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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-03

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 - Cyprus Problem - NAM
  • [02] Clerides - NAM - Contacts
  • [03] Popular Bank - Results
  • [04] Cyprus - Belize-registered ship
  • [05] Greek Foreign Under-Secretary - Turkish proposal
  • [06] Israel - Cyprus - Business
  • [07] Russia - Turkish proposal
  • [08] UN Chief - President Clerides

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides - Cyprus Problem - NAM

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Durban, Sep 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus can neither accommodate or even consider the totally unacceptable demands and objectives to establish a confederation of two sovereign and equal states on the island, the President of the Cyprus Republic Glafcos Clerides told the Non-Aligned Summit here today.

    He also stressed his commitment to seek a peaceful solution of the protracted Cyprus question and said his proposal for the reduction of foreign and local forces leading to eventual demilitarisation remains at the negotiating table.

    The President urged NAM member-states to continue their strong and principled support for Cyprus at a time when threats from the vastly superior military might of Turkey are persisting.

    President Clerides thanked all NAM member-states for their solidarity with Cyprus' efforts to restore its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence and to find a "principled solution" based on UN resolutions.

    Regretting the absence of a settlement due to the lack of political will by the Turkish side, Clerides said the latest proposal by the Turkish side for a Cyprus confederation is "totally unacceptable and aims at destroying Cyprus as a sovereign and independent state and becoming a Turkish protectorate."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash suggested on Monday that two sovereign and equal states be set up in a Cyprus confederation and called on the Greek Cypriots to accept this as the final basis to begin negotiations to establish the confederation.

    The proposal comes after repeated demands by Denktash for recognition of his self-styled regime in Turkish-occupied Cyprus, which only Turkey recognises.

    "I should emphasise that such preconditions and such demands or objectives cannot be accommodated, nor can they be considered for they run contrary to UN resolutions, which have declared legally invalid the secessionist entity," Clerides pointed out.

    He stressed that the Turkish side has intensified its efforts to "create and maintain a climate of tension, intimidation and blackmail against Cyprus, using as pretext the strengthening of our defense capability, in exercising our legitimate right to self-defence under Article 51 of the UN Charter."

    "We remain committed to seek the peaceful solution of the problem through means and processes conducive to lessening of tensions, reduction of forces and armaments, which eventually would lead, through gradual confidence-building, to final demilitarisation and guaranteed security for all," the President added.

    He said "unfortunately the Turkish side rejected all our proposals, including the proposal for the demilitarisation of the Republic, which was welcomed by the international community as a positive contribution to peace and security in the island and the region."

    The President reassured the heads of state and others that "even if the Turkish side is still refusing to consider them, these proposals and suggestions on our part are still valid and timely, and as such they remain at the negotiating table."

    Clerides explained to delegates that he did not fail to suggest "concrete ways and measures to work for a specific programme of reduction of foreign and local forces and equipment, as a preparatory step towards the final withdrawal of all forces and elements and eventual demilitarisation, as provided for by the relevant UN resolutions."

    In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Clerides proposed the disband of the Republic's armed forces, the delivery of its weapons to UN custody with parallel moves on the part of the Turkish Cypriot side and the simultaneous withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    Noting the continuous threats against Cyprus by Turkey and its superior military machine, the President said NAM support was of "paramount importance."

    "We trust we can rely once again on your active solidarity at this crucial juncture," he added.

    Referring to other issues of concern to the summit, Clerides backed efforts to restructure the UN Security Council to become "more representative and transparent in its work."

    He called for urgent action to alleviate the suffering of many human beings in Africa and said a sustained policy of debt relief for developing countries is imperative.

    Clerides praised efforts for an enhanced dialogue on global economic issues with the industrialised countries and international monetary organisations.

    On the Middle East peace process, he reiterated his support for the full implementation of the agreements reached between the parties and for a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement.

    CNA MCH/MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1535:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Clerides - NAM - Contacts

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Durban, Sep 3 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, here attending the 12th Non-Aligned Summit, today met Greek Foreign Under-Secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    The meeting, attended by Greece's permanent representative to the UN Christos Zacharakis, took place in the light of Greek efforts to gain support for its bid to become one of the ten non-permanent members of the UN Security Council.

    Last night, President Clerides met Iranian President Sheikh Mohammad Khatami and briefed him on the latest developments in the Cyprus question.

    They also discussed bilateral ties and issues of geostrategic importance in the European-Asian zone.

    Present at last night's meeting were Kasoulides and his Iranian counterpart Kharazi.

    CNA MCH/MM/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Popular Bank - Results

    Nicosia, Sep 3 (CNA) -- The Popular Bank, one of the two largest financial institutions in Cyprus, recorded a 15,8 per cent increase in its operating profits in the first six months of 1998, registering 24,1 million Cyprus pounds (one pound is about two US dollars), the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Kikis Lazarides announced here today.

    He also referred to the impressive expansion of the Bank in its overseas representation, especially in the Balkans and Eastern Europe.

    Lazarides expressed concern about the rising public deficit and called for immediate action to curb this but declared himself to be "cautiously optimistic" about economic prospects for the rest of the year.

    He said the instability of the Russian economy will affect Cyprus in some way because of the presence of Russian offshore companies on the island, but did not appear concerned.

    Presenting the Bank's results at a press conference, Lazarides said profits for shareholders reached 12,4 m. from just over ten m. the same period last year.

    "Profit per share increased by 16,4 cent compared with 14,5 cent last year," he said, announcing also the Board's decision to distribute pro- dividend of eight per cent to shareholders.

    Referring to the local economy, he said this develops in a very constraint manner in the past few years and is facing "serious structural problems."

    "Productivity is low and corrodes international competition of our economy," he warned, noting also the dangerous imbalance of the balance of payments and the fiscal field.

    Lazarides said the public deficit needs to be cut urgently. "I am cautiously optimistic about 1998. Developments in tourism and other productivity sectors remain restrictive but all depends on what happens in the political front," he added.

    He said Cyprus must be more open, receptive and adjustable to regional and international developments which affect it.

    The Bank, he noted, operates 13 offices in Greece, and opened branches in Belgrade and Moscow, with a total of eleven representative offices abroad.

    Asked if the economic crisis in Russia will affect Cyprus, Lazarides said it would have some indirect effect because of the offshore business here and the number of Russian tourists visiting the island.

    He expressed hope however that the fallout from the Russian crisis will not be such that it will bring about great changes in the local economy.

    CNA KN/MM/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1705:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus - Belize-registered ship

    Nicosia, Sep 3 (CNA) -- The Belize-registered ship that found itself in difficulty last Tuesday 40 nautical miles off cape Arnaoutis (Akamas), in the western coast, was today towed to Latsi coast, east of the cape.

    The ten-man crew aboard "Fighter 1", nine Syrians and an Egyptian, are still at a hotel in Paphos, waiting for new instructions while repairs on the ship are expected to begin.

    The ship had left Limassol, in the southern coast, and was heading for Turkey.

    CNA SS/DG/MA/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    MMMM
    1820:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Greek Foreign Under-Secretary - Turkish proposal

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Durban, Sep 3 (CNA) -- Greek Foreign Under-Secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis described US reaction to a Turkish proposal for the establishment of confederation in Cyprus as "not particularly satisfactory", pointing out it could have been "more positive".

    Kranidiotis, in Durban for contacts on the sidelines of the 12th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement to promote Greece's bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council, next October, meet today with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

    Commenting on the proposal put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and already rejected by the Cyprus government and political parties, Kranidiotis stressed it did not help achieve peace nor the efforts for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He said the Turkish positions outlined in the proposal, that calls for a confederation of "two peoples and two states", are not new, adding that "Turkey has simply revealed its true face".

    Kranidiotis believes the proposal was put forward because "Turkey feels isolated in the European world and has realised that Cyprus' course of accession to the European Union (EU) is irreversible."

    He added that Denktash's proposal "looks to the past and not to the future" and described the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leadership as "aging".

    The Greek Foreign Under-Secretary said "Turkey is becoming all the more isolated from the EU."

    He stressed that "the international community and organisations, the US and the EU should now clearly send the message to the Turkish side that they will not accept the partition of Cyprus or recognise the consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation, nor would they recognise Denktash's illegal regime".

    Asked whether initial reaction to the proposal indicates there is such a prospect, Kranidiotis expressed the view that the majority of states would not accept it.

    However, he described the reaction of certain countries, especially the US, as "not particularly satisfactory", pointing out that "they could have been more positive."

    He called on the US administration to be less "short-sighted" in respect to its political and strategic policies.

    Referring to his meeting with the UN Secretary General, Kranidiotis said he briefed Annan on Greece's positions regarding the Turkish proposal and asked him for a more active role in the implementation of relative UN resolutions. "The UN Secretary General said he was concerned about the Cyprus problem, which he considers as one of his priorities," the Greek official said.

    Kranidiotis expressed satisfaction with the reference on the Cyprus problem expected to be included in the NAM Summit's final communique, pointing out that it could provide a "good basis" in case Cyprus decides to appeal to the UN General Assembly.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1930:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Israel - Cyprus - Business

    Nicosia, Sep 3 (CNA) -- The need for Cyprus and Israel to join forces and promote their cooperation in the high-technology field, was stressed today at a press conference, that took place here, just before a seminar on "Business Opportunities in Israel".

    It was also stressed that Cyprus can contribute to the improvement of relations in the Eastern Mediterranean region, due to its good relations both with Israel and the Arab nations, and that for this reason, Cyprus could host a summit of Middle Eastern and North African countries, which would be impossible for Israel to host.

    Speaking at the press conference, Israeli Ambassador, Shemi Tzur, said that commercial contacts between Cyprus and Israel could contribute towards strengthening and promoting the two countries' trade relations, in view of the fact that Cyprus is about to become a member of the European Union.

    Tzur added today's seminar in Nicosia will give the opportunity to businesspeople in Cyprus to find out more about the high-level business conference, to take place in Jerusalem, in October.

    The Chairman of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vassilis Rologis, announced that a Cypriot delegation will be in Israel on October 14 to attend celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Israel, and participate in the Jubilee Business Summit.

    Rologis said Cyprus facilitates commercial activity and is a suitable base for setting up business, adding that Israeli businesspeople are most welcome.

    He added Cyprus, with the help of Israel, will focus on developing high- technology industries, in order to enter the hi-tech era.

    Meanwhile, Dan Gillerman, President of the Federation of the Israeli Chamber of Commerce, told the press conference that Cyprus' geographical proximity has not yet been fully realised, adding that the two countries can become strategic partners, by promoting joint ventures and partnerships.

    He said for peace to reign in the region, the whole region must develop, not just Israel, and to this cause, Cyprus could use its good relations with the Arab nations and could undertake business packages and offer them to the region.

    Gillerman said a summit with the participation of the countries of the Middle East and North Africa could be hosted by Cyprus, something Israel could not do, in early 1999, since there is not enough time left to organise such an event by the end of this year.

    The Vice President of the Manufacturers' Association of Israel, Doron Tamir, pointed out that the idea was greeted positively by Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Nicos Rolandis, during a meeting earlier today with the Israeli businesspeople. He said the idea would be presented to Cypriot businesspeople during tonight's seminar.

    Tamir said the main purpose of the Jubilee Business Summit in October is to "sell" Israel in the field of high-technology, since it is number two in the world, after the United States, and also to sell its infrastructure, in view of the fact that Israel will be spending fifty billion dollars over the coming ten years to this end.

    He pointed out that an effort will be made to "sell" Cyprus as well, as a business hub, in the field of offshore companies and regional cooperation.

    Tamir stressed that promoting the establishment of high-technology industries in Cyprus would be a good idea, since the island is facing a problem Israel faced a few years back, that of young talented and educated scientists seeking jobs abroad, because there are no opportunities for them here.

    CNA RG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2010:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Russia - Turkish proposal

    Nicosia, Sep 3 (CNA) -- Russia stressed today that the proposal put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, for the establishment of a confederation of two separate states on the island, contradicts many UN resolutions on Cyprus.

    Moscow also said it is unproductive and constitutes yet another effort to gain recognition of the self-proclaimed illegal regime in the Turkish- occupied areas.

    Russian Foreign Ministry senior spokesman, Vladimir Rakhmanin, said in a statement that his country consistently calls for a rapid resumption of the intercommunal talks.

    He said one cannot ignore the fact that the proposal contradicts UN resolutions, as well as high-level agreements signed by Denktash himself in 1977 and 1979.

    The high-level agreements and the UN resolutions envisage for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The Russian spokesman recalled recent UN Security Council resolution 1179, which among others reaffirms that a Cyprus settlement should be based on a single state with a single sovereignty, international personality and citizenship.

    Rakhmanin said Russia supports the resumption of intercommunal talks, the basis of which has been determined clearly by the international community.

    He added that the aim of the talks is to reach a stable and just solution, serving the interests of all Cypriots, Greeks and Turks.

    The Turkish proposal for a Cyprus confederation has already been turned down by the other four permanent members of the UN Security Council, namely the United States, Britain, France and China, insisting on the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation as provided by the UN resolutions and the high-level agreements of 1977 and 1979.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA RG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2025:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] UN Chief - President Clerides

    by Maria Chysanthou

    Durban, Sep 3 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General stressed here today that the Security Council has already responded to a Turkish proposal for a confederation in Cyprus, with its expressed position on previous Turkish demands.

    Speaking after a meeting in Durban with President Glafcos Clerides, on the sidelines of the Non-Aligned Movement summit, Annan said they discussed "the situation in Cyprus and the UN efforts to reduce tension".

    "We exchanged views and I intend to pursue this matter with him in New York, at the General Assembly," he added.

    Annan also said that President Clerides expressed concern over Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's recent proposal.

    Denktash proposed last Monday the establishment of a confederation between "two sovereign and equal states" in Cyprus.

    Asked to comment on the Turkish Cypriot leader's proposal, Annan replied: "I think this issue had been already raised and brought to the attention of the UN Security Council which has already given its response, and I think that this is the position of the UN and this is the position of the UN Secretary-General".

    On his part, President Clerides expressed satisfaction with the 15- minute meeting.

    Asked if there are prospects of a new UN initiative for a Cyprus settlement, he replied "most probably yes".

    Earlier this year Denktash announced his refusal to participate in Cyprus peace talks unless they are held on a "state-to-state" basis and Cyprus withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    The UN Security Council responded by underlining that the talks are held on a bicommunal basis, thus refusing any change of their basis.

    The illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974 is only recognised by Ankara, while the UN has called on all states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way.

    CNA MCH/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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