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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-05-04

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Saturday, May 4, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] Police probe into AIDS charges
  • [02] Government welcomes more active role by UN chief
  • [03] Easter messages speak of island's 'resurrection'
  • [04] Thousands of firecrackers found in car
  • [05] Woman critical after moped crash

  • [01] Police probe into AIDS charges

    By Soteris Charalambous

    POLICE are to investigate reports that AIDS carriers are deliberately spreading the disease.

    Health Minister Frixos Savvides confirmed yesterday that an investigation will be launched after he met Stella Michaelidou of the Limassol-based Support Centre for AIDS Carriers (KIFA) to discuss her allegations.

    Savvides confirmed that the ministry is investigating the information provided at the meeting and that given the criminal nature of the alleged actions the police would be involved.

    Michaelidou described the 20-minute meeting as "positive", but admitted she was left under no illusions about her public responsibility and the danger of making "inflammatory comments" to the media. Information about the alleged deliberate spreading of the disease was given in a separate meeting with members of Savvides' office.

    The minister defended the government's record on AIDS, claiming that "Cyprus is ranked in the top two countries in the world for the treatment of AIDS, for which it has received international recognition". He added that he had personally addressed the United Nations at a conference on the spread of the disease and was confident that present government policy was tackling the problem effectively.

    Michaelidou, who works directly with AIDS carriers, feels that Cypriot society alienates sufferers who are made to feel like "social outcasts".

    She also believes there is a public conception that AIDS is still a 'gay disease' -- "even though European research demonstrates that heterosexuals and drug users out-number homosexual AIDS carriers. Everybody needs to be responsible and take precautions."

    Savvides confirmed there would be more meetings with Michaelidou to co- operate with KIFA in tackling AIDS.

    Defending the government's position, he pointed to plans to implement a policy where registered sufferers are given priority in applications to certain government positions and that help may be given to Michaelidou in setting up a hospice for AIDS sufferers. However, Savvides also emphasised that non-governmental organisations like KIFA were responsible for helping sufferers, not for making "potentially panic-spreading statements which contravene international guidelines on public announcements about AIDS".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Government welcomes more active role by UN chief

    By Melina Demetriou

    FOREIGN Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said yesterday that the Greek Cypriot side was willing to examine practical ways of speeding up the procedure of the Cyprus negotiations and give the United Nations Secretary- general a more active role in efforts to find a solution.

    Cassoulides was addressing a news conference he called to respond to UN chief Kofi Annan's decision to visit Cyprus later this month. It will be the first time a UN Secretary-general has visited in more than 20 years.

    Annan on Thursday announced plans to come and meet President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in an effort to augment the face-to-face negotiations and make "decisive progress", meeting the June target date for an agreement.The Secretary-general is expected to arrive on May 15 and stay for two or three days.

    Cassoulides said yesterday the government welcomed the development, as well as the UN Security Council statement issued after Annan's decision had been announced.

    "Our side is pleased with the fact that the Council insists on a complete solution, one that is in line with UN decisions, and that it has called on the sides, in particular the Turkish Cypriots, to co-operate fully with the Secretary-general," the minister said.

    Judging by the Council's statement, Cassoulides said he assumed Annan would come to Cyprus aiming "for peace, for a compromise and to speed up the negotiating procedure". He said that the Greek Cypriot side was willing to examine practical ways of speeding up the procedure and give Annan a more active role in the talks.

    Cassoulides did not rule out the possibility of the two sides exchanging 'non-papers', but he was adamant that they would not seal an interim agreement.

    "Non-papers and proposals is one thing and an agreement is another," he said, reiterating the government position that "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed".

    Security Council President Kishore Mahbubani said in his statement on Thursday that the body regretted that it had not been possible to make more progress during negotiations since the Council was last briefed on April 4.

    The Council expressed the view that "the time has now come to set down on paper areas of common ground between the two sides, with the aim of establishing the component parts of a comprehensive settlement which takes full consideration of relevant UN resolutions and, where differences remain, to narrow and remove those through a process of negotiation focused on compromise formulations".In a separate statement, US deputy permanent representative to the UN, Ambassador James Cunningham stressed the importance of resolving the Cyprus issue and the need "for more urgency in the negotiations to reach an agreement by the June target date". Direct talks between Clerides and Denktash resume on Tuesday after the Easter break.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Easter messages speak of island's 'resurrection'

    IN HIS Easter message yesterday, President Clerides said the government is hopeful of a Cyprus resurrection through a solution to the Cyprus problem that would benefit both communities, but he stressed that a solution should comply with UN Security Council resolutions.

    "The Greek Cypriots have always compared their historic course with the ascension of our Lord to Calvary," the President said. "In the past 28 years this parallel has come to acquire great importance as a result of the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation."

    He thanked Greece for its help and support for Cyprus. "The Greek and Cypriot governments are joined together in a common struggle for the resurrection of Cyprus," Clerides said.

    Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos, thanked Clerides and sent wishes of progress and prosperity for "our Cypriot brothers" and for a positive outcome in the bicommunal talks.

    From his hospital bed, Archbishop Chrysostomos expressed his sadness that Easter is being celebrated in conditions of global upset and insecurity, and noted that Cyprus is still 'living its Good Friday' under Turkish occupation.

    "Despite all this, we shall overcome and we will not loose hope," the Archbishop said. "Christ's resurrection gives us hope that our island will also be resurrected."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Thousands of firecrackers found in car

    SEVEN thousand five hundred firecrackers were found yesterday in the back of a car, Paphos police said.

    At 10.30am they stopped and searched a car in Yeroskipou, only to find two cardboard boxes in the backseat containing explosives. The first box held 50 cartons of 50 explosive devices each and the second contained 50 cartons with 100 firecrackers in each.

    The suspect claimed she had no knowledge of the contents of the packages, but she was arrested and her husband, in whose name the car is registered, was also questioned

    Police said they carried out a thorough search of the couple's home and cars, but did not find anything suspicious. The couple were charged and released.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Woman critical after moped crash

    A WOMAN on her way to do her Easter shopping was seriously injured yesterday when her moped collided with a truck at an intersection outside Larnaca.

    Police said 52-year-old Maritsa Michael, a mother of two, was cut off by a truck and flung onto the road, sustaining serious injuries to her head. She was rushed to Larnaca Hospital and then to Nicosia General Hospital for an emergency operation. Her condition was described as critical.

    Police are investigating the precise circumstances of the accident. Michael was reportedly not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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