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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-26

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government justifies defence policy
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] EU firm on start of accession talks with Cyprus
  • [04] Armenian officials train in Cyprus

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Government justifies defence policy

    Nicosia, Jan 26 (CNA) -- The government has defended its plans to boost the island's defences, saying it has a duty to enhance the Republic's capabilities in response to Turkey's unprecedented arms acquisition programme.

    Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides reiterated today that the military air base, delivered to the Ministry of Defence at the weekend, belongs to the Republic of Cyprus and the permanent stationing of Greek military aircraft there would depend on developments.

    "The base, to be inaugurated in March in the presence of the Greek Defence Minister, will be named after the late Greek Premier Andreas Papandreou, to honour him as the man who helped consolidate our defence pact with Greece," Christofides said.

    The spokesman said "it is our duty to boost our defences and the pact with Greece is our reply to the unprecedented upgrading of the Turkish military."

    Turkey maintains a 35,000-strong army in Cyprus' northern areas it occupies since 1974 when its troops invaded the island.

    The governments of Cyprus and Greece agreed upon a joint defence pact in November 1993.

    Turkey said it would protest the delivery of the air base to the UN Security Council and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has warned he would "break the wings" of Greek aircraft that may be deployed at the base.

    "The base does not belong to Greece, it belongs to the Republic of Cyprus to serve its defence purposes and facilitate those powers which, in accordance with the 1960 Treaties, have an obligation to protect the integrity and the independence of the Republic from outside attacks," Christofides said.

    The 1960 Treaty of Guarantee stipulates that Greece, Britain and Turkey are the three guarantor powers of Cyprus' independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    Asked if Greek fighters would be stationed at the Paphos air base, on the western coast, the spokesman replied: "If the prevailing situation necessitates their permanent presence here, then they will be here permanently."

    The decision to have Greek aircraft at the base lies with the governments of Cyprus and Greece and any needs that may arise, he added.

    Turkey and Denktash have repeatedly said they would take measures in reprisal for the Paphos air base, once this becomes fully operational, including turning an airport in occupied Cyprus into a fully-fledged military air base.

    CNA MCH/MM/AP/1998

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 26 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    79.90 (+1.77)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  93.82 (+2.16)
    Approved Investment Companies          61.83 (+1.69)
    Insurance Companies                    56.84 (+0.48)
    Industrial Companies                   75.28 (+1.72)
    Tourist Industries                     60.25 (+0.79)
    Commercial Companies                   38.52 (-0.41)
    Other Companies                        65.35 (+1.62)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 1341586.377
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1998

    [03] EU firm on start of accession talks with Cyprus

    Brussels, Jan 26 (CNA) -- Britain, current European Union (EU) president, and Greece dismissed here today attempts by Italy to pose obstacles for the start of accession negotiations between Cyprus and the EU.

    Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini, speaking to the EU Council, claimed that the EU has set the solution of the Cyprus question as a precondition for the start of membership talks with Cyprus.

    British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, said there is no such precondition for Cyprus and reminded his European partners that at their Luxembourg summit, in December 1997, they decided to open accession talks with Cyprus in spring 1998.

    Cook also said the summit requested that the willingness of the government of Cyprus to include representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in the accession negotiating delegation be acted upon.

    Responding to Dini's comments, Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos suggested to him to be more careful in his statements to avoid problems.

    Later, Dini told journalists that there are no preconditions for either Cyprus' participation in accession talks or for Turkeys' participation in the European Conference.

    Greek Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said the EU should provide funds to Cyprus in areas the country needs assistance with.

    The British six-month rotating EU presidency undertook to continue its contacts with Ankara until the next Council meeting on February 23, to persuade Turkey to participate in the European Conference, scheduled for March 12, on the basis of the Luxembourg conclusions.

    The conclusions provide that members of the Conference must share a commitment to peace, security and good neighbourliness, and respect the principles upon which the EU is founded.

    CNA NB/MM/AP/1998

    [04] Armenian officials train in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 26 (CNA) -- Cyprus is providing training for six officers from the office of the Armenian Auditor General and the Armenian Central Bank, an official press release said here today.

    The UN Development Programme is also offering training to one Armenian officer from the Auditor's Bureau, it added.

    The training scheme started on January 19 and will end on February 16.

    The scheme is part of UN efforts to assist the Armenian government to set up its Central Bank and the Auditor's Bureau.

    At the UN request, Cyprus' Auditor General Spyros Christou visited Armenia in March 1997 with another three experts from the EU, Canada and India.

    CNA MM/AP/1998
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