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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-20

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Increased Cyprus - Israel tourist, trade links
  • [02] Canada to assist in removal of mines in Cyprus
  • [03] Cyprus-Russia-economic cooperation

  • 1300:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Increased Cyprus - Israel tourist, trade links

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- Cyprus' enhanced diplomatic ties with Israel, developed since the Republic set up an embassy in Tel Aviv, are reflected in a corresponding increase in commercial and trade links.

    Cyprus is increasingly becoming a very popular holiday destination for the Israelis and last year more than 50,000 Israelis visited the island, Louisa Varaclas, director of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) office in Tel Aviv, has said.

    "Israelis like travelling and although prices in Cyprus are not very cheap, compared to other nearby destinations, they are prepared to pay the extra cost for quality tourism," she said in an interview with CNA.

    When the CTO office first opened in 1995, the flow of tourists to Cyprus was 30,000.

    "Today Cyprus is on the map for the Israelis and our presence here has helped a great deal towards this," she said and added that Cyprus enjoys a "good image" among Israeli visitors, most of whom belong to the higher income class.

    Offering a variety of activities, good entertainment and quality service would be an additional advantage for the island's tourist product, she said.

    The CTO office is also trying to promote agro-tourism in the Israeli market.

    The political situation on the island does not seem to deter Israelis from travelling to Cyprus and people no longer see themselves as a second best choice for the Cypriot market, for periods when other popular markets, such as the British market, fail to provide the necessary number of tourists.

    The rise in tourism is also reflected in Cyprus' trade with Israel, which in 1996 showed a total of 15 million Cyprus pounds (one pound is about two US dollars) in exports, including 8 m. pounds in domestic exports.

    Cyprus' commercial attache in Tel Aviv Eleni Pitsillides said domestic exports recorded a 35 per cent increase in the period 1995-96 and re- exports an impressive 75 per cent for the same period.

    "Cyprus and Israel signed in 1994 a general trade agreement to promote bilateral trade and facilitate participation in each other's fairs," she said.

    She noted that Cyprus' trade office and exchange visits by businessmen and trade ministry officials have contributed a great deal towards increased trade.

    Cyprus exports fish, animal and vegetable fats, gypsum, fruit juice, tobacco products, pharmaceutical products, plastics and plastic articles and paper and paperboard, among other items.

    Pitsillides told CNA that in 1996 Israeli exports to Cyprus reached 31 million pounds and included petroleum oils, chemicals, machinery and plastics.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Canada to assist in removal of mines in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- Canada would be willing to help in the removal of landmines in Cyprus, if requested to do so, Canadian Parliamentary Secretary of Foreign Affairs Ted McWhinney, has said.

    He also expressed Canada's readiness to participate in a future multinational peace-keeping force once a Cyprus settlement is reached.

    Speaking after an hour-long meeting with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, the Canadian official said he had "very valuable discussions with Kasoulides on foreign policy issues and a very large number of matters that affect Cyprus and Canada but not specifically matters related to internal Cyprus issues."

    He said he would visit Athens and Ankara for talks and then report to the Canadian government on the content of his discussion.

    The removal of landmines from Cyprus was one of the issues he and Canadian special envoy for Cyprus Michael Bell discussed with the Minister, he disclosed.

    "There is a lot of expertise in Canada about landmines and we will be looking forward for action there and if it occurs I think there will be a strong argument for the Canadian government in helping for the removal of landmines here," he added.

    Replying to questions, he said the removal of mines, most of which lie near the UN controlled buffer zone which divides the island, will probably be touched upon at a meeting with UNFICYP commander, major general Evergisto de Vergara.

    McWhinney said his talks on both sides of the divide gave him grounds that the sides can make headways towards a solution.

    "I am quite encouraged, there is enough pragmatism around, all of us want to see Cyprus issue settled and a solution that respects the integrity of the island," he told journalists.

    Asked if Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash indicated to him he would return to the negotiating table in spite of public statements to the contrary, McWhinney replied "generally I am very impressed with the possibilities here after my visit, dialogue is essential and rigid positions that are sometimes taken for newspaper headlines purposes are not necessarily the ultimate positions."

    Invited to say if Canada may participate in a multinational peace- keeping force in Cyprus after a solution, he pointed out that Canada concentrates on peace-keeping for the past 35 years and added "I think there will be very strong support in Canada for further involvement."

    Earlier today, McWhinney met House President Spyros Kyprianou and reiterated Canada's support in maintaining the Cyprus' state and its integrity.

    Asked to expand on a view he expressed yesterday, that there are "many roads to Rome" and many ways of solving a problem, he said:

    "We hope you have a federal solution that will work. For Cyprus' future in the EU you do better as one sate, but there are many different modalities in achieving that."

    CNA MM/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400 CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus-Russia-economic cooperation

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- A Cypriot delegation, headed by Minister of Finance, Christodoulos Christodoulou, is flying today to Moscow, where a number of economic and trade agreements between Cyprus and the Russian Federation are expected to be signed.

    The delegation is visiting Moscow to represent Cyprus at the first session of the joint inter-governmental committee on economic cooperation between the two countries, which was established in 1992.

    Cypriot businesspeople, interested in investing in Russia, are also participating in the delegation.

    The issues expected to be discussed during the session of the Committee, include relations between the two countries concerning investment, trade, constructions, agriculture, tourism and transport.

    After the meeting, Christodoulou and other members of the Cypriot delegation, will visit Krasnodar, a site which enjoys special privileges as an investment destination from both Cyprus and Greece.

    In Krasnodar, Christodoulou will hold talks with the region's administration on ways to proceed with a cooperation agreement between Cyprus and Russia for the development of the Black Sea area.

    CNA GG/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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