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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-23

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Open agenda for Nicosia meeting, says UN
  • [02] US sees opportunity for settlement in Cyprus
  • [03] Motor vehicles statistics
  • [04] US House approves resolution on Cyprus
  • [05] Cyprus Imports-Exports statistics
  • [06] Popular Bank to set office in Belgrade

  • 1030:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Open agenda for Nicosia meeting, says UN

    Nicosia, Jul 23 (CNA) -- The agenda for Monday's meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in Nicosia is open and non-humanitarian issues might be discussed, UNFICYP Spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski told CNA Tuesday.

    He confirmed that the meeting will take place on Monday at 1800 local time (1500 GMT) at the residence of UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, situated in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia.

    The meeting was agreed yesterday during separate meetings Feissel had with Clerides and Denktash.

    Noting that obviously humanitarian issues will be discussed as decided in the first round of direct talks in Troutbeck, New York between July 9-12, Rokoszewski said "if they want to discuss other issues, the agenda is open. It will be up to them to decide which issues, in what sequence they want to discuss."

    Rokoszewski said he did not know what other issues will be raised.

    Asked to confirm reports that Feissel will introduce during the meeting confidence building measures, he clarified "these are not confidence building measures and there is nothing to introduce."

    He said during the course of the proximity talks in April, the UN "suggested to both leaders some good will gestures and this may become a part of their discussion."

    Asked if there will be more than one meeting, the Spokesman said President Clerides is on record by saying that he may have one or three meetings with Denktash. "I think it is very much in the air," he concluded.

    The first round of the UN-sponsored direct talks at the rural resort of Troutbeck, north of New York City, ended with both sides agreeing to have a second round of direct talks at Montreux, Switzerland, between August 11- 16.

    Both sides are expected to examine an amended non-paper handed to them by the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, outlining the procedure that will be followed, leading to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    However, the Turkish Cypriot leader has threatened not to attend the Montreux talks following the European Commission's decision to start membership talks with Cyprus next year.

    His threats were reinforced by Turkey, through a joint declaration signed last week between Denktash and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, outlining a series of steps towards partial integration of the occupied areas into Turkey.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

    [02] US sees opportunity for settlement in Cyprus

    by Dimitris Apokis

    Washington, Jul 23 (CNA) -- The US believes the current new effort for a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem offers a better opportunity then ever before, and has reiterated its pledge to work constructively to this end as well as for the improvement of Greek - Turkish relations.

    Responding to a question about US relations with Greece and Turkey and the current UN-led efforts for a Cyprus settlement, in his last appearance at the podium of the State Department, Tuesday, Burns said this "is a time of great opportunity in the Eastern Mediterranean."

    "There is a new relationship between the US and Greece, which ought to mean that we can move ahead in a way we never have before," Burns said, noting his country has "great respect" for both Prime Minister, Costas Simitis, and Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos.

    He expressed the belief "we can work with them constructively", adding "and we think especially we can work with them constructively on Cyprus."

    Burns, who is leaving his post officially on August 1, said his country is looking to the governments of Cyprus, Greece and Turkey "to coalesce now and work with the UN and (US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus) Richard Holbrooke, to move ahead on Cyprus."

    "There may not have been a better opportunity since the troubles began in Cyprus in the 1960's for (the) Cyprus (problem) to be resolved," he added.

    Direct negotiations between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, for a settlement in Cyprus began in the US early July and a second round of talks is scheduled to take place in Switzerland, August 11-16.

    Referring to Turkey, Burns said the US looks forward "now that Prime Minister (Mesut) Yilmaz is in power and the period of political instability is over, to a better relationship with a government that is stable."

    Noting there is now a Premier in Turkey who has a vote of confidence and a Premier in Greece "with a clear view of what he wants to do to preserve stability in the Eastern Mediterranean", he said "this is a time of great opportunity for all of us who wish to help Greece and Turkey and Cyprus create a new century of peace in the Eastern Mediterranean."

    "That would be a great achievement for the Greek and Turkish and Cypriot people," Burns added.

    Although there was no official announcement yet, Burns is expected to be the next US ambassador to Greece and his appointment is considered to show the great interest the US President and the Secretary of State have for the region and their willingness to advance efforts to resolve longstanding problems in the area.

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1997

    [03] Motor vehicles statistics

    Nicosia, Jul 23 (CNA) -- The total registrations of motor vehicles in Cyprus during the first six months of 1997 decreased by 16 per cent to 16.030 from 19.077 in the same period of 1996, the Department of Statistics and Research says.

    In its report called "Registration of motor vehicles" covering the first half of 1997, the Department says 8.273 were new vehicles, while the rest (7.757 vehicles) were second-hand vehicles.

    According to the report, the number of private saloons decreased by 4,4 per cent to 9.823 from 10.276 in the corresponding period in 1996.

    Registrations of new saloons fell by 35,5 per cent, while those of second-hand saloons increased by 31,6 per cent, the report adds.

    The number of registrations of motor cycles decreased by 23,6 per cent to 1.920 from 2.513 in the first half of 1996.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    US House approves resolution on Cyprus

    Washington, Jul 23 (CNA) -- The plenary of the US House of Representatives has approved with an overwhelming majority a resolution calling for a US initiative seeking for a just and peaceful resolution of the situation in Cyprus.

    The House plenary passed here Tuesday with a majority of 417 votes in favour, 4 against and 14 abstentions Concurrent Resolution 81, which was approved last month by the US House International Relations Committee and initiated by its Chairman, Benjamin Gilman.

    The House resolution (the Senate concurring) calls on the Congress to "reaffirm its view that the status quo on Cyprus is unacceptable and detrimental to the interests of the US in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond."

    It considers that "lasting peace and stability on Cyprus could be best secured by a process of complete demilitarisation leading to the withdrawal of all foreign occupation forces, the cessation of foreign arms transfers to Cyprus and providing the alternative internationally acceptable and effective security arrangements as negotiated by the parties."

    It "welcomes and supports the commitment by President Clinton to give increased attention to Cyprus and make the search for a solution a priority of US foreign policy."

    The resolution "encourages the (US) President to launch an early substantive initiative, in close coordination with the UN, the European Union and interested governments to promote a speedy resolution of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of international law, the provisions of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, democratic principles, including respect for human rights and in accordance with the norms and requirements for accession to the European Union."

    It calls upon the parties to "lend their full support and cooperation to such an initiative."

    Furthermore, it requests the US President to report actions taken to give effect to the objectives set forth above in the bimonthly report on Cyprus transmitted to the Congress.

    During the debate on the resolution, many House members took the floor and called on all their colleagues to vote in favour.

    They denounced the continuing occupation of the island's northern part by Turkish troops and said it is a "shame" that Nicosia remains the only divided city in the world, six years after the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin wall.

    In their speeches, the US Congressmen called on the Clinton administration to exert pressure on Turkey so that a just, lasting and viable solution to the protracted Cyprus problem be reached the soonest possible.

    In a statement to the International Relations Committee last month, Gilman said "Cyprus has almost become a code word for intractability in the realm of diplomacy", noting "it is a situation that cries out for just redress".

    He called on the US government to "invest some of our prestige in such an effort."

    CNA DA/AP/GP/1997

    [04] Cyprus Imports-Exports statistics

    Nicosia, Jul 23 (CNA) -- Cyprus' trade deficit for the first three months of 1997 fell by 7,9 per cent to 279,2 million Cyprus pounds, compared to 303,1 m. pounds in the same period of 1996 (one Cyprus pound = two US dollars).

    According to a January-March 1997 report of the Department of Statistics and Research, total imports, comprising imports for home consumption and imports placed in bonded warehouses, decreased by 8 per cent to 423,1 m. pounds, compared with 459,9 m. pounds in the first quarter of 1996.

    On the other hand, total exports fell by 8,2 per cent to 143,9 m. pounds, compared to 156,8 m. pounds in the first three months of 1996.

    The European Union (EU) supplied goods valued at 204,1 m. pounds or 48, 2 per cent of total imports, compared to 217 m. pounds, or 47,2 per cent in the corresponding period of 1996.

    According to the report, domestic exports including shipstores reached 55 m. pounds, compared with 56 m. pounds in the first quarter of the previous year, while re-exports including shipstores fell to 88,9 m. pounds from 100,8 m. pounds.

    The EU received 29,9 m. pounds or 55,6 per cent of Cyprus domestic exports, excluding shipstores, compared with 31,7 m. pounds, or 57,7 per cent in the first quarter of 1996.

    The Arab countries constitute the second market for Cyprus' goods with a share of 22,2 per cent, or 12 m. pounds.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [05] Popular Bank to set office in Belgrade

    Nicosia, Jul 23 (CNA) -- The Popular Bank of Cyprus has secured the Central Bank's approval to set up its first Representative Office in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

    The Bank announced that it is now proceeding with the necessary formalities to obtain the appropriate license from the Yugoslav banking authorities.

    The Popular Bank's effort to penetrate the Balkans is regarded as a significant breakthrough in the Cyprus banking industry, as the region is expected to witness significant economic activity in the coming years.

    The Popular Bank Group already has the necessary infrastructure, as two branches of the European Popular Bank, which is a member of the Group, already operate in Salonica, Greece, while specialised offshore units operate in Cyprus, Greece, and the UK, the Bank said.

    The Popular Bank Group has recently participated in the first privatisation project in Yugoslavia, acting as the intermediary bank for the sale of 49 per cent of the Serbian Telecommunications Organisation's share capital to its Greek and Italian counterparts OTE and STET, respectively.

    The cost of the transaction reached around 440 million Cyprus pounds (880 US dollars), one of the highest ever recorded in Greece.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
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