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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-12-10

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] CYTA expands activities
  • [02] Turkish official on missiles, EU, Cyprus question
  • [03] Santer outlines EU-Cyprus-Turkey ties
  • [04] EU to reiterate decision on membership talks with Cyprus
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [06] President's message on Universal Declaration
  • [07] Annan sees "positive developments" in Cyprus

  • 1715:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] CYTA expands activities

    Nicosia, Dec 10 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) intends to expand its services and activities through a satellite system for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

    CYTA has signed an agreement in Paris for the creation of EAST Ltd Company (Euro - African Satellite Telecommunications), in order to develop a geostationary communication satellite system for Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

    The agreement, signed between CYTA subsidiary Digimed Communications Ltd and the French company Matra Marconi Space (MMS) aims to expand the Authority's activities abroad and further establish its role in the region.

    The company will promote the operation of a satellite system by the year 2001 which will provide at competitive prices enhanced fixed and mobile telecommunication service to the countries of the Eastern and Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, complementing and supporting their existing network, especially in remote areas.

    CNA RM/MM/1997

    [02] Turkish official on missiles, EU, Cyprus question

    London, Dec 10 (CNA) -- A senior Turkish official has said Turkey would render anti-aircraft missiles, to be deployed in Cyprus, "ineffective".

    He also said Turkey alone cannot solve the Cyprus question, and called on Greece and the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities to contribute to the peace effort.

    The Turkish official urged the European Union to treat his country on an equal par with other applicant countries and said "Turkey deserves to be invited to the European Conference".

    Inal Batu, Turkey's Deputy Foreign Minister, told London Greek Radio Turkey must improve its human rights record, "not to please anybody or get closer to Europe or as a concession but because our people deserve it".

    "We deserve equal status with the other eleven candidate countries (for EU accession), we think we deserve pre-accession strategy and to be invited to the European Conference which will have some substance," Batu said.

    Referring to Cyprus, he said Turkey is not the only country which can contribute to a possible solution.

    "We need the contribution of at least three other sides, the Turkish Cypriots, the Greek Cypriots and Athens and that's what we are trying to achieve," he added.

    Fending off criticism about Turkish threats to annex Cyprus' Turkish occupied part, Batu said "we are not trying nor do we intend to annex the north of Cyprus. We are only saying that if the southern part of the island is integrated with Greece on a full membership in the EU, we will need economic integration with the northern part of Cyprus so that it can survive as a political entity".

    Commenting on plans by the Cyprus government to deploy Russian surface- to-air missiles as a deterrent against Turkey's military machine, Batu said his government "will not allow these missiles to be a threat against our country".

    "I am not saying that we will be hitting them or destroying them, we will take measures which will make these missiles, if they are bought, ineffective against our country as a threat", he said in an interview with LGR. CNA RM/MM/RG/1997 CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY


    [03] Santer outlines EU-Cyprus-Turkey ties

    Brussels, Dec 10 (CNA) -- European Commission President Jacques Santer has called on Turkey to give the EU "signs" of its intention to contribute to better relations with Greece and work towards a settlement of the Cyprus question.

    He also urged Turkey to show a constructive attitude towards Cyprus' EU accession.

    Speaking at a press conference, two days before Friday's EU Council, Santer said the EU should "seize the opportunity" to clinch a package deal with Turkey, if the country meets certain terms.

    These he identified as establishing good neighbourly relations with Greece, full support to international efforts to settle the Cyprus question and a constructive attitude with regard to Cyprus' membership application.

    Turkey, Santer said, must also accept that bilateral territorial disputes must be submitted to the International Court in the Hague.

    "We have to avoid the actual risk of an impasse which would weigh on Cyprus' accession negotiations as well as our relations with Turkey," Commission President said.

    He said Turkey has asked the EU for an unequivocal reconfirmation of its European vocation and its eligibility for accession, a place in the European Conference and the implementation of the customs union, including the financial protocol.

    The Commission, he added, has already put forward "a certain number of other ideas to enhance its relations with Turkey."

    "I am of the opinion that if such a package appears feasible, the opportunity must be seized," he pointed out.

    Santer said relations with Turkey are important in economic and geopolitical terms for the Union and expressed the hope that the EU Council would make progress on this score.

    CNA NB/MM/RG/1997

    [04] EU to reiterate decision on membership talks with Cyprus

    by Emilia Christofi

    Nicosia, Dec 10 (CNA) -- The Luxembourg European Union (EU) summit is expected to reiterate the EU decision that accession negotiations with Cyprus will start in April 1998, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) today.

    President Clerides leaves Thursday for Luxembourg, at the invitation of the country's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Junker, to attend on December 13 a meeting of the European Council and the applicant countries.

    In an interview with CNA, President Clerides clarified that there is no question of linking the Cyprus problem with the island's negotiations for EU accession, scheduled to start in April 1998, because the EU Council of Ministers in September 1997 categorically stood against this.

    He said, however, that the Greek Cypriot side might be subjected to pressure on this issue.

    Invited to comment on the significance of the Luxembourg European Council, which starts on Friday, Clerides said it "is expected to reiterate the March 6, 1995 decision that accession talks between the EU and Cyprus will begin six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference, meaning next April. The significance of the decision speaks for itself", he noted.

    Asked whether he believes there will be pressure on the government in view of the start of substantial efforts for a Cyprus settlement next March (after the February presidential elections) and the beginning of the EU- Cyprus membership negotiations, Clerides cited the EU Council of Ministers' decision of the 15th of September.

    The decision completely dissociated efforts for a Cyprus settlement and the island's entry bid. "This position was reiterated many times by many governments of the 15 EU member states", the President said.

    However, he acknowledged that pressure might be placed on the government. "This is because our side wishes the reunification of Cyprus and therefore there will be many who would want to exploit our fervent desire", he said.

    "We shoulder the burden to absorb the pressure, remaining firmly in favour of our national interests which under no circumstances we would be willing to sacrifice against any expediency", the Cypriot President declared.

    On the other hand, Clerides noted the fact that the accession negotiations coincide with the resumption of the Cyprus peace talks. This actually "creates a wider framework of pressure on the Turkish side."

    He said this framework could not be achieved if the EU member-states acted on a bilateral basis towards Turkey. On the contrary, the Turkish intransigence could be bowed if the EU member-states acted collectively, he added.

    Asked whether he believes the upgrading of EU-Turkey relations is unavoidable, despite Greek objections and what consequences this will have on the Greek Cypriot side, President Clerides said EU decisions require a unanimous vote and "therefore the word 'unavoidable' does not exist".

    However, he said he has complete faith that Greece "will act according to its national interests, including the Cyprus problem and will handle the issue accordingly".

    At the same time, he said it was the EU which had placed four preconditions aimed to upgrade its relations with Turkey and not Greece. "Greece has every right to demand the implementation of those preconditions", he added.

    Invited to comment whether a reference by European Union External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek earlier this month, that there are two "legislations" on the island, constituted indirect recognition of the Turkish Cypriot pseudostate, Clerides said the Commissioner clarified he was not talking about a de jure legislation.

    Therefore, he said, it would be extreme to talk about indirect recognition of the pseudostate, when Van den Broek and the European Commission in statements and reports deny any recognition of the bogus state.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    "The Cyprus Republic's legislation is based on harmonisation with the acquis communautaire and after the accession and the reunification of the island, it will be valid throughout Cyprus", he said.

    Furthermore, President Clerides said that the EU Commissioner did not disagree with Cyprus' conditions for Turkish Cypriot participation in the Republic's negotiating delegation. He said the Turkish Cypriots should accept this principle.

    "We have repeatedly mentioned them (our positions) and there is no disagreement on his (Van den Broek's) part since the European Commission has accepted the Cyprus Republic's application", he said.

    The accession negotiations, Clerides said, will take place "based on the application" and added that Van den Broek does not object that the Turkish Cypriot community should accept the principle of the island's accession with the EU.

    Replying to a question, Clerides said it would be a "joke" if our side was considered "intransigent".

    "The Turkish side will be intransigent if after such invitation it refuses to participate in the accession negotiations through various pretexts, promoting its demand for recognition of the pseudostate", he added.

    The United Nations branded the breakaway state created in the areas occupied by Turkish troops as "legally invalid" and called on all states not to recognise or assist it. Turkey is the only country in the world, which has recognised it.

    CNA EC/GP/1997

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 10 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.28 (0.00)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.54 (-0.06)
    Approved Investment Companies          59.08 (-0.12)
    Insurance Companies                    57.65 (-0.09)
    Industrial Companies                   73.75 (+0.16)
    Tourist Industries                     62.01 (+0.16)
    Commercial Companies                   40.87 (-0.63)
    Other Companies                        61.28 (+0.96)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 353301.318
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1997

    [06] President's message on Universal Declaration

    Nicosia, Dec 10 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has praised the "outstanding role" the UN plays in promoting the universal application of human rights and reaffirmed his commitment to efforts to secure the objectives of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    In a message to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the 49th anniversary of the Declaration, the President said "Cyprus regards this anniversary with particular significance since the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of its people continue to be subjected to gross and ruthless violations resulting from the Turkish invasion and the continuing forcible division of our country in flagrant violation of the UN principles and resolutions."

    "We, in Cyprus, maintain our good faith in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as the cornerstone upon which individual human rights and fundamental freedoms must be based if a just and viable solution to our national problem is to be achieved", the President added.

    Reaffirming Cyprus' staunch commitment in the efforts to secure the Declaration's objectives, President Clerides stressed that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights established the principle that the protection of human rights is a matter of legitimate international concern.

    He also reiterated that "respect for human rights, regardless of race, religion, language or gender, must remain the foundation for harmonious relations among states."

    The President said it must be acknowledged that "systematic and atrocious violations are still perpetrated in many parts of the world" and said the urgent need to reinforce UN mechanisms in order to meet these momentous challenges must not be underestimated.

    CNA RM/MM/RG/1997

    [07] Annan sees "positive developments" in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Dec 10 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan considers an agreement by the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides on the question of missing persons as "a positive development" but expresses disappointment at the failure to implement a package of measures to reduce tension along the ceasefire line on the divided island of Cyprus.

    Annan recommends to the Security Council to extend the mandate of the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus until June next year and notes that the situation, though calmer, continues to be marked by tension.

    In his report on the UN operation in Cyprus, Annan notes that "repeated appeals of the Security Council for a reduction in defence spending and the number of foreign military troops have not been heeded by either side."

    Armaments and military forces in Cyprus, he says, continued to "be expanded, upgraded and modernised at an increasing rate."

    Referring to ongoing UN efforts to introduce a package of reciprocal measures along the ceasefire line, he expresses disappointment for the lack of progress towards their implementation.

    The measures, he says, take into account the concerns of both sides and would "significantly improve the atmosphere and reduce the potential for violations of the ceasefire."

    "Now that the UNFICYP proposal has been accepted by one side, I hope that the other will follow suit without further delay," Annan's report says.

    The UN chief notes the "positive developments" on the question of missing persons and says he has asked his deputy special representative Gustave Feissel to "pursue vigorously the proposal of a joint statement on security."

    Annan also welcomes the participation of thousands of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in bicommunal activities sponsored by UNFICYP, which "demonstrate that there exists between the two communities a basis of mutual respect and goodwill."

    The nine-page report gives an outline of developments since early June with particular emphasis on the Force's activities, the restoration of normal conditions and humanitarian functions, economic and social activities, the committee on missing persons and organisational matters.

    CNA MM/RG/1997


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