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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-06-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Minister to participate in Palermo meeting
  • [02] DISY leader leaves for Athens
  • [03] Cyprus Airways introduces one-day excursions to the Holy Land

  • 1130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Foreign Minister to participate in Palermo meeting

    Larnaca, Jun 2 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides today expressed satisfaction with explanations given Monday by British High Commissioner in Nicosia, David Madden, over a "Sunday Times" report.

    However, speaking on departure for Palermo, Italy, where he will attend an informal EU ministerial meeting, Kasoulides said he is "not satisfied with the leak of information in this case."

    The "Sunday Times" reported about a British contingency plan to airlift 250.000 people from Cyprus, citing fears over a war if the government proceeds with the deployment here of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, later this year.

    Kasoulides said he reiterated to Madden a statement by Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides yesterday that leaking of information by the British Defence Ministry does not contribute to good bilateral relations.

    The Foreign Minister also referred reporters to the Spokesman's written statement that the government's decision on the S-300 has not changed.

    The government has said it would consider not deploying the S-300 if there is substantive progress in a settlement to the Cyprus problem or if demilitarisation of the island is agreed.

    British officials have stated that the country's government had nothing to do with the report, while Madden said it included a lot of "fanciful" details.

    Meanwhile, Cyprus High Commissioner to Britain, Michalis Attalides, made representations yesterday at the Foreign Office, over the report.

    Referring to efforts towards settling the protracted Cyprus question, Kasoulides did not rule out the possibility of a recourse to the UN Security Council if the deadlock in the peace talks, caused by Turkish intransigence, is not overcome until autumn.

    "This will be decided by the Council of Ministers and the National Council (top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus issue), after we see the results of our contacts on this issue," he added.

    Kasoulides also underlined the importance the government places on the Euro-mediterranean partnership, noting "it offers the opportunity for action in this field of our foreign policy."

    He said that the ministerial meeting to be held in Palermo will bring together European Union and Mediterranean countries to tackle political, economic, social and cultural issues.

    "Our foreign policy in the geographical region we belong to is important to us," Kasoulides said and added:

    "Our aim is to become a bridge between Europe and the Middle East after our EU accession." Cyprus opened accession talks with the EU in March.

    The Turkish side has reacted strongly to this and said it would not participate in peace talks unless Cyprus withholds its application to join the EU and the illegal regime, unilaterally declared in November 1983 in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops since their 1974 invasion, is recognised.

    CNA MAN/MA/AP/1998

    [02] DISY leader leaves for Athens

    Larnaca, Jun 2 (CNA) -- Ruling right-wing Democratic Rally party (DISY) Nicos Anastasiades today left for Athens for meetings with the political leaders and the new primate of the Orthodox Church of Greece, Christodoulos.

    Anastasiades is visiting Athens at the invitation of main opposition New Democracy right-wing party leader, Costas Karamanlis.

    Anastasiades and Karamanlis will discuss further relations between the two parties and cooperation in international fora, a DISY press release said.

    DISY leader's contacts will focus on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the Republic's European Union course, in the light of the accession talks which started in March.

    Speaking to the press on departure, Anastasiades said his visit is taking place at a very critical stage of the long-standing Cyprus issue.

    During his four-day stay in Athens, the DISY leader will call on Greek President Constatinos Stephanopoulos and will meet the Foreign Minister, the House President, party leaders, the Athens mayor and Archbishop Christodoulos.

    CNA MAN/MA/AP/1998

    [03] Cyprus Airways introduces one-day excursions to the Holy Land

    Nicosia, Jun 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus Airways, the island's national carrier, will introduce one-day excursions to the Holy Land as from July 1, in a bid to upgrade the island's tourist product.

    Cyprus Airways in cooperation with the Israeli airline Aeroel will initially introduce two weekly (Thursday and Sunday) same-day return flights to Haifa, a press release said.

    The flights will be operated by Aeroel DASH-8 50-seater aircraft.

    Passengers will subsequently be transported to the Holy Land by bus.

    More flights will be added subject to demand, while the Israeli carrier El-Al is expected to also be involved in this excursion scheme at a later stage.

    According to the Cyprus Airways press release, the excursion's target group is expected to be foreign holiday-makers visiting Cyprus.

    Departure from Larnaca is scheduled at 0800 local time (0500 GMT) and from Haifa at 2000 same evening to facilitate the one-day excursion.

    More than two million foreign holiday-makers are expected to visit Cyprus this year, securing tourism's role as the island's most important money earner.

    Around 20 per cent of Cyprus' Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is attributed to tourism.

    CNA GG/AP/MCH/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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