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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-09-17

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Clerides - New EU head of delegation
  • [02] Czech Ambassador - Credentials
  • [03] Government - Turkish Foreign Ministry
  • [04] Kyprianou - Mouradov
  • [05] European Parliament - Turkey
  • [06] Poll - EU favourites
  • [07] Greenpeace - Akamas

  • 1445:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides - New EU head of delegation

    Nicosia, Sep 17 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today said that the government's invitation to the Turkish Cypriots to nominate representatives in the team negotiating the Republic's accession to the European Union (EU) remains open.

    Receiving the credentials of new head of delegation of the EU in Cyprus, Donato Giovanni Chiarini, the President also stressed the importance of relations with the Union.

    Presenting his credentials, Chiarini said the beginning of accession talks has opened a new chapter in the island's history and described Cyprus as the most diligent pupil among all candidate countries in the quality of the work it has done.

    "The road towards accession offers us new possibilities and new avenues for cooperation between the two communities of Cyprus. It is our earnest desire that our Turkish Cypriot compatriots share with us the task of preparing Cyprus for EU membership," the President said.

    He recalled the invitation he extended to Turkish Cypriots last March, to nominate representatives to join as full members the team negotiating Cyprus' accession.

    "The efforts of the EU Presidency and the European Commission to convince the Turkish Cypriot community to accept our invitation did not succeed. The invitation remains in any case, open," President Clerides added.

    He described the Commission role in this respect as vital because it "is facilitating the road towards accession and at the same time the road towards the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    "We firmly believe that the process and prospect of accession is an important stimulus which should facilitate the efforts of finding a solution to the political problem which has tormented my country and its people for so many years," the President said.

    He reiterated that "our primary goal is to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem based on the bizonal, bicommunal federation, in accordance with the UN resolutions and the high level agreements (reached between the two sides) of 1977 and 1979."

    President Clerides said that the importance of Cyprus' relations with the EU "cannot be overemphasized".

    "Membership to the Union is a natural choice, dictated by the history and culture of the island and constitutes one of the main pillars of our foreign policy," he added.

    The new EU head of delegation outlined relations with Cyprus since the Association Agreement with the Republic was signed in 1972 and said that since Cyprus' application for accession was accepted in 1993 the relationship "has become even closer".

    "The opening of accession negotiations with Cyprus and five other candidate countries of central and eastern Europe last March marked a new chapter in the history of Cyprus and of Europe as a whole," Chiarini added.

    He said the Commission is "particularly pleased with the highly constructive attitude and the spirit of cooperation that Cyprus has shown during the screening exercise which started last April."

    Chiarini said that the positions Cyprus submitted last week in Brussels on a considerable part of the acquis "have been met with a very positive appreciation."

    "I have the feeling, perhaps already as a staunch supporter of your country, that Cyprus is considered the most diligent "pupil" of the group of candidate countries in terms of the quality and thoroughness of the work done so far," he added.

    However, the new EU ambassador warned that "the accession negotiations ahead will be extremely challenging."

    Chiarini reassured of his personal contribution to make relations even stronger, aiming particularly to the successful conclusion of the accession process for the ultimate benefit of all people of this beautiful island."

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1600 CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Czech Ambassador - Credentials

    Nicosia, Sep 17 (CNA) -- The Czech Republic stressed today its support for a "fair settlement in Cyprus on a federal, bicommunal and bizonal basis".

    Presenting her credentials to President Glafcos Clerides, the country's new Ambassador to Cyprus, Vera Jerabkova, said that over "the five years of her country's independence, the Czech Republic has continued to develop the traditional friendly co-operation with Cyprus."

    Stressing that during the forthcoming period, "the accession to the European Union will be a top priority for both countries," Jerabkova said the Czech Republic "will help to create international conditions conducive to a fair settlement in Cyprus".

    Replying, President Clerides said "Cyprus and the Czech Republic along with other associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, are already part of the biggest enlargement process of the EU".

    He said this process "can and should act as a real catalyst in our efforts to achieve a just, viable solution to the problem of Cyprus on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions and the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979".

    CNA EC/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1640:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Government - Turkish Foreign Ministry

    Nicosia, Sep 17 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government's reply to Turkish demands to abandon plans to deploy the Russian-made S-300 defensive system is demilitarisation.

    The statement was made by Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides who added that the government's military planning cannot not be dictated by anyone, let alone Turkey, which illegally occupies 37 per cent of the Republic's territory.

    Commenting on statements by Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Necati Utkan, that "the only point that would be meaningful for Turkey is the complete scrapping of the missile order," Stylianides said:

    "The reply is simple. President Glafcos Clerides has made a proposal for demilitarisation of Cyprus...and UN resolutions urge towards this direction."

    He said that "if Turkey wishes to see the postponement of the deployment of new armaments, this is the only way".

    Pointing out that Turkey illegally occupies 37 per cent of the Republic's territory since its 1974 invasion and maintains some 40.000 troops on the island in defiance of UN resolutions, Stylianides stressed:

    "We do not accept anyone dictating to us our defence planning, especially Turkey which is the only party responsible for tension in the region and the only party creating problems in efforts for a dialogue aiming at the reduction of armaments on the island."

    Stylianides also pointed out that the Cyprus problem "is exclusively an international political problem" and not a problem of missiles.

    "The answer to those who wish for disengagement from military plans is demilitarisation and it is on the table," he said, adding that "what we are waiting for is the (Turkish) negotiator".

    The Government Spokesman called upon the international community to realise that "Turkey refuses to participate in such a dialogue, which is the only reasonable and peaceful dialogue".

    Meanwhile, Defence Minister, Yiannakis Omirou, described the Turkish demands as "audacious", pointing out that Cyprus' "right to defence is not negotiable with any third party, and even more Turkey which occupies 37 per cent of our homeland."

    He also pointed out that the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece is based on international agreements on military cooperation between sovereign states.

    Omirou also referred to Israel's military agreement with Turkey, noting that it concerns Cyprus.

    As he pointed out, forming such an agreement with a country like Turkey, which is responsible for instability in the area, gives the wrong message to the peoples of the region.

    He also said that Greek Foreign Minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos will raise the issue during his forthcoming meeting with his Israeli counterpart.

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

    [04] Kyprianou - Mouradov

    Nicosia, Sep 17 (CNA) -- Russian Ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Mouradov, rejected today reports that Moscow is negative concerning the prospects of discussing the Cyprus problem at the UN General Assembly.

    Speaking after a meeting with President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, whom he briefed on recent developments in Russia, Mouradov said "this is an issue to decided upon by the Cyprus government".

    Mouradov stressed that Russia always supported whatever would lead to a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem.

    On his part, Kyprianou, said that political stability in Russia assists peace and stability in the world.

    Regarding the prospects for a discussion of the Cyprus problem at the UN General Assembly, the House President said that a final decision on the issue should be taken after the return of President Glafcos Clerides and the political leaders and representatives from New York.

    President Clerides is flying to New York Saturday to attend the UN General Assembly.

    Political party leaders and representatives will accompany him to New York for contacts regarding the Cyprus problem.

    CNA SD/MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1840:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] European Parliament - Turkey

    Brussels, Sep 17 (CNA) -- The European Parliament called today upon Turkey to contribute towards a Cyprus settlement and to proceed with the withdrawal of troops from the island in a bid to promote demilitarisation.

    The resolution accompanies a report by British Euro-MP Mc-Millan Scott concerning the development of relations between Turkey and the European Union, (EU), within the framework of the customs union between the two.

    An amendment by Greek Euro-MP Alecos Alavanos supported by the majority of Euro-MPs was included in the resolution.

    It calls upon Turkey to contribute towards the resumption of bicommunal talks on the basis of UN resolutions and high level agreements reached in 1977 and 1979, for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Turkey is also asked to take concrete steps regarding the withdrawal of troops from Cyprus so that the general demilitarisation of the island can be promoted.

    A paragraph proposed by the Liberal group was also added, expressing concern over Turkey's stance in relation to efforts for a Cyprus settlement, pointing out that it complicates even more relations with the EU.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    The European Parliament resolution also refers to Greco-Turkish relations, the Kurdish problem, the human rights situation in the country and Turkey's application for accession to the EU.

    CNA NB/MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1850:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Poll - EU favourites

    Brussels, Sep 17 (CNA) -- Almost half of the citizens of the European Union (EU) member states favour Cyprus' accession to the Union, according to an opinion poll carried out for the European Commission in the 15 member states.

    The poll shows that Cyprus garnered 46 per cent of the vote and is the fourth most favourite of the 11 candidate countries.

    In all but four EU countries, the majority of the citizens favour Cyprus' accession. Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Austria stand against it, as they generally do not favour the enlargement of the Union.

    In Greece, 85 per cent said they favoured Cyprus' accession while only seven per cent said they were against.

    Hungary was the favourite among the 11 candidates, with Poland in second place, the Czech Republic in the third and Cyprus fourth.

    The least favoured country was Romania.

    CNA NB/MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1950 CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Greenpeace - Akamas

    Nicosia, Sep 17 (CNA) -- The environmental organisation Greenpeace welcomed today a decision by the Cyprus Supreme Court to annul a building permission and relaxations given to the family business of a former Minister in the environmentally fragile Akamas peninsula.

    Greenpeace Mediterranean campaigner in Cyprus, Irene Constantinou, said that "the court decision proves that Greenpeace and local environmental groups were right in saying that hotel development is illegal in Akamas."

    She said the hotel "is definitely not beneficial to the local community, the environment and Cyprus as a whole."

    Constantinou added that "the district officer of Paphos, the Town Planning Department and the Attorney General now have a responsibility to ensure that all activities stop at the hotel".

    The Greenpeace campaigner said that all other illegal activities taking place in Akamas should also be taken into consideration and that "fast and effective measures be taken for the termination of any activity that harms the natural environment."

    She cited Judge Frixos Nikolaides's remarks about the value and the significance of the Akamas Peninsula and the need to protect it.

    Greenpeace further appealed to the government of President Clerides to unanimously adopt a World Bank Report to declare Akamas a protected area and the House of Representatives to vote a relevant law.

    Referring to the family business of former Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, the Greenpeace campaigner said that the illegally constructed hotel of 352 beds in the Asprokremmos area affected an area of 80.000 square meters, known as being a turtle nesting area of the Loggerhead and the Green Turtles.

    The International Union for the Conservation of Nature lists Loggerhead Turtles as vulnerable and the Green Turtles as endangered species.

    The number of Green turtles nesting females in the entire Mediterranean could be as low as 225- 275. Apart from Cyprus, they nest in a very few other countries in the basin.

    CNA DP/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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