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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cabinet - EU - Vassiliou
  • [02] Mouradov - Missiles - US
  • [03] CoE Rapporteur - Visit
  • [04] Arrests - Murder - Chinese
  • [05] Christodoulou - Kutrin - Meeting
  • [06] Cyprus - EU

  • 1722:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cabinet - EU - Vassiliou

    Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- The cabinet approved today the positions Cyprus will present to the European Union (EU) on Monday in Brussels on eight chapters on which the screening process has been completed.

    These concern company law, free movement of goods, fisheries, consumers' health and protection, statistics, external relations, customs union and competition policy.

    "Negotiations on these eight chapters will take place in the first six months of next year, during the German EU presidency," Cyprus chief negotiator George Vassiliou said after Friday's cabinet meeting.

    He also said he did not think there would be any problems with these discussions.

    Vassiliou added that all interested parties here have been informed about the screening process and that there will be more consultations with the EU before the positions are formally put forward.

    He explained that most of these chapters deal with consumer issues, with special emphasis on the free movement of goods as part of the unified market.

    "Everybody understands the importance of harmonising Cyprus' regulations with the acquis communautaire and we hope that by the end of 2000 or in 2001 at the latest, we will have some deals, provided Europe itself sorts out its own internal problems," Vassiliou added.

    Replying to questions, he said there are "serious problems" with the financial protocol Cyprus received from the EU because any bicommunal projects the government proposes are questioned and the Turkish Cypriot side is not at all cooperative.

    Cyprus opened substantive accession negotiations in early November. The Turkish Cypriot side rejected a proposal by the government to participate in membership talks, put forward in March this year.

    Vassiliou leaves for Bucharest on Saturday to participate in a meeting of EU ministers responsible for European Affairs with the 11 candidate countries to discuss issues relating to the accession talks.

    From Romania he will go to Brussels to submit Cyprus' positions on the eight chapters.

    CNA MA/MM/EC/1998

    [02] Mouradov - Missiles - US

    Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Russian ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Mouradov, has assured that his government would put into effect the contract it has signed with the Republic of Cyprus, relating to the S300 anti-aircraft missiles.

    Mouradov appeared dismissive of a statement by the US Ambassador, Kenneth Brill, that the missiles should not come to Cyprus.

    "Russia and Cyprus are two sovereign states that discuss matters of mutual interest. We consider the contract we have with the Republic of Cyprus as a bilateral contract and we will fulfill the terms of our contract," the Ambassador said.

    He also stressed that "Russia is nobody's colony." Asked if there is a timetable for the implementation of the contract, he said "when, where and how the contract will be put into effect is a matter that concerns the defence of the Republic of Cyprus."

    "We are not violating international law through our contract and through the cooperation we have in the military and technological fields," Mouradov said.

    Commenting on statements by his American counterpart that the missile system should not come to Cyprus, Mouradov said "this has surprised me to say the least."

    "Can you imagine that I, as Russian Ambassador to Cyprus, would make statements to the effect that American arms should be removed from Cyprus," he wondered.

    He said Russia and Cyprus would be pleased to hear any American initiative on demilitarisation or the reduction of arms in Cyprus but noted that "as far as the contract is concerned Russia and Cyprus will deal with that."

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

    The Cyprus government purchased the Russian S300 missiles in an effort to boost its defence capabilities, in case of a fresh Turkish offensive. CNA MAN/RG/MM/EC/1998


    [03] CoE Rapporteur - Visit

    Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- The Council of Europe's Cyprus Rapporteur, Andras Barsony, arrives here Sunday on a five-day visit for talks with the government.

    Barsony, rapporteur of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the CoE on the situation in Cyprus, will be received on Monday by President Glafcos Clerides and meet House President Spyros Kyprianou.

    He will also see Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, party leaders and the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs, Takis Christopoulos.

    Barsony will meet with ambassadors and diplomatic representatives of the CoE member states and UN Deputy Special Representative, Dame Ann Hercus.

    He leaves on Thursday.

    CNA MM/EC/1998

    [04] Arrests - Murder - Chinese

    Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Two Chinese nationals, a man and a woman, were arrested in connection with police inquiries into a double murder earlier this week of two Chinese students.

    "Police are working in a methodical, organised and scientific manner, and are doing so with great zeal and interest," Chief of Police Andreas Angelides said today.

    He noted that "police have sufficient evidence which lead us to believe that this case is on the way to a solution."

    Police said here today that 21-year-old Wang Yang and his friend Chen Shuai, who lived together, were arrested in the southern coastal town of Limassol.

    Both were studying at a private college in Limassol, where the two victims of Wednesday's murder were also attending.

    The dead couple, Lou Jinhui and Jiang Mingxia, both 23, were brutally murdered and their bodies dumped in a ravine, in the central Troodos mountain plains.

    Police found in various locations linked to the murder many items, including the tools used to kill the two Chinese students.

    CNA MM/EC/1998

    [05] Christodoulou - Kutrin - Meeting

    Nicosia, Dec 4 (CNA) -- Minister of Finance, Christodoulos Christodoulou, met today with Russian First Deputy Minister of Finance, Alexei Kutrin, with whom he discussed tomorrow's signing of a new agreement for the avoidance of double taxation.

    Speaking after the meeting, both said that some problems of interpretation remain unresolved, but promised to continue talks all night if necessary, to reach an agreement by tomorrow morning.

    However the two ministers said that "remarkable progress" has been achieved.

    A second team, comprising officials from both Ministries, discussed issues regarding bilateral cooperation.

    Kutrin arrived on the island earlier today heading a three-member delegation, at the invitation of Christodoulou for a two day visit.

    CNA RG/EC/1998

    [06] Cyprus - EU

    Brussels Dec 4 (CNA) -- The division of Cyprus, as a result of the continuing Turkish occupation of part of the island, will cause problems in the country's accession negotiations, according to the top European Union (EU) negotiator.

    "The problem will come up again every step of the way, especially when we enter into talks on what is call free movement," Klaus van der Pas, the chief negotiator of the European Commission, said in an interview with the review "Agence Europe".

    This question, he pointed out, will come to the fore immediately. "As long as the political situation remains what it is at present, we cannot answer this question," van der Pas added.

    He noted the French authorities had told him that "at every step in the process, they will repeat their great concern about bringing into the EU a divided island, in a sort of war zone."

    These are considerations and fears shared by everybody, he said, adding that "that much is perfectly clear."

    The EU negotiator confirmed that he "understands and accepts the French concerns about maintaining the enlargement process "under political control" (and not putting it on automatic pilot, as French European Affairs Minister Pierre Moscovici put it), "Agence Europe" added.

    "After all, it is the member states that are conducting the negotiations. The Commission is not a substitute for the member states, it will not make proposals that are not politically reasonable," van der Pas concluded.

    Cyprus started substantive negotiations with the EU in early November.

    CNA NB/MM/EC/1998
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