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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-06-18

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Clerides receives AMAN delegations
  • [02] Government on UN Secretary-General's report
  • [03] Government has no information of Holbrooke's UN nomination
  • [04] Greek Cypriot abducted by Turks
  • [05] Government condemns Turkish violations of airspace
  • [06] Greenpeace appeals to Israel to stop toxic dumping

  • 1600:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides receives AMAN delegations

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides, today received the delegations that took part in the 7th General Assembly of the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN).

    The Assembly was held in Limassol this week, during which the Cyprus News Agency took over the presidency of the Alliance until June 1999.

    President Clerides briefed the delegates on the Cyprus problem and its latest developments and answered relevant questions.

    Earlier, the delegations visited Nicosia Mayor, Lellos Demetriades, and the demarcation line.

    The Mayor told the delegates that "it is not an easy job to run a city that is divided."

    He told them the municipal authorities contacted the Turkish Cypriot side in 1977 "to see how we could make life easier" for the whole of Nicosia.

    He pointed out, however, that contacts have been broken off now, due to the obstacles posed by the occupation regime.

    Asked how cooperation between the two sides can work since the problem is political, Demetriades said that mayors are like "housewives" and leave the political decisions "up to their husbands".

    CNA RG/AP/1998

    [02] Government on UN Secretary-General's report

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government refrained today from commenting on the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus, released yesterday.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides pointed out the UN chief blames the Turkish Cypriot side for the deadlock in efforts for a solution and notes President Glafcos Clerides' readiness to negotiate for a comprehensive Cyprus settlement, based on UN resolutions.

    Stylianides also pointed to the reference made to the UN Security Council's reply to demands by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for "acknowledgement of the existence of two fully functioning democratic states on the island" for the resumption of bi-communal negotiations.

    Annan adds that "on May 19 in a short reply to my letter, the Council reiterated its strong support for my mission, on the basis of the relevant Security Council resolutions."

    UN resolutions provide for talks between the leaders of the two communities aiming at the establishment of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation in Cyprus.

    The Spokesman refrained, however, from expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the UN chief's report.

    Replying to a comment that responsibility is attributed in a "very indirect" way, Stylianides said it is important that responsibility is attributed.

    The Spokesman refused to comment on a draft of the UN Security Council resolution on the renewal of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNIFCYP) mandate.

    "The government does not comment on drafts," he said. According to reliable sources, however, the UN Security Council draft is considered by the Cyprus government as satisfactory, but efforts are made towards improving its wording in relation to the attributing of blame on the Turkish side.

    CNA KN/MCH/AP/1998

    [03] Government has no information of Holbrooke's UN nomination

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- The government has no information concerning the nomination of US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, as US Permanent Representative to the UN.

    According to US officials, Holbrooke is expected to replace present US ambassador to the UN Bill Richardson.

    Asked to comment on the reports, Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, said the government had no official information with regard to such a possibility.

    The Cyprus government has no say in this, Stylianides added, stressing that such an appointment is to the discretion of the US President.

    He also pointed out that the US has reaffirmed their wish to continue their involvement in efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    Replying to a comment that the government had great aspirations in Holbrooke's personality, for success in efforts towards a Cyprus settlement, Stylianides said the government wishes for efforts and initiatives by all Security Council members.

    "We do not consider it an issue of who the person is. It is an issue of the interest shown by a UN Security Council member," he stressed.

    Stylianides also pointed out that the government is willing to accept any initiative for a solution to the Cyprus problem under the UN auspices.

    CNA MCH/AP/1998

    [04] Greek Cypriot abducted by Turks

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- The UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is trying to secure the release of a Greek Cypriot illegally abducted yesterday by the Turkish occupation forces.

    Andreas Kyriakou, 50, was abducted Wednesday afternoon when he entered into the Turkish-occupied areas of the island by mistake, while driving on the old Nicosia-Larnaca road.

    UNFICYP Spokesman, Waldemar Rokoszewski, told CNA Thursday members the Peacekeeping Force visited Kyriakou and were planning to visit him again later today.

    Reports in the Turkish Cypriot press today said Kyriakou was under the influence of alcohol when he entered the occupied areas.

    CNA MCH/AP/1998

    [05] Government condemns Turkish violations of airspace

    Nicosia, Jun 18 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government condemned the new provocative violations of Cyprus airspace by Turkish military aircraft and pointed to the relevance of President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for demilitarisation.

    In a written statement today Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, stresses the government "is taking the necessary diplomatic action," concerning the violations of the Republic's airspace.

    "The government is calmly monitoring Turkish attempts to create artificial tension," Stylianides said and added:

    "It also reiterates its insistence on the implementation of international law and points out the relevance of its proposal for demilitarisation of Cyprus."

    Six Turkish F-16 fighters violated the Republic's airspace today and then landed at the illegal Lefkoniko airport in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    According to Turkish officials, the violations came in retaliation for the landing of Greek warplanes at the military base "Andreas Papandreou" in Paphos, earlier this week.

    CNA MCH/AP/1998

    [06] Greenpeace appeals to Israel to stop toxic dumping

    Nicosia, June 18 (CNA) -- An Israeli ship was intercepted while it was dumping toxic sludge into international waters off Haifa by the international environmental organization Greenpeace on Tuesday night.

    Two Greenpeace inflatables marked the danger area with stick lights alongside the "Aribel" and held banners reading: "Danger, toxic dumping zone", and "Stop dumping".

    Despite calls by the environmentalists to stop the dumping and to return to Haifa Port, the "Aribel" carried on dumping.

    The Greenpeace activists took off by a small boat from Cyprus last Sunday and waited in the open sea, until activists in Israel informed them that the "Aribel" left Haifa Port on Tuesday night loaded with the toxic sludge.

    On his part the Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus, Shemi Tzur told CNA he had no information about the event and he referred to previous statement on the issue made three weeks ago by the Ministry of Environment in Israel.

    "We support the protection of the environment", he remarked. On the other hand, Israeli campaigner of the Greenpeace Mediterranean Office, Ofer Ben-Dov, stated that "this is the first time the dumping operation has been documented and the blackish sludge photographed and filmed".

    He added that in this way Greenpeace can "show the world how reckless the US-owned Haifa Chemicals is when it comes to the Mediterranean Sea".

    According to Greenpeace, "the operation has recently started being carried out at night in an attempt to hide the evidence of this outdated practice".

    Ofer Ben-Dov who has lead the action on the "Aribel" stated that "this polluting practice would not be allowed along the US coastline", and he wondered: "Why is it OK to do it in the Mediterranean".

    "Greenpeace is appealing to the Israeli government to end the regular dumping of toxic sludge in the Mediterranean Sea in line with the spirit of the current UN-declared "Year of the Oceans".

    "The sludge is so toxic that the company is not allowed to pump it into the already very polluted Kishon river near Haifa", he noted.

    "It is an assault to all the people living in the region, especially Cyprus, Egypt, and Lebanon to see this poison being dumped in the international waters in their vicinity. Israeli citizens are the most directly effected, but pollution knows no frontiers" said Ben-Dov.

    "We call upon the Mediterranean states to help us stop this dumping and for them to stop the pollution their own industry is creating in the fragile Mediterranean Sea", he noted.

    "The sea dumping must stop once and for all and Haifa must finally implement clean production methods eliminating the production of toxic materials at source, while the IEC must switch to alternative energy sources like solar and wind" Ben-Dov argued.

    Since 1987 the IEC (Israeli Electricity Company) has dumped seven million tons of coal ash in the Mediterranean and the Ministry of Environment of Israel has given permission to the company for the dumping of 15.000 extra tons for the next three months.

    Haifa Chemicals was also given permission by the same Ministry to dump another 60.000 tons of toxic sludge in the Mediterranean until next October.

    According to Greenpeace, Israel is the only country known to be allowing routine dumping operations of industrial wastes at sea in the world.

    The London (1972) Convention, the international treaty that regulates the dumping of wastes worldwide, bans the dumping of industrial wastes from ships globally.

    According to the Barcelona Convention "Protocol for the Prevention of Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea Dumping from Ships and Aircraft" (UNEP 1992,1995), the dumping of such wastes in the Mediterranean is prohibited.

    According to Greenpeace only Monaco and Tunisia have signed it, while Israel and all other states in the basin did not do so.

    Greenpeace has been campaigning against Israeli sea dumping since 1994.

    CNA DP/MCH/1998
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