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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-10-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Academia - Seminar - Cyprus, Greece, Israel
  • [02] President Clerides - Finnish Foreign Minister
  • [03] President Clerides - European Parliament Socialist Group leader
  • [04] Finnish FM - Talks
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 1130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Academia - Seminar - Cyprus, Greece, Israel

    Nicosia, Oct 12 (CNA) -- The interaction among Greece, Cyprus and Israel in relation to political developments in all three countries as well as the region was the focus of a one-day seminar the Cyprus Research Centre (KYKEM) organised at the weekend.

    Eminent academics from the participating countries advocated increased ties among the three and spoke about common interests and concerns which should unite them, noting at the same time that relations have been strained because of Israel's defence cooperation agreement with Turkey.

    As far as the Dean of Academic Affairs of the University of Indiana in the US, Vangelis Coufoudakis is concerned both the American administration and the Turkish government consider the Cyprus issue solved.

    "What remains to be done is legalise the current status quo," he warned and explained that the Cyprus question is not a priority for Turkey.

    Turkish intransigence is likely to be boosted and the country's stand is expected to be upgraded through support from the Jewish lobby in the US, he said.

    On Turkey's cooperation with Israel, Coufoudakis said the US has some misgivings about the transfer of high tech to Turkey and the possibility of seeing Turkey becoming more independent and increasing its political clout.

    He called on the US to be more assertive and take "an early firm stand" in its dealings with Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to avert threat of use of force.

    Coufoudakis noted that "the US has induced the arms race in the region instead of controlling it and is the last one to talk about the balance of power in this part of the world."

    Professor Shlomo Avineri, of the Institute of European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said the end of the cold war "opened a window" in Arab-Israeli ties but appears to have opened the possibility for high tension in relations between Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

    "Now things are handled in a more relaxed manner by the US as far as these three countries are concerned because of the absence of the Soviet Union," Avineri said.

    He urged Greek and Turkish Cypriots to look to the future and follow in the steps of the Oslo agreement protagonists who, without forgetting the past, talked about the future and took into account the pragmatic political realities to reach the peace accord.

    Greek professor of the Institute of International Relations at Panteion University in Athens, Athanasios Platias, explained that the current defence doctrine between Greece and Cyprus has existed since the early 1960s in that Athens had decided to deal with three fronts, Thrace, the Aegan and Cyprus.

    "Cyprus is a hostage to Turkey which is seeking concessions from Greece, " Platias said, noting that the joint doctrine could be seen as part of Greek "extended deterrent strategy" aimed to avert any military fait accompli from Turkey.

    He criticised "too much public talk" about the purchase of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system S300 and added "this looked as if we played the Russian card and helped Russia come into the Mediterranean."

    "Israel's natural strategic ally is Cyprus and Greece," he concluded, and did not rule out the possibility of seeing Turkey turning into an Islamic state in the future.

    Marios Evriviades, Head of Documentation at Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, said "Turkey and Israel move in different directions, one towards peace, the other in the opposite direction."

    "A peaceful Middle East does not serve Turkey's Kemalist premise," Evriviades said, noting that Turkey has been arming itself at an unprecedented rate and has established "indisputable power superiority."

    The military agreement Turkey concluded with Israel, he explained, has encouraged Turkey to be more bold and pursue its policy for regional hegemony.

    He said American backing of increased ties between these two countries may waver if their cooperation moves in the direction of fulfilling Turkey's objectives because such a development would create destabilisation in the region.

    The Director of the Harry Truman Institute, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Moshe Ma'oz, described relations between Israel and Turkey as "illegitimate" and said their defence cooperation agreement could damage Israel's ties with the Arab nations.

    Professor Shai Feldman, Director of the Jaffe Centre for Strategic Studies, placed firmly the ball in Greece's court to try and boost its relations with Israel.

    He said Israel sees its cooperation with Turkey as "a relationship with an economic background."

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] President Clerides - Finnish Foreign Minister

    Nicosia, Oct 12 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister of Finland, Tarja Halonen, today called on President Glafcos Clerides with whom she discussed the Cyprus problem and the Republic's bid to join the European Union (EU).

    "We had very interesting discussions and we were of course speaking about the situation in Cyprus and also the EU," she said after the meeting.

    The Finnish minister, who is on a three-day visit heading a six-member delegation, also called on House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou.

    She was also scheduled to have a meeting with her Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides followed by official talks between delegations of the two countries.

    Later today Halonen will meet former president and head of the Republic's negotiating team for EU accession, George Vassiliou, and will speak on "Finland in the EU/Membership from the perspective of a small country" at the European Institute in Nicosia.

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [03] President Clerides - European Parliament Socialist Group leader

    Nicosia, Oct 12 (CNA) -- Leader of the European Parliament Socialist Group, EuroMP Pauline Green today expressed certainty that Cyprus will join the European Union, noting that the 15 member-states cannot back down from their unanimous decisions.

    After a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, the British Labour Party EuroMP also underlined the importance of a Cyprus government invitation to Turkish Cypriots to participate in accession negotiations and said the EU could monitor it.

    Green said she agreed with President Clerides that Cyprus' EU accession is "definitely the way forward in the next few years."

    Invited to comment on problems raised by some EU members, she said "these rumours and issues arise every time we reach a decision point in someway on Cyprus."

    Green expressed the view that "the important thing is that every time those decisions have to be made the 15 governments are unanimous and unanimous in Cyprus' favour and that I think should give you confidence that the way is set and the die is cast and Cyprus will join the EU."

    "It would be unthinkable after another two or three years of in-depth discussion, changing Cyprus laws to bring them in line with the EU, and all of the hard work and effort of that, that any country of the EU should at that stage say 'ah but sorry it is unthinkable'", she added.

    The leader of the largest group in the European Parliament said that statements made by some member-states are "part of the game of international politics to keep pressure on for a solution" in Cyprus.

    EU members such as France and Italy have tried to associate a settlement to the Cyprus problem with EU accession.

    "The essential thing I believe is that the governments are carrying through the commitment they made to Cyprus when they said Cyprus will join the Union," Green said.

    She added that "if you are a government of the EU you don't open up EU membership to a country that you intend later to refuse. This is not the game the EU plays."

    Backing her view, Green pointed to the EU's stance towards Ankara to whom it made clear that it is not ready for membership and that it was not willing to open the application to Turkey.

    Asked if it is a form of pressure on the Cyprus government to work towards a solution she replied "yes", noting however that everybody, including the government, want a settlement.

    Replying to questions, Green said the proposal for Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks is "a powerful message to the EU that the President of Cyprus understands and fully appreciates his commitment to the Turkish Cypriot community who are part of this island."

    "I know that there are many Turkish Cypriots who view EU membership very well", she said, adding that the issue is whether Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "is prepared to come on board and at least consider EU membership for the whole of the island which of course we are determined will happen."

    Denktash has already rejected the proposal put forward by President Glafcos Clerides.

    Noting that the offer remains on the table and that the EU had made it clear it would like to see Turkish Cypriots involved, Green said "Mr Clerides has made a very generous offer, an open offer, which Mr Denktash should see can be monitored by the rest of the EU as to whether his people are playing a full part when they are engaged in that process."

    "It's up to him you can only open the door and he has to step through it," Green concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per of its territory.

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [04] Finnish FM - Talks

    Nicosia, Oct 12 (CNA) -- Finnish Foreign Minister, Tarja Halonen, has said that all European Union candidate countries should be treated equally and stressed that EU membership concerns solely the EU and the applicant country, and no other third party.

    She also expressed her country's support for the UN peace process to settle the protracted Cyprus question and welcomed the intention of the Cyprus government to open an embassy in Helsinki.

    "It is very important for Finland to have equal treatment of candidate countries and Cyprus is considered to be a very good candidate country, one of the most active ones," she told a press conference she gave with her Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides after talks here today.

    Halonen, on a three-day visit to the island, said she hoped to see "more practical steps forward in this enlargement process are taken" and added "we did the first part well and have no reasons to stop the proceedings from going now smoothly forward."

    Asked if any third country could veto Cyprus' accession, she replied "EU membership is fully one hundred per cent business between the applicant country and the EU."

    Replying to questions, she pointed out that "Cyprus has to fulfill all EU criteria but also a right to get equal treatment, have same tasks, same homework as other candidates."

    Her views were echoed in Kasoulides' comments who said "it is extremely important that each applicant must be treated on the merits of its application and not on other considerations, such as bilateral relations between the EU and a third country."

    Talks focused on EU enlargement, cooperation with applicant countries, the Cyprus problem, developments in the region, and issues of bilateral interests.

    "I encouraged Cyprus to be patient in her efforts to join EU," she said, noting her country considers the UN peace effort to solve the Cyprus question "very important for the EU and Cyprus."

    "We respect very very strongly UN resolutions and role and we are prepared as president of EU in the second semester of 1999 to give our full support to facilitate this process," she said.

    She said she shared with Kasoulides her views about small countries in the EU and pointed out that such nations can survive and do well within the EU.

    Welcoming the Finnish FM, Kasoulides said her visit "shows keen interest of Finland in Cyprus" and described their talks as "very useful and thorough talks."

    He said Cyprus and Finland enjoy "excellent bilateral ties" and announced the government's intention to open an embassy in Helsinki in early 1999.

    "I hope Cyprus will contribute to a very successful Finnish EU presidency," the Cypriot minister added.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Oct 12 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
       CSE General Index                          85.68 ( 0.76)
       Traded Value            CYP 863,289
       Sectural Indices
       Banks                   CYP   465,725     100.05 ( 0.73)
       Approved Investment
       Companies               CYP    69,140      58.67 (-0.49)
       Insurance Companies     CYP    54,713      57.71 (-0.19)
       Manufacturing Companies CYP    52,017      82.77 ( 2.34)
       Tourism Companies       CYP    25,896      69.32 ( 0.58)
       Trading Companies       CYP    20,376      38.93 (-0.18)
       Other Companies         CYP   131,837      79.25 ( 0.80)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MCH/1998
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