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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-13

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Portugal backs Cyprus' EU bid
  • [02] Government Stock
  • [03] Turkish planes violate Cyprus air space and FIR

  • 1050:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Portugal backs Cyprus' EU bid

    Nicosia, Jan 13 (CNA) -- Portuguese Foreign Minister, Jaime Gama, said Cyprus is part of Europe and pointed out that its economic development satisfies European Union criteria.

    Speaking in Lisbon Monday after a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart, Gama said EU policy in relation to Cyprus "is based on UN resolutions and reflects the historic reality that Cyprus is an indivisible part of Europe."

    He described Cyprus as "a country with significant economic development" and said it is included in the first group of central and eastern European countries which will join the EU.

    Referring to Turkey, Gamma said December's EU summit in Luxembourg "made the most complete proposal ever" for the development of EU relations with Ankara.

    The Portuguese minister said Turkey's European course was recognised and it was made clear that it had the right to join the EU, if it so wished.

    The Luxembourg summit said "political and economic conditions (in Turkey) allowing accession negotiations to be envisaged are not satisfied" and points out that strengthening Turkey's links with the EU depends on alignment of human rights standards and practices on those in force in the EU, settlement of disputes by legal process, including the International court of Justice and support for negotiations under the aegis of the UN on a political settlement in Cyprus on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

    Cyprus' Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides expressed satisfaction with the meeting with his Portuguese counterpart and told the Athens News Agency they discussed the Cyprus problem, the Republic's EU course and bilateral relations.

    "I believe we agree on how Cyprus' attempts to join the EU will act as a catalyst in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, in that Turkey will understand that it is preferable to set up a federation in Cyprus before the next EU enlargement," he said.

    EU accession talks with Cyprus are expected to begin in April.

    Kasoulides expressed the view that sooner or later Turkey will participate in the European conference and said that Ankara will finally recongise that the Luxembourg summit offered it a good deal.

    He also said that Turkey is trying to get us much as it can out of the Luxembourg EU conclusions and that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, is backing Ankara's efforts with his stance on Cyprus' EU accession.

    Denktash has stepped up his intransigence and demands recognition for his puppet regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus before he returns to the negotiating table.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader has also barred any intercommunal contact between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    Replying to questions, the Foreign Minister said the Russian made surface-to-air missile system S-300, ordered in January 1997, will be deployed mid-year, unless there is progress towards a Cyprus settlement.

    "The system is necessary for Cyprus' air defence, but if there is progress for a solution to the Cyprus problem, then we will need neither air nor land defence," he added.

    CNA MA/MM/1998

    [02] Government Stock

    Nicosia, Jan 13 (CNA) -- The Central Bank of Cyprus has announced a new issue of up to 5 million Cyprus pounds Government Registered Development Stock (GRDS) with maturity in three years, and an interest rate of 6,50 per cent payable six-monthly (one Cyprus pound is equal to 1,9 US dollars).

    Applications for this issue are accepted between January 14-19.

    According to a Central Bank press release, the aim of the new stock issue is to encourage savings and raise funds for financing government development projects.

    It has to be noted that interest earned from GRDS is exempted from income tax, without any limitation.

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [03] Turkish planes violate Cyprus air space and FIR

    Nicosia, Jan 13 (CNA) -- Turkish reconnaissance aircraft violated Cyprus' sovereign air space and Nicosia FIR (Flight Information Region) on two separate occasions, in what is believed to be a response to a government announcement that an air base, near the western coastal town of Paphos, will be ready for delivery later this month.

    The government will make the appropriate representations about yesterday's violations.

    A Defence Ministry spokesman told CNA today two RF - 4 entered FIR Nicosia before noon Monday and ten minutes later flew over Cyprus' air space.

    They then flew outside the Republic's territorial waters near the southern towns of Larnaca, Limassol and on the west Paphos, before returning to Turkey.

    In early afternoon, another two aircraft, probably RF - 4, violated Nicosia FIR and forty minutes later they entered Cyprus' sovereign air space.

    After a three-minute flight over the Turkish-occupied northern mountain range of Pentadactylos and Nicosia area, they exited the air space but remained in the FIR for another three minutes before returning to Turkey.

    One of the four Turkish jets circled over the British sovereign base of Dhekelia, before joining the one which circled towards Nicosia.

    Today, so far, no violations have been noted, the Defence Ministry Spokesman said.

    Some of the Turkish planes were flying as low as 3,600 feet and some 14 nautical miles outside Paphos airport.

    Meanwhile, today's edition of the Turkish Cypriot daily "Kibris" said the violations were part of Ankara's measures to counteract plans about the operation of the Paphos air base.

    "Kibris" said Monday's flights were training exercises and were carried out without prior notification.

    The Turks have threatened to upgrade an airport in Turkish-occupied Cyprus to enable military aircraft to be stationed there permanently, if Greek aircraft have a permanent presence at the Paphos base.

    The Paphos air base is expected to be delivered on January 24, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides announced Monday, adding that it would not be inaugurated until after February's presidential elections.

    Christofides stressed the air base would enable Cyprus to tackle Turkish provocations and prevent a new Turkish attack against the Republic.

    Turkish troops invaded Cyprus in 1974 and have since been occupying 37 percent of the island's territory, in violation of numerous UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MA/MM/GP/1998
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