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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-01-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus party to longest submarine cable system
  • [02] Environmentalists arrested in Akamas protest

  • 1230:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus party to longest submarine cable system

    Nicosia, Jan 27 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) has signed an agreement on the construction and maintenance of SEA-ME-WEE-3, the biggest in length and capacity international submarine fibre optic cable system.

    The agreement, signed by another 92 telecommunications organisations from around the globe, can transfer telephone communications as well as wide-band services, including video-conferencing and multi-media.

    The 38.000 kilometre-long SEA-ME-WEE-3 cable system links northern Europe with the Far East and Australia through landing points in 35 countries.

    CYTA is one of the main investors in the system and has secured a landing point in Cyprus. CYTA believes this link will be able to cope with Cyprus' needs for the next two decades at least and helps render the island an important telecommunications hub.

    Construction for the system, estimated at 1,3 billion dollars, will start in the first three months of 1997 and the system will be fully operational in December 1998.

    The system consists of two pairs of optic fibres and can carry about 250.000 telephone conversations at any one time.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1240:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Environmentalists arrested in Akamas protest

    Paphos, Jan 27 (CNA) -- Cypriot police apprehended twelve protestors today after environmentalists tried to prevent British soldiers from conducting military exercises in the environmentally sensitive Akamas region, in the island's western part.

    The demonstrators were released shortly thereafter without being charged.

    Scores of protestors blocked 30 British soldiers from entering the six- square kilometre area where they were scheduled to begin today a four-day military exercise using small-calibre live fire.

    After being prevented from starting their training exercise, British military authorities contacted Cypriot police and a sizeable contingent from nearby Paphos was dispatched to the area, reinforced by 30 men from the elite police anti-terrorist squad, MMAD.

    Police dispersed the demonstrators with the aid of a helicopter, allowing the soldiers from the Episkopi Sovereign Base Area (SBA) to proceed with the exercise.

    Environmentalists vowed to block the exercise from taking place, citing the ecological fragility of the Akamas region.

    Christos Andreou, one of the demostrators apprehended by police, said the environmentalists were within their rights to protest and that the British forces were conducting the military exercise ''illegally''.

    However, the chief public relations officer for the British Forces Headquarters in Cyprus, Mervyn Wynne Jones, told CNA the situation has been blown out of proportion and that many claims regarding the exercises have been ''exaggerated''.

    ''Damage to the environment is absolutely non-existent,'' Jones said, adding that British forces have not used any weapons other than infantry rifles in Akamas in many years.

    ''All our soldiers are very positive about protecting the environment in the region,'' Jones noted, ''and I think you would be hard-pressed to find any environmental damage there.''

    It is noted that the Treaty of Establishment of 1960 provides for limited military training on the Akamas by British soldiers stationed at the Episkopi SBA.

    CNA SS/MH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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