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Athens News Agency: News in English, 96-10-14

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


ATHENS, Greece, 14/10/1996 (ANA)


  • Pangalos slams international community for apathy over Cyprus
  • Athens,Nicosia condemn yet another Turkish forces murder of unarmed Greek Cypriot
  • EuroMPs denounce the murder
  • Pangalos to visit former Yugoslavia countries
  • Communist Party of Greece warns of U.S. plans to 'carve up' the Aegean
  • Hungarian foreign minister meets with Pangalos, President, PM


    Pangalos slams international inaction on Cyprus

    Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos today had harsh words for the international community's inaction over the Cyprus problem, saying it had to take immediate steps to end the Turkish occupation of the island.

    "The international community has shown on other occasions that it knowns how to impose solutions (by) adopting economic and military sanctions on those who violate international law," Pangalos told reporters today. "It is time for it to do the same for Cyprus and to stop showing a peculiar guilt before Turkey".

    It is not possible, he added, that there be rapprochement on the Cyprus issue "theoretically or platonically".

    Pangalos was responding to press questions about yesterday's murder by Turkish forces of a 58-year-old man who mistakenly wandered into the occupied northern sector of Cyprus. It was the fourth successive murder of an unarmed Greek Cypriot by Turkish occupation forces since June.

    Pangalos called the killing "unacceptable" and said that the Turkish occupation authorities "have given the order to murder in cold blood whomever approaches their murderous weapons".

    He said it was "obvious" that Turkey did not want any form of dialogue on resolving the Cyprus issue. It seeks, he said "to show that the two communities cannot live together by using armed settlers, fascist organisations and the forces of the occupation army. In reality, the exact opposite is the case", referring to a recent meeting between Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

    Referring to the last week's fall of a Turkish F-16 fighter plane in the eastern Aegean while violating Greek air space, he said:

    "The solution is simple: For there to be no cost in human lives or on the economic level, the Turks must stop violating our air space".

    Turkey must change its behaviour so as a different climate between the two countries can be created which will allow specific discussions on technical issues such as, for example, those which originate from the (1988) Papoulias-Yilmaz memorandum, he said.

    Turning to today's meeting in Geneva between UN mediator on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Cyrus Vance with Greek and FYROM representatives, Pangalos said:

    "Skopje promotes the attitude that it cannot change its internal name. This creates an issue of a different name. Till now, this has not been acceptable either by Mr. Vance not by our side. The issue however is not whether there will be a double or triple name ...the issue is whether Skopje truly wants to contribute to the seeking of a mutually acceptable name. And obviously that cannot be the one which they use today. It must be something else."

    Athens will support Cyprus moves on Sunday's murder

    Athens is cooperating and coordinating moves with the Republic of Cyprus in relation to Sunday's murder by Turkish occupation forces of an unarmed Greek Cypriot man, Greece said today.

    Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said the Greek government would support Nicosia in the event it decided to take the matter to the UN Security Council, which, he added, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides was seriously considering.

    He added that recourse to the Security Council was "more likely this time" as yesterday's incident acted in addition to the murder of two young Greek Cypriots in August.

    Petros Kakoulis, 58, was shot and killed early Sunday morning by Turkish troops after mistakenly wandering into the Turkish-occupied northern sector of Cyprus.

    His companion, son-in-law Panikos Hatziathanasis, said he saw Kakoulis about 200m away from him with his hands raised before two soldiers fired two shots, who then moved closer to fire a third.

    "The Greek government will work internationally to stress that as long as the Cyprus issue remains unresolved it will be a hot spot for the region," he said. He added that it was at the discretion of the Greek government whether the issue would be raised at tomorrow's meeting of EU foreign ministry political directors in Brussels.

    The incident occurred near the British base at Dhekelia. Base police and officials of the United Nations peacekeeping force were not permitted to approach the site of the incident until Kakoulis's body had been removed by Turkish Cypriot "authorities" later yesterday morning.

    The body was taken to a hospital in Famagusta for a postmortem and will be handed over to the UN force today.

    It was the third murder in as many months of unarmed Greek Cypriots by Turkish occupation forces. Tassos Isaac, 24, and Solomos Solomou, 26, were killed in a week of violence at the UN buffer zone in August.

    'Cold-blooded murder'

    Cypriot government spokesman Yannakis Cassoulidis called the killing an act of cold-blooded murder, since there had been no provocation on the part of Kakoulis, who was unarmed. The Turkish Cypriot authorities, who confirmed the killing to the UN force,say that Kakoulis had "intruded" into the occupied territory.

    Mr. Cassoulides said the government would protest the "totally unjustified act" by the Turkish occupation troops to the United Nations, other international organisations and foreign governments.

    Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides did not rule out the possibility of recourse to the UN Security Council over the incident, which he called a "cowardly, cold-blooded murder" by the Turkish troops. This was not the end of the issue, he said. He added that he would be rewriting a letter he had been intending to sent to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Meanwhile, in Athens, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas condemned what he called a criminal act, which he said not only confirmed the criminal and terrorist nature of the regime in occupied northern Cyprus, but proved that Turkey's preferred policy w as to create tension in the region.

    The Turkish occupation forces in northern Cyprus, he said, acted like common criminals.

    The incident was also condemned by Greece's political parties. The main opposition New Democracy party spokesman called on the international public "to wake up", particularly those who showed apathy regarding the behaviour of a country that disdained ju stice and violated human rights. Similar statements were issued by Political Spring, the Communist Party of Greece and the Coalition of the Left and Progress.

    Calm urged on Cyprus

    Speaker of the House of Representatives and former Cypriot president Spyros Kyprianou urged Greek Cypriots taking part in an anti-occupation protest march yesterday to stay calm, following the murder of Kakoulis.

    Thousands of refugees took part in a march from Astromeritis village, west of Nicosia, on the road leading to their hometown of Morphou, in the northeastern part of the island.

    The House speaker took the opportunity to brief foreign MPs and guests taking part in the Morphou march about the new Turkish provocation.

    Cyprus police and the UNFICYP took strict security measures near the UN- controlled buffer zone at Astromeritis to prevent marchers entering no- man's-land.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash threatened that his illegal regime would arrest anybody who tried to cross into the occupied territory.

    EuroMPs taking part in the Morphou march strongly condemned the murder. British Labour EuroMP Pauline Green, leader of the Socialist group in the European Parliament, said the new murder ``reinforces the horror of an island of this size divided in this way``.

    She said it demonstrates that ``we have to resolve this problem. It is now becoming more and more of a flashpoint``.

    The leader of the largest political group in the Europarliament said the international community ``must respond with firmer pressure on Turkey to solve the dreadful problem``.

    Dutch EuroMP Jan Willelm Bertens said it was Ňa premeditated murder, done on purpose to show there is no chance for peace. But we will fight back peacefully for the reunification of the island``.

    Both EuroMPs said the new murder by the Turks strengthens their determination to refuse all EU funds for Turkey.

    Greek EuroMP Alekos Alavanos strongly denounced the new Turkish provocative act and said the matter would be raised in the Europarliament.

    British reaction

    A British Foreign Office spokesman told the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (RIK) that Britain strongly condemned the murder of yet another unarmed Greek Cypriot in the buffer zone. He called on the two communities on the island to limit violence and conflict and to exercise restraint.

    Britain's special Cyprus envoy Sir David Hannay, who arrived in Cyprus yesterday afternoon, said the tragic incident showed that the status quo should not be allowed to continue.

    Despite the recent events, Sir David nevertheless expressed the view that there was more common ground than before and that there had been some positive developments. The views expressed by President Clerides at the UN General Assembly had been of great help to all those involved in the Cyprus issue, he added.

    Pangalos on former Yugoslavia visit

    Greece wants to actively participate in the implementation of the Dayton peace accords and to promote economic cooperation with the countries of the former Yugoslavia, Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said today, on the eve of his three-day visit to the region.

    Pangalos's first stop on his tour will be Sarajevo, where the city's Greek embassy is expected to begin operating soon.

    He said he would be discussing the meeting of Balkan foreign ministers scheduled for Thessaloniki next June during his visits to the Sarajevo, Belgrade and Zagreb as well as their relations with the European Union and with European defence systems.

    According to the ANA, Pangalos is to meet with Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic and, possibly, Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, as well as his counterparts from each country.

    Speaking at a large youth rally at the Peace and Friendship stadium in Piraeus, Communist Party (KKE) Secretary-General Aleka Papariga warned yesterday that the Aegean was in the process of dismemberment, with the Greek government prepared to concede ever ything, and the US set to assume full dominance while Greek borders being disputed not only by Turkey, but also by the other allies.

    Referring to the murder of a Greek Cypriot citizen by Turkish occupation forces in the morning, she expressed indignation, warning it was not an isolated incident.

    "It constitutes the escalation of an effort to officially impose the division of Cyprus, to have UN forces withdrawn and replaced by a NATO multinational force, so that this dangerous organisation, which terrorises and murders peoples, may assume open and undisguised control on the island, " she charged, adding that the rapid reaction force, as referred to by Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos during discussion of the government's policy statement in Parliament, would be used for the implementation of the American-German plan of subjugating the peoples of the Mediterranean, which included the division of Cyprus.

    Reppas-Turkish ambassador in Komotini

    The Greek government is fully informed of the interest of the Turkish ambassador to Athens in visiting Komotini, government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said today.

    He was referring to the beginning of a four-day visit by Turkish Ambassador Umit Pamir to the Thracian city of Komotini today. Pamir will have meetings with members of the Moslem minority and pay courtesy calls on public authorities.

    Reppas called on the residents of the region to deal with any attempts to cause unrest and tension with "coolheadedness", adding that the Moslems of Thrace were Greek citizens and enjoyed full rights.

    "Our policy in the region will not allow Ankara or any third party to use the Moslems as a tool or excuse in their hands," Reppas said.

    Mr. Pamir served as deputy consul in the city in the 1975-77 period.

    Hungarian FM in Athens

    Hungarian Foreign Minister Lazlo Kovacs said today that he was "seriously concerned" at the state of affairs on Cyprus, which he is due to visit later tomorrow, at the conclusion of his two-day official visit to Athens.

    "Cyprus is in need of the protection of the international community which must urgently seek a resolution to the problem of the division," Kovacs said after meeting his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos.

    He said he supported Cyrpus's accession bid to the European Union, saying Cyprus's full membership would "significantly help the resolution of the problem".

    Kovacs met with President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis before his meeting with Pangalos today in an effort to seek Greek support for Hungary's bid to the EU and other European and international organisations.

    Speaking to reporters, Kovacs stressed the special regard Hungary had for Greece as a member of the EU and NATO, membership of which is a leading priority for Hungary.

    "I hope that Hungary can be a full member of the European Union of the year 2000 and to be in the first cycle of the EU's expansion," he said. "I hope the same for Cyprus, which is an important partner for the European Union which already meets all the economic criteria of Maastricht".

    Kovacs said Greek-Hungarian relations were "excellent" and that there was "great margins for closer cooperation in the economic sector and that current figures do not show the real possibility of economic exchange and trade between the two countries."

    Bilateral trade currently stands at $100 million annually.

    Kovacs added that Prime Minister Simitis would meet informally with Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Horn at the summit of European socialists in Budapest at the end of the month, ahead of the Hungarian premier's official visit to Athens next year.


    Monday's weather is expected to be cloudy, with northeasterly light to moderate winds. Temperatures in Athens 14-21C, in Thessaloniki 9-18C.


    U.S. dlr 238.120 Can. dlr.175.822, Australian dlr. 188.232, Pound sterling 374.837, Irish punt 383.011, Cyprus pd 510.979, French franc 45.947, Swiss franc 189.983 Belgian franc 7.553, German mark 155.590 Finnish mark 52.088, Dutch guilder 138.751 Danish Kr. 40.597, Swedish Kr. 36.148, Norwegian Kr. 36.625, Austrian Sh. 22.121, Italian lira (100) 15.638 Yen (100) 213.330 Spanish Peseta 1.849, Portuguese Escudo 1.538.


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