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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-18

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - EU - Environment
  • [02] Spokesman - Cyprus question
  • [03] UK politicians - Cyprus - Iraq
  • [04] Agriculture Minister - Water
  • [05] American couple - Hunger strike

  • 1620:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - EU - Environment

    Nicosia, Dec 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus and the European Union today singed a contract for a project aimed at the conservation of the island's bio- diversity, to which the Union will contribute 158.650 ECU, nearly half the total cost.

    The contract entitled "Special Areas of Conservation" was signed by Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Costas Themistocleous and head of the European Commission delegation to Cyprus Donato Chiarini.

    Speaking after the signing ceremony, the minister said the project will be enforced as from next year with a total cost of 318 thousand ECU and noted it is in line with EU directives.

    He said its principle objective is to provide information on habitats and species of flora and fauna.

    To this end existing data will be evaluated and processed, a list of sites to be designated as special areas of conservation will be drawn up and a national archive of ecological data will be established.

    "This project aims to establish some important data," Chiarini said, underlining the importance of environmental protection for both the EU and the Mediterranean.

    He stressed that the environment "is not an expandable commodity so we should regenerate what is being used up by the previous generations and the mismanagement that comes with modernity."

    Themistocleous described the project as very important for Cyprus "in view of our EU accession course" and said "we must harmonize with the EU acquis communautaire in environmental issues".

    The EU has also funded another project in Cyprus entitled "Integrated Control of Industrial Pollution and Chemical Substances", after the Republic submitted eleven proposals within the framework of the Union's environmental programme "LIFE".

    CNA MA/MM/1998

    [02] Spokesman - Cyprus question

    Nicosia, Dec 18 (CNA) -- Barring important developments in the Iraqi crisis, early next week there will be some developments in the Cyprus problem, according to Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides.

    Speaking at his daily press briefing, Stylianides also said intense consultations were currently underway, in anticipation of a UN Security Council resolution on Cyprus.

    "The government believes that we are likely to see developments in the Cyprus problem early next week through Security Council resolutions, barring significant developments in the crisis in Iraq which may have an effect on these developments," Stylianides said.

    He pointed out that the government was monitoring developments and "intervenes wherever it can to secure the best possible result."

    The Security Council is due to deliberate the Cyprus question following a letter by Secretary General Kofi Annan to the Council on his good offices mission and his report on the operation of the UN peace- keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    He said the outcome of these consultations would be assessed by the National Council, comprising the island's political leadership, and by the governments of Greece and Cyprus before any decisions are taken.

    Replying to questions, Stylianides stressed that "we cannot give our consent to anything which does not consider the issue of our security as an urgent and very important matter."

    "The government is ready to discuss a postponement in the arrival of the Russian anti-aircraft missiles once we enter into a process with a view to making progress on fundamental issues," the Spokesman said of the proposed deployment of the surface-to-air missiles.

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

    CNA MA/MM/GP/1998

    [03] UK politicians - Cyprus - Iraq

    London, Dec 18 (CNA) -- Two prominent figures in the British political scene have voiced their concern about the inability of the international community to implement its decisions on Cyprus.

    They also acknowledged that Britain did not act as it should have done, as a guarantor power of Cyprus' independence, and showed understanding towards the bitter feelings the people of Cyprus have because of the continuing occupation of part of their homeland by Turkey.

    Britain's Liberal Democrats Party leader Paddy Ashdown, told London Greek Radio (LGR) in an interview that "we have not done enough to reinforce the UN Security Council resolutions."

    He expressed regret about the flagrant disrespect Turkey displays towards UN resolutions on Cyprus, which call for the withdrawal of its occupation troops from the island.

    "I would like to see the international community take a stronger action," he said but indicated that bombing Ankara is not on the cards.

    Replying to questions, he noted the "very strong will" shown in the case of Iraq "will reinforce our capacity and self confidence to take action elsewhere as well."

    "If we allow this to degenerate, then we will not have a framework to fall back on," he remarked.

    He said the international community, including his own country, did not fulfill its obligations towards Cyprus.

    Euro Labour MP Pauline Green recognised the injustice in Cyprus and acknowledged "we did not do what we should have done in Cyprus in 1974 and that was where the problem stemmed from."

    "If we had been firmer, including military results then, we would never be in the position we are in now," she told LGR but explained that bombing Ankara 25 years later is not the right thing to do.

    She said the Cyprus problem is part of efforts by the UN, the international community and the European Union.

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

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [04] Agriculture Minister - Water

    Nicosia, Dec 18 (CNA) -- The recent rains have brought some relief to the drought stricken Cyprus with some flow of rainwater to dams.

    "The rain we have had in the past few days is very welcome for agriculture and for our water reserves but we need a lot more to have a substantial flow into the dams," Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Costas Themistocleous has said.

    Today, he added, "there are about two million cubic metres of water in the reservoirs and we need about 140 m. annually."

    He expressed the hope that the drought of the past three years will not continue this year too.

    "The water shortage problem will only be solved if we have a lot of rain in the following months," he said.

    CNA MA/MM/GP/1998

    [05] American couple - Hunger strike

    Nicosia, Dec 18 (CNA) --A three-day hunger strike staged by an American writer and anti-Vietnam war activist, Matthew Stowell, and his Cypriot born wife, Olga Glyki, since last Wednesday at Ledra Palace checkpoint near the buffer zone in Nicosia, ends today.

    The hunger strike was a "gesture" in solidarity with the refugee women of Kyrenia who also went on hunger strike earlier this month to protest the continuing occupation of Cyprus, he told CNA today.

    The Stowells will tomorrow hand a petition to the American embassy here protesting against the continuing violations of human rights in Cyprus.

    Commenting upon American foreign policy in the Middle East, Stowell criticized the hypocritical "double standard" policy the USA implements, choosing to "focus on human rights violations in certain places and ignore others".

    The Americans "ignored Turkey's human rights violations in Cyprus and against Kurds and Armenians and they ignored Israeli violations of UN resolutions because they are friends with Israel and they're friends with Turkey", he said.

    He said American policy on Cyprus does not reflect the views of the American people.

    Stowell deplored the fact that there are pages and pages of expensive advertising from Turkey in major US newspapers and magazines, but nothing from Cyprus.

    CNA DG/MM/1998
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