greece reiterated yesterday that the settlement of the Cyprus problem should not be a precondition for the island's accession to the European Union.

Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis had a meeting yesterday in London with his British counterpart Tony Blair during which the Cyprus problem was one of the main issues discussed.

In statements after the meeting Mr Simitis said they had agreed that "the EU accession talks with Cyprus should begin as expected, without a solution to the Cyprus problem being a prerequisite."

The two Premiers also agreed a Cyprus settlement should be based on numerous UN resolutions, adopted since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 percent of the island's territory.

Other issues discussed in the meeting were the EU enlargement, the monetary union, the situation in the Balkans as well as bilateral relations.

[04] EU expects "positive signs" from Ankara

EU External Affairs Commissioner, Hans said that progress in efforts towards a Cyprus settlement is one of three conditions the European Union has set to improve its relations with Turkey.

Mr Van den Broek, who was delivering a speech at the International Press Institute in Brussels yesterday, said that the EU expects Ankara to give "positive signs" in three issues.

He clarified that these are respect of human rights in Turkey, improvement of Ankara's relations with Greece and progress in efforts towards a settlement of the Cyprus issue.

"Such positive signs in aforementioned fields would create a positive atmosphere in the development of EU relations with Turkey," Van den Broek added.

Moreover, a German Euro-MP, preparing a report on the development of Turkey's relation with the EU, said this would be a problem for as long as the Cyprus question remains unresolved.

Speaking on 27.11.97 before the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, Joahanes Swoboda also called on Ankara to stop its threats to annex the part of Cyprus it occupies since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

"Turkey should prove that it has the will to cooperate. As long as the Cyprus problem remains unresolved this will be an obstacle in the development of the Union's relations with Turkey," Swoboda said.

[05] More mosaics found in Germany as Cyprus calls on UN to stop destruction of its heritage

German police yesterday discovered what is believed to be another hoard of mosaics plundered from churches in the occupied areas.

The treasures have been confiscated and will be examined by a Cypriot expert who is on his way to Germany to determine their authenticity.

Meanwhile Cyprus has once again protested to the UN over the destruction of its cultural heritage in the areas occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion of the island and asks that the necessary measures are taken.

In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Cyprus permanent representative to the UN, Sotos Zakheos, also refers to the recent building of a mosque on land owned by a Greek Cypriot forced to flee after the Turkish invasion.

Zakheos points out that churches, monasteries and other religious sites and monuments in the Turkish-occupied areas, "are subjected daily to severe and extreme destruction of unprecedented extent and proportions".

"Unfortunately the efforts so far of the various international organisations and leading personalities in art and culture have not resulted in the prevention of the destruction and wanton exportation of Cyprus' heritage, which form part of the religious and cultural patrimony of the world."

In his letter, which circulated as a General Assembly and Security Council document on Wednesday, Zakheos asks the UN to take the necessary steps to be more effective in ending this "anachronistic" Turkish policy.

[06] Cyprus participates in environment meeting

Cyprus' Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Andreas Mantovanis, left yesterday for Helsinki, heading a Cypriot delegation to the Euro-Mediterranean Ministerial meeting on the environment.

[07] Double taxation agreement with South Africa

Cyprus and South Africa have signed an agreement for the avoidance of double taxation.

The agreement will come into force as from 1 January 1998.


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


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