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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-23

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 - "Nikiforos"
  • [02] Kyprianou - Madden
  • [03] Green - Cyprus
  • [04] Cazalet - British diplomats
  • [05] President Clerides - Message - UN Secretary General
  • [06] Cyprus - Bulgaria - Cooperation Protocol
  • [07] President Clerides - "Environment and Women"

  • 1540:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides - "Nikiforos"

    Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) -- President, Glafcos Clerides, said today the best reply to the Turkish provocations was staying calm.

    He was speaking after watching this morning's manoeuvres in the eastern town of Larnaca, part of the annual National Guard military exercise code- named "Nikiforos '98" conducted in conjunction with the Greek "Toxotis" manoeuvres.

    Clerides described the manoeuvres as "excellent" and said "we are looking at a modern National Guard, very well equipped, very well trained and ready to defend the Cyprus Republic".

    To a question about the joint military exercises "Nikiforos" and "Toxotis", Clerides said it was something planned by the chiefs of staff of both Greece and Cyprus.

    Invited to comment on the continued Turkish provocations and violations of the Cyprus airspace during the "Nikiforos" and "Toxotis" manoeuvres, Clerides replied:

    "What I have to say is that they might be provoking us, but the fact that we are behaving with excellent calm, is the best answer".

    The Ministry of Defence yesterday announced that two Turkish RF4 reconnaissance planes violated Cyprus air space, while on Tuesday a Greek transport plane was buzzed by Turkish F-16, as it was heading to the Paphos air base in the western part of the island.

    Yesterday, Greek fighter jets and bombers took part in the "Nikiforos '98" and "Toxotis" manoeuvres, as part of the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece.

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

    CNA RM/EC/MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Kyprianou - Madden

    Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) -- The Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary and the British High Commissioner to Cyprus had a long meeting to discuss the presence of three British officials at the site of a military exercise.

    This was disclosed here, today by President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, after his meeting with British High Commissioner, David Madden.

    Speaking to the press, Kyprianou said Permanent Secretary Alecos Shiambos had informed him of his meeting yesterday with Madden regarding the presence of three British officials at a site designated only for the annual National Guard military exercise, code-named "Nikiforos '98".

    The three British officials, one of them a military attache, were spotted by Police.

    Asked whether the incident was just a coincidence, Kyprianou said it was difficult to say.

    "One cannot say that it is a coincidence for a military attache to approach an area at a time when a military exercise was going on," he pointed out.

    On his part, rejecting claims of espionage, Madden said that there were no signs in the area indicating that it was a closed road and stressed that "there was on incidence yesterday".

    He explained his military attache was stopped while driving down a main road to the west of Nicosia, and informed he was driving in a closed area.

    "He pointed out perfectly correctly that there were no signs to indicate it was a closed road and no one had told him about it being closed. Those who were talking to him admitted that there were no signs saying the road was closed," Madden added.

    Commenting on the fact that maps were found in the car, the British High Commissioner said, "most people on the island had some road maps in their cars".

    Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry sources told CNA the incident has been looked into and was considered closed.

    CNA AA/MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1655:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Green - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) -- British EMP, leader of the Socialist Party in the European Parliament, Pauline Green, has said today that the international community does not want to exert pressure on Turkey, due to it geostrategic importance.

    In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR), Green commented on violations of Cyprus' airspace by Turkish warplanes, saying that they are dangerous stunts.

    "My fear with overflying and things of this sort", she said, "is that you have very young men, often very excitable, in high technology aeroplanes, and sooner or later there is going to be a tragedy of awful proportions".

    Green stressed that "the international community has an obligation to stop that and they know about it, they monitor it very clearly and it is my view they should be stopping it".

    Asked why the international community is passive on this issue, Green said that "it is just a result of superpower priorities in the area", adding that "they don't care and they don't wish to exercise that sort of pressure on Turkey, which they fear is an important geostrategic country".

    She furthermore pointed out that "this is one of the ways in which international politics is actually not fair, not just, it is quite disgusting".

    Invited to comment on the pressure exerted on Cyprus regarding the deployment of the Russian S-300 missiles, Green said that this pressure "should be matched by pressure on Turkey" to stop the violations, which "do increase tension", if there is going to be "any equilibrium in reducing tension".

    Green supported the right "of any state to defend itself" and said it was unfortunate talks on the Cyprus problem revolve around the S-300 issue "instead of the invasion and occupation of Cyprus". This, she said, "is a great pity".

    The Cyprus government ordered the missiles last year in a bid to boost the Republic's air defence in case of a new Turkish offensive against Cyprus.

    The US, Britain and other countries object to the planned deployment of the missiles.

    The Cyprus government has said the missiles will be deployed unless there is substantial progress in the peace effort for a comprehensive solution or steps are taken towards the demilitarisation of Cyprus.

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

    CNA RG/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1730:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cazalet - British diplomats

    Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) -- A British High Commission press officer, said here today the Cyprus government did not protest over an incident yesterday when three British officials were found wandering at a military exercise site.

    Speaking to CNA, Piers Cazalet, said Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary, Alecos Shambos, called British High Commissioner, David Madden, last night and asked for clarifications on two points.

    "One was the point about whether the road was marked or not and the High Commissioner clarified that it was not marked," Cazalet said.

    "The other point was about the identity card which had been issued to the other two (British officials) travelling in the car. They were British High Commission identity cards," he added.

    Cazalet stressed Shambos "just wanted clarifications on those two" points and stressed that the Permanent Secretary "did not protest because there is nothing to protest about".

    The three British officials, one of whom was a military attache, were spotted by the Police as they were driving in an area close to the site where the annual National Guard military exercise code-named "Nikiforos" is taking place.

    They said there were no signs indicating that the area was out of bounds.

    Cazalet also described as "completely untrue" press reports that two of the three British officials refused to get out of the car to allow the Police to search it.

    He also said that there were no monocles in the car and that the maps found were "ordinary maps and there were no markings on the maps".

    Pointing out that the maps were shown to the Police which was satisfied, Cazalet, stressed that "there is nothing suspicious at all".

    "It is all closed", he added, stressing that "there wasn't an incident".

    CNA AA/MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1810:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] President Clerides - Message - UN Secretary General

    Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) -- Hopes for a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem are placed on the UN, President Glafcos Clerides stresses in a message to the UN Secretary General on the occasion of the 53rd anniversary of the founding of the international organisation.

    Pointing to the challenges faced by the UN today, President Clerides stresses that "there is still an imperative need to protect and maintain world peace and security, in conjunction with achieving universal respect for and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms" both at a regional and international level.

    "It is incumbent on all the peoples of the UN to work together to face successfully these dangers," the President adds in his message to Kofi Annan.

    Making special reference to Cyprus, President Clerides stresses that the people of Cyprus "continue to place our hopes on the UN for a just, viable and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem".

    "We continue to look forward to a peaceful reunification of our island, achieved through negotiations within the framework of your mission of good offices, on the basis of UN resolutions on Cyprus and the two high level agreements of 1977 and 1979," President Clerides says.

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

    Concluding, the Cyprus President, reassures the UN Chief "of our full support in your efforts to maintain peace and security throughout the world and to promote the ideals of universal respect for and promotion of human rights, social justice and prosperity for all the peoples of the world".

    CNA MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1900:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Cyprus - Bulgaria - Cooperation Protocol

    Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Bulgaria signed today a Protocol aimed at boosting bilateral cooperation in the fields of trade, industry, investments, agriculture, tourism, telecommunications and technical assistance.

    The Protocol was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Planning Bureau, Panikos Pouros, on behalf of Cyprus and by Deputy Trade and Tourism Minister, Christo Michailovski, on behalf of Bulgaria.

    CNA MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1900:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] President Clerides - "Environment and Women"

    Nicosia, Oct 23 (CNA) -- Cyprus has accepted the responsibility to act as a steward to the environment in pursue of its accession to the European Union, President Glafcos Clerides, stressed here Friday.

    In his address at the sixth Congress of the Association of Interbalkan Women's Cooperation Societies on "Environment and Women", read by Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Costas Themistocleous, Clerides also stressed "how indivisible the environment and fundamental human rights are".

    "In pursuing our membership to the EU, we have accepted the responsibility to act as a steward to the environment," Clerides said.

    He also pointed out that Cyprus has "endorsed the principles of sustainable development and has undertaken a process to integrate environmental considerations into those of our broader national policy".

    In this respect, he added, "the main thrust of my country's new Strategic Development Plan is the further incorporation of sustainability into social and economic development policies and to streamline them with those of the EU".

    Making special reference to the 1974 Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory, President Clerides said it made "Cyprus a sad case of what can happen when people are separated from their land and resources".

    He also pointed out that the situation in Cyprus "is a testimony to the soundness of the reasons which have let the International Law Commission to characterise all serious and international harm to the environment as a crime against humanity".

    The plenary sessions of the Congress, which begin tomorrow until Monday, will deal with the assessment of the priority issues in each of the Balkan countries and the contribution of women, especially of women's non- governmental organisations in the projects focusing on the protection of the environment.

    CNA MCH/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    cna ends
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