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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-01-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Clerides to attend World Economic Forum
  • [02] Russian envoy arrives Thursday
  • [03] Environmentalists vs British soldiers

  • 1040:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides to attend World Economic Forum

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides is leaving on Thursday for Davos, Switzerland, to attend the annual World Economic Forum and deliver a speech on the Cyprus problem.

    During his four-day stay, President Clerides, who will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, will meet with new UN Secretary- General Koffi Anan.

    On Monday, February 3, President Clerides will meet in Nicosia with UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus Han Sung Joo, who is due to arrive in Cyprus on Wednesday.

    The UN official will also see Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    After Nicosia, Han will fly on to Athens and Ankara for talks with the Greek and Turkish governments on the Cyprus problem.

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

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [02] Russian envoy arrives Thursday

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- Vladimir Tchizhov, Director of the Third Directorate for European Affairs at the Russian Foreign Ministry, is arriving in Cyprus on Thursday, as part of a fact-finding mission that includes visits to Ankara and Athens.

    According to CNA sources from Moscow, Tchizhov, who has been newly appointed to his post, is visiting the three capitals on a fact-finding mission to pave the way for a visit by a Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, expected to take place in about a month.

    Tchizhov, who served for many years in the Soviet Embassy in Nicosia, is expected during his first round of visits to convey Moscow's views and intentions towards assisting efforts for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The Russian official started his three-nation tour from Ankara, where he had a meeting with Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Inal Batu.

    According to press information, Tchizhov pointed out once again to the Turkish Government that the sale of Russian anti-aircraft missiles to the Cyprus government is a purely commercial deal.

    Today, the Russian official is flying on to Athens. He will arrive in Cyprus on Thursday.

    He will stay on the island for five days. He will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Tchizhov will also have meetings with Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou and Greek Cypriot party leaders.

    He is also expected to meet UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus Han Sung Joo, who is arriving here tomorrow for talks with President Clerides and Denktash.

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

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [03] Environmentalists vs British soldiers

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- An unspecified number of environmentalists have yet to be found by Cypriot police in the Akamas region in the western part of the island, where British forces began yesterday low level live-fire army exercises in the area.

    Among the protestors is Democratic Party MP, Marios Matsakis, who has been officially declared by his family as a ''missing person''.

    According to the CNA correspondent in Paphos, British forces in Akamas were using a helicopter to look for the protestors and have fired warning shots as an indication that live-fire will be used during their exercises.

    Chief Public Relations Officer for the British Forces Headquarters in Cyprus, Mervyn Wynne Jones, told CNA he is unaware of Matsakis' whereabouts, but said British soldiers make sure no one is near the firing range prior to any live-fire exercises.

    ''Before any firing takes place this week, we will be sweeping that particular small portion of training ground where the firing will take place to ensure that there is no one there'', Jones said.

    A Cyprus police spokesperson also told CNA, police in the Akamas were continuing to scour the area for the demonstrators, but could not say however, exactly how many remain there.

    The environmentalists are protesting the British exercises over concerns the life-fire exercises will further damage the ecologically fragile Akamas region.

    Jones said the British forces are not insensitive to the environmentalists' concerns, but maintains that ''the level of training, the amount of training and the type of training is such there that no damage is caused to the environment, or absolutely minimal damage''.

    The public relations chief added British soldiers, where ever they serve, are taught to care for the environment in which they train.

    ''That means not creating any fires, not leaving any litter and leaving the area in which they are training in the condition in which they found it and generally treating the countryside as they would wish others to treat it,'' Jones said.

    However, First Vice-President for the socialist party EDEK, Yiannakis Omirou, in a written statement today, categorically denied Jones' assertion that Akamas has suffered no damage during military exercises.

    Omirou quoted statistics submitted to the House of Representatives by the Agriculture and Foreign Affairs Ministries, which state that between the years 1984-1989, fire consumed 60 hectares of land and 1308 trees for which the British Government compensated its Cypriot counterpart with 131.040 Cypriot pounds.

    ''This then is the 'non-existent' damage caused by the British in Akamas. Will the British forces public relations chief perhaps feel the need to apologize for the lies he states?'' Omirou said.

    Moreover, spokesperson for the environmental protection association, ''Friends of Akamas'', Yiannos Ioannou, told CNA his group questions the logic of conducting military exercises in the area altogether, since Akamas will be designated a national park.

    ''The substance of the issue is that the area has been designated to become a national park, so what are British forces doing there conducting exercises?'' Ioannou asked.

    A dialogue between the Cypriot and British governments began about a year ago to try to find an alternate, but equally suitable location for the British Forces on the island to conduct military exercises.

    ''Were a suitable alternative to be offered, that fitted the criteria for a degree of professional training we require, we would obviously look at that alternative very carefully'', Jones added.

    CNA MH/GP/1997

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