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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-01-30

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, 30/01/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Van den Broek urges Turkish Cypriot participation in Cyprus-EU accession talks
  • [02] Kofi Annan and Robin Cook discuss Cyprus issue
  • [03] Cyprus Government will investigate allegations on missing
  • [04] Exhibition of Russian icons in Cyprus


[01] Van den Broek urges Turkish Cypriot participation in Cyprus-EU accession talks

Accession negotiations for Cyprus' EU entry will start at the end of March or beginning of April 1998, EU External Affairs Commissioner Hans van den Broek said yesterday.

Addressing the afternoon session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr van den Broek added that the Luxembourg Summit has asked the presidency and the Commission to investigate the possibility of representation for the Turkish Cypriot Community in the negotiations.

The EU Commissioner added that offers by President Clerides in this respect should be followed up and acted on.

Mr van den Broek said that "together with the (EU) presidency we shall try to do just that. We shall depend very much on a co-operative attitude on the part of the Turkish side".

Replying to questions, the EU Commissioner reiterated that following the Luxembourg Summit, EU member states have a commitment to commence negotiations with Cyprus.

"We all look forward to welcoming a united Cyprus - by "united" I mean as a federation, according to its own law, common law or on the basis of Security Council resolutions - as a future member of the European Union."

Moreover, Mr van den Broek stressed that the "task" now is to work in close co-operation with the communities in Cyprus and with Ankara "whose help we need to also convince the Turkish Cypriot side and its leadership of the necessity to be constructive in this area. We should not look only at short- term goals but consider what is best for the future of Cyprus."

The EU Commissioner added: "We must question whether we are heading towards eternal division or whether the country will reunite to the benefit of both sides".

He referred to the economic disparities between the occupied and free areas of Cyprus and stressed that this situation could be remedied if the political problem is solved.

Mr van den Broek also referred to his contacts with the UK Special Representative on Cyprus Sir David Hannay and on his co-operation with their transatlantic partners and the UN and said that after the elections in Cyprus "we can have, on the one hand, a process prepared which will allow us for an agreement between the two communities on the composition of the delegation and on the other hand, prepare the ground and ask the UN Secretary General to send Mr Cordovez and try to get the political talks on the division of the island on track again".

[02] Kofi Annan and Robin Cook discuss Cyprus issue

The Cyprus problem was among issues discussed in London yesterday between UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan and British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook.

The Cyprus issue is also expected to be discussed during a meeting Cook will have tomorrow with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

A Foreign Office spokesman in London told the Cyprus News Agency that Annan and Cook had "a friendly discussion which covered Iraq, Africa, with special reference to Algeria, Cyprus and UN reform."

[03] Cyprus Government will investigate allegations on missing

The Cyprus government will investigate claims by a former Turkish soldier now living in Germany that 100 fleeing Greek Cypriot civilians were slaughtered in 1974.

"We have already instructed the various government departments, including our embassy in Bonn, to take all the necessary action to collect information on the basis of which we can move ahead on the matter," Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said yesterday. "We take this case very seriously," he added.

According to a report in the pro-Kurdish daily Oezguer Politika, published in Germany, around 100 Greek Cypriot civilians, mainly elderly men, along with some women and children were slaughtered and buried near Nicosia during the Turkish invasion.

Mustafa Ongan, a 45-year-old Kurd, told the newspaper he was serving in the Turkish army at the time of the invasion and was brought with his regiment to Cyprus.

He said Turkish and Turkish Cypriot army chiefs ordered the killing of fleeing civilians, who were later buried in a mass grave.

Ongan is now seeking protection in exchange for detailed information about the location of the graves.

He said he had come forward after 24 years because he could no longer stand the "emotional torment".

Foreign Minister Kasoulides disclosed that the Kurd's information was not covered by the files on some 400 missing Greek Cypriots which were handed over by the Turkish Cypriot side last week.

Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Takis Christopoulos said: "If need be we are ready to co-operate with anybody to get to the bottom of this."

[04] Exhibition of Russian icons in Cyprus

An exhibition entitled "Masterpieces of the Orthodox Art: Russian icons from the 15th-19th century" will be opened by the Minister of Education and Culture George Hadjinikolaou in Nicosia tomorrow. The exhibition will be staged at the State Gallery.

The splendid works were discovered, conserved and studied by the masters working at the All-Russian Art Conservation Centre named after academician Igor Grabar.

Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Georgi Muratov stressed yesterday that the exhibition is a mere demonstration that Russians and Cypriots are united by mutual, traditional friendly feelings as well as by deep historical roots.

He added that it is the first time that this exhibition, which shows various icon-painting schools of Northern Russia, travels abroad.

The exhibition takes place within the framework of the Cultural Exchange Programme between Russia and Cyprus.


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


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