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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-06-10

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Turkey responsible for missing persons, says PSEKA
  • [02] Cyprus joins efforts to combat drug trafficking
  • [03] Absence of solution, no obstacle to Cyprus' EU accession
  • [04] Praises for Cyprus' tourist product

  • 0850:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Turkey responsible for missing persons, says PSEKA

    Nicosia, Jun 10 (CNA) -- A Greek American organisation has called on the US administration to place responsibility over the missing persons in Cyprus on the Turkish government and its military forces.

    "It was Turkey's brutal and illegal invasion and occupation of Cyprus in 1974 that created the issue of the missing in Cyprus," President of the International Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), Philip Christopher, said yesterday.

    Christopher added that "the four Americans and 1,614 Greek-Cypriots are missing today because of the Turkish invasion, not because of intercommunal violence".

    He was commenting on clarifications made by State Department Spokesman James Rubin, that Greek and Turkish Cypriots went missing as "a result of intercommunal violence during the 1960's and 1974 conflict".

    Rubin was trying to rectify a previous reference by the US administration that the missing persons was a result of intercommunal violence, without any mention of the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Christopher said that in order for the US administration to be accurate on the issue it "must reference the responsibility of the government of Turkey and its invading forces for the fate of the missing."

    "While yesterday's (Monday's) clarification moves closer to this point, and away from focus on intercommunal conflict, it is still not accurate," he adds.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    0940:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus joins efforts to combat drug trafficking

    by Emilia Christofi

    New York, Jun 10 (CNA) -- Cyprus' efforts to combat money laundering can be at the forefront of international efforts to curb drug trafficking and money laundering, a senior diplomat said here Tuesday.

    "The example of Cyprus proves that with determination and cooperation a flourishing offshore centre like ours can be at the forefront of international efforts for combatting drugs and money laundering," Ambassador Sotos Zackheos, Permanent Representative of Cyprus at the UN, told the 20th special session of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Problem.

    The Ambassador, who heads the Cypriot delegation to the meeting, noted that although Cyprus is "a relatively drug free society, the spectre of the infiltration of drugs into our society hangs like a Damocles sword over us."

    Referring to Cyprus' efforts to combat drugs, he said "as a major transshipment point in the Eastern Mediterranean at the crossroads of Europe, Africa and Asia, we are cognizant of the fact that drug shipment to Europe could attempt to use Cyprus."

    The government, he added, together with other countries have a vested interest in intercepting the flow of drugs into Europe and are actively pursuing a policy of customs control."

    Zackheos said that in an effort to safeguard against the possible use of Cyprus by the drug cartels, the government is working on a preemptive policy to combat money laundering.

    "The government's efforts towards this have received international recognition," he added.

    The Ambassador referred to the recent US State Department's report that the "Cyprus government was extremely active in 1997 in its efforts to implement provisions of its 1996 anti-money laundering legislation."

    This, the Ambassador said, "does justice to my government's concerted efforts."

    He also referred to a report released by the UN International Drugs Control Programme of May 29 which pointed out that "Cyprus has strengthened its regulatory framework and increased its capacity for financial monitoring."

    Zackheos said that although Cyprus respects its international obligations and has ratified all major UN Conventions on drugs, the government is prevented from honouring its obligations throughout its territory due to the forced division of the island.

    "In the area currently out of the control of my government serious criminal activity is reported," he stressed.

    The UN Security Council special session ends today with the adoption of the political declaration.

    CNA EC/MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1145:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Absence of solution, no obstacle to Cyprus' EU accession

    Nicosia, Jun 10 (CNA) -- British Euro MP and head of the House of Commons Committee for Harmonisation, Jimmy Hood, today stressed that the European Union should not allow the lack of a solution to the Cyprus problem to affect the Republic's membership to the Union.

    After meeting House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, Hood also underlined that Cyprus should join the EU even if the political problem is not resolved and expressed the hope that the Republic's accession bid will act as a catalyst in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem.

    "Hopefully the Cyprus application for membership in the EU will be the catalyst required to solve the Cyprus problem, but we are determined not to allow the lack of a solution to prevent Cyprus' application to join the Union," Hood said.

    Expressing certainty that Cyprus will have no problems in meeting EU criteria, he said his biggest concern is "the political entrancies from those outside the European family who are being intransigent and trying to affect that".

    "That is something that we in the EU must resist very strongly and push for a solution to the Cyprus question, but not allow the lack of a solution to interfere with the application to become a member of the EU," Hood said.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is refusing to participate in peace talks unless Cyprus withdraws its application to join the EU and unless his illegal regime in the areas of the Republic occupied by Turkey since 1974, is recognised.

    CNA KN/MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1225:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Praises for Cyprus' tourist product

    Nicosia, Jun 10 (CNA) -- Hotel and Catering International Management Association (HCIMA) president, Vic Laws, today described Cyprus as "a very hospitable and safe island", noting that the tourist business here has high standards which must be maintained.

    Vic, who was speaking after calling on House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, is in Cyprus to promote the work of his organisation.

    "I think it is important that people recognise that professional qualifications show a certain high standard," he said, stressing this will help Cyprus' tourist business, which is run by professionals.

    Noting today's competition in the tourist industry, he said "it is very important the effort is kept up to maintain the high standards that you have here, so that we know that we have a good time when we come and it is value for money".

    The HCIMA is the professional association for hotels and the tourist industry, represented in 101 countries. According to Vic "Cyprus is our second largest branch around the world".

    Yesterday Vic participated in the HCIMA Cyprus branch annual meeting during which tourism development was discussed.

    Over two million tourists visit Cyprus every year, and tourism is the island's main money earner.

    CNA KN/MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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