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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-01-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US says Turkey entitled to raise issues at UN
  • [02] Cypriot judge in European Court of Human Rights
  • [03] Second incident in British bases
  • [04] Tourism: Cyprus' major money earner
  • [05] Police probe into French woman's disappearance
  • [06] UN envoy on allegations on missing

  • 0850:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US says Turkey entitled to raise issues at UN

    Washington, Jan 30 (CNA) -- Turkey is entitled to raise issues of concern before the UN, US State Department Spokesman, James Foley, has pointed out.

    He refrained, however, from commenting on the possibility of Turkey raising its concern over a newly constructed military base of the Cyprus Republic in the western district of Paphos.

    "As a member of the UN, Turkey has the right to raise issues of concern before the UN, but it would be premature for us to comment on that possible move", Foley said.

    Commenting on the threats expressed by Ankara in regards to the military base, he repeated a US call for avoidance of actions and statements that could increase tension in the region.

    "We remain concerned about the increasing militarisation of Cyprus on both sides of the cease-fire line", he added.

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has challenged Turkey to bring its complaints about Paphos air base before the UN, stressing that in such a case Ankara would also have to explain its disregard of numerous UN resolutions on Cyprus.

    He said Turkey would also have to give explanations as to why it illegally maintains occupation troops on the island since it invaded in 1974.

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

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1998

    [02] Cypriot judge in European Court of Human Rights

    Nicosia, Jan 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus Republic Deputy Attorney-General, Loucis Loucaides, will resign from his post to take up his duties at the new European Court of Human Rights.

    Loucaides told CNA today he will be resigning soon, since one of the conditions is that the judges should not have a second job.

    He said he considers his new position "an honour and a challenge."

    The new court will start operating on November 1, 1998.

    Loucaides told CNA that he might resign either in the next two months or later in the year.

    The 40-nation Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly on Wednesday held elections for judges for the new court for 31 of the 39 states that have ratified the European Human Rights 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.

    Judges will be responsible for guaranteeing the rights and fundamental freedoms of nearly a thousand million Europeans.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [03] Second incident in British bases

    Nicosia, Jan 30 (CNA) -- The British Sovereign Base Area (SBA) in Cyprus continue their investigations following yesterday's discovery of a home- made bomb at Akrotiri.

    SBA Spokesman, Mervyn Wynne Jones, told CNA the Bases would be sending off the device itself for forensic examination.

    "The investigation continues. It was a very simple device," he said, two small blocks, commercially available explosives, bound together with brown tape with a fuse.

    Had it detonated, he said, it "would have been nothing more than a nuisance rather than causing any significant damage".

    It was the second incident within the SBA in a week. Last Thursday, an explosive device damaged the SBA police station at Phasouri.

    SBA Spokesman, Jones said investigations continue into that incident as well. "We cannot categorically rule out any link between the two", he added.

    Jones said he would not call it a "spate" of bomb attacks on the Bases. "We had two minor incidents that are clearly the work of a crank," he said.

    "There is no link, no suggestion whatsoever of a link to a terrorist group".

    Asked to comment on press reports that it is the work of an organised gang of criminals with interests in the area, Jones said that "remains speculative".

    "We cannot offer any guidance as to the reasoning behind this incident or the perpetrator", he added.

    Cyprus gained its independence in 1960. Britain has retained two sovereign military bases.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [04] Tourism: Cyprus' major money earner

    Nicosia, Jan 30 (CNA) -- Tourism, the industry providing 20 per cent of Cyprus' GDP, and which suffered a minor crisis in the last two years, is expected to witness a boost in 1998.

    According to recent figures, released by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), 2,06 million tourists visited the island last year, while a much higher number is expected in 1998.

    The number of tourists from the UK, representing 30 per cent of the total number of tourists, is expected to jump by 60 per cent this year.

    This development alone, is strong enough to support CTO's optimistic estimates for 1998.

    The influx of foreign currency in 1997 reached 825 million pounds, compared to 780 million pounds in the previous year (one Cyprus pound is equal to 1,9 US dollars).

    According to the CTO statistics, the number of overnight stays last year increased by 3,6 per cent to 13,6 million, while the average influx of foreign currency per tourist increased by 3,1 per cent to 393,5 pounds.

    As the CTO is at present considering the future prospects and trends of the island's tourism, emerging tourist markets are a determinant of the island's major money earner.

    CTO's statistics on these markets reveal that in 1997, the number of tourists from the Commonwealth of Independent States (the former Soviet Union) jumped by 27%, from Israel by 25 per cent, from Switzerland by 20 per cent, and from the UK by 10 per cent.

    Of the 2,06 million tourists, who visited Cyprus last year, 968 thousand or 47 per cent, were inclusive-tours visitors having, taken charter flights to the island.

    In the last few years the CTO introduced new types of tourism, in an effort to differentiate and upgrade Cyprus' tourist product. These new types include agrotourism, conference tourism, as well as sports and cultural tourism.

    The dilemma of the island's tourism world at present is between "quality tourism" and "mass tourism".

    As the CTO Chairman, Andreas Erotokritou, put it during a press conference on Wednesday, "we must focus on quality, rather than on quantity".

    In an effort to deal with the issue, the CTO is planning a 10-year strategic plan, Erotokritou said.

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [05] Police probe into French woman's disappearance

    Nicosia, Jan 30 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Police investigators were in touch with French Police and Interpol, in a bid to solve the mystery surrounding the disappearance of a French woman, who arrived on the island on Christmas Day, local police said.

    Francoise-Jacqueline Chomik, 49, a regional administrative council employee from Rhone-Alpes, who arrived in Cyprus on December 25, 1997 was reported missing by her mother earlier this month, after she failed to return home on January 1 as scheduled.

    Chomik did not either contact her family or office during her stay on the island.

    "We are in contact with French Police and Interpol on her disappearance, " Police spokesman Glafcos Xenos told CNA Friday.

    Earlier today, Police Chief Panicos Hadjiloizou told reporters investigations on the case were being carried out to several directions, but refrained from elaborating.

    Asked whether the French embassy here had made any representations to the government on Chomik's disappearance, Hadjiloizou said the authorities were in touch with the embassy on the matter.

    A French embassy spokeswoman told CNA today the embassy had notified the Cypriot Foreign Ministry on her disappearance and said that most probably she had not left Cyprus.

    "We would like to know whether her disappearance is related to information reported in the press about a foreign woman being murdered and her body was dumped in a well," she added.

    Local daily "Agon" claimed yesterday a French woman had been murdered by a taxi driver while driving her to the flat or hotel in the southern coastal town of Larnaca. He is then said to have dumped her body in a dry well in the Kokkinohoria area.

    The same daily reported today Police were expected to carry out scientific examinations on a car Friday.

    CNA AP/GP/1998

    [06] UN envoy on allegations on missing

    Nicosia, Jan 30 (CNA) -- The UN Resident Representative refrained today to comment on a confession by a Turkish soldier of Kurdish origin, concerning a mass grave of persons considered missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Gustave Feissel said there was nothing he could say on the issue at this stage.

    "We will see what information is available. At this stage we cannot say anything", he said.

    Asked about the name of the third person to the tripartite Investigatory Committee on missing persons to be appointed by the UN Secretary-General, Feissel said there is nothing new, adding, however, that "the process has been engaged".

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, who attended the Presidential Palace meeting, said the matter is treated in a very serious manner.

    Mustafa Ongan, 45, told pro-Kurdish daily "Oezguer Politika", some 100 Greek Cypriot civilians were killed and buried in a mass grave near Nicosia, during the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

    Ongan said he was serving in the Turkish army at the time.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998
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