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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-16

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Clerides on private visit to Israel
  • [02] Sand covering Cyprus to clear by noon
  • [03] Possible Annan, Denktash meeting
  • [04] CNA and ITAR-TASS to sign agreement
  • [05] Britain fully backs Cyprus' EU entry
  • [06] Britain hands proposal to Turkish Cypriots
  • [07] Cook leaves for Cairo
  • [08] Cordovez's contacts in Cyprus

  • 0900:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides on private visit to Israel

    Nicosia, Mar 16 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides flew Sunday night to Israel, where his wife Lilla -Irene will undergo ophthalmological tests.

    The Cypriot President returned from Britain, where he attended the European Union conference yesterday afternoon.

    He later left for Israel and is expected to return to the island on Thursday.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0950:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Sand covering Cyprus to clear by noon

    Nicosia, Mar 16 (CNA) -- The dust covering the whole of Cyprus due to a sandstorm in Egypt is expected to clear after midday, a senior meteorological department official told CNA today.

    "The dust is due to atmospheric pressure activity and was transferred to Cyprus by strong southern winds," Loizos Hadjioannou said.

    He added the dust began to affect the island at around 0200 local time (2400 GMT), from the western coastal town of Paphos, and gradually covered all of the island.

    "We expect the atmosphere to clear after midday either because of a change in the direction of the wind or rain," Hadjioannou said.

    He noted that strong western winds that will blow the dust away are expected, as well as rain, that will clear the atmosphere.

    The dust forced British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, heading for Egypt on a three-day tour of the region, to make a stop-over in Cyprus Sunday evening as the Cairo airport was closed because of the sandstorm.

    Cook is expected to leave the island for Cairo on a morning flight, which for the time being will go ahead as scheduled, according to a Civil Aviation official.

    The Foreign Secretary is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak later today, within the framework of a Middle East tour aimed at reviving the peace process.

    The Civil Aviation official said visibility at Larnaca Airport is about 700 metres and flights to and from Cyprus have not been affected.

    Meanwhile, Hadjioannou told CNA the climatic condition can affect people with breathing problems, pointing out that they should stay indoors.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1020:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Possible Annan, Denktash meeting

    by James Delihas

    United Nations, Mar 16 (CNA) -- A possible meeting later this month between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is not necessarily precluded, highly placed UN sources have told CNA.

    It had been reported that the UN chief had pleaded an overly burdened schedule in response to a request from Denktash earlier this month for a meeting.

    Annan is expected to visit Geneva on March 26, before flying on to Moscow.

    Conceivably a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, if it is to occur at all, could take place at that time.

    Meanwhile, the Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez received instructions from the Security Council last Friday to re- energize the Cyprus peace talks, dormant since last year.

    Cordovez, who chaired two rounds of failed talks between the two sides in summer 1997, arrives in Cyprus for meetings tomorrow, March 17.

    The UN envoy will fly to Athens on March 23 and Ankara the following day.

    On March 26, Cordovez will be in Geneva to brief foreign government envoys for the Cyprus problem on his visit.

    Sir David Hannay, the European Union rotating British presidency envoy, US State Department Special Coordinator Tom Miller, as well as envoys of other countries will be present.

    Miller was in Cyprus recently for meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Hannay had also talks with President Clerides but Denktash refused to meet him, in an angry response to an EU decision to open accession talks with the Cyprus Republic end of this month.

    He also refused to see EU External Relations Commissioner Hans Van den Broek, who also visited the island this month.

    "Any meeting with the Secretary-General would depend on how much progress Cordovez is able to make with Denktash," the same sources speculated.

    UN diplomats noted Cordovez is in the enviable or perhaps unenviable position, of being the only important emissary the Turkish Cypriot leader would meet.

    Denktash's rigid and confrontational positions are making resumption of talks difficult and appear to have boxed him into a corner, according to another diplomat close to the Cyprus issue.

    On the other hand, Clerides is flush with victories won over the past week at EU meetings in London and Edinburgh and his proposals for welcoming Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks have been described "generous" and "courageous".

    "The Cyprus government appears to have taken some umbrage at Cordovez' statement that Cyprus' EU accession track has 'complicated matters'," a UN ambassador explained, adding "it is now Cordovez' problem to pull that chestnut out of the fire."

    CNA JD/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1050:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] CNA and ITAR-TASS to sign agreement

    Nicosia, Mar 16 (CNA) -- Cyprus News Agency Director Andreas Christofides left for a visit to Moscow today, at the invitation of Vitaly Ignatenko, Director General of the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.

    Christofides and Ignatenko will hold talks and sign a cooperation agreement between the two news agencies.

    The CNA Director is accompanied by Christos Georgiou, member of the CNA Board.

    CNA GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1145:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Britain fully backs Cyprus' EU entry

    Larnaca, Mar 16 (CNA) --British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook today reiterated his country's strong support to Cyprus' application to join the European Union.

    Expressing satisfaction with EU consensus over the opening of accession talks with the Cyprus Republic at the end of this month, Cook welcomed a proposal from the Cyprus government for Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU accession talks.

    He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots have more to benefit from the Republic's EU accession and said the British High Commission in Nicosia is urging them to accept the President's proposal.

    Cook, who is on his way to Egypt, was speaking in Larnaca where he stayed overnight after being forced to remain in Cyprus because of a sandstorm closed to Cairo airport.

    He is still in Larnaca as his flight scheduled for 1000 local time (0800 GMT) was cancelled.

    "We are making progress on the application of Cyprus to the EU," Cook said, adding that "Britain, which is currently the president of the EU, strongly supports the application of Cyprus."

    The Foreign Secretary expressed the view that "Cyprus is one of the stronger candidates, in terms of a very well developed economy. There has been a lot of progress over the last few years in bringing its laws into line with the EU and I would like to see this application succeed."

    Referring to an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers, held in Edinburgh last week, Cook said he is delighted "that we managed to get agreement on the text for Cyprus for the conference which will be in a fortnight from today."

    "In that text we welcome the application and would like to see it prosper," he said, adding that with the consensus reached "now we have the support of all the EU Foreign Ministers to get the negotiations off to a flying start with Cyprus.

    Asked if he believes the Cyprus problem has to be solved before the Republic joins the EU, Cook replied "everyone would like to see a solution", noting it would be in the interest of the people of Cyprus and the people of Europe.

    "Britain has always taken the position that this should not be a condition of Cyprus coming into membership with the EU, but we would like to see it happen, indeed so would the people of Cyprus," he added.

    Invited to comment on an invitation by President Glafcos Clerides to Turkish Cypriots to participate in the official delegation that will carry out the accession talks, Cook said "we would like to make sure that all the people of Cyprus benefit from EU membership".

    "Indeed one of the ironies of the Turkish Cypriot leadership is that actually they in the north of the island stand to benefit more than anybody else from membership to the EU," he said.

    He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots "are some much poorer they would benefit much more from membership".

    "We have asked that the delegation which negotiates for Cyprus should be a mixed delegation representing both communities," Cook added.

    The British Foreign Secretary described as "fair and realistic" a proposal by President Glafcos Clerides for Turkish Cypriot participation, that the President outlined to him during a meeting in London on Thursday.

    "I think it is a realistic and fair offer and our High Commission here is in consultations with the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot community, urging them to accept that. It is now a matter firmly in their court. But I hope that they will respond and they will respond positively," he added.

    President Clerides has asked the Turkish Cypriot community to nominate representatives to be included as full members of the Cypriot team which will conduct the negotiations.

    The offer has been turned down by both the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the illegal "parliament" in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since they invaded Cyprus in 1974.

    They have said they will not take part either in the EU accession negotiations or the Cyprus peace talks unless the illegal state established in the Turkish-occupied areas in 1983 is recognised.

    Referring to his visit to the region, Cook said his mission is taking place because "the EU is very anxious to get the Middle East peace process going back on track again".

    He described the Middle East peace process of great concern "not just for the countries involved but (also) to their neighbours in Europe."

    Cook pointed out the EU is one of the largest financial contributors to the peace process and wants to make sure the money it gives is used to back the process.

    CNA MAN/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1300:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Britain hands proposal to Turkish Cypriots

    Nicosia, Mar 16 (CNA) -- The British High Commission in Nicosia has handed Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash a proposal by President Glafcos Clerides for Turkish Cypriot participation in the Republic's European Union accession talks.

    British High Commission Spokesman, Piers Cazalet, told CNA today that "last Friday Acting High Commissioner John Buck gave the Clerides proposal to Rauf Denktash."

    He added that High Commissioner David Madden, who was abroad at the time, is scheduled to meet the Turkish Cypriot leader this week "to discuss it (the proposal) further".

    Last week President Clerides presented the government's proposal for Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU accession talks, scheduled to open March 31, to the EU rotating British presidency.

    Clerides was in London for the European Conference, held March 12, and met both Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

    Cook described the proposal, which invites the Turkish Cypriot community to nominate representatives to be included as full members of the Cypriot team which will conduct the negotiations, as "realistic and fair".

    However, last week both Denktash and the illegal "parliament" in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since they invaded Cyprus in 1974 have said they will not participate in the EU accession talks.

    The Turkish Cypriot side is also refusing to participate in Cyprus peace talks unless the illegal state unilaterally established in the occupied areas in 1983 is recognised.

    The puppet regime is recognised only by Turkey and numerous UN resolutions call on member states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1315:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Cook leaves for Cairo

    Nicosia, Mar 16 (CNA) -- British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, who was forced to stop over in Cyprus Sunday evening because of a sandstorm in Cairo, Egypt, has left the island.

    Cook, who is on a three-day visit to the region in a European Union (EU) bid to revive the Middle East peace process, spent the night in the coastal town of Larnaca.

    He was on his way to Egypt where he will meet President Hosni Mubarak.

    Meanwhile, the dust covering Cyprus today due to the sandstorm in Egypt has not yet settled, but the Larnaca International Airport has not been affected.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1440:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Cordovez's contacts in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 16 (CNA) -- UN top envoy for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, will have a full programme of meetings during his six-day visit to the island.

    Cordovez, who arrives in Cyprus tomorrow night, will have working lunches with President Glafcos Clerides on Friday and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Thursday.

    He may meet with them a second time, but at present no follow up meetings have been fixed.

    On Wednesday, Cordovez will meet with George Vassiliou, who heads the Cypriot negotiating team in the accession talks between Cyprus and the European Union.

    On Thursday morning, the UN envoy will brief the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council at a meeting hosted by the French embassy in Nicosia.

    Cordovez will also see US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill and British High Commissioner David Madden.

    On Saturday afternoon, he will give a bicommunal press conference and the following day he will leave for talks in Athens, before moving on to Ankara.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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