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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-10-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Thailand - Credentials
  • [02] Cyprus - Spain - Credentials
  • [03] Cyprus - "Tourism for Tomorrow" award
  • [04] Clerides - Greek anniversary
  • [05] Soccer: Cyprus 5 - Kuwait 3
  • [06] Cyprus - Greek - Parliaments
  • [07] Cyprus - Illegal immigrants - Inquiry
  • [08] Cyprus - Thailand - Agreement
  • [09] Omirou - Turkey - Speech
  • [10] EU harmonisation - Meeting - Vassiliou
  • [11] Cyprus - Israel - Turkey

  • 1515:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Thailand - Credentials

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Thailand today expressed the wish to further strengthen their cooperation in all fields.

    Presenting his credentials as new ambassador of Thailand to Cyprus, Somboon Sangiambut said that since 1969 when relations between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of Cyprus were established "relations between our two countries have always been excellent and have expanded in all fields".

    He added economic cooperation will be further strengthened by the signing of the Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the two countries.

    Sangiambut said he will "endeavour to strengthen even further the friendly relationship, good understanding and close cooperation already existing between our two countries and people."

    Replying, President Glafcos Clerides said that even though the two countries are geographically far apart "they are linked together by bonds of friendship and cooperation, based on their common adherence to the purposes and principles of the UN and the Non-Aligned Movement".

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, President Clerides said the government "remains committed to a peaceful settlement" and will continue efforts to this end within the framework of the UN Secretary-General's mission of good offices on the basis of the UN resolutions on Cyprus and the High Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979" stipulating for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Unfortunately, he added, "despite our positive attitude, the Turkish side still remains intransigent and reluctant to cooperate towards this objective."

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

    CNA EC/NA/1998

    [02] Cyprus - Spain - Credentials

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Spain considers that Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) will be an element of stability on the island.

    The statement was made by Spain's new Ambassador to Cyprus, Mariano Garcia Munoz, presenting his credentials to President Glafcos Clerides.

    Munoz said his government "since the first inclusion of Cyprus in the candidates list to the EU, has supported the candidacy of the Republic of Cyprus", noting that proof of Spain's interest is that it has not put any condition to Cyprus' accession.

    "On the contrary, we consider that the Republic of Cyprus' entry to the EU would be an element of stability and development to the country," he said.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Munoz said Spain follows with great attention the efforts of the Cyprus government "to solve the distressing separation of your country", noting Spain supports the UN resolutions "which mark the way to the solution of this painful problem."

    Replying, President Clerides expressed the conviction that the accession process "could and should act as a real catalyst towards achieving a just, viable and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem".

    He said the government looks forward for accession negotiations to enter "their substantive phase in a few days time".

    Clerides said the government expects they will continue smoothly "without any obstacles or preconditions by anybody and will eventually lead to the accession of Cyprus as a full member of the EU in the not distant future."

    Cyprus applied for EU membership in July 1990. Accession talks officially opened last March.

    The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA EC/MA/1998

    [03] Cyprus - "Tourism for Tomorrow" award

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus is among the regional winners of the 1998 British Airways "Tourism for Tomorrow" awards.

    The Cyprus Tourism Organisation's (CTO) Agrotourism programme has been given the award for Europe.

    More than 120 projects from 43 countries entered for the awards which recognise an environmentally and culturally sensitive approach to tourism.

    The Cyprus Agrotourism Programme and the four other regional winners are now in competition for the global award which will be announced at an awards ceremony next February.

    The British Airways "Tourism for Tomorrow" awards look for projects which can be used to provide a global example of how the tourism industry can have minimal impact on the natural and cultural environment, a British Airways statement said.

    In statements to CNA, CTO official in charge of the agrotourism project Constantinos Kattamis said the award is given to countries which offer alternative tourism, something the CTO is trying to promote.

    The award, he said, was presented during a ceremony in the village of Tochni, in the eastern part of the island, where a number of old homes have been restored and renovated within the framework of the agrotourism programme.

    The Cyprus Agrotourism Company, a public company set up by the owners that is in charge of bookings for rural accommodation, aims at the economic and social regeneration of rural communities in the island which are in decline.

    The programme encourages the conversion of traditional houses for tourist use. About 300 beds in 16 villages are available within this programme.

    Over two million tourists visit Cyprus each year.

    CNA MCH/EC/MA/1998

    [04] Clerides - Greek anniversary

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides congratulated the Greek President and Premier on the occasion of tomorrow's anniversary of "October 28" and thanked them for Greece's support to Cyprus.

    The anniversary marks Greece's refusal to surrender to an unconditional ultimatum by the Axis forces and is celebrated in Cyprus with church services and student parades in all towns.

    In his message to President Costis Stephanopoulos, President Clerides says Cypriot Hellenism draws lessons from tomorrow's anniversary "which strengthen its struggle to find a just, workable and viable solution of our national problem, through peaceful means".

    He reiterates Cyprus' appreciation for the help which Greece offers in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, the island's accession to the European Union, the strengthening of Cyprus' defence and the implementation of the joint defence pact between the two countries.

    In his message to Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis, Clerides notes that tommorow's anniversary "is an opportunity for Cypriot Hellenism, the government and me personally, to express our thanks and gratitude for the valuable and multiple support which Greece offers to Cyprus".

    "The October 28 1940 anniversary, a symbol of freedom in the Greek nation's long history, is a source of inspiration for all Greeks and especially the Cypriot Hellenism which is fighting for justice in martyred Cyprus", the President adds.

    CNA EC/MA/1998

    [05] Soccer: Cyprus 5 - Kuwait 3

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus' national soccer team beat the national team of Kuwait with 5 - 3, in a friendly game held this afternoon at Paralimni Stadium.

    It was a warm-up match for the Cyprus team in view of their game against San Marino, on November 18, for the qualifying round (Group 6) of the European Cup "Euro 2000".

    CNA GP/MA/1998

    [06] Cyprus - Greek - Parliaments

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- President of the Greek Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis will pay an official visit to Cyprus next month at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart, Spyros Kyprianou.

    The announcement was made in Athens today, after a meeting between the two men during which they discussed the Cyprus problem and cooperation between the two parliaments.

    Kyprianou underlined the importance of the visit, noting that Kaklamanis has promoted all national issues and especially the Cyprus problem.

    CNA MA/EC/1998

    [07] Cyprus - Illegal immigrants - Inquiry

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Attorney General, Alecos Markides, announced here Tuesday the appointment of a further three officials to conduct the investigation into accusations that Police used unwarranted brutality to quell a riot by illegal immigrants at a former detention centre.

    A total of five officials are now investigating the incident in the coastal town of Larnaca on Friday and Markides promised that the inquiry will be completed the soonest and those responsible will be punished.

    Two officials were appointed yesterday to investigate the case, "proving that the government considers the case as very serious", the government said.

    Markides visited today the detention centre together with deputy Doros Christodoulides, representative of the House of Representatives at the Human Rights Committee of the Council of Europe.

    Asked why more officials should be appointed, Markides replied "to accelerate the conclusion of the inquiry".

    He also said that around 25 of the illegal immigrants will spend the night at the Central Prisons in Nicosia, until the cell where they are being kept in Larnaca is completely cleared from the smell of the tear gas, used by the Police's anti-terrorist police to quell their uprising.

    The riots began when the illegal immigrants started a fire in their cells to protest the deportation to Nigeria of five of 48 of them detained at the former Famagusta Police Station in the south-eastern coastal town of Larnaca.

    Meanwhile, in statements today, Justice and Public Order Minister, Nicos Koshis, agreed with other politicians that Friday's riot has tarnished the reputation of Cyprus abroad.

    Koshis said he is preparing and will submit proposals to the Council of Ministers to avoid the influx of more illegal immigrants from Lebanon.

    Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides reiterated the government's sensitivity on human rights issues, stressing that the government's initial reaction to the TV footage screened "show the use of unwarranted violence".

    CNA EC/MA/1998

    [08] Cyprus - Thailand - Agreement

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Thailand today signed an agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation.

    The agreement was signed at the Foreign Ministry by Permanent Secretary, Alecos Shambos and new Thailand ambassador to Cyprus, Somboon Sangiambut.

    Shambos and Sangiambut said the agreement will further upgrade the friendly relations between the two countries.

    CNA MA/EC/1998

    [09] Omirou - Turkey - Speech

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Defence Minister, Yiannakis Omirou said the joint military exercises between Cyprus and Greece held last week proved the effectiveness of the joint defence pact between the two countries.

    In a speech here Tuesday on the occasion of tomorrow's "October 28, 1940" Greek anniversary, Omirou also said the illegal flights by Turkish aircraft in the Athens and Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR) last week should have alerted the international community.

    Omirou criticised Ankara for its intransigent position on Cyprus, noting that "it escalates its intransigence by imposing unreasonable conditions."

    "This attitude was repeated these days with the raid of Turkish aircraft into the Athens and Nicosia FIR and with attempts to violate the national airspace," Omirou said.

    The Defence Minister said that Ankara aimed at undermining last week's military exercises code-named "Nikiforos" and the "Toxotis" and making them fail.

    "The response by Greece and Cyprus led to the profound failure of Turkey's effort," Omirou said, adding that the joint exercises have proved "the continually upgraded operation of the dogma."

    The joint defence pact agreed between Cyprus and Greece in 1993 provides for air, sea and land coverage by Athens in case of a new Turkish offensive against the island.

    Omirou criticised the US for tolerating Turkey's behaviour which is a "factor of anomaly and will in the long-term endanger the region and American interests."

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

    CNA EC/MA/1998

    [10] EU harmonisation - Meeting - Vassiliou

    Nicosia, Oct 27 (CNA) -- The Republic's chief negotiator in accession talks with the European Union (EU), stressed the need to speed up the harmonisation process, pointing out, however that this does not mean that Cyprus is far behind.

    George Vassiliou was speaking after a meeting this evening of a ministerial committee, chaired by President Glafcos Clerides.

    All Ministers and their permanent secretaries, Attorney General Alecos Markides and Governor of the Central Bank Afxentis Afxentiou attended.

    Vassiliou said that participants were informed on the progress made by the various ministerial departments to harmonise with the acquis communautaire.

    The former president of the Republic said decisions were taken, in principle, which will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval, on how to speed up the preparation of legislation regarding the EU.

    The government, he said, is ready to adopt the relevant legislation while the House of Representatives will also adopt the necessary procedures to approve all relevant legislation.

    Vassiliou said that from now on the various EU departments will be in closer touch with the relevant Cyprus ministerial departments while Cypriot ministers will pay visits to Europe more often.

    Vassiliou leaves for Brussels tonight to attend talks on Thursday on the first seven chapters of the acqui communautaire, the screening of which has been completed by the six EU candidate member states.

    The seven chapters are: Common Foreign and Security Policy, Industrial Policy, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Research and Scientific Development, Education, Training and Youth Policy, Telecommunications and Information Technology Policy and Culture and Audiovisual Policy.

    CNA RG/EC/MA/1998

    [11] Cyprus - Israel - Turkey

    By Maria Myles

    Jerusalem, 27 Oct (CNA) -- A senior advisor to the Israeli Prime Minister has backed the defence cooperation agreement between Turkey and Israel, saying it could contribute to regional stability.

    David Bar-Illan, Director of Policy Planing and Communications at the PM's office, said he understood the concerns small countries have as far as the agreement is concerned.

    Bar-Illan, former editor of the Jerusalem Post, was not sure whether the arrival of the Russian missiles S300 in Cyprus would actually contribute or detract from regional stability.

    Speaking here to Cypriot journalists, he said "neither Turkey nor Israel intend the agreement to be against anybody else" and added "we hope this relationship (we have with Turkey) can contribute to stability in the region."

    To prove his point, he stressed that Israel did not take sides in the recent Turkey-Syria dispute.

    "Turkey reciprocates more than others to us, this is a two way relationship," he said, stressing this is not "a purely military relationship."

    Replying to questions, he did not appear particularly worried about the prospect of this agreement back-firing on Israel in the future.

    Asked if he felt Cyprus' concerns are justified, he replied "I can understand the concerns of a small country but we do not feel that the relationship of forces is going to be affected by our ties with Turkey."

    Recognising that the agreement "may give Turkey greater ability in terms with other countries", Bar-Illan said "Israeli help to Turkey won't change the balance of power between Turkey and Cyprus."

    Israeli - Turkish cooperation, he maintained, "will not increase Turkish aggression to Cyprus."

    Invited to comment on the emerging closer links between Israel, Turkey and Jordan, he said Israel is working towards a peaceful region and wishes to establish friendship ties with everybody.

    Referring to the US stand on the agreement, he noted "the US would not encourage anything contrary to regional stability."

    Invited to outline his views on the arrival of the S300 to Cyprus, Bar- Illan replied "I'd like to see as much stability in the region as possible and whatever contributes to that stability is welcomed."

    He also said he did not know "whether the addition of the S300s add to stability in Cyprus or subtract", pointing out that "adding weapons is not always stabilising."

    Asked if Israel would sell arms to Cyprus he said "I think we don't have too many reservations about selling arms to Cyprus" noting however he was not the most appropriate person to reply.

    CNA MM/MA/1998
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