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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-25

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Clerides and Kranidiotis discuss EU accession course
  • [02] South Africa: An example for Cyprus
  • [03] Denktash refuses to meet Hannay
  • [04] Armed robbers steal local bank
  • [05] Ministers submit resignations

  • 1130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides and Kranidiotis discuss EU accession course

    Nicosia, Feb 25 (CNA) -- The Cyprus problem and the Republic's European course in view of accession talks with the European Union, were discussed here today by President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Foreign Under-Secretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    Speaking after the meeting, Kranidiotis said he congratulated Clerides on his re-election for a second five-year term and conveyed to him an invitation by Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis, to visit Athens on March 10.

    The Greek Under-Secretary said he had "a very interesting exchange of views" with the President, noting that "certain decisions concerning future policies", were also discussed.

    Asked whether a final proposal on the issue of Turkish Cypriot participation in the Cyprus-EU accession talks has been completed, Kranidiotis answered negatively.

    "We exchanged ideas and we will continue our discussions. A proposal will be formed after serious and in depth study of the issue", he said, pointing out that a final proposal should be ready before accession talks start on May 31.

    After the Presidential Palace, Kranidiotis, who arrived here last night for a seven-day visit, went to the Foreign Ministry, where he was holding talks with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. After the meeting they will give a joint press conference.

    Later today and tomorrow Kranidiotis will have meetings with political party leaders.

    During his stay he will also meet with Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos, House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, Ambassadors of EU member states in Cyprus, US Ambassador Kenneth Brill, National Guard Commander, Lieutenant General Nikolaos Vorvolakos, and former Foreign Minister George Iacovou.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1230:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] South Africa: An example for Cyprus

    by Emilia Christofi

    Nicosia, Feb 25 (CNA) -- South Africa (SA) can constitute an example for Cyprus in bringing the two communities closer, said the country's High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Jacobs.

    In an interview with CNA, Jacobs did not rule out a visit to Cyprus by SA President, Nelson Mandela, to talk to the leaders of the two communities on the island.

    Jacobs, who is based in Athens, was in Cyprus recently to attend a presentation of the Peace Parks Foundation in southern Africa.

    The presentation introduced the concept of conservation areas (of wildlife and environment) between countries which provide opportunities for tourism and investment to the benefit of local communities.

    Referring to the Turkish occupation of 37 per cent of Cyprus territory, Jacobs said SA is working "together with the international community to find an acceptable solution".

    However, Jacobs said SA "has certain plans for Cyprus in the pipeline. Perhaps the President (Mandela) in the future will visit Cyprus, having a stoppover here and talk to the leaders of both communities to share the SA example", he said.

    Acknowledging that in SA there are still deep divisions, Jacobs said "it's really a miracle which took place there. Both sides felt that for the sake of the future of the country to put the past behind them and work towards a better future for the sake of our children".

    The High Commissioner said during the SA week which the High Commission will organise in Cyprus in April, there are plans to have a discussion on how to live together. "We want to get some people who were involved in the negotiations in SA to convey some ideas of what we did in SA", he said.

    At this point, Jacobs stressed that it is very important to bring the two sides together at a personal level. "The bicommunal meetings are very important", he said.

    Conveying a message to Cypriots, Jacobs said "you can have international support like we had, but at the end of the day, it was the people of SA, who decided to talk to each other and solve the problem. And that could also be the case here".

    However, Jacobs acknowledged that no one can dictate to Cyprus how to solve its problem. "But we could give some clues and some examples which could be helpful", but stressed SA is in line with the international community.

    "The whole world wants to find a solution here, and it's important for this part of the world because time is running out. There is a window of opportunity. I really think it's important to use this opportunity", the High Commissioner told CNA.

    Referring to bilateral relations, Jacobs said in SA there is a very strong Greek Cypriot community which is very active. There are about 130.000 Greek and Greek Cypriots, mostly entrepreneurs, who provide many employment opportunities in SA which is very important because of the high unemployment there, he said.

    Jacobs referred to the "very strong ties between the present government of the African National Congress (ANC) and Cyprus".

    "Cyprus supported SA during the struggle to overcome the deep divisions in our society. There is a lot of appreciation for that. There are also personal and historical ties, based on the strong G/C community in SA", he added.

    Jacobs said business activity between the two countries has started to develop.

    The High Commission, he said, will participate this year for the first time in the Cyprus International Trade Fair "in order to boost economic ties and establish what markets can be found in Cyprus and to bring business people together", he said.

    At the end of April there will be a South Africa week in Cyprus entitled "SA meets Cyprus". Artists from SA, including zulu dancers, will come for the week.

    This week will "bring SA closer to Cypriots which is relatively unknown in this part of the world, despite the strong G/C community", Jacobs said.

    However, the Cyprus - SA economic relations are in their early stages, mainly due to fact that Cyprus had applied sanctions against SA due to apartheid. The sanctions were lifted in 1994.

    "There are positive signs that we could increase the trade and economic ties between SA and Cyprus," Jacobs said, adding that efforts are underway to promote trade delegations in both directions.

    SA could also use the Cyprus expertise in the field of construction, offshore companies and tourism.

    "Construction is booming (in SA) and there will be possibilities for investment in that sector", he said.

    Regarding tourism, Jacobs stressed that "there are possibilities for cooperating in the tourism field because we are not competing with Cyprus. We could supplement each other and learn from each other".

    He suggested joint ventures in the offshore sector so that "SA can get involved in this part of the world".

    Jacobs described his country "a rainbow nation, a very diverse country, of many cultures, many peoples".

    SA has 11 official languages, and a rich heritage in the fields of the environment and wildlife.

    "It's a paradise for tourism, That's why we have the peace parks concept which is based on tourism but also provides job opportunities for people on the borders of these peace parks, improving the quality of life in general in SA", Jacobs concluded.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1340:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Denktash refuses to meet Hannay

    Nicosia, Feb 25 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, has repeated he will not meet British Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, who arrives here tomorrow for a 24-hour visit.

    Hannay will have meetings with Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, former Cyprus President, George Vassiliou, who will head the Republic's negotiation team with the European Union, as well as UN, US and EU officials in Cyprus.

    The Turkish Cypriot press reported today that Denktash will not meet Hannay in protest against Britain's decision to introduce visas for Turkish Cypriots, who want to visit Britain and they are holders of travel documents issued by the occupation regime.

    London had said the measure was introduced after increased cases of Turkish Cypriots, who ask for political asylum in Britain.

    Denktash said he would not meet with any EU officials either.

    He warned that unless his breakaway entity illegally established in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island is recognised, the Cyprus problem could not be solved.

    Denktash added the occupation regime had decided on the requirement of "visas" for those crossing to and from the occupied areas in an attempt to show that there are "two states" in Cyprus.

    No other country but Turkey recognises the illegal entity in the north, unilaterally declared independent in November 1983.

    UN resolutions have branded it "legally invalid" and called for its withdrawal, stressing that the only recognised Cypriot state is the Republic of Cyprus.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1415:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Armed robbers steal local bank

    Nicosia, Feb 25 (CNA) -- Armed robbers stole around 30 thousand pounds (60.000 US Dollars) from a local bank, in a Nicosia suburban village earlier today.

    The two hooded men, wearing tracksuits, stormed a Bank of Cyprus branch at the Strovolos suburb at 1040 local time (0840 GMT).

    One of the robbers fired a shot in the air when the bank cashier refused to give him the money. According to a witness, he hit the woman and dragged her towards the safe.

    A Bank of Cyprus spokesman said the robbers escaped on a dirt bike, with around 30 thousand Cyprus pounds.

    The bike was found in the same neighbourhood shortly after the incident.

    Unconfirmed reports suggested the two men were Greek Cypriots, even if they spoke with a foreign accent.

    Police Chief, Panicos Hadziloizou rushed to the area to head investigations. Police cordoned off the area.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1420:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Ministers submit resignations

    Nicosia, Feb 25 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Council of Ministers held today its last meeting during which the eleven Ministers submitted their resignations to President Glafcos Clerides.

    Speaking after the meeting, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides said the new cabinet will give its affirmation to the President on Saturday, February 28, and have its first meeting next week.

    President Clerides, who was re-elected for a second five-year term, will give the prescribed affirmation during a ceremonial session of the 56- seat House of Representatives Saturday morning.

    Christofides said President Clerides is awaiting for Socialist EDEK's reply to the invitation for participation in the government.

    EDEK is expected to announce its decision this evening, after a party political bureau meeting.

    Following EDEK's reply, the President will proceed with the composition of the new government, which could be announced tomorrow, the Spokesman added.

    CNA KN/MCH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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