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

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Minister describes water reserves "tragic"
  • [02] Government condemns Jerusalem bomb attack
  • [03] No compromise on sovereignty, says Spokesman
  • [04] Cyprus believes S-300 delivery on schedule

  • 1540:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Minister describes water reserves "tragic"

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus' water reserves in the island's dams are at their lowest level for the past ten years, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Costas Petrides has said.

    The Minister told journalists during a press visit to three dams in southern Cyprus that "the situation regarding water reserves is tragic, since their level in the reservoirs are being dangerously exhausted."

    Petrides described as "equally tragic" the reduction of subterranean reserves and said the government has prepared a "strategic plan" to better use water resources until the year 2010.

    According to Petrides, the flow of water in the island's dams since last October was 22,8 million cubic metres, representing 19 per cent of the annual normal flow.

    Today, the Minister added, there are only 39,1 million cubic metres of water in the reservoirs, representing 14,5 per cent of their total capacity, in comparison with 75,5 m.c.m. last year and 132,2 in 1995, while Cyprus' annual needs in water are 134 m.c.m.

    "In case drought continues, something not impossible, the situation will be more than tragic, since by December 1997 in some big dams there will be nothing but mud left," Petrides said.

    He referred to the strict measures imposed on water supply and appealed for an increased awareness on water saving.

    In a major step to tackle Cyprus' chronic water shortage problem, the first desalination plant started operating last April on the southeastern coast, near the Dhekelia power station.

    This plant daily supplies 20.000 cubic metres of water to the free areas of Famagusta District and part of Larnaca District. By July 1998 its capacity will reach 40.000 cubic metres.

    The government approved in January a proposal for setting up a second desalination plant, west of the southern town of Larnaca, expected to be completed by 1998.

    A further two plants are also envisaged for Limassol and Paphos areas, which have to cater for thousands of tourists in the summer months.

    Cyprus has experienced this year one of the most dry winters for the past years.

    CNA AP/GP/1997
    1720 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Government condemns Jerusalem bomb attack

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has condemned yesterday's bomb attack in Jerusalem and stressed the need to maintain a peaceful process in efforts to resolve differences in the Middle East.

    "We unreservedly condemn the acts of violence which occurred in Jerusalem. Violence must be repelled and cast aside so that reason and dialogue can take its place," Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides told his daily briefing today.

    "Violence does not solve problems. The peaceful process must be maintained for differences to be resolved," he added.

    Seven people were killed and hundreds injured in a bomb blast yesterday in the heart of Jerusalem. Among the dead were the three suicide bombers. The Islamic militant group Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack.

    CNA MCH/MH/AP/1997

    [03] No compromise on sovereignty, says Spokesman

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government will not make any compromise on the issue of sovereignty, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said here today.

    "The issue of sovereignty is one of the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem and the Greek Cypriot community has concrete positions on this, which have been ratified by the National Council," top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem, he told his daily briefing Friday.

    Christofides was commenting on statements made yesterday by the US State Department new special coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, who included sovereignty in the issues to be discussed between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    The Spokesman said Cyprus' sovereignty was handed to the Republic of Cyprus in August 1960 after gaining its independence from British colonialism and "will be handed over to the federal Republic of Cyprus, when the new constitutional adjustments of the state, which is called the Republic of Cyprus, are made".

    Christofides pointed out this position differs tremendously from that of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who demands "sovereignty" recognition of his self-proclaimed pseudostate, recognised only by Turkey which occupies 37 per cent of the island's territory since it invaded Cyprus, in 1974.

    Commenting on the tactic Miller is intending to follow, the Spokesman said at this stage of the Cyprus problem, after "having discussed a lot of times all its aspects, it facilitates intensive deliberations for a solution to every aspect."

    Furthermore, he pointed out that "the urgency to solve the Cyprus problem, as presented by US diplomacy, is not just for Cyprus but mainly for the interests of the US."

    Christofides said the interests of Cyprus and the US "coincide, on that the Cyprus problem must be solved."

    The Spokesman noted not everything will be in favour of the Greek Cypriot side in a compromise.

    "We do not expect that Holbrooke's dynamic presence or any other dynamic mediation, even from the Security Council, will be one-sided," he concluded.

    CNA MCH/RG/AP/1997

    [04] Cyprus believes S-300 delivery on schedule

    Nicosia, Sep 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government believes that surface-to-air missiles S-300 purchased from Russia will be deployed in Cyprus despite Turkish threats and acts.

    Turkish authorities have been searching commercial ships passing through the Bosporus strait suspecting for missile components, in an effort to prevent S-300's deployment in Cyprus.

    Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides told his daily briefing today that the contract signed with Russian manufacturers "secures safe transport and deployment of the S-300" missiles on the island, expected in mid-1998.

    He reiterated that these surface-to-air missiles are part of the government's "necessary measures to bolster its defences."

    President Glafcos Clerides has repeatedly said the S-300 purchase agreement will be cancelled if the Turkish side agrees to the island's complete demilitarisation.

    With regard to recent Turkish inspections of ships sailing through the Bosporus straits from the Black Sea to the Aegean, in search of S-300 components destined for Cyprus, Christofides said the government believes that international treaties should be respected and observed.

    He was commenting on statements made by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Guennadi Tarasov, that the search of commercial ships passing through the Black Sea straits runs contrary to the 1936 Montreux convention providing for free crossing of Bosporus.

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

    The Spokesman declined to comment on press reports that the secret services of the US, Israel and Azerbaijan are providing Turkey information of the S-300 possible transport to Cyprus, noting that "the Cyprus government has not such information."

    CNA MCH/AP/GP/1997
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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