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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-02-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] EU Commissioner appeals to T/C leader
  • [03] Spokesman assesses EU Commissioner's visit
  • [04] Substantive discussions with Britain
  • [05] President on possible derogations on EU
  • [06] New Peacekeeping Force commander takes over
  • [07] Turkish taught at school in trial scheme

  • 1430:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.05 (+0.12)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.37 (+0.49)
    Approved Investment Companies          63.54 (-1.28)
    Insurance Companies                    56.87 (-0.61)
    Industrial Companies                   71.01 (-0.93)
    Tourist Industries                     62.67 (+0.87)
    Commercial Companies                   51.92 (+0.04)
    Other Companies                        55.41 (-0.91)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 591971.160
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1997

    [02] EU Commissioner appeals to T/C leader

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- European Union External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, called today on Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, to "lift the isolation of his community" and stressed that the start of accession talks with Cyprus is "unconditional".

    Speaking to Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists, Van den Broek said "despite difficulties 1997 remains a crucial year" and noted he detected "a willingness to cooperate towards a political settlement" on the part of the Cyprus government.

    "President Clerides has underlined again that on several occasions he has made efforts for negotiations," he said, adding, that Clerides also stated he is prepared "to resume negotiations if there is good preparation and some convergence of mind that makes it worthwhile to negotiate."

    He said he conveyed this message to Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash and called on him "to lift the isolation of his community.

    Noting that "the lack of communication between the north and the south can so clearly be felt", he said Turkish Cypriots "want contacts with their compatriots of the south" and he expressed the hope "Denktash will show the statesmanship to help the process forward."

    The EU Commissioner, who left earlier today, also called on Denktash not to ask for recognition of the illegal entity unilaterally established in the Turkish occupied part of the island.

    "Do not ask from us to recognise the 'independent state of northern Cyprus', nobody in the world does that except Turkey and we want to abide by the rules and UN resolutions", Van den Broek said.

    He added, however, that no one can deny the existence of a Turkish Cypriot community "entitled to their own cultural identity and to protection and I do not think that that is denied by their southern Greek Cypriot compatriots."

    Reaffirming EU commitment that Cyprus' membership negotiations will start, by the beginning of 1998, Van den Broek said this was "unconditional".

    "What we are adding to that now is what boost should be given to those accession negotiations and how much smoother they could develop and lead to a successful end in case the political process here shows the necessary progress", he said.

    The EU Commissioner also said he elaborately explained to Turkish Cypriots during his visit to the occupied areas "what the benefits of membership are and we tried to allay the fears that exist there, that EU membership will automatically imply a total breach of their traditional relationship with Turkey."

    Referring to relations between Turkey and the EU he said "there are problems", but expressed the hope they will be resolved. He also referred to the Turkey-EU Association Council meeting in April, noting that Turkey will repeat its aspiration to be recognised as eligible for full membership.

    "Turkey", he said, "has never been excluded from membership", but pointed out that a number of priorities need to be addressed, namely, "the human rights situation in Turkey and the Cyprus problem."

    "Without help both from Athens and Ankara a Cyprus solution will be very difficult,"he said.

    Replying to questions about attempts to include Turkish Cypriots in the accession negotiations, the EU Commissioner said the EU, as a whole, would like to see that "circumstances and progress towards a political settlement will permit an involvement of both communities in accession talks."

    Turkish Cypriot participation, he noted will depend on the state of political settlement talks, adding that "if the parties here could agree to a formula the EU would not stand in their way."

    Van den Broek said the EU would not stand in the way of certain temporary derogations, agreed by the two communities.

    "EU membership", he said, "implies principles of free movement and the establishment of free acquisition of property all over the territory", he said, noting that for the application of these principles a transitional period will be necessary.

    Concerning the security issue, he said "it is for the partners here on the island to decide how they want to secure the protection of their communities in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation."

    Describing his visit in Cyprus as "useful", he said the EU "feels as committed as ever" in assisting efforts towards a Cyprus settlement and noted that contemplating recent tensions on the island, problems between Greece and Turkey and difficulties in EU-Turkey relations, the conclusion is that "there is a very special reason, a special chance to try work towards a breakthrough."

    The EU Delegation in Nicosia, said in a statement here today "there is no incompatibility between Cyprus accession to the Union and the Treaty of Guarantee" and that the Zurich-London agreements do not prevent Cyprus from joining the EU before Turkey does so.

    CNA MCH/MM/1997
    1655 CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Spokesman assesses EU Commissioner's visit

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government considers its meetings in Nicosia with European Union (EU) External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, of "particular importance" as efforts to reach a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem and Cyprus' bid to join the EU were discussed.

    Assessing Van den Broek's three-day visit, which ended today, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said "a wide scope of positions regarding the Cyprus problem and efforts for a solution, as well as Cyprus' EU accession course were discussed."

    He noted the European official also spoke to Turkish Cypriots on "The EU and Cyprus" and clarified certain issues that concerned them.

    Cassoulides said it was important that the 15 EU member states issue a joint communique, which would enable the structured dialogue with Cyprus to continue.

    The EU-Cyprus structured dialogue, scheduled to have taken place last Tuesday in Brussels, was postponed after differences among Council members regarding Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks emerged. No common statement was issued on the matter.

    The Spokesman said it is up to the EU Dutch presidency to iron out these differences and solve the problem that has arisen.

    During his daily briefing, Cassoulides did not rule out the possibility of Turkish Cypriot participation in accession negotiations.

    "If there is agreement on the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus issue, and perhaps we only have to sort out the details of a constitution, conditions for Turkish Cypriot participation in accession negotiations may be created," he said.

    Asked to comment on Van den Broek's statements that the EU would be willing to deviate from the acquis communautaire, in issues such as the freedom of movement, Cassoulides reiterated the need for respect of all human rights and basic freedoms.

    "We cannot accept a solution (in Cyprus) which would not safeguard human rights and basic freedoms," he said.

    However, the Spokesman noted that "the restoration of basic human rights in Cyprus, flagrantly violated by Turkey, is not expected to take place from one day to the next."

    CNA MA/MM/1997

    [04] Substantive discussions with Britain

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- Britain is the only country with which the Cyprus government is carrying out substantive talks on the fundamental aspects of the protracted Cyprus issue, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides said today.

    Asked whether Britain is taking the lead, from the US, in efforts to reach a Cyprus solution, Cassoulides admitted "the fact is that at present we have begun a substantive discussion only with Britain."

    He noted the government is waiting to see when the US initiative on the Cyprus problem will be launched.

    "We express our opinion to our British interlocutors," he said, pointing out that discussions are not being carried out within a specific framework, or on ten elements regarding the Cyprus issue British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, had outlined during a press conference in Nicosia last December.

    Cassoulides reminded that the British Foreign Secretary had not put forward a document for discussion, but had referred to views "he had already discussed with the government".

    Rifkind had presented ten elements as "the best basis for making progress" towards a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in Cyprus, which addressed the security of the two communities, EU membership, the federation's single international personality and the need for negotiations between the two sides before the end of the first half of 1997.

    Replying to questions, Cassoulides said Cyprus' Attorney General, Alecos Markides, is not visiting London on a "special mission", but said he will be discussing the Cyprus problem over lunch with Rifkind, today.

    CNA MA/MM/1997

    [05] President on possible derogations on EU

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- The government is not concerned about the possibility of having to deal with temporary derogations from the aqcuis communautaire with regard to Cyprus' bid for European Union (EU) accession.

    Asked if the government is concerned over statements to this effect made earlier today by EU External Relations Commissioner, Has Van den Broek, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides replied "not at all".

    Van den Broek had said during a press conference in Nicosia that Cyprus' EU membership "implies principles of free movement and the establishment of free acquisition of property", but indicated that "a transitional period" will be necessary for their application on the island.

    The Commissioner also said such temporary derogations would allow for adjustment.

    President Clerides noted the EU Commissioner had not raised this issue during their meeting on Thursday. "He had made no suggestion on derogations during our meeting," the President said.

    He also pointed out that Van den Broek was referring to the fact that "in certain cases, there were some derogations from the acquis communautaire, but for a limited period of time."

    CNA MA/MM/1997

    [06] New Peacekeeping Force commander takes over

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- Argentine Major-General Evergisto Arturo De Vergara officially took over command today of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    The General took over his new command in a brief, low-key ceremony at UNFICYP headquarters located in the buffer zone near Nicosia International Airport.

    "UNFICYP is here to provide an opportunity for achieving peace. Peace cannot be imposed. Peace has to be agreed," General De Vergara said in a prepared address to the few invited guests.

    "Today, we shall remember that 166 of our colleagues made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in this mission. We must dedicate our efforts to their memory and redouble our endeavours to strive to achieve our mandate," he added.

    Present at the ceremony were UN Resident Representative for Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, and outgoing commander, Finnish Brigadier-General Ahti Toimi Paavali Vartianen. In his farewell address, General Vartianen said it was a privilege for him to command UNFICYP the past two and-a-half years, and wished the peacekeepers patience in their efforts "to convince that the road we have shown to the (Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots) is the right one".

    As part of the ceremony, General De Vergara inspected a guard of honour made up of Argentine and British soldiers. The few invited civilian guests, mostly family and friends of the peacekeepers, look on as Feissel and De Vergara embraced on their way back to the barracks following the ceremony.

    General De Vergara served twice with the United Nations, once as a staff officer and military observer with UNTSO in the Middle East from 1983 to 1985, and from 1993 to 1995 as UNPROFOR Deputy Commander of Sector West in Croatia.

    UNFICYP headquarters, formerly a British military installation near the Nicosia airport, lies within the buffer zone separating the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus from the Turkish occupied areas.

    The airport has remained unused and in UN control since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    CNA MH/MM/1997

    [07] Turkish taught at school in trial scheme

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- The teaching of the Turkish language has been introduced in selective Secondary Schools as an option.

    Minister of Education and Culture Kleri Angelidou told CNA today that the Turkish language is taught at three Nicosia Lyceums, which follow a pioneering scheme based on free option of a limited number of subjects.

    The Turkish language is one of eight languages taught at Greek Cypriot Secondary Schools and future teaching of Turkish will depend on demand.

    The Dean of the University of Cyprus, Miltiades Haholiades, has told CNA in a recent interview that University graduates of the Turkish Studies Department are facing problems in finding suitable employment.

    He also said that Angelidou informed him of the introduction of the Turkish language since the start of the academic year and the possibility of employing future University graduates to teach Turkish.

    CNA AZK/MM/1997
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