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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-02-14

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN seeks Cyprus talks before September
  • [02] Cavo Greco a treasure trove of natural beauty
  • [03] IMF countries meeting in Cyprus

  • 0945:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN seeks Cyprus talks before September

    United Nations, Feb 14 (CNA) -- Recent tensions between Greece and Turkey over bilateral issues and the Cyprus problem have been defused and a possible war averted, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has stated.

    He expressed the hope that proximity talks currently being conducted by his special representative Han Sung-Joo, would continue and be followed by face to face negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides before September.

    The UN chief made the statements during a press conference yesterday in New York, his second since taking office six weeks ago.

    Asked to respond to remarks made by British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, this Tuesday, that Greece and Turkey were on the verge of armed hostilities over the Aegean, Annan replied "there have been tensions and a tendency bring in armaments into the region, but I don't think there will be a war. We attempted to defuse the tensions and I think we have seen an improvement already."

    "I would hope", he added, "that none of the leaders will do anything that will escalate matters".

    On the subject of jump-starting the long-stalled negotiations on Cyprus, Annan noted that his special envoy had been meeting with both parties in the island, identifying enough common ground for us to eventually have face to face talks... preferably this year and ideally before September, otherwise we are going to get into the election fever and a whole host of things."

    "I plead with the governments to cooperate with Mr Han and really try to bridge their differences," the Secretary-General urged.

    He said the UN is taking the "lead" in the effort with the British and American governments in "supportive roles".

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

    CNA JD/GP/1997

    [02] Cavo Greco a treasure trove of natural beauty

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Nicosia, Feb 14 (CNA) -- The wind-swept trail, barely a metre across, caresses the sheer face of the precipice as the salty Mediterranean waves crash upon the rocky shore below.

    You need be as sure-footed as a mountain goat to make your way around the three-kilometre nature trail winding its way around Cavo area, but the effort will yield some surprises and much sight-seeing pleasure.

    Just be sure to keep your eyes on the ground, because you might never know what may lie underneath your feet.

    "See that mark etched across the rock there? That's the imprint of an ancient sea snake. This whole mountain must have been under water at some time," says Cavo Greco Forest Park Ranger, Sotiris Zachariou.

    Sotiris knows this every inch of the trail. He ought to know, since he is one of a small team of Rangers who have built and maintain what is now the 484-hectare Cavo Greco National Park, straddling the south-eastern tip of Cyprus.

    Cavo Greco was declared a national park in 1993, after British radar installations in the area were destroyed by British authorities and handed over to the Republic.

    Work on construction of bicycle and hiking trails however, had begun two years earlier, as the area quickly became a magnet for local and tourist nature lovers from nearby Ayia Napa.

    The park has got to be one of the most majestic areas of the whole island, one of unsurpassed natural beauty that surely rivals any park in the entire region of the eastern Mediterranean.

    One of the more breath-taking sights in the park is atop the 500-metre Cavo mountain, Cyprus' version of the Rock of Gibraltar, which overlooks the Mediterranean sea south towards Egypt.

    Standing at the very edge of the sheer limestone cliff atop Cavo, you are overwhelmed by the feeling of gushing wind rising over the cliff's face gazing at the azure waters below.

    There are six kilometres of marked hiking trails and another 3,5 kilometres of biking trails. Horse riding trails will be added next year.

    Sotiris has walked his trails countless times. He is old enough to be a grandfather, but his quick and effortless pace on his trails would leave even the most experienced hiker far behind, gasping for breath.

    A picnic area with tables, washrooms and a barbecue spit lies just above "Konnos" beach on the northern side of the park, one of the most pristine beaches in the Ayia Napa area. Park rangers made sure it stayed that way, by making the beach inaccessible to automobiles.

    Just a bit farther down from "Konnos" beach is the small church of Ayioi Anargyri, which sits above a deep cave dug out by eons of crashing waves. Folklore says two ascetic monks made the cave their home, performing miracles for visiting locals asking for their blessing.

    If you follow the westward foot trail from Cavo mountain, you will come upon the sea palaces, a unique limestone rock formation dug out by the sea that look remarkably like ancient sculptures and statues.

    The entire park area is overlaid by the peculiar "aorato" bush, indigenous to Cyprus. Its low profile and immunity to pests, allow it to survive among the area's rocky surface and the salt-ladden winds blowing in from the coasts.

    Given the island's history reaching as far back as neolithic times, you would be hard-pressed not to come up some ancient habitat, and Cavo Greco's Tapsa village is no exception.

    Legend has it the village was settled by immigrants from Kilikia which is on the coast of Asia Minor. If you are in Ayia Napa, just ask for Georgios Tofinis, the local historian, and he will be more than happy to fill you in over a cup of coffee at his favourite coffee shop.

    Visitors cannot miss the impressive antenna of a French relay station at the very tip of the park's eastern coast. The station transmits programmes to the entire Middle East region.

    The 100-metre antennas appear ill-fitting against their scenic backdrop. But sometimes, you are struck by their metallic permanence, giant and silent, ever-vigilant sentinels juxtaposed against the natural beauty surrounding them.

    On your next visit to Cyprus, make sure you add Cavo Greco National Park on the list of places to visit.

    It is the one of the best areas the island's topography has to offer, and a natural treasure that pacifies the soul.

    CNA MH/GP/1997

    [03] IMF countries meeting in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Feb 14 (CNA) -- A three-day meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors from twelve International Monetary Fund (IMF) member- states will be held in Cyprus, between February 22 and 24, 1997.

    The IMF group, chaired by the Netherlands, meets every six months.

    The group is made up of the following countries: Armenia, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Georgia, Israel, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Moldova, Romania, Ukraine and the Netherlands.

    CNA GG/AP/1997

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