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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-19

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus stresses need for European security
  • [02] US calls for focus on Cyprus peace talks
  • [03] European Investment Bank loan for sewerage project
  • [04] Increase in bank credits
  • [05] Cyprus Airways flies to Milan
  • [06] Imports to Cyprus increased this year

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus stresses need for European security

    Nicosia, Dec 19 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has cited a proposal by the Cyprus government for the demilitarisation of the island as an example of handling a situation according to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) principles.

    Addressing the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting in Copenhagen, yesterday, Kasoulides stressed that "the imperative of peace and understanding must be the permanent guiding principle of our political action".

    He welcomed a document prepared by the Dutch chairman-in-office on "Guidelines on an OSCE document-charter for European Security" as "an important step in the right direction".

    Kasoulides said it would "strengthen the commitment to act in solidarity to ensure the implementation of and respect for OSCE principles and commitments and for decisions adopted."

    He emphasised the importance of promoting measures "especially in clear cases where a state threatens to use or uses force against the territorial integrity of another state".

    Kasoulides referred to the Turkish occupation of 37 percent of Cyprus' territory since 1974 and said the presence of heavily armed Turkish forces "creates conditions that necessitate military build-up endangering peace and stability in our part of Europe."

    "The proposal of the Cyprus President for the total demilitarisation of the island is an example of facing the situation according to the OSCE principles," he added.

    The proposal stipulates the disbanding of the National Guard and handing over of all weapons and armaments to an international force with the simultaneous withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops and the disbanding of the Turkish Cypriot forces.

    The minister referred to a UN-sponsored security dialogue between the two sides here, in a bid to reduce tension, and expressed hope it will continue after February's presidential elections to be held in the Republic.

    Kasoulides welcomed the adoption of the mandate for an OSCE coordinator on economic and environmental activities and described the need to safeguard and respect human rights as an essential component of security of "paramount importance".

    The Foreign Minister is scheduled to hold meetings with his counterparts from various countries, on the sidelines of the two-day OSCE meeting which got underway yesterday.

    CNA MA/GP/1997

    [02] US calls for focus on Cyprus peace talks

    Washington, Dec 19 (CNA) -- The US State Department believes efforts to solve the Cyprus problem should focus on the UN-sponsored talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    State Department Spokesman, James Foley, reiterated yesterday that the US continues to support a solution by which a bizonal, bicommunal federation would be established in Cyprus.

    Foley said he is "not aware" of threats by Turkish Premier, Mesut Yilmaz, that Turkey will annex the areas of Cyprus it occupies since it invaded the island in 1974.

    Yilmaz and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have threatened to go ahead with an agreement reached this summer to partially annex Cyprus' occupied areas if last week's European Union (EU) Luxembourg summit reconfirmed accession talks with Cyprus will begin in spring 1998.

    "I'm certainly not aware of any such comments. We believe that the focus should be on the UN-sponsored talks between the two communities (in Cyprus)," Foley said.

    He added "that's the only solution, we think is a viable and fruitful one, to bring peace and reconciliation to the island. It's a process that we're supporting, that ambassador (Richard) Holbrooke is involved with."

    Earlier this year US President Bill Clinton appointed Holbrooke, who brokered the Bosnian deal, as his Cyprus emissary.

    The State Department Spokesman said the US "looks forward" to the resumption of the Cyprus peace talks after February's presidential elections in Cyprus.

    Foley also reiterated that the US believes "the accession of Cyprus into the EU is a potentially positive development that offers a perspective for improving chances of a resolution of the problems between the two communities on the island."

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1997

    [03] European Investment Bank loan for sewerage project

    Nicosia, Dec 19 (CNA) -- The European Union Investment Bank is lending Cyprus about 17.44 million Cyprus pounds (30 million ECU) for the construction of a new sewage collection and treatment system as well as a drainage network in the western coastal town of Paphos.

    The agreement was signed in Luxembourg this week and the loan will be forwarded to the Paphos Sewage Board, established in 1993 to handle the financial management of this project.

    The loan will cover 40 percent of the total cost of the first phase of the project, estimated to cost about 40 million Cyprus pounds.

    Work on the project is expected to start beginning of 1998 and is due to be completed by the year 2000.

    The Paphos Municipality is trying to secure another 17.5 million-pound loan from the Council of Europe Social Development Fund.

    The project is expected to protect the island's scarce groundwater resources and further improve the quality of bathing water in Paphos.

    Paphos has a population of only 35 thousand, but is one of the island's main tourist resorts.

    The improved drainage system is also expected to alleviate flooding during winter storms and the collected water will be reused for irrigation after tertiary treatment.

    CNA MA/GP/1997

    [04] Increase in bank credits

    Nicosia, Dec 19 (CNA) -- The Central Bank of Cyprus decided to expand bank credit to the private sector by 11 percent or 460 million pounds (about 920 million US dollars) next year.

    This was decided at a Central Bank Board of Directors meeting yesterday, in a move aimed to meet the finance needs of the private sector and ensure conditions of internal and external stability, according to an announcement.

    Meanwhile, Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou announced the government intends to give five million pounds as a state fund for the technological updating of light and intermediate industries.

    The minister said this amount would be available next year, when the eight-million programme runs out.

    CNA MA/GP/1997

    [05] Cyprus Airways flies to Milan

    By Katerina Nicolaou

    Milan, Dec 19 (CNA) -- Milan, Italy's economic hub and leading centre for design and fashion has been recently added to the European network of Cyprus Airways (CA).

    Cyprus' national carrier, celebrating 50 years of service this year, began round-trip flights to Milan on December 2, and flies every Tuesday and Sunday, in the framework of the implementation of a code-sharing agreement between Alitalia and Cyprus Airways.

    Speaking to Cypriot journalists, who flew to Milan for the occasion, Cyprus Airways Sales Manager for Italy, Luciano Neri, noted that the airline places high expectations on the new service for which there is also constant demand from Cyprus and the Middle East.

    Milan hosts almost 100 international trade fairs every year and is a leading European business centre for fashion design, leather, textiles, office equipment and furniture.

    Neri added that further positive air traffic developments are expected for 1998/1999 with the switch of all flight operations from Linate to "Malpensa 2000", the new airport of Milan which will shortly become the largest intercontinental hub of Central and Southern Europe.

    It is notable that during the last two years, the number of Italian passengers carried by Cyprus Airways between Italy and Cyprus has grown at an annual rate of more than 30%.

    In the same period of time the turnover of Cyprus Airways in Italy has doubled.

    Neri stressed that the "numbers are only a basis to build on" and that the cooperation between Alitalia and CA has so far been very successful and of mutual benefit.

    With the beginning of the new route CA has introduced a special familiarisation fare of 99 Cyprus pounds (200 US dollars) for December only.

    Travellers to Milan will have an interesting array of things to see and do.

    Among Italy's most sophisticated cities, Milan offers the countries best shopping, the most diverse nightclubs and a varied cuisine from around the country besides a traditional one of strong personality.

    Apart from the business centre the visitor has the opportunity to enjoy the superb art galleries and the beautiful architecture.

    The real must of Milan are the imposing and spectacular late-Gothic Duomo and, of course, Teatro della Scala, the world's best theatre with its perfect acoustic.

    CNA KN/GP/1997

    [06] Imports to Cyprus increased this year

    Nicosia, Dec 19 (CNA) -- There was a slight increase in imports for home consumption in the first seven months of this year, while total exports decreased, according to the foreign trade statistics of the Department of Statistics and Research.

    The European Union countries remained Cyprus' first supplier of goods and also the countries which absorbed the bulk of the island's domestic export from January to July 1997.

    According to figures comparing the first seven months of this year to the corresponding period in 1996, total imports for home consumption and placed into bonded warehouses, valued at 1.113,8 million Cyprus pounds compared with 1.109,3 last year (one Cyprus pound is about two US dollars).

    Total exports decreased by 6,1 percent to 368,7 m. pounds during the same period compared to 392,6 m. pounds the previous year.

    As a result, the trade deficit amounted to 745,1 m. pounds compared to 716,7 m. pounds from January to July 1996.

    The EU countries supplied goods valued at 522,3 m. pounds or 46,9 percent of the total imports in this period, compared with 536,2 m. pounds or 48,3 percent in 1996.

    EU countries absorbed 64,8 m. pounds or 51,2 percent of Cyprus' domestic exports (excluding shipstores), followed by the Arab countries with 34,2 m. pounds or 27,1 percent.

    Industrial products of domestic produce exported between January and July 1997 (excluding shipstores) accounted for 79,3 percent or 100,2 m. pounds compared with 67,3% or 97,1 m. pounds in 1996.

    Clothing and footwear accounted for 16,6 m. pounds and 4,3 m. pounds, respectively, while exports of clothing from January to July 1996 totalled 22,5 m. pounds and of footwear 3,2 m. pounds.

    There was a sharp drop in the export of agricultural products this year from 46,6 m. pounds in 1996 to 25,6 m. pounds.

    CNA MA/GP/1997
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