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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-06-25

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Clerides holds talks with Stephanopoulos
  • [02] Local administration meeting opened in Cyprus
  • [03] Clerides bestows highest state honour on Greek President
  • [04] Israeli assurances on pollution in Mediterranean
  • [05] Third largest French bank has presence in Cyprus
  • [06] Greece is here, Stephanopoulos tells Archbishop
  • [07] Stefanopoulos' calls to Turkey and Turkish Cypriots
  • [08] Cyprus, Greece share common vision, says President

  • 1420:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides holds talks with Stephanopoulos

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- Talks between delegations from Greece and Cyprus, led by the presidents of the two countries, began Thursday at the Presidential Palace.

    The talks are taking place less than three hours after the arrival of Greek President, Costis Stephanopoulos, for a four-day official visit.

    Stephanopoulos was received at the Presidential Palace by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides. After a brief meeting between the two, official talks between the two delegations began.

    Representing the Cyprus government are Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, Minister of Finance, Christodoulos Christodoulou, Attorney- General Alecos Markides, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides, Under- Secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros, and other officials.

    Accompanying President Stephanopoulos are Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Foreign Under-Secretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis, Finance Under Secretary Alexandros Baltas and other officials.

    Also taking part are Greece's ambassador to Cyprus, Kyriakos Rodousakis and Cyprus' ambassador to Greece, Christodoulos Pashiardis.

    CNA MCH/EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1530:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Local administration meeting opened in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- The sixth Conference of the Twinned Towns of the Mediterranean opened today in the western coastal town of Paphos with the participation of more than 230 delegates of 10 Mediterranean countries.

    The Conference, the theme of which is "Local Administration-Pillar for Cooperation and Development in the Mediterranean of the 21st Century", deals with cooperation among Mediterranean countries.

    Special emphasis is put on European Union (EU) programmes, the role of twinned towns' possibilities and prospects in the economic field and matters such as xenophobia, racism, and common cultural heritage.

    Participating delegates come from Greece, Yugoslavia, Israel, Spain, Italy, A lbania, France, the Palestinian National Authorities and Cyprus.

    In his opening statement read by Minister of Justice and Public Order, Nicos Koshis, President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides said cooperation between Mediterranean local administration institutions is a decisive factor for stability, peace and prosperity in the region.

    Mediterranean countries, with common characteristics, common prospects for both economic cooperation and cultural and social development, are heading towards the 21st century with optimism, President Clerides noted.

    Referring to Cyprus, he pointed out it is a country divided by Turkish occupying troops, with a significant part of its people remaining refugees.

    Stressing the fact that Cyprus is part of Europe, he added the island aspires to full EU membership.

    Addressing the Conference, the Greek EU Commissioner, Christos Papoutsis, said Cyprus' participation in the next EU enlargement is securing the enlargement's geopolitical balance.

    Referring to Euro-Mediterranean cooperation, Papoutsis stressed the EU Commission's determination to reinforce it, in a bid to secure social and economic balance in the region.

    The Conference will be concluded on Saturday.

    CNA RM/GG/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1610:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Clerides bestows highest state honour on Greek President

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides honoured here today Greece's President, Costis Stephanopoulos, on a four-day official visit to Cyprus, with the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III.

    In a brief ceremony at the Presidential Palace, President Clerides said it was a great honour for him to bestow on the Greek President the Grand Collar and added "I am sure the people of Cyprus, the government and the political leadership feel the same honour."

    "This decoration is the least sign of honour to you and the Greek Republic for everything that is valuable which you have offered so far to Cypriot Hellenism and the Republic of Cyprus and for Greece's continuing support for our struggle," Clerides said.

    The Cypriot President said the Cyprus struggle, a peaceful struggle, aims to "safeguard the future of Cypriot Hellenism in the land of our ancestors and secure harmonious and creative co-existence and cooperation between Greek and Turkish Cypriots within a federal Cyprus Republic".

    Receiving the Grand Collar, Stephanopoulos thanked President Clerides for the honour bestowed on him and the Greek people. "I accept this great honour with gratitude on behalf of the Greek Republic", he said.

    Stephanopoulos further said Greece feels "a moral and legal commitment to what we are doing for Cyprus, and we are not asking for anything in return."

    Stephanopoulos said Greece "is bound by its history, the history of Cyprus and our common history. We feel an obligation to our common national origins."

    Greece and Cyprus, he noted, identify with each other and in this sense Greece's moves for Cyprus are both obligatory and self-evident.

    "I would like to assure you that I consider this honour as the greatest possible honour I have received to date," Stephanopoulos said.

    Thanking once more the people of Cyprus for the warm welcome they afforded him, the Greek President said "I wish with all my heart that a solution is found to the Cyprus question to allow Cyprus to live in peace, united, always prospering and being an example to all the people."

    "Cyprus can, despite the difficult circumstances you are facing, prosper and be an example to be imitated by the rest," he added.

    Prior to the ceremony, the two Presidents had twenty minutes of private talks. These were followed by talks between the Cypriot and Greek delegations.

    President Clerides hosted a working lunch for Stephanopoulos after the talks.

    CNA EC/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Israeli assurances on pollution in Mediterranean

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- The Israeli government has hit back at press reports accusing the country of polluting the Mediterranean by dumping toxic waste in the Mediterranean.

    A press release by the Israeli embassy here stressed that "there has been no contamination of the sea surrounding Cyprus" and described reports that Israel is the only or biggest country polluting the Mediterranean sea as "irresponsible and incorrect."

    Greenpeace intercepted earlier this month an Israeli boat dumping toxic sludge in international waters off Haifa.

    Regretting the inaccurate reporting of previous information on the dumping of toxic waste, the embassy rectified figures which Greenpeace had released about the dumping of waste.

    It said that "Haifa Chemicals", which produces fertilisers, discharges potash rock into the sea at a depth of 1000 metres and notes that no damage has been caused to fish and marine plantation, apart from the sea bed where the toxic waster is dumped, according to the Israeli Oceanographic and Limnological Research Institute.

    The press release said the company is investing 10 m. dollars to build a treatment plant to deal with pollution and dumping will stop once the facilities are installed.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1845:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Third largest French bank has presence in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- France's third largest bank in terms of total assets, Societe Generale Financial Products (Cyprus) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Societe Generale SA of France, will start operating as an administered banking unit in Cyprus, it was officially announced here today.

    The unit will operate on an offshore basis and deal exclusively in foreign currencies and will be subject to the supervision and inspection of the Central Bank as well as the supervision of the French Banking Commission.

    Societe Generale already maintains an offshore presence since 1985 in Cyprus in the form of a fully staffed offshore banking unit.

    At present there are 28 offshore banking units, four administered banking units and five representative offices which have been licensed by the Central Bank of Cyprus to operate from within Cyprus on an offshore basis.

    Societe Generale was founded in 1864 and currently has an extensive presence both in France with 2.000 branches and internationally with 500 offices in more than 70 countries engaged n private, commercial and investment banking activities.

    Its consolidated assets amount to about 1.781 billion French francs.

    CNA MM/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2220:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Greece is here, Stephanopoulos tells Archbishop

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos reassured the people of Cyprus in a most emphatic manner that Greece will stand by Cyprus in its struggle for freedom and justice and will assist the Republic in facing Turkish threats.

    In a thinly veiled warning to Turkey, the Greek President told his neighbouring country that its shores are too close to the Greek islands in the Aegean and not the other way round.

    "Greece is here because Cyprus is Greece," Stephanopoulos told the Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, when the latter welcomed him at the Archbishopric Palace.

    The Greek President, who arrived here today for a four-day official visit, said "Greece is here not as an ally or even a supporter but because Cyprus is Greece."

    He noted that Greece has not only legal but also moral, national and patriotic obligations to Cyprus, which it will not relinquish.

    "Greece and Cyprus are not two separate entities, they are not two separate nations, they are one nation, two states," he stressed, noting that common goals makes them identify with each other in their objectives.

    Greece, he said, aims to secure not only its territorial integrity and that of Cyprus but also its national dignity and pride.

    "Under these circumstances, the joint defence pact will continue to exist from Thrace to Cyprus, where hellenism is under pressure and faces expansionist disposition," Stephanopoulos said.

    He underlined that the struggle for justice will not be concluded unless Cyprus is vindicated, explaining that Greece and Cyprus have their love for their country and their just cause as weapons in this struggle.

    "Distances have no value. Turkey believes that the large Aegean islands are too close to its shores. No, their shores are too close to the Greek islands," he said.

    Describing the current situation in the Cyprus question as "difficult", Stephanopoulos said Turkey has violated a fundamental principle governing international relations, that differences between nations should be resolved on the basis of international law.

    Addressing the international community, Stephanopoulos said it is expected to support the just cause of the people of Cyprus.

    The Archbishop welcomed the Greek President, describing his visit as telling proof of Greece's support for Cyprus in its struggle for freedom from the continuing occupation by Turkey of the island's northern part.

    Expressing his opposition to a federal Cyprus, the Archbishop said with a divisive solution under the guise of federation they are trying to create such conditions that would offer the possibility and pretext to Turkey to seize the entire island.

    "We extend our arms and expect to see yours uniting with ours to enable us to achieve freedom for Cyprus," he told the Greek President, the first Greek head of state to visit Cyprus.

    He also warned that if Turkish designs on Cyprus succeed, then Turkey will eye the Aegean islands.

    Earlier today, Stephanopoulos laid wreaths at the graves of Cypriots, who sacrificed their lives during the liberation struggle against the British colonial rule in the 1950s and the graves of Greek Cypriot and Greek soldiers, who were killed during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2315:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Stefanopoulos' calls to Turkey and Turkish Cypriots

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- Greek President Constantinos Stefanopoulos appealed to the Turkish Cypriots to break free from Turkey's influence in order to achieve prosperity and freedom in a united, federal Cyprus, part of the European Union.

    At the same time, Stefanopoulos, on a four-day official visit to Cyprus, urged Turkey to stop denying the Turkish Cypriots what it seeks to achieve for itself, namely a better future within Europe.

    The Greek President also sent a firm message to Europe and the world at large, noting that Greece shall insist on the need for respect of international legality and that Cyprus' European Union accession course is not negotiable, noting that Greece will not cease to work for Cyprus' accession irrespective of developments in the political problem of Cyprus.

    In his address at a state banquet President Clerides hosted for his guest, Stefanopoulos said Greece's solidarity with Cyprus should be taken for granted and stressed that his country is not seeking confrontation but a "free and truly independent Cyprus."

    Expressing support for a federation where the common interests of Greek and Turkish Cypriots will prevail, he said Cyprus' certain prospect for EU accession offers this opportunity.

    "We fully support President Clerides' invitation to the Turkish Cypriots to participate in the accession talks," he remarked, noting that the Turkish Cypriots will have their voice heard through democratic procedures and not though "self appointed interpreters and self-seeking censors".

    "There they will find the free exit to the world and they will no longer need to pay a heavy tribute to so-called protectors," he pointed out.

    He called on Turkey not to try to deprive the Turkish Cypriots of that which she herself is seeking and expressed the conviction that the presence of Turkish Cypriots in EU institutions will help all those "who raise objections to Turkey's accession on cultural grounds to re-examine their views."

    Referring to Ankara's unacceptable demands, the Greek President stressed that he insists on the need for respect of international legality and that Cyprus' EU accession course is not negotiable.

    "We propose to Turkey and its leaders to turn Cyprus into a bridge of understanding and cooperation among all countries in the region and between Europe and the Middle East," he said.

    He also noted that Cyprus can become the catalyst for the creation of a climate of trust between Greece and Turkey on one hand and the EU and Turkey on the other for the benefit of stability and peace in the wider region.

    Stefanopoulos said that Greece will continue to carry out in full its moral, political and conventional obligations until a sense of responsibility prevails.

    He urged the international community to take the necessary initiatives to put an end to the unacceptable situation in Cyprus and reiterated the view that a federal Cyprus in line with UN resolutions is the only solution.

    "We shall never stop to work and cooperate with you to promote the solution we seek, to work for your security and Cyprus' accession to the EU, regardless of developments in the political problem of Cyprus," Stefanopoulos concluded.

    CNA MM/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2320:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Cyprus, Greece share common vision, says President

    Nicosia, Jun 25 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Greece share the same vision for a lasting peace in the region, from the Balkans to the Middle East, President Glafcos Clerides stressed tonight.

    Speaking at an official dinner in honour of Greek President, Constantinos Stefanopoulos, he also stressed the government aims at a peaceful Cyprus settlement and at the Republic's accession to the European Union and noted Greece's vital role towards these ends.

    Clerides also reiterated the Cyprus government retains its undeniable right of strengthen its defences unless there is progress towards a solution or demilitarisation.

    "We share the same vision which is the prevalence of lasting peace in the region, from the Balkans to the Middle East, through the just resolution of current problems", he said, adding that:

    "Only thus can we lay solid foundations for political stability, security and the economic development and progress of all peoples," the President said.

    President Clerides noted that to achieve these aims "the genuine and bona fide cooperation of all countries in the region is required and they must be guided in their efforts by the principles of the rule of law and international legal order".

    Cyprus and all its people continue to suffer the consequences of illegal invasion and occupation by Turkey, the President remarked, pointing out that Turkey intends:

    "To acquire and maintain strategic advances in Cyprus and, by extension, in the wider region, at the expense of other countries."

    Reiterating the government's commitment to a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem, President Clerides, also pointed to the need to strengthen Cyprus' defences in case of a new Turkish attack.

    "I wish to reiterate our irreversible decision to continue to strengthen our defence with every kind of defensive weapon which we consider will maximise our security," he stressed, adding, however:

    "We shall give up this effort only if intercommunal negotiations resume and there is progress in finding a solution or if substantive steps are taken towards demilitarisation."

    Referring to the need to reduce tension, President Clerides reminded that he submitted to the UN Secretary General "a detailed proposal based on UN Security Council resolution of 23 December 1997", pointing out that:

    "My proposal has been well-received by the international community." On Cyprus' accession to the EU, President Clerides reminded that "our fervent desire is that our Turkish Cypriot compatriots benefit immediately, at the same time as us".

    He said the government proposal for participation of the Turkish Cypriot community in the Republic's negotiating team "is demonstrative of the sincerity of our good intentions towards the other side".

    The President stressed that a Cyprus settlement "remains our main objective" but pointed out that "this aim does not depend solely on us".

    Noting that the international community has repeatedly ascertained that the Turkish side is the big obstacle to efforts for a solution, Clerides called upon those in a position to influence Turkey "to take a more decisive stand in the face of Turkish intransigence".

    "Tension can be reduced or eliminated only through Turkey's compliance with international law and international legal order," he stressed.

    "Our side should not be expected to consent to unacceptable conditions and demands to appease Ankara so that it stops creating tension", Clerides added, stressing that:

    "We are not prepared to accept either a change in the basis for negotiations or direct or indirect recognition of the regime in the occupied areas or any reduction on our right to defence in exchange for an end to Turkey's threats against Cyprus and blackmailing tactics."

    Reaffirming the government's will "to work intensively and with goodwill" towards a settlement, the President called upon the international community to undertake action for a just, viable and workable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    President Clerides stressed the fact that President Stefanopoulos' visit "is taking place at a crucial period for Cyprus", noting that it is seen as "further evidence of Greece's support for our struggle".

    Concluding his speech, he expressed the hope the two countries "will develop even closer cooperation to the benefit of all the people of Cyprus and Greece".

    CNA MCH/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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