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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-04-29

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, April 29, 2001


  • [01] The UN's task: persuade Denktash to return to talks
  • [02] Sealed Roman tombs found in Paphos
  • [03] Mass transit systems: the answer to capital chaos?
  • [04] Students remanded in fake passports case
  • [05] Drug suspect remanded
  • [06] Fire at car warehouse

  • [01] The UN's task: persuade Denktash to return to talks

    By Jean Christou

    THE UN needs more time to find a way of persuading Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to return to negotiations on the Cyprus problem, diplomatic sources have told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

    Hopes are high that after next month's parliamentary elections new efforts will be made for the resumption of the UN-led proximity talks, but the diplomatic community believes that now would not be a good time to exert pressure on Turkey over Cyprus.

    The international community believes the UN does not want to make any move which might alienate Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash any further from the talks, and is said to have asked for more time with regard to the preparation and release of the UN Secretary-general's report on Cyprus, usually issued in June.

    Denktash backed out of the ongoing talks in January, saying he would not return unless his breakaway regime in the north is recognised. He also wants a confederal rather than a federal solution.

    The Greek Cypriot side, which is willing to return to the talks, has already warned the international community against any attempt to appease Denktash.

    Developments in Turkey have prompted diplomatic circles to suggest three possible scenarios: Denktash could continue to insist on recognition and halt any prospects for resuming negotiations, Turkey might decide to abandon its EU aspirations and make no concessions on Cyprus, or Denktash could be persuaded to return to the talks if he were offered something he would interpret as satisfactory to his demands.

    “All three perspectives are ideas floating among diplomatic circles, adamant

    to see the talks resume,” CNA said.

    The diplomatic sources also said that Cyprus' EU accession was a factor which needed to be taken into consideration.

    “Time is working for Cyprus, as far as EU accession is concerned,” EU diplomatic sources said. "It's too late and morally unacceptable for Brussels to overturn its previous decisions that a settlement is not a precondition for accession.”

    Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh yesterday reiterated that Cyprus could become a member before a settlement, which could also put some pressure on Turkey to facilitate a solution.

    Lindh, whose country holds the six-monthly rotating EU presidency, also said she hoped the UN would come up with specific proposals by this summer for a solution.

    "The EU cannot reunite Cyprus but hope that Turkey and everybody in Cyprus will understand the benefits emanating from EU accession," Lindh told Swedish TV.

    "There is still time, and I believe people in Cyprus have to seize the opportunity. I hope that by this summer we shall have concrete proposals from the UN on the solution of the problem," she said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Sealed Roman tombs found in Paphos

    By a Staff Reporter

    WORKERS laying down a new sewer system in Paphos have discovered two more tombs while excavating.

    The tombs were discovered on Friday morning on Apostolos Pavlos Avenue in Kato Paphos near the tomb that was discovered last month. Archaeologists are excited by the find, and believe the tombs to be unique in Cyprus.

    The head of the Antiquities Department in Paphos, Efstathios Raptos, confirmed the tombs were from the Roman period and as with the tomb found last month, they were still sealed.

    Outside one of the tombs “significant antiquities” were discovered and are being investigated to determine whether there was any damage during the excavations. One archaeologist said the second tomb was unique, as it was the first tomb to be discovered without a damaged floor.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Mass transit systems: the answer to capital chaos?

    By Noah Haglund

    THE Municipality of Nicosia and the Ministry of Communication and Works are gearing up to change the behaviour of commuters in the capital -- through mass transit systems and new law enforcement policies.

    The current 'every-man-for-himself' one car-one driver system has proven inefficient, burdening the island's towns with congestion and air and noise pollution, while public transport has done little to pick up the slack.

    Among the strategies under investigation are light rail, an overhaul of the urban bus system, and new law enforcement techniques, such as laws to fine people driving with under a minimum number of people in their car during rush hour.

    As a first step towards modernising the island's mass transit system, the Ministry of Communications and Works and the Nicosia Municipality has invited two transportation experts from England and France to discuss the pros and cons of light rail and modernised bus systems at a seminar next Saturday at the Holiday Inn in Nicosia.

    “With this seminar, we are trying to get the people more into the idea of mass movement,” said Dinos Constantinou, the president of the Cyprus Association of Degree Holders (SEPTAK), which organises seminars on topics of interest to municipalities.

    “We think it is time to look very seriously into improving mass transit, because it is impossible to leave the situation as it is now,” he said. “We have to see if we can introduce this type of mass transit or improve the buses or improve law enforcement.”

    He envisions a system that would “start from the outskirts to bring people into the city centre so that people will leave their cars at home”.

    But, reviewing the options, he warns that light rail is very expensive -- the tracks alone costing an estimated £6 to £12 million per kilometre -- and may cause problems because the system is inflexible once it has been put into place.

    “Personally, I think that we should concentrate on improving bus services,” he told the Sunday Mail.

    “There is a whole revolution about urban buses,” Contantinou said of new battery-powered vehicles that better their predecessors by using less energy, offering more flexibility, being more attractive and more accessible to people with handicaps.

    He feels that one of the best options could be 'mini trams', the battery- powered buses that carry about 50 passengers each and which will go into operation in Stratford on Avon by the end of this year. He said this technology avoids problems such as increasing electricity dependency or having to lay down rail tracks.

    Constantinou said that the whole image of the public transport system needs an overhaul. He pointed out that their markings make it easy to confuse urban buses with the rural variety, and suggested that the current policy of operating the buses through private companies may not be in the best interests of the public.

    Meanwhile, the Greens are staging a protest this weekend in favour of alternate forms of transportation, namely more paths and extra lanes for bicycles. They will meet at 10am today outside the Mountain Climbers Club in Limassol.

    Future SEPTAK talks will focus on sewage waste management and the influx of foreign workers to the island.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Students remanded in fake passports case

    By a Staff Reporter

    SEVEN Chinese students arrested early on Friday morning at Larnaca Airport as they allegedly tried to leave for London using fake Japanese passports have been remanded for four days as Larnaca police search for the source of the counterfeit documents.

    New details released yesterday reveal that the passports were suspicious not only because there was no entry stamp for Cyprus, but also because the photographs did not resemble the individuals carrying them. Also, on questioning, one of the students was not able to give the first name listed on his passport.

    The Larnaca CID investigator yesterday asked the court for an eight-day remand to allow extra time to locate the forger, a request denied by the judge.

    Larnaca CID has sent the fake passports away for further examination while they pursue the investigation in both Nicosia and Larnaca.

    One of the suspects is 35, while the rest range from 19 to 26 years old.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Drug suspect remanded

    By a Staff Reporter

    AN IRANIAN man has been arrested in Limassol on Friday on suspicion of drug dealing.

    Farokhreza Ghorpan, 37, was yesterday remanded for eight days after Limassol court heard the testimony of Farite Sakki, who was arrested trying to smuggle heroin through customs at Larnaca Airport.

    Sakki has admitted that she was paid $1,000 to smuggle the drugs into Cyprus and was to receive a further $400 when she delivered the consignment, allegedly to Ghorpan, in Limassol.

    Ghorpan told police that he had been living in Cyprus as a political refugee since May last year and that he is planning to appeal to the Iranian Embassy for help.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Fire at car warehouse

    By a Staff Reporter

    A FIRE broke out at a used car warehouse in Larnaca at 1.50am yesterday, causing damage estimated at £150,000.

    The Limassol Fire Department extinguished the fire at the warehouse of Astro Automobile Parts Ltd, belonging to Loizou Morphitis, which was insured.

    Limassol CID has not ruled out arson as a cause of the blaze.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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