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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-03

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Opposition leader - Health
  • [02] Defence Minister - Missiles
  • [03] British Exercises - Environmentalists

  • 1320:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Opposition leader - Health

    Nicosia, Jan 3 (CNA) -- The leader of the main opposition left-wing party AKEL, Demetris Christofias, is in hospital suffering from kidney failure.

    AKEL General Secretary, Christofias, who is 52, has been in Nicosia General Hospital since December 22 suffering from pneumonia and acute worsening of kidney problems.

    He is undergoing treatment for his ailment and this will continue for the next two weeks, his doctors announced here today.

    So far, Christofias' state of health has been satisfactory, something which has allowed him to spend time at home.

    Christofias has been at the helm of the main opposition party since 1988.

    CNA MM/RM/1999

    [02] Defence Minister - Missiles

    Paphos, Jan 3 (CNA) -- Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou has criticised those who attempt to blame Athens for the decision not to deploy Russian anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus.

    Omirou, whose socialist party EDEK decided yesterday to withdraw from the government of President Glafcos Clerides following his announcement about the missiles, also said Athens had given assurances it would back any decision Nicosia takes on the missiles.

    Speaking here today, Omirou said his party had to leave the government as a matter of principle and for respect to its supporters.

    Commenting on reaction to the decision not to deploy the missiles on the island, he said "any attempt to shift responsibility solely to Athens is tantamount to burying one's head in the sand."

    He acknowledged that both Athens and Nicosia bear responsibility for the decision, announced on December 29.

    The government of Cyprus ordered the Russian-made missile system for purely defensive purposes to counter the massive Turkish military presence in the island's Turkish occupied areas.

    "The Greek government saw with reservation the issue of the missiles but assured that it would back any decision by the Cyprus government," Omirou said.

    Replying to questions, the Minister said "things are different today after the President's decision and we need hard work in all directions."

    EDEK participates in Clerides' government with two ministers, Defence and Education, both of whom are expected to hand in their resignations.

    CNA SS/MM/RM/1999

    [03] British Exercises - Environmentalists

    Nicosia, Jan 3 (CNA) -- A spokesman for the British Bases in Cyprus, Rob Need, confirmed to CNA today there has been some damage to property in the Akamas peninsula, only a few days before British troops start their military exercises in the area.

    He also said he expects the Cyprus police to pursue the matter through the justice system, since they know the culprits, and stressed the exercises, scheduled for 7-8 January, will go ahead as planned.

    "I can confirm that three mobile toilets, some sign posts and fencing have been damaged and the Cyprus police in Paphos know who did this and are pursuing the matter for malicious damage," Need told CNA.

    He said the Cyprus police have visited the site and discovered those who caused the damage.

    "I expect the police will pursue the matter through the justice system, " he added, stressing that "I see no reason for us to suspend any military exercises."

    Britain, which has retained two military bases on the island since it granted Cyprus its independence in 1960, holds military exercises in the Akamas peninsula in accordance with the Treaty of Establishment amid growing opposition from local environmental groups.

    No live ammunition will be used in this year's exercises in which some 300 British troops will participate.

    "We take great care of the environment and as always any rubbish that may be around after the exercises will be cleared up," Need said.

    On his part, George Perdikis, speaking on behalf of the Environmentalists Group, told CNA that two ammunition dumps and 30 sign posts were destroyed in Akamas.

    A statement by the Environmentalists said "the operation which started early this morning to demolish illegal installations of the British troops in Akamas peninsula has been successfully completed.

    The British firing range in Akamas no longer exists, the statement added.

    The Environmentalists also warned that there will be more protests over the planned exercises next week.

    CNA MM/RM/1999
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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