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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 97-01-14

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Agreement to ease tension along cease-fire lines
  • [02] Former Cyprus Ambassador dies
  • [03] Aftershock activity develops smoothly
  • [04] No agreement on UN package, says President
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [06] Russian ambassador calls reaction to S-300 ''hypocritical''

  • 0955:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Agreement to ease tension along cease-fire lines

    Washington, Jan 14 (CNA) -- US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns has stated that Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had fully supported a UN-proposed package of measures to ease tension along the cease-fire lines across the island.

    Burns referred to meetings Carey Cavanaugh, the Director of Southern European Affairs Office at the State Department, had in Cyprus yesterday.

    Cavanaugh thinks ''those meetings were very useful and positive'', the Spokesman said and continued ''he made clear the view of the United States that the recent decision by the government of Cyprus to acquire Russian missiles in the future was a mistake and that the United States will remain opposed to this purchase''.

    Similarly, according to Burns, Cavanaugh ''stressed very firm United States opposition to some of the aggressive statements made by the Turkish government''.

    The Spokesman said in his meetings with President Clerides, Cavanaugh ''was able to obtain concrete assurances that no component of the S-300 surface-to-air missile system will be delivered to Cyprus during the next 16 months''.

    Cavanaugh discussed with President Clerides and Denktash additional steps to reduce the risk of incidents along the cease-fire lines.

    According to the Spokesman ''both President Clerides and Mr Denktash agreed to give their full support to immediate implementation of the package of measures proposed by the United Nations''.

    Those measures, Burns said, include ''further unmanning of positions along the cease-fire lines, the unloading of weapons, and the adoption of a code of conduct which makes clear that force can only be used in life- threatening situations''.

    An additional item of the discussions, according to Burns, was the US- sponsored moratorium on the flights of Greek and Turkish military aircraft over Cyprus.

    Burns said discussion on this question will continue when Cavanaugh visits Athens, today, and Ankara, on Wednesday.

    The Spokesman referred to the missiles issue and said the US, from its discussions with the Cypriot government, understood all along ''that deployment would be roughly 16 to 18 months or more from the date of purchase''.

    According to Burns ''this is a certainly good and reasonable move by the government of Cyprus to commit itself, to give us the period of reflection so at least the Turkish government can understand that there is no need to exaggerate at all the import of what has happened here and that the Turkish government might devote itself to a reasonable dissuasion of these issues, in contrast to some statements that were made by the Foreign and Defense Ministers (of Turkey), last week''.

    When the Spokesman was asked by CNA if the United States plans to use the missiles issue as a negotiating tool in its future initiative, he said ''well I think you know that the United States will be active diplomatically in 1997 on Cyprus. We're going to have to deal with all the issues as an intermediary, a good-faith intermediary and objective partner to everyone. I can't anticipate specifically what the components of any American programme will be except to say that we are willing to put a considerable amount of diplomatic resources into resolving this misunderstanding and, in fact trying to make progress on the broader question of peace in Cyprus.''

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA DA/GP/1996

    [02] Former Cyprus Ambassador dies

    Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) -- Former Cyprus Ambassador Costas Papademas died today at the age of 66 after suffering a stroke yesterday.

    Papademas suffered the stroke while working in his office in Limassol early yesterday morning. He was rushed to Limassol Hospital and later to Nicosia General Hospital where he died today.

    Born in the mountain-village of Omodos in the Limassol district, in 1930, Papademas distinguished himself as a diplomat and served in a number of high ranking government posts, including Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cyprus to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Ambassador in Bonn and Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN in Vienna.

    He published a number of political and legal articles as well as poetry and literature and received a number of distinctions.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [03] Aftershock activity develops smoothly

    Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) -- Scores of minor aftershocks have been registered since yesterday's major tremor felt throughout Cyprus, the Geological Survey Department announced Tuesday.

    A press release issued by the Department said the Mathiatis Seismological Station recorded 32 aftershocks between 1300 local time (1100 GMT) Monday and 0800 local time (0600 GMT) Tuesday.

    Twenty of these aftershocks measured below 3.0 on the Richter scale, eight had a magnitude between 3.0 and 3.9, another three between 4.0 and 4.5, while one measured 4.8 on the Richter scale.

    It said the aftershock activity, following last October 9 major earthquake which measured 6.3 on the Richter scale, is developing smoothly.

    A total of 1640 aftershocks have been recorded since then, the Department said, noting that their magnitude ranged between 2.0 and 5.8 on the Richter scale.

    Yesterday's tremor measured 5.8 on the Richter scale. IT was felt throughout the island. Its epicentre was located in the sea area, some 50 kilometres southwest of Paphos, on the western coast. It caused panic among people but no damage.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [04] No agreement on UN package, says President

    Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has made it clear that no agreement has been reached on the immediate implementation of a UN package of measures aimed at reducing tension on the island.

    The President's position appears somewhat different from an announcement late Monday night by a US senior official, Carey Cavanaugh (State Department Southern European Affairs Director) that President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash gave their full support for ''immediate implementation'' of the UN proposals.

    ''No agreement has been reached apart from the earlier agreement to continue the military dialogue (between the National Guard and the Turkish occupation troops) on the basis of UN resolutions to reduce tension,'' Clerides told the press today.

    The UN is trying to get the two sides on the island to agree to the code of conduct, the extending of the unmanning of army posts along the length of the demarcation line, to remove landmines and to ban loaded weapons from posts near the buffer zone. So far no breakthrough has been announced on the talks, carried under UN auspices.

    The President, who was talking a day after he held talks with Cavanaugh on a variety of issues relating to the Cyprus question and the current situation on the island following the government's decision to purchase Russian S-300 surface-to-air missiles, said he does not interfere in the military dialogue as this is handled by the military.

    Asked to assess the situation following his talks, the President said ''the situation has not changed at all'' and underlined that press reports that the government had consented to a delay in the deployment of the missiles were ''totally unfounded.''

    Russia, he explained, had informed the government it could not deliver the missiles before 16 months had elapsed, despite government wishes to the contrary.

    Clerides said he expressed the view that peace negotiations can be conducted until September because the ensuing period would be taken up by the presidential electoral campaign here (elections are due in February next year).

    ''During our discussions with Mr Cavanaugh, I expressed the view that we cannot proceed with a reduction of military tension alone without seeing any progress on the substance of the Cyprus problem,'' President Clerides told the press.

    Referring to his trip to Athens later this week, he said no agenda has been fixed for the talks, a US-backed proposal for banning overflights of Greek and Turkish military aircraft over the island would be on the cards.

    President Clerides will fly to Athens on Thursday and the following day he will hold talks with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. He will return on Saturday.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA MM/GP/1997

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    80.39 (+0.06)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  89.90 (+0.03)
    Approved Investment Companies          72.35 (+1.39)
    Insurance Companies                    56.37 (+0.39)
    Industrial Companies                   79.85 (+0.47)
    Tourist Industries                     69.87 (-1.38)
    Commercial Companies                   60.70 (+0.33)
    Other Companies                        66.20 (-0.41)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 383699.060
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA GP/1997

    [06] Russian ambassador calls reaction to S-300 ''hypocritical''

    Nicosia, Jan 14 (CNA) -- Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Georgi Muratov described today the reaction of certain countries to the decision of the Cyprus Republic to purchase Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles as ''incomprehensible'' and ''hypocritical''.

    Speaking after a meeting here with socialist EDEK party leader Vassos Lyssarides, Muratov said the acquisition by Cyprus of the S-300s does not change things, either in Cyprus or in the area since the anti-aircraft missiles in question are purely defensive weapons.

    Muratov noted that ''if those countries which react (to the purchase) are consistent, then they should impose an arms embargo not only on Cyprus but also on Turkey, Greece and on the whole of the region.''

    The Russian diplomat did not name those countries. But he was apparently referring to the United States, Britain and other western countries which came publicly against the decision of the Cyprus Republic to acquire the Russian surface-to-air missiles.

    However, Muratov reaffirmed that his country will cooperate with the US and other UN Security Council permanent members towards a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He announced that Russian Foreign Ministry officials will visit Cyprus within the next couple of months.

    Meanwhile, Cyprus Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides welcomed the Russian keen interest in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem.

    The Cypriot official was commenting on Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov's written reply to President Glafcos Clerides' message.

    The reply was conveyed to President Clerides yesterday by the island's opposition leftwing AKEL party General Secretary Demetris Christofias.

    EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides stressed the need for strengthening further relations between Cyprus and Russia in all fields.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

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