- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2003

‘Long struggle ahead’

The ambassador of Cyprus raised her champagne glass to toast her friends gathered for the first of a several farewell dinners, as she prepares for her bittersweet departure next month.

“Even in 20 years, I would not get enough of Washington and the great challenge this capital presents to diplomats,” Ambassador Erato Kozakou Marcoullis said, as she described her “mixed feelings” on leaving the United States.

After five years here, she is returning to Nicosia and a new government assignment to work for the reunification of her Mediterranean island, long divided between Greek-Cypriots of the internationally recognized government and Turkish-Cypriots of an authority recognized only by Turkey.

The Greek-Cypriot government was invited to join the European Union next year. The Turkish-Cypriot side rejected the latest reunification plan, leaving it outside the EU expansion, but recently opened its border to Greek-Cypriot visitors.

“If we join without the Turkish-Cypriots, it is not going to be a full joy,” Mrs. Kozakou Marcoullis said. “They are part of us. They deserve to be part of the EU. … There is a long struggle ahead of us.”

Cypriots from both sides are crossing the border daily and breaking down cultural barriers, she said.

Her husband, Dr. George Marcoullis, was among those visitors to the Turkish side, where he discovered some of his old patients he treated more than 40 years ago.

The dinner Tuesday evening was hosted by Ambassador Arlette Conzemius of Luxembourg, who presented her credentials to President Clinton in 1998 on the same day as Mrs. Kozakou Marcoullis. They began an immediate friendship and helped organized the female ambassadors’ caucus.

“That was the beginning of a strong and nice friendship,” Mrs. Conzemius said.

She congratulated Mrs. Kozakou Marcoullis for maintaining Cyprus’ high profile in Washington.

“What you did for your country, the progress, the success,” Mrs. Conzemius said. “It’s great to see what has been accomplished.”

Pakistanis deported

The United States yesterday deported 75 Pakistanis for immigration violations and other crimes, the Pakistani Embassy said.

Mohammad Sadiq, the embassy’s deputy chief of mission, said they were put on a chartered flight from Buffalo, N.Y., to the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

“They have been in prison for more than four months and wanted to go back home,” he told Anwar Iqbal of United Press International.

A U.S. official added, “Most of the deportees had either applied for political asylum or had tried to legalize their stay through other means, such as marriage, but their pleas were already rejected by U.S. courts.”

Sixty-one deportees had defied orders to leave the country. Seven were convicted of crimes, mostly on fraud charges. Seven others were arrested for immigration violations when they attempted to register under new U.S. policies that apply to men from several Muslim countries.

The embassy complained in earlier deportations that Pakistani deportees were mistreated because they were handcuffed on their flights home.

“This time the deportees will not be handcuffed but will be restrained to their seats,” Mr. Sadiq said.

‘Sayonara to you’

Satoru Satoh, the Japanese Embassy press spokesman, is saying “sayonara” to friends in Washington as he prepares to return to Tokyo to take a new position in the foreign ministry.

After 2 years at the embassy, “the time has come to say sayonara to you,” he said in a letter, announcing his departure this month.

“My time in Washington has coincided with momentous events in the history of this country, as well as in the relationship between Japan and the United States,” he said.

“I leave Washington with fond memories and the sincere hope that our paths will cross again some day in the future.”

Naoyuki Agawa, who holds the rank of minister, will transfer from the Japan Information and Culture Center to take over as press spokesman.

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail [email protected]

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