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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-23

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Minor blast in British bases - no injuries
  • [02] Middle East church leaders meet in Cyprus
  • [03] Exchange of information on missing persons
  • [04] Cyprus signs agreements with Russia
  • [05] Central Bank - Government stock

  • 1020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Minor blast in British bases - no injuries

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- British police continue their investigations today to determine the exact circumstances of a bomb blast on Thursday night outside a police station within one of the two military bases Britain has retained on the island, a spokesman for the bases told CNA today.

    The small explosion caused only minor damage to the building and there were no injuries, spokesman Mervyn Jones said.

    The area, which was sealed off last night, is now open, he added.

    "We do not regard this as a terrorist attack, it is more likely to be the work of a crank," Jones said.

    The bases chief constable went to the scene of the explosion last night, which is about two miles outside the RAF Akrotiri airfield, a military site Britain retained after it granted Cyprus its independence in 1960.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] Middle East church leaders meet in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- Middle East Church leaders gathered here Friday to examine the realities which the church faces today in this region.

    The one day meeting, organised by the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), takes place at the Archbishopric Palace in Nicosia. It was opened by the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    Among the participant church leaders are Patriarch Ingatious IV Hazim, from Damascus, Patriarch Petros VII of Alexandria and all Africa, Patriarch Ignatious Zakka I of Antioch and all the East for the Syrian Orthodox Church, Rev. Dr. Salim Sahiouny, President of the Supreme Council of the Evangelical Churches in Syria and Lebanon.

    Addressing the meeting, Archbishop Chrysostomos said the "march forward of our churches in this Middle East region is truly difficult".

    He explained the region of the Middle East for long centuries has been disturbed by disputes, conflicts and massacres, arising "from men's and peoples' sinful tendency to dominate over others by force and superiority in numbers and arms".

    The Archbishop called on the leaders of the MECC to "work together in order to support one another and defend their rights".

    He referred to the island's division and occupation of a third of its territory by Turkish occupation forces since 1974, noting that more than 500 churches in the occupied areas "are being looted, plundered and desecrated".

    Archbishop Chrysostomos criticised the "so-called Christians of Europe and America", who "remain indifferent onlookers on what is happening to us, while some of them are unfortunately helping the invaders who belong to another religion".

    He called on MECC leaders not to forget Cyprus in their prayers and seek freedom, justice and peace for the island.

    Addressing participants, MECC General Secretary, Rev. Riad Jarjour said "we meet today on the threshold of the third millennium to examine the realities which face the Church today".

    Church leaders, he said, will "discuss how to strengthen the fellowship among the churches of the Middle East" and to "lay a firm foundation for the ecumenical movement".

    Rev. Jarjour said the subject of Christian presence in the Middle East is also on the meeting's agenda.

    He warned that "any setback to Christian presence in this region or any diminution of these churches is a negative witness to our integrity in this region from the age of the apostles to this day".

    A working paper will be presented to the church leaders on the "Christian presence in the Middle East". They will also examine the pastoral letter of the leaders of the MECC.

    Letters from the National Committee for Muslim-Christian Dialogue, the President of the Supreme Islamic Shiite Council and the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic were read out to MECC leaders, calling for national solidarity and a common destiny for Arab Muslims and Christians.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [03] Exchange of information on missing persons

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- Representatives of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides exchanged today information about the location of graves of missing persons.

    The two representatives agreed to "meet again soon" and said they would continue their work to obtain information on the graves of more Greek and Turkish Cypriot missing and described today's encounter as an important step forward.

    This is the first time the two sides on this divided island have exchanged information about missing persons in a bid to make headway towards resolving this humanitarian issue.

    The meeting took place at the Ledra Palace Hotel, situated in the UN- controlled buffer zone in Nicosia. It is the only check-point leading to the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus from the government-controlled territory.

    In a brief statement to the press after the 45-minute long meeting, top UN envoy in Cyprus Gustave Feissel said today's meeting "is the implementation of the July 31 (1997) agreement" between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The chief of mission of the UN operation here said the representatives, Takis Christopoulos (Greek Cypriot) and Rustem Tatar (Turkish Cypriot), met "to exchange information on the location of graves of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons."

    They indicated that their respective sides would "continue their efforts to obtain information on the location of graves of further Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons."

    The statement said the two men "agreed to meet again soon to discuss the preparation of arrangements leading to the return of the remains of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons in question."

    All three men refrained from replying to any questions from the press.

    Christopoulos said the meeting was "important as it is the beginning of the implementation of the July agreement."

    Tatar said "I think both sides are sincere and we will proceed."

    Replying to questions, he said resolving the issue of the missing persons could help efforts for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question.

    Tatar was not in a position to say how long the sides would take to study the information made available to them on the missing.

    The Greek Cypriot side handed information on 200 Turkish Cypriots missing (of a total of 503 cases) and the Turkish Cypriot side gave information about 400 Greek Cypriots (of a total of 1,493 cases delivered to the committee of missing persons).

    A total of 1,619 Greek Cypriots and Greeks were listed as missing soon after the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the island's northern third.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [04] Cyprus signs agreements with Russia

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Russia have agreed to expand economic and trade cooperation through a series of measures and agreements signed in Moscow.

    This was the outcome of the first session of the joint intergovernmental committee on trade and economic cooperation between Cyprus and the Russian Federation, which ended yesterday in the Russian capital.

    The Cypriot delegation was headed by Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou. The Russian side was headed by Alexei Kudrin, First Deputy Finance Minister.

    During the committee's session, Christodoulou revealed the Cyprus government's intention to spend one million US dollars as financial support to Cypriot businesspeople, seeking to operate in Russia.

    The committee focused on trade and investment, while two cooperation- agreements have been signed; the first on agriculture and the second on the prevention of calamities.

    Regarding investment, the two sides decided to set up a joint task- force which will monitor the implementation of the measures agreed.

    They also decided to set up a special joint committee made up of businesspeople to plan and coordinate relations regarding investments.

    The Russian delegation announced a plan to set up a centre in Cyprus, promoting Russia as an investment destination.

    Concerning the debts of the former Soviet Union, now part of the Russian Federation's debts, the Cypriot side presented a set of suggestions, in a bid to tackle the issue.

    Christodoulou was to fly today to Krasnodar near the Black Sea, to discuss with the administration of the region, ways to implement development projects agreed in 1992.

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [05] Central Bank - Government stock

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- The Central Bank of Cyprus will be offering by auction on a bid-price basis of upto 30 million Cyprus pounds, 6,75 per cent Government Registered Development Stock (GRDS) with repayment of the stock at par in five years (one Cyprus pound is equal to 1,9 US dollars).

    According to a Central Bank statement, the auction will take place on January 28, 1998.

    The Central Bank also announced a new issue of upto 10 million pounds GRDS with maturity in three years and interest rate of 6,50 per cent, payable six-monthly.

    Interest earned by individuals from GRDS is exempted from income tax.

    CNA GG/GP/1998
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