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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-02-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Vassiliou, Hannay discuss Cyprus' EU course
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] New cabinet to be announced Saturday
  • [04] Kranidiotis supports Cyprus' right to defend itself
  • [05] British envoy calls for generous proposal
  • [06] Russia proposes Cyprus' demilitarisation
  • [07] Koutsou does not get ministry

  • 1540:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Vassiliou, Hannay discuss Cyprus' EU course

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- British Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay expressed today the wish the Cyprus - European Union accession talks will begin successfully.

    Sir David was speaking after a meeting with United Democrats leader, George Vassiliou, who will head the Cyprus delegation in the EU accession talks.

    "We are looking forward to President Clerides' visit to London in March, " Sir David said, pointing out "there will be important discussions then".

    President Clerides will be visiting London on March 12 to take part in the European Conference.

    "We meet under the European Council conclusions of Luxembourg and I hope we will proceed on from there to a very successful opening of the negotiations with Cyprus on the 31st of March", Sir David added.

    On his part, Vassiliou expressed pleasure with the meeting and said there was "an extremely useful exchange of views".

    He said nothing was concluded concerning the issue of Turkish Cypriot participation in Cyprus-EU accession talks, as "that was not the intention."

    "We were simply aiming at understanding each other's ideas," the former Cyprus President added.

    Vassiliou also said that there is no ultimatum to the government to submit a proposal on Turkish Cypriot participation, by March 12, when the President will be in London.

    CNA MK/MCH/MA/1998

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    82,57 ( 0,56)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  96,25 ( 0,62)
    Approved Investment Companies          63,53 ( 1,00)
    Insurance Companies                    59,51 (-0,17)
    Industrial Companies                   77,52 ( 0,77)
    Tourist Industries                     67,04 ( 0,87)
    Commercial Companies                   41,46 ( 1,54)
    Other Companies                        66,16 (-0,56)
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1998

    [03] New cabinet to be announced Saturday

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The new cabinet will be announced on Saturday, the same day re-elected Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides gives his affirmation before the House of Representatives, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said today.

    Christofides said President Clerides will give the prescribed affirmation during a ceremonial session of the 56-seat House of Representatives at 1100 local time (0900 GMT).

    After congratulations from officials attending the ceremony, the President will accept the affirmation of his new cabinet at the Presidential Palace.

    Clerides was re-elected for a second five-year term, after two rounds of elections held February 8 and 15.

    Following his election, Clerides invited all parties to participate in his new government, an offer turned down by main opposition left-wing AKEL and centre-right DIKO.

    DIKO had participated in his previous government with five out of the eleven ministers, who resigned last November, after the party's decision not to back Clerides' re-election bid.

    Former DIKO Vice-President Alexis Galanos disagreed with his party's decision to support George Iacovou, a former Foreign Minister, in the elections and contested the first round.

    In the run-off election, contested by Clerides and Iacovou, Galanos supported Clerides.

    Galanos is not expected to participate in the new cabinet, but it is anticipated that two former DIKO ministers in the Clerides government, who had supported his bid for re-election, will be appointed.

    Socialist Party EDEK is expected to take over the Defence Ministry, while the leaders of the Liberal Party, Nicos Rolandis, and New Horizons party, Nicos Koutsou, are believed to take a ministry each.

    The Government Spokesman said the President will today conclude his meetings with the political leaders who have decided to participate in a "widely-acceptable government."

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [04] Kranidiotis supports Cyprus' right to defend itself

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Greek Foreign Under-Secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis, today underlined that a joint defence pact agreed between Cyprus and Greece in 1993, backs diplomatic efforts for a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after meeting here National Guard Commander, Lieutenant- General Nikolaos Vorvolakos, Kranidiotis said "the dogma serves the diplomatic effort undertaken for a peaceful and just solution in Cyprus."

    The Greek official stressed he is "more satisfied after the meeting", noting that the defence pact is part of the policy followed by the two governments.

    Without defence there can be no successful diplomacy, he added.

    Through the dogma Greece will provide Cyprus with air and sea coverage in the event of a new Turkish offensive against Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    Kranidiotis pointed out that "the Cypriots have the inalienable right to their defence, as long as there is no satisfactory political solution."

    The Greek Under-Secretary also met today with the primate of the Cyprus Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos, and had a working breakfast with Britain's representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, who held talks here today with President Glafcos Clerides and other Cypriot officials.

    Kranidiotis came to Cyprus on Tuesday for five days of talks with the government, political party leaders and other officials, including foreign ambassadors.

    His meetings are focusing on efforts to settle the Cyprus question and the start of European Union accession talks with the Cyprus Republic, scheduled to begin end of March.

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [05] British envoy calls for generous proposal

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- A generous proposal from the Cyprus government concerning the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the accession talks with the European Union, even if rejected by the Turkish side, should still remain on the table, British Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, said today.

    Speaking at press conference for Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists, with which he concluded his visit to Cyprus, Sir David stressed that March 31, when accession talks will begin, is "an absolute and fixed date on the calendar."

    He also pointed out he sees "no circumstances under which that will not take place".

    "If there is a serious and generous offer from the Greek Cypriot side, which is what we are working for, this will be warmly welcomed and endorsed by the EU," he said.

    Sir David pointed out that such an offer "could provoke a response from the other side (Turkish Cypriot), but if does not I think everyone would wish to see it stay on the table and be available throughout the negotiations".

    The British Representative said he was saddened because Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, refused to see him.

    "I would have liked to have heard his (Denktash's) views on all these subjects", he said and pointed out that "we are not going to get solutions on any of them without the cooperation of the Turkish Cypriots whose community he is the leader".

    Sir David stressed, however, that his failure to see Denktash was none of his doing. "I do not therefore feel I can accept any responsibility for that", he added.

    "The whole of Cyprus is at a rather important turning point", the British Representative said, noting that "decisions are going to be taken in the next few years which will be of fundamental importance for everyone who lives in Cyprus".

    Such decisions, he explained, relate to Cyprus' European course as well as to the "possibility of a political settlement or the lack of possibility of a political settlement".

    "At the moment, from what I can read or hear about Rauf Denktash's position, he has taken very strong views on both issues", he said, adding, however, that:

    "One should not simply assume that we are in front of a static situation. Things are going to move on".

    Sir David stressed that accession negotiations will start on 31 March and expressed the hope "we can make use of the time available to make progress on both fronts".

    Pointing out that even though Cyprus' accession course and efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem ran parallel, he said "I hope that it may be possible to bring them to converge."

    "There has never been a situation in which the EU has negotiated the membership of a country that is in a situation like Cyprus", Sir David noted, describing it as "a case apart".

    The British envoy said that "whatever might be decided about the joint negotiating team would need to be ring-fenced from other matters".

    He pointed out that whatever "innovative arrangements" will be reached for EU negotiations need not involve a recognition on the part of the Republic of Cyprus of the break-away entity unilaterally established in the part of the island occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

    At the same time Sir David added that the illegal regime would not have to recognise that the "Republic of Cyprus was the sole government of Cyprus."

    He pointed out that "these are matters that can only be settled in the UN negotiations".

    "A ring-fencing umbrella should be used to deal with EU negotiations," Sir David said, citing as an example, the way Britain and Argentina have been negotiating about fisheries and oil exploration despite their completely contrary views on the sovereignty of the Falkland islands.

    Sir David reaffirmed that the British government does not consider a solution to the Cyprus problem a precondition for accession to the EU.

    He also pointed out that Britain does not agree with Turkey that the 1960 agreements, by which the Republic was established, represent an impediment to Cyprus joining the EU of which Turkey is not a member.

    "This is a highly technical legal issue and I am afraid we will have to agree to disagree", he said.

    Replying to questions, Sir David said that Rauf Denktash has not yet replied to an invitation by British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, to visit London.

    Asked whether he could be coming back to Cyprus next week together with European Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, Sir David said he may do, noting that the two will exchange views over the weekend.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [06] Russia proposes Cyprus' demilitarisation

    by Emilia Christofi

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Georgi Mouradov has stressed the need to intensify efforts for the island's demilitarisation instead of trying to avert the deployment of the Russian-made surface-to- air missile system S-300.

    In an interview with CNA, during a visit to the news agency, the Russian diplomat described the status quo on the island as unacceptable and stressed the need to solve the island through a coordinated effort of those countries interested in a solution, under the UN auspices.

    "Russia considers the Cyprus issue a very important international problem, which urgently needs a solution because the status quo is unacceptable", he told CNA.

    Together with other members of the Security Council, Russia is helping in finding "a just, lasting solution to the Cyprus problem, based on the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of the Cyprus state".

    Mouradov said "Russia does not stand by waiting for a development in the Cyprus problem". On the contrary, "it is proposing ideas and proposals which might be useful," he said.

    The Russian Ambassador said those proposals focus on the island's demilitarisation, "because we believe that it is the substance for a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem".

    He advocated the implementation of UN resolutions on Cyprus, noting that they have not been implemented because of "insufficient insistence on the part of the international community".

    Invited to comment on strong reactions from the US, the UK and other countries on the deployment later this year of the S-300 defence missile system, Mouradov said the agreement "does not violate anything".

    "The S-300's are purely a defence weapon system which cannot harm anyone. It can only defend the Cyprus airspace", he added.

    However, he proposed that those countries which oppose the missiles' deployment have an option.

    "There is an alternative, a specific proposal for Cyprus' demilitarisation", he said, "which will made the deployment of the missiles useless".

    "Instead of efforts to cancel the contract, efforts should concentrate on demilitarisation", Mouradov suggested.

    The Russian diplomat said plenty of time has been wasted on talking about the missiles. "There is still time to follow the line of demilitarisation, because the S-300's are an incentive", he added.

    The Cyprus government signed a contract to buy the surface-to-air missiles in January 1997 and they are expected to be deployed later this year.

    The decision prompted angry reactions from Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash and Ankara, while other foreign governments have also disagreeed with the purchase.

    The Cyprus government argues for its right to boost its defences in the light of the massive Turkish military presence in the island's northern areas, which Turkey occupies since its troops invaded in 1974.

    The Cyprus government has repeatedly stressed that the missiles would not be used unless Turkey launches a fresh offensive against Cyprus.

    The Russian Ambassador argued that "every sovereign country, like Russia and Cyprus, have the right to develop relations in the military - technical field".

    Mouradov denied a news report that Cyprus has signed a 20 million US dollar deal to buy 40 Russian-made T-80U tanks. "There is no such a deal and nothing of the sort has been discussed", he said.

    Mouradov described as "very significant" a protocol signed last month during a meeting of the joint intergovernmental committee on trade and economic cooperation between Cyprus and the Russian Federation.

    He said relations between Russia and Cyprus will develop in the investments, banking and trade sectors, through the use of the island's offshore zone to promote Russian products in other markets of the region.

    Cooperation will also strengthen in the fields of telecommunications, communications and shipping.

    Mouradov said a number of programmes, such as the creation of an investment bank in Russia with the participation of the Cyprus Development Bank and the European Bank, will be implemented.

    He fully backed contacts between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, expressing the hope that the Denktash regime will lift measures preventing intercommunal meetings.

    Mouradov also referred to a cooperation agreement CNA will sign with the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.

    The agreement will be signed during a visit to Moscow by CNA Director, Andreas Christofides, scheduled 16-21 March, at the invitation of ITAR-TASS Director General Vitaly Ignatenko.

    Mouradov described this agreement as "a very important step in the development of relations between the two national news agencies".

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [07] Koutsou does not get ministry

    Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, will not take over a ministry in the new government, as he announced here today after his second meeting with President Glafcos Clerides.

    Speaking to the press, Koutsou expressed serious doubts as to whether a widely-accepted government will finally be formed, as President Clerides has promised.

    Koutsou said Clerides had promised his party a ministry, in writing, if it supported his re-election to the Presidency.

    "We agreed to support him in the second round of elections based on principles and the fact that he promised a broad-base government," Koutsou said.

    He described the decision as a "political act" on behalf of ruling Democratic Rally (DISI) and particularly its President, Nicos Anastasiades.

    Koutsou had contested the first round of and received 0,91 per cent of the vote.

    President Clerides had called on parties to offer him their support for re-election, inviting them in writing to participate in his new government.

    Clerides, re-elected for a second term in office on February 15, will give his affirmation before the House of Representatives tomorrow.

    The new ministers, who will be officially announced tomorrow, will also give their affirmation to the President later in the day.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998


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