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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Turkish Cypriots to visit mosque in free areas
  • [02] Cyprus welcomes Kinkel's statement
  • [03] Government stresses right to defence
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Cypriot jurist to new European Human Rights Court
  • [06] Russia reiterates S300 agreement is on
  • [07] Muratov: Cypro-Russian Intergovernmental Meeting successful
  • [08] CTO strategic plan

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Turkish Cypriots to visit mosque in free areas

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- Some 800 Turkish Cypriot pilgrims will visit the government-controlled areas at the end of this month to worship at one of the holiest Islamic shrines.

    Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner, Takis Christopoulos, told CNA Wednesday that 800 Turkish Cypriot would cross on January 31 into the free areas of the Republic for a pilgrimage to Hala Sultan Tekke mosque in Larnaca, on the southeastern coast.

    Their pilgrimage will be on the occasion of the Moslem religious festival "Sheker Bayram" (Eid El-Fitr) tomorrow, marking the end of the holy month of "Ramadan".

    Christopoulos said the pilgrims will not travel on their own buses this time, as they did in previous visits, but on buses of Greek Cypriot ownership.

    The Hala Sultan Tekke, located on the shore of Larnaca's Salt Lake, was built in memory of Umm Haram, an aunt of Prophet Mohammed and is considered one of the holiest Islamic shrines.

    Meanwhile, Moslems living in the government-controlled areas of the Republic will celebrate tomorrow morning the end of "Ramadan" at the Omerie mosque, in the capital, Nicosia.

    The religious ceremony, usually attended by Moslem diplomats serving here, will be held by Nicosia Imam Abdel Halek Ahmed El-Basiouni, who is of Egyptian origin.

    More than 1,000 Greek Cypriot pilgrims visited on November 30, 1997 the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, at the eastern tip of the island, under Turkish occupation since 1974, to celebrate the saint's name day, according to the Greek Orthodox calendar.

    On August 15, 1997 day of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, 650 Greek Cypriot pilgrims also travelled to Apostolos Andreas Monastery.

    Over the past few years Turkish Cypriots are visiting the Hala Sultan Tekke to celebrate their religious festivals, while the last two years they were also permitted to cross the UN-controlled cease-fire line to visit the Turkish Cypriot enclave of Kokkina, in the northwestern part of the island. CNA/AP/GP/1998


    [02] Cyprus welcomes Kinkel's statement

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government today expressed satisfaction with statements by German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, criticising Turkey for its illegal occupation of Cyprus' northern territory.

    Welcoming Kinkel's statement, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, pointed out that the German Minister reaffirmed that Cyprus- European Union accession talks will start on March 30.

    Responding to allegations by his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem that the EU follows a discriminatory policy towards Turkey, Kinkel told him yesterday the Union could not be blamed for Turkey's problems.

    "The EU countries cannot do anything about it if Turkey has illegally occupied northern Cyprus or if it cannot find a way to resolve the Kurdish issue," Kinkel told a joint press conference yesterday in Germany with Cem.

    Kinkel's statement "crashes all arguments fabricated by Turkey in an attempt to justify its unjustifiable crimes against Cyprus and international law and order", Christofides said.

    At the same time, the Cypriot official recalled a recent statement made by EU External Relations Commissioner Hans Van den Broek while on a visit to Turkey.

    The Dutch Commissioner had told Turkish generals that the Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern third should end and the Turkish troops should be withdrawn from Cyprus.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/MCH/GP/1998

    [03] Government stresses right to defence

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- The government shares the view that increased armaments are not constructive in a period of negotiations but stresses its undeniable right to defend itself.

    This was pointed out today by Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, asked to comment on a statement by British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook.

    Speaking after the first formal meeting of a European Union-Russia joint cooperation council, yesterday in Brussels, Cook said the deployment of Russian S300 anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus, scheduled later this year, was "not the wisest step".

    He stressed, however, that "the right of Cyprus to its defence is not in discussion".

    Christofides also said there is a six-month period between now and the arrival of the S300, pointing out that "there is enough time for progress and for achieving results.

    Answering to comments on the decision reached in Luxembourg concerning Turkey's participation in the European Conference, Christofides said there are preconditions.

    He made special reference to paragraph five which stresses the need to respect the sovereignty of other countries, external borders, principles of international law and commitment to settlement of territorial disputes.

    This must be countersigned by Turkey, Christofides pointed out, noting that the signing is compulsory.

    CNA MM/MCH/RG/1998

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    79.50 (-0.01)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  93.02 (-0.21)
    Approved Investment Companies          62.16 (+2.25)
    Insurance Companies                    56.75 (-0.82)
    Industrial Companies                   75.67 (+0.61)
    Tourist Industries                     60.79 (+1.06)
    Commercial Companies                   37.99 (-0.50)
    Other Companies                        65.24 (+0.48)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 854413.050
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MCH/1998
    1625 CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Cypriot jurist to new European Human Rights Court

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- A Cypriot high ranking jurist has been elected judge in the new European Court of Human Rights.

    Deputy Attorney-General, Loucis Loucaides, will represent Cyprus at the new court.

    According to a statement by the Council of Europe (CoE), issued today, elections for judges for the new European Court have been completed by 31 members of the 40-nation Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.

    Elections are held by 39 of the 4O states, those that have ratified the European Human Rights Convention. Russia has not yet ratified the Convention.

    Elections for the eight remaining countries, will take place in the April session.

    The new, full time European Court of Human Rights will be set up in Strasbourg.

    Protocol 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, (ECHR), was signed by the 40-member CoE states and ratified by 39 of the contracting parties, except Russia.

    It sets up the single, full time Court in place of the present Convention control mechanism. The protocol comes into force on November 1, 1998.

    The new court will be streamlined and the procedures speeded up, with applicants having direct access to the Court.

    CNA EC/MCH/1998
    1640 CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Russia reiterates S300 agreement is on

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- Russian Ambassador to Nicosia, Georgi Muratov, reiterated his country's position that the only way the S300 anti-aircraft missiles will not be deployed on the island is if Cyprus is demilitarised.

    Speaking at a press conference here today, Muratov also stressed that Russia confirmed the relevant deal will be observed, during a visit to Moscow by Finance Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou.

    Muratov noted his country "does not believe the agreement to deploy the missiles negatively affects" the prospects of a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    He also pointed out that both Russia and Cyprus did not chose the militarisation of Cyprus and that there was ample time to find ways for demilitarisation.

    Russia, he also pointed out takes part in efforts for a Cyprus settlement and is wiling to cooperate closely with Britain and the US towards this end.

    Meanwhile, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christophides said Cyprus agrees with the view expressed by Russian Foreign Minister, Yevgeni Primakov, that his country will fulfill its obligations to Cyprus.

    Christophides said Russia and Cyprus agree that the missiles "will be deployed, unless in the meantime such circumstances develop", as the demilitarisation of the island.

    CNA RG/MCH/1998

    [07] Muratov: Cypro-Russian Intergovernmental Meeting successful

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- Russian Ambassador to Nicosia, Georgi Muratov, said here today the first meeting of the Cypro-Russian Intergovernmental Committee confirmed the upward course of relations between the two countries.

    Muratov described the meeting in Moscow 21 to 22 January as "a very important economic and political event".

    The Cypriot delegation was headed by Finance Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou, and the Russian by the First Deputy Finance Minister.

    Speaking at a press conference, Muratov said various matters were discussed at the meeting, including the prospects of further development of mutual trade exchanges, cooperation in investment, construction and transport sectors, and ways of cooperation between Cyprus and the provinces of the Russian Federation.

    Muratov especially pointed out the agreement of both sides to coordinate their efforts for the accession of Russia to the International Trade Organisation.

    Cyprus and Russia also agreed to encourage the activities of their trade and industry chambers towards closer cooperation.

    CNA RG/MCH/1998

    [08] CTO strategic plan

    Nicosia, Jan 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is preparing a strategic plan for the period until the year 2010, to upgrade the tourist product of Cyprus.

    Speaking at a press conference here today, the President of the CTO, Andreas Erotokritou, said the plan is necessary because the tourist product of Cyprus is becoming more expensive and poorer in quality, reducing its ability to compete with other countries.

    Erotokritou stressed the aims of the plan, which should be ready by November, are to develop tourism, maximise financial benefits and achieve the viability of investments, by making the sector flexible and able to compete.

    He also pointed out that the plan will focus "on the quality, rather than the quantity" of tourists.

    Erotokritou noted the plan includes creation of holiday centres in rural areas, pointing out that aims such as agrotourism, sports and conference tourism, have already been materialised.

    The CTO will focus on Cyprus culture, environment and the human element, Erotokritou added.

    Referring to the expected tourist wave for 1998, he said the first signs are generally encouraging indicating an increase in arrivals and income.

    He also pointed out that in 1997, tourist arrivals increased by 5 to 5, 5 percent, income from tourism reached 825 million pounds (around 1.650.000.000 dollars), compared with 780 million pounds (1.560.000.000 dollars) in 1996.

    Also, Erotokritou said that overnight stays in 1997 in all increased by 3,6 percent and that the per capita spending in 1997 increased by 3,1 per cent.

    CNA RG/MCH/1998

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