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08/01/2005
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1) Cyprus Regrets Turkey's EU Accord Does Not Mean Recognition
2) Armenian Flag at Council of Europe Disappears
3) US Western Region Team Shines at Athens Games
4) Homenetmen Delegation Meets Greek President

1) Cyprus Regrets Turkey's EU Accord Does Not Mean Recognition

NICOSIA (AFP)--The Cypriot government said it regretted Turkey's declaration
that its signing of a key document on the path to European Union membership
does not signify official recognition of the Cyprus republic.
"The Republic of Cyprus expresses its deep regret that Turkey considers it
necessary to make a unilateral statement on Cyprus at the time of signing the
protocol," said government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides on July 30.
"It is regrettable that a candidate for accession declares that it does not
recognize one of the member states of the Union it wishes to join," he added.
Greece also expressed disappointment at Turkey's declaration, and continuous
refusal to acknowledge Cyprus as a state. A Greek foreign ministry statement
called Ankara's declaration "unilateral," adding that Turkey "insists on the
continuation of a political and legal paradox."
On July 29, Turkey agreed to extend an existing customs accord with the EU to
include the bloc's 10 newest member states including Cyprus, whose
internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government Ankara refuses to endorse.
The signing of the document was a key precondition set by Brussels for the
start of accession talks between Ankara and the EU, set for October 3.
Turkey, which invaded and occupied northern Cyprus in 1974, attached a
declaration to the document stating that its signature did not amount to
recognition.
"The signing, ratification, and implementation of this protocol in no way
means recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, which the protocol refers to," a
Turkish foreign ministry stated.
"Turkey will continue to regard the Greek Cypriot authorities as exercising
authority, control, and jurisdiction only in the territory south of the buffer
zone [in Cyprus]... and as not representing the Turkish Cypriot people and
will
treat the acts performed by them accordingly," the declaration said.
The Cyprus government spokesman said Turkey could not sustain this position
against Cyprus because Ankara's EU accession negotiations would involve all 25
states in the bloc.
"We urge Turkey to abide by the EU's founding principles of equal treatment
for all states and embark on a process of speedy normalization with the
Republic of Cyprus," he said.
However, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said Ankara had kept its
end of
the bargain and expected membership talks to begin on schedule.
"Turkey fulfilled its commitments. There are no longer any obstacles ahead of
the launch of EU accession negotiations on October 3," Gul told NTV news
channel.
Cyprus plans to study the document closely to see if the declaration makes
the
signing of the protocol itself invalid under the preconditions set by Brussels
for Turkey's EU accession negotiations to begin.
Turkey is the only country to recognize the breakaway Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus (TRNC) proclaimed in 1983 in the Turkish-occupied northern
third of the Mediterranean island.
TRNC leader Mehmet Ali Talat said July 30 that Ankara's qualified
signature of
the agreement would bring about "many changes" and "various crises," but could
eventually be beneficial.
"The result of these crises will be that the resolution of the Cypriot
question is established to be imperative and cannot be delayed," he told
Turkey's Anatolia news agency.
He included that the Turkish Cypriots could use the accord to formulate new
demands for a settlement.
The last international effort to end the division of Cyprus failed in April
2004 when the Greek Cypriots voted down a UN reunification plan even though
the
Turkish Cypriots gave it overwhelming support.
The outcome ensured that the Greek Cypriots alone joined the EU in May last
year, leaving the breakaway Turkish Cypriots out in the cold. EU efforts to
assist them economically and ease trade restrictions as a reward for their
vote
have been blocked by the Greek Cypriots.
Turkey is eager for the peace talks to resume, wary that the Greek Cypriots
could use their EU membership as leverage to block Ankara's own accession
aspirations.
Gul tried to minimize any concern about a possible veto by Nicosia,
highlighting that EU leaders--including President Tassos Papadopoulos--had
agreed to open talks with Ankara last December.


2) Armenian Flag at Council of Europe Disappears

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)--Armenia sent a note of protest to the leadership of the
Council of Europe on August 1 against the mysterious disappearance of its
national flag displayed outside the Strasbourg headquarters of the human
rights
organization.
The Foreign Ministry in Yerevan said the red-blue-orange flag was found to be
missing on July 30 from one of the 46 flagpoles in front of the building's
main
entrance that carry the national banners of all Council of Europe member
states. A ministry statement said a plaque on the metal pole bearing Armenia's
name was found twisted.
"The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Armenia is vehemently protesting
against that act and is demanding that the Council of Europe take necessary
security measures on its territory and prevent the national symbols of its
member states from being vandalized," it said.
According to the Foreign Ministry, a top aide to Council of Europe, Secretary
General Terry Davis, apologized for the incident but said the organization's
security service is only responsible for what happens inside the sprawling
building.
"Control of the territory outside the building is carried out by the French
police and the latter have already been notified about what happened," the
statement said, adding that a new Armenian flag has already been hoisted in
place of the missing one.


3) US Western Region Team Shines at Athens Games

ATHENS--As the Homenetmen 7th Pan Armenian Games came to an exciting close in
Athens, Greece, the USA West team came out on top. The A Division Women's
basketball team was undefeated under the direction of Coach Jerry Armen. Team
captain Tamar Kataroyan was honored as the Games' Most Valuable Athlete. The A
Division Men's basketball team made an impressive showing throughout the Games
as well, defeating the Tehran team during finals to clench first place. In the
swimming competitions, the USA West team clenched second place, while the
men's
volleyball team reached the finals, but lost to the Athens team.


4) Homenetmen Delegation Meets Greek President

Prior to the close of Homenetmen's 7th Pan Armenian Games in Athens on Sunday,
a delegation representing the Armenian athletic and scouting organization had
the opportunity to meet with the president of the Republic of Greece Karolos
Papoulias.
The delegation included Homenetmen Central Executive members Karnig
Megerdichian, Stepan Der Bedrosian, Vahram Tanielian; organizing committee
chair of the Games Boghos Cholakian; and ARF Greece Central Committee
representative Krikor Erchanian.
The group thanked Papoulias for hosting the games, and briefed the president
about Homenetmen's mission and worldwide activities. Papoulias noted the
centuries-long friendship between Armenians and Greeks, and in the example of
the Pan Armenian Games, conveyed that thought should be given to organizing a
similar activity for diasporan Greeks.


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