Message by the President on Cyprus' Independence Day

September 30, 1999

On September 30 in a message on the occasion of Cyprus' 39th anniversary of Independence, President Clerides said that the Greek Cypriot side will not participate in any dialogue for a Cyprus settlement which is not within the parameters of relevant United Nations resolutions. Pointing to the negative stance held by the Turkish side in efforts for a Cyprus settlement President Clerides said if United States Presidential Emissary Alfred Moses' visit to the region fails, due to Turkish intransigence, the international community should take other decisions and measures which will lead to a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.

President Clerides reaffirmed the Greek Cypriot side's readiness "to enter into talks without preconditions and to negotiate with flexibility and courage, within the framework laid down by the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions on Cyprus." He stressed that "our sincere and fervent desire is for a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem the soonest possible which will reunite the divided island, restore the human rights of all Cypriots and guarantee the security of the Cyprus state. This state will be called upon to play its own constructive role within the ranks of the European Union, contributing at the same time to peace, security and stability in the region."

President Clerides pointed, however, that "the fate of any talks depends mainly on the Turkish side and also on the stand of the international community vis--vis Turkey" and referring to recent developments he remarked that "unfortunately, this time too, Turkey's stand is negative."

"I would like to state that we shall not participate in any dialogue which, in order to bring the Turkish side to the negotiating table, will lead to any watering-down of the relevant decisions of the G8 and the European Union or which will fall outside the parameters laid down in the relevant United Nations resolutions," Mr. Clerides warned. Referring to a forthcoming trip of United States Presidential Emissary to Nicosia, Athens and Ankara, agreed during the Clinton-Ecevit meeting, Mr. Clerides said "we shall be awaiting the results," adding however that "should Mr. Moses' efforts fail because the Turkish side continues to take a negative stand, I shall expect the international community to apportion blame and then go on to take other decisions and measures which lead to the finding by peaceful means, of the solutions which is being sought."

President Clerides said Turkey's delaying tactics aim at allowing time to go idly by until the European Council meeting in Helsinki and Ankara succeeding in the meantime "to become a candidate country for accession to the EU, without having to comply with the Brussels decision which links Turkey's candidacy to the Cyprus problem."

"We are fed up with seeing the Turkish side defying and violating United Nations resolutions and the decisions of the EU, the European Court and the Commission of Human Rights of the Council of Europe as well as the constant efforts of some countries to intervene so as to help turkey not to suffer the consequences of its negative stand," he added.

Concluding, the President called upon the Turkish Cypriot community to join forces with the Greek Cypriots "in the efforts to find a solution which will benefit both communities equally in all fields" and reiterated his proposal to Turkish Cypriots to participate in the team negotiating Cyprus' accession to the EU.

"Our common aim should be a united, federal state which will be a members of the EU and will hold out the promise of a bright and secure future for both communities, a state which, at the same time, facilitate real cooperation and the development o genuine friendship between Greece and Turkey to the benefit of both communities," he said.


The Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council reiterated their call on September 24 to the United Nations Secretary-General to invite the leaders of the two sides in Cyprus for negotiations this fall. Their position is contained in a statement which includes a reference to Cyprus, and was issued after their meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

During their meeting, the ministers "reaffirmed that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable and that the Cyprus problem has gone unresolved for too long." They "reminded the parties involved of the need, in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, to achieve a comprehensive political settlement." The ministers "recalled their request to the Secretary-General, in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions, to invite the leaders of the two sides to negotiations in the autumn of 1999."

At the same time "they reiterated their call upon the two leaders to give their full support to comprehensive negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General and to commit themselves to the following principles: - no preconditions - all issues on the table - commitment in good faith to negotiate until a settlement is reached - full consideration of relevant United Nations and treaties.

"The ministers recalled their request to the two sides, including military authorities on both sides, to work constructively with the Secretary-General and his Special Representative and others in support of the efforts of the United Nations to create a positive climate on the island that will pave the way for negotiations in the autumn of 1999," the statement concluded.


The Cyprus Government on September 6 has welcomed the peace agreement signed between the Israelis and the Palestinians with a view to implement the Wye Plantation peace accord.

"The government considers that every step in the direction of peace in our region has a positive impact on the efforts to settle the Cyprus question," Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said.


On September 8 a report by the European Commission of Human Rights has said that Turkey is responsible for gross violations of the human rights of missing persons and their relatives, of displaced persons and of enclaved Greek Cypriots living in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus. The report was issued at the end of Commission hearings during the fourth inter-state case of the Republic of Cyprus against Turkey and it is considered to be as the most important legal success of Cyprus in international fora. It affirms that the Government of Cyprus is the only recognized government on the island and reiterates that Turkey's responsibility extends to all the complaints filed by the Republic.

The case has been referred by the Cyprus Government to the European Court of Human Rights where the two parties (Cyprus and Turkey) will present their arguments before the Court issues its judgement, which will be binding.

"The Commission report is of a truly historic significance as it reaffirms previous reports in the first three inter-state cases against Turkey and the Court decision on the case of Titina Loizidou," Attorney General Alecos Markides said. The report, states that the Republic of Cyprus is the only internationally recognized state and the Government of Cyprus the sole government recognized by the international community, he said.

The obligations of contracting parties to the council of Europe are subject to collective application, the report said, and adds that the Loizidou decision is not only adopted but elevated to the legal principle that all human rights and not just property rights should be respected. Loizidou won a case before the European Court which found Turkey guilty of continuous violation of her right to enjoy her property in occupied Cyprus and said she is and will remain the legal owner of her property.

Markides said the case centered on five chapters, the issue of the missing, the rights to property of displaced Greek Cypriots, the living conditions of Greek Cypriots in occupied Cyprus, the right of displaced Greek Cypriots to hold free elections and the rights of Turkish Cypriots violated by Turkey. The Commission decided that on all five counts, except the last, there were massive violations of human rights.

On the issue of missing persons, Markides said the Commission has accepted there are massive violations of the rights of missing persons and their relatives and pointed out that there is no time limit in the obligation to investigate the fate of the missing. The absence of an investigation constitutes continuous violation of the right to freedom and security.

On property, the report said there was massive violations of the right of Greek Cypriot displaced and notes that the search for a Cyprus settlement does not warrant violation of human rights.

Markides said the report notes that the living conditions of enclaved Greek Cypriots constitute a serious form of intervention in the right to respect for private and family life. The treatment of enclaved people is tantamount to adverse discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, race and religion, it adds. Some 500 Greek Cypriots, mainly elderly, have remained in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Cyprus since 1974.


The splendor that was Salamis, one of Cyprus' ten ancient city-kingdoms, and the hard work over the years that unearthed its magnificent remains are commemorated in a newly published book entitled "excavating Salamis of Cyprus - 1952-1974." The 206-page book, beautifully illustrated and comprising 242 black and white and color photographs, outlines in great detail Cyprus' most extensive and most important excavations and more importantly the human aspect of the hard toil over 2 years.

Vassos Karagiorgis, archaeologist and author of the book, presenting the book at a press conference said that "the archaeological site of Salamis is a national monument, a symbol of Hellenism in Cyprus, a place inaccessible to those who have worked so hard to make Salamis and its history known to the world."

The book travels through time when Cyprus was still a British colony right down to the day Salamis was captured by the invading Turkish army in the summer of 1974. Its four chapters give an extensive and vivid depiction of the excavations of this ancient city, its gymnasium, its theater, still in use in 1974, and its necropolis. Karagiorgis said he wrote the book to leave for the generations to come the legacy of Salamis and present the little known human aspect of the excavations.

"How a handful of people and technicians managed to tackled the huge problems of actually excavating and restoring to their previous glory Salamis," he said, not forgetting the ordinary people from nearby villages and the town of Famagusta, also under Turkish occupation now, how helped revive the city-kingdom. He explained that he went to great lengths to gather the material for his book, as thousands of photographs were lost and hundreds of textbooks and written material abandoned by their owners as they fled the advancing Turkish troops.

The book also includes reminiscence from a team of French archaeologists of the University of Lyon, excavations in the 19th century as well as the author's memories. "We walked on the soft sand. I remember very vividly the strong feeling when I wiped the sand off a pillar on the ground and touched its smooth and warm surface," the author writes about his first encounter with antiquity in Salamis' gymnasium.

Thirteen years later, Karagiorgis returned to Salamis to help excavate the city and bring to the open its glorious past. Salamis was founder by Teucer (Tefkros), a hero of the Trojan War, the son of king Telamon of the Greek island of Salamis, hence the name of the newly-founded city. For more than 2,000 years Salamis played the most prominent part among the kingdoms of Cyprus, favored by good rulers, its location and its harbor.

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