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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-09-05

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus rally revs its motor again for 1997
  • [02] Russia slams Turkey over ship searching
  • [03] Archbishop Chrysostomos leaves for US
  • [04] Cyprus offers 70.000 dollars to flood-stricken Poland
  • [05] Failure to reach Cyprus solution a danger to European security
  • [06] Cyprus satisfied with Russian, Nordic statements

  • 1140:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus rally revs its motor again for 1997

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- The 25th Cyprus Rally will race its way around the island's most rugged terrain again this year without its long-time sponsor, but organisers promise the same competitive edge, organisational standard and high entertainment value local fans have come to expect from Cyprus' premier motorsport event.

    "Although we do not have a main sponsor at present, we are pressing on regardless and I can assure you that we shall not let our organisational standard drop," Cyprus Rally Clerk Takis Kyriakides told a press conference, announcing details about the Rally to be held between September 26 and 28.

    "Rothmans" withdrew its financial support this year from the Rally on account of the organisers' decision to disassociate the event from the tobacco industry in light of an ongoing anti-smoking campaign by the Cyprus Sport Organisation (KOA) and pressure from local anti-tobacco lobby groups.

    "Rothmans" has sponsored the Cyprus Rally all previous times the event was held.

    "In the face of the withdrawal of the tobacco industry's financial backing, which was incompatible to KOA's policy, KOA is now looking for solutions to motorsport's problems," KOA Director General Costas Papacostas said.

    Papacostas also noted that the immense publicity the Rally brings to Cyprus "helps in the government's efforts in the fields of tourism, politics and the projection of the unjust occupation of our small island".

    "The Cyprus Rally attracts the interest of people in the international sports arena. Many visitors come to Cyprus at rally time and are able to meet our people and learn of our struggle for justice and national survival, " he added.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island.

    Kyriakides said plenty of foreign interest has been expressed in the rally and that organisers are optimistic of a repeat of last year's points battle because both the European Championship and the FIA European Rally Cup for Drivers (Formula 2) are wide open.

    "There are four or five drivers very close to each other on the respective leader boards and the 25th Cyprus Rally is the penultimate coefficient 20 round, so the 400 winner's points could be decisive," the Course Clerk said.

    Some 67 Cypriot entries for the Rally have been declared so far. There are also seven foreign entries. Last day for entries is September 12.

    The route will cover a total distance of 1,000 kilometres, 307 of which make up the Rally's special stages.

    For the Rally's silver anniversary, its headquarters are moving back to the Hilton Hotel in Nicosia where the Rally first began in 1970. The rally will begin and end in downtown Nicosia's Eleftheria Square.

    CNA MH/GP/1997

    [02] Russia slams Turkey over ship searching

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- The search of commercial ships passing through the Black Sea Straits, by Turkey, runs contrary to the provisions of the 1936 Montreux convention for free crossing.

    This was stated by the Spokesman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Guennadi Tarasov, who added that the issue will be discussed by the deputy foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey.

    Turkey has been searching ships passing through the Bosporus strait in the Black Sea, suspecting they carry parts of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, purchased by the Republic of Cyprus late last year.

    Tarasov pledged the missiles would be delivered according to the agreed contract and there were no reasons for their delay.

    He repeated, however, the position of the Russian government that armaments would not be necessary on the island if a solution to the Cyprus problem was reached or if the Turkish side accepted President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for demilitarisation.

    Tarasov said the S-300 surface-to-air system is of purely defensive character, adding that the Cyprus Republic has no air force of its own whereas the occupation regime can control Cyprus' air space with Turkey's support.

    The Russian official called on the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to step-up efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    Answering to questions of Turkish journalists, Tarasov stressed that there is only one internationally-recognised state in Cyprus, adding that no other country than Turkey has recognised the illegal entity in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [03] Archbishop Chrysostomos leaves for US

    Larnaca, Sep 5 (CNA) -- Turkish threats against Cyprus can be countered effectively if Hellenism maintains its unity, but positions stated so far on the Cyprus problem do not lead in the right direction for a resolution of the issue, Archbishop Chrysostomos has said.

    Speaking today on his departure for the US, the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus said "until today, we have not heard positions which lead in the right direction (for a Cyprus solution), which means the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops and settlers, and the restoration of human rights in all Cyprus".

    Invited to comment on Turkish threats against Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos said the threats "can be neutralised by the unity of Hellenism in Cyprus and Greece, as well as in the diaspora, particularly in the US".

    The Archbishop will conduct a service on the occasion of the inauguration of the Greek Orthodox church of Ayios Themonianos in Houston, Texas.

    The church, built by the US philanthropist and art collector Dominique De Menil, is a replica of the church of Ayios Themonianos located in the Turkish-occupied village of Lysi.

    The church in Houston will house two priceless 13th-century mosaics stolen from the Lysi church in 1979 by Turkish art smugglers for the purpose of selling them on the international black market.

    De Menil, who rescued the mosaics from certain doom by paying a reported one million US dollars for them, agreed to hand the mosaics over to their rightful owner, the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, in 2010.

    Until that time, the mosaics will be displayed at the Houston church.

    Turkish art smugglers, in complicity with the occupation regime, have and continue to pillage for profit dozens of churches housing priceless religious objects and mosaics.

    While in the US, Archbishop Chrysostomos will meet with the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of America, Archbishop Spyridon, as well as hold contacts with other religious and diaspora leaders. He will also meet with US political figures.

    CNA MAN/MH/GP/1997

    [04] Cyprus offers 70.000 dollars to flood-stricken Poland

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- The government of Cyprus today contributed a sum of 70.000 US dollars to efforts for re-settling tens of thousands of Poles made homeless by the devastating floods which hit their country last July.

    "On behalf of his Excellency the President of the Republic, the government and the people of Cyprus, I would like to express our deepest sympathy for the tragedy which occurred in your country," Acting Foreign Minister, Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou told Poland's Charge d' Affaires to Cyprus Janusz Jesionek at the Finance Ministry.

    Thanking Christodoulou for the contribution, Jesionek said the government's gesture was an expression of goodwill, solidarity and friendly cooperation shared between Cyprus and Poland.

    "It was one of the greatest tragedies in our history and that is why we are particularly grateful for your assistance and understanding," Jesionek said.

    He added Poland will always remember the gesture, in light of the fact that both countries are on the same course towards European Union accession.

    "Today you assist us and maybe in the future, if necessary, we will assist you," Jesionek noted.

    The Polish diplomat said 53 people died as a result of the flooding, which put 12 out of Poland's 49 provinces, some 547.000 hectares, under water.

    CNA RM/MH/GP/1997

    [05] Failure to reach Cyprus solution a danger to European security

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Sep 5 (CNA) -- Failure to reach a settlement in Cyprus could lead to the disruption of the strategic pattern in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean regions, with serious consequences for Europe's future security, an article published in the International Institute of Strategic Studies quarterly "Survival" said.

    The author of the Article, Heinz Kramer, a senior researcher at the "Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik" which is the most prestigious institute in Germany with close ties to the German government, said the ongoing UN- led peace process is probably the last chance for a negotiated settlement.

    The author also supports that failure of this process may have serious consequences, not only for regional security, but for European security in general.

    Two rounds of UN-sponsored direct negotiations between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, held in Troutbeck, New York, and Glion, Switzerland, in July and August, respectively, ended in stalemate after Denktash refused to discuss issues pertaining to the substance of the Cyprus problem.

    Denktash also threatened to abandon the peace process altogether if accession negotiations between Cyprus and the European Union begin early next year, as it was decided by the EU.

    Kramer puts great emphasis on the Cyprus-EU accession negotiations and runs through the scenarios that may unfold from the talks.

    The first scenario, called "The Standard Procedure", holds that accession negotiations could be conducted with representatives of the Republic of Cyprus on the assumption that subsequent accession would apply to the whole island, with a certain delay if necessary.

    The second scenario, called "Negotiating with a Mixed Cypriot Delegation", holds that the EU would insist on negotiating with a mixed delegation of Greek and Turkish Cypriots. The EU could also stipulate that both communities would have to accept the result of the negotiations.

    The third scenario, called "Parallel membership Negotiations with Greek and Turkish Cypriots", holds that the EU could start parallel accession negotiations with both communities on the island, consciously leaving open the international status of the occupation regime.

    Denktash unilaterally declared the Turkish-occupied areas in 1983 a breakaway entity, a move universally condemned. Numerous UN resolutions declared the entity illegal and called upon the international community not to recognise it.

    Turkey, which occupies 37 per cent of the island's territory, is the only country to recognise the Denktash regime.

    Kramer concluded by stressing that the emerging risks concerning Cyprus require the EU and its leading member states, along with the US and the UN, to intensify their efforts to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He pointed out that in order to achieve this, the activities of the various representatives appointed by different countries and international organisations on the Cyprus problem must be closely coordinated and discussions within the EU - US Senior Level Group strengthened.

    The author added that the likely deterioration of the strategic situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, if the Cyprus problem is not resolved, would be a high price for all to pay.

    Kramer noted that the scenarios, the security implications for Europe and the effects the Cyprus problem has on the domestic and foreign policy of both Greece and Turkey, are the focus of political brainstorming currently taking place in Washington and in European capitals.

    CNA DA/MH/GP/1997

    [06] Cyprus satisfied with Russian, Nordic statements

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus is completely satisfied with statements on Cyprus by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Guennadi Tarasov and the Nordic Foreign Ministers, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides has said.

    "Tarasov's statements stress again the resolute Russian position which corresponds with UN resolutions and recognises only the Republic of Cyprus and its lawful government and considers the pseudo-state as a fabrication which no one recognises except its maker (Turkey)," Christofides told his press briefing today.

    Tarasov had told Turkish journalists that there is only one internationally-recognised state in Cyprus, adding that no other country except Turkey recognises the illegal entity set up in the island's areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

    "We endorse the (Russian) plea for the intensification of efforts towards achieving a true and permanent solution of the Cyprus problem through honourable and constructive dialogue for the future of Cyprus," Christofides said.

    The Government Spokesman added that "in the eyes of the entire international community (the island) is considered to be a unified, sovereign and independent Republic with the name Republic of Cyprus".

    Commenting on a Nordic Foreign Ministers' communique, Christofides said the Cyprus government and the Greek Cypriot side will respond willingly to the call for flexibility and cooperation and to refrain from anything that might lead to the derailment of the ongoing peace process.

    The communique, issued on Wednesday after a meeting of the Nordic Foreign Ministers in Bergen, Norway, urges the two parties on Cyprus "to be flexible, and to cooperate in order to achieve constructive results and to refrain from anything that can prevent continued direct talks within the UN framework".

    Two rounds of UN-sponsored direct negotiations over the last two months between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the US and Switzerland ended in stalemate after Denktash refused to discuss substantive issues pertaining to the Cyprus problem.

    He also threatened to abandon the peace process altogether if accession talks between Cyprus and the European Union went ahead early next year, as it was decided by the EU.

    Expressing their full support for the UN Secretary-General's efforts on Cyprus, the Nordic Foreign Ministers "regretted the fact that the second round of negotiations did not lead to any real progress."

    They stated that "preventing progress in the UN-led negotiations by putting forward particular conditions for participation is not acceptable".

    CNA MCH/MH/GP/1997
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