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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-12-29

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Journalists call off strike
  • [02] Athens summit - S300 issue
  • [03] Clerides - Simitis - S300
  • [04] Greek Government - Athens meeting

  • 0815:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Journalists call off strike

    Nicosia, Dec 29 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Union of Journalists has called off a 24-hour strike in newspapers and magazines planned for today following last- minute mediation efforts by the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Andreas Moushoutas.

    The Union of Journalists and the Association of Publishers of Newspapers and Magazines decided last night to have new negotiations with the Ministry of Labour as arbitrator.

    The two sides agreed that no changes will be made in the old collective agreement that ended in December 1997.

    The warning strike by print journalists had been announced to press for the renewal of the collective agreement between the journalists and their employers.

    The Union President Andreas Kannaouros said the Publishers' Association had not only refuse to accept any changes in the collective agreement but it proposed changes in the old agreement.

    The Association said the planned strike was not within the Code of Industrial Relations and called the Union back to the negotiating table.

    CNA GP/1998

    [02] Athens summit - S300 issue

    Athens, Dec 29 (CNA) -- The future of the Russian-made S-300 surface-to-air missiles ordered by Cyprus two years ago will be discussed here today at a Greco-Cypriot summit.

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides flew to Athens yesterday for what was described a crucial meeting with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis concerning the deployment of the anti-aircraft missile system in Cyprus or not.

    A final decision on the S-300 system will be taken by the island's National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling for the Cyprus issue, which will meet this afternoon in Nicosia, immediately after Clerides' return to the country.

    President Clerides said he would brief Simitis on the positions of all Cypriot political parties on the S-300 question.

    He said a final decision will be taken by the National Council and if it were unanimous, the decision would be respected. If not, the decision would be taken by the President of the Republic (himself).

    In a previous decision the National Council postponed the date of the S-300 delivery in a bid to give time to the international community to influence the Turkish side to accept substantive talks for a Cyprus settlement and the island's demilitarisation.

    Turkey, whose troops have been illegally occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, reacted strongly to the planned deployment, threatening to strike the missiles.

    The United States, Britain and other western powers opposed the purchase of the Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles by Cyprus and advised Nicosia to avoid their deployment as this move would increase tension on the island.

    Greece fully backed Cyprus' decision to bolster its air defence as an independent state having the right to defend itself from outside threat.

    The Cyprus government had repeatedly said it would deploy the surface- to-air missiles unless substantive talks leading to a solution or to demilitarisation took place.

    Russia defended its right to have a trade deal with an independent state, fully backing, at the same time, the independence and territorial integrity of the Cyprus Republic as provided for by the UN resolutions, which envisaged the establishment of bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    According to press reports in Greece and Cyprus one of the options to be discussed in the Athens meeting is the transfer of the missiles to Greece's southern island of Crete.

    According to the Turkish Anatolia news agency, Ankara announced that the deployment or storage of the S-300 missiles in Crete would create further difficulties in the already strained Turkish-Greek relations.

    Greece and Turkey both NATO allies have been at odds for a long time over the strategic island of Cyprus. The two countries together Britain, the former colonial power, were the guarantors of Cyprus' independence under the 1960 treaties.

    CNA GP/1998

    [03] Clerides - Simitis - S300

    Athens, Dec 29 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Premier Costas Simitis met today in Athens and discussed the issue of the surface-to-air missile system ordered by the Cyprus government in January 1997.

    No statements were made after the meeting, as the Cypriot President left immediately for the airport to return to Cyprus.

    Later today President Clerides will preside over a meeting of the National Council, his top advisory body on the Cyprus problem comprising political party leaders, after which the final decision as to whether or not the S300 defence missile system will be deployed is expected to be announced.

    Meanwhile, the Greek government is expected to issue a statement on the Athens meeting later today, as well as a second statement on the S300 issue after the National Council meeting is concluded.

    President Clerides was accompanied at the meeting by Under-Secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros.

    Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, National Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou and Foreign Under-Secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis also participated.

    CNA KI/MA/GP/1998

    [04] Greek Government - Athens meeting

    Athens, Dec 29 (CNA) -- A Greek government statement issued here today after a meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and Premier Costas Simitis says the two men exchanged views on the positions of the Cypriot parties with regard to the S300 defence missile system ordered by the Cyprus government.

    The written statement also says "the present phase of the Cyprus problem and its prospects, especially after the adoption of two resolutions by the Security Council" was also discussed.

    "During the meeting President Clerides briefed Prime Minister Costas Simitis on the views of the Cypriot political parties regarding the S300 missile system," it says, adding that "he also gave these views in writing".

    President Clerides has returned to Cyprus, to preside over a meeting of political party leaders to be held this afternoon.

    The decision as to whether or not the Russian-made missile system will be deployed here is expected to be announced after the meeting.

    CNA KI/MA/MCH/1998
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