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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-01-22

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Clerides - High Commissioner's Dinner
  • [02] British High Commission - Cancelation of meetings
  • [03] Portuguese Foreign Minister - Cyprus
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Bank of Cyprus - Centenary
  • [06] Cyprus - WFDY Assembly
  • [07] President Clerides - Letter to Madden
  • [08] British High Commissioner - Letter to Clerides
  • [09] CYTA - Black Sea fibre optic cable
  • [10] Political parties - British envoy

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides - High Commissioner's Dinner

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides informed today in a letter British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, that he would not attend a working dinner tonight in protest to statements by British envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay.

    Announcing the President's decision not to attend the dinner at Madden's residence, Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, said Clerides reached this decision after Sir David Hannay's "unfortunate" statements last night.

    "President Clerides wishes to protest and express his dissatisfaction with specific extracts of Sir David's statements," Stylianides.

    He described as "unfortunate" Hannay's reference to President Clerides' letter to UN Secretary-General accepting in full Security Council resolutions 1217 and 1218, as "a tactical way of proceeding".

    "Certain references in Sir David's statements are not in the spirit of UN resolutions calling for a solution to the Cyprus problem based on a bi- zonal, bi-communal federation," Stylianides pointed out.

    Invited to comment on Turkish insistence on a confederation in Cyprus, Sir David said last night there was "excessive concentration on all sides on matters of forms and not enough focus on matters of substance" and spoke about the example of Switzerland.

    Stylianides refrained from replying to whether the government was planning representations to the British Foreign Office on the issue, noting that "at the time being we have to remain at this political position, President Clerides' decision not to attend tonight's dinner".

    The Government Spokesman also pointed out that official British statements both on UN resolutions 1217 and 1218 and on President Clerides' decision not to deploy Russian defensive system S-300 on the island, "were in the spirit of Security Council resolutions and in support of a bi-zonal bi-communal federation (in Cyprus)".

    Stylianides also stressed that "our side's positions have been clearly stated by President Clerides to the British government. We insist on UN resolutions and a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation and compliance with the two recent Security Council resolutions 1217 and 1218," he concluded.

    The dinner was to be given on the occasion of an annual meeting of Britain's Ambassadors to Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

    CNA MCH/GP/1999

    [02] British High Commission - Cancelation of meetings

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- The British High Commission has expressed regret with the fact that both President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash decided not to attend separate working meals with the British ambassadors in the region that were scheduled to take place today.

    In a written statement the British High Commission says one of the purposes of the meetings was "to hear the views of the two leaders on the way ahead", in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem.

    "We regret therefore that neither has taken the opportunity to give us their views," it adds.

    Earlier today President Clerides announced he and his top advisors will not attend a dinner at the High Commissioner's residence in reaction to statements made yesterday by Britain's Cyprus envoy Sir David Hannay.

    Hannay came to Cyprus to attend the meetings. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash also cancelled the working lunch he was to have with the four British ambassadors in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    Denktash gave no reason for not attending the working lunch. A British High Commission spokesman told CNA that the Turkish Cypriot leader announced his decision early this morning, before President Clerides made known his decision.

    The British ambassadors to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey conferred in Nicosia earlier today.

    Sir David was scheduled to have a meeting today with UN resident representative Dame Ann Hercus.

    The British High Commission announcement said the purpose of this meeting "was not only to discuss in detail ways in which the British government will, as Mr Blair said in his statement of December 23, work for full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1218 and for a major sustained effort towards securing a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus, but also to hear the views of the two leaders on the way ahead."

    UN resolution 1218, approved December 23, 1998, requests the UN chief to work intensively with the two sides for a settlement in Cyprus and the reduction of arms.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair welcomed resolution 1218 the same day it was approved and expressed his country's commitment to work for its full implementation.

    In the light of this resolution and statements issued by Blair and other world leader, President Clerides decided not to deploy the Russian- made S300 missile system on the island and to negotiate with Moscow its possible deployment in the Greek island of Crete, with the agreement of Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

    In a statement issued after the President's decision on the S300, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook welcomed the announcement, on behalf of himself and the Prime Minister.

    Cook said Clerides' decision "is a significant contribution to international efforts... to reduce tensions in the region."

    Beginning of the month President Clerides wrote to the UN Secretary- General to announce his decision on the S300 and to say that he will also put on hold the signing of agreements for the purchase of more arms, expecting that within a reasonable time the Turkish side will also accept in toto resolution 1218.

    However, replying to questions yesterday Hannay did not appear to share the positions previously expressed by the British government, angering the Cyprus government.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [03] Portuguese Foreign Minister - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Gama, will arrive in Cyprus on January 26 for a two-day visit.

    During his stay, Gama will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou.

    He will have official talks with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides, and a meeting with the head of Cyprus' negotiating team for European Union membership George Vassiliou.

    Gama will leave Wednesday evening (January 27).

    CNA RG/GP/1999

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                          97.75 ( 0.57)
          Traded Value            CYP 5,507,373
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 3,333,519     113.43 ( 1.02)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   112,565      60.39 (-0.30)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   398,459      77.45 (-0.15)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   433,048      91.37 ( 0.31)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   237,024      74.69 (-2.37)
          Trading Companies       CYP   323,689      45.81 ( 0.57)
          Other Companies         CYP   253,268      86.98 ( 1.66)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA MA/1999

    [05] Bank of Cyprus - Centenary

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- The Bank of Cyprus (BoC) will celebrate its centenary by offering a bonus package to shareholders and staff "for their support and contribution all these years".

    Chairman of the BoC Group, Solon Triantafyllides, briefed the press today on the bonus package to be handed out and referred to the history of the Bank and its parallel evolution to that of the Cyprus economy.

    The Bank of Cyprus (Holdings) will make a bonus issue to shareholders in the ratio of one bonus share for every ten shares held on May 4, 1999, and will also issue centenary warrants to shareholders in the same ratio.

    Furthermore, in September 1999, a rights issue of about 16 million new shares will be made to shareholders in the ratio of one new share for every eight shares held then.

    In addition to the final dividend for 1998, which amounts 20%, a centenary dividend of 3% per share will also be paid.

    The personnel, which numbers about 3,900 people in all BoC Group companies in Cyprus, Greece, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Canada, the USA, and Eastern Europe, who are in service on May 4, will be issued about 1,5 million warrants.

    Furthermore, a bonus of 100 shares will be given to each employee who is in service on May 4, including living retired employees.

    To celebrate its centenary, the BoC will also host a series of events, including seminars and exhibitions, as well as two concerts by famous Greek singer Giorgos Dalaras.

    CNA RG/MA/1999

    [06] Cyprus - WFDY Assembly

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- The 15th Assembly of the United Democratic Youth Organisation (WFDY) will take place in Cyprus between January 18 and 31.

    About eighty youth organisations from various part of the world are expected to attend the Assembly, hosted by the youth organisation EDON which is affiliated to left-wing AKEL party.

    Speaking at a press conference today, EDON General Secretary Stefanos Stefanou said the fact that the Assembly will be held in Cyprus is very important as it will make the Cyprus problem known all over the world.

    He noted that most of the youth organisations expected to participate are either partners of government alliances or members of parliaments.

    Stefanou announced that on the sidelines of the Assembly, EDON will organise a special conference in order to inform participants on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    He said Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and AKEL Parliamentary Representative Andreas Christou, will address this special conference that will also adopt a petition on the Cyprus problem.

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

    CNA AA/MA/1999

    [07] President Clerides - Letter to Madden

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides considers statements made by Britain's envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay as offensive and thus decided that there was no purpose in attending a dinner that was scheduled to take place tonight at the British High Commissioner's residence.

    Hannay and Britain's ambassadors to Greece and Turkey were also to attend the working dinner.

    The President's decision was announced earlier today by Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides, who said Clerides had written to British High Commissioner in Nicosia David Madden explaining why he and his top advisors would not attend the dinner.

    "I regret to inform you that after the statements of Sir David Hannay to the press I see no purpose for attending tonight's dinner," President Clerides says in his letter, released this afternoon.

    "I take strong objection to the statement of Sir David Hannay advising us to follow the Swiss model, which recognises sovereignty to the Swiss cantons, rotation of Presidency and numerical equal representation of cantons, all of which are the Turkish positions," he adds.

    President Clerides underlines that these positions "are contrary to Security Council resolutions, including the recent Security Council's resolution 1217, which provides for a solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with single sovereignty and one international personality and citizenship."

    Hannay made the statements yesterday, on his arrival for the meetings. In his letter to Madden, the President says he strongly objects "to Sir David's innuendos that by sending my letter of the 7th January 1999 to the Secretary General I was manoeuvring for tactical advantage, i.e. that I am the good boy, I have accepted, they (Turks) are the bad boys, they have not accepted."

    "I consider such statements offensive," the President says, adding "I was not manoeuvring in order to show that I was the good boy."

    President Clerides says he "thought it necessary, before proceeding to sign contracts for military equipment, in view of the provisions of (Security Council) resolution 1218, to give a chance to the other side to signify its intentions regarding the implementation of that resolution, bearing in mind that the resolution itself asks the parties concerned to comply with its provisions, and the fact that the Prime Minister Tony Blair declared on December 23rd, 1998 the intention of his government to work for full implementation of this resolution".

    President Clerides had written to Kofi Annan to inform him of the decision he took at the end of 1998 not to deploy the Russian-made S-300 defence missile system in Cyprus, in view of Security Council resolutions 1217 and 1218, referring to a settlement in Cyprus and efforts to reduce tensions and armaments.

    He also informed the UN chief of his unilateral decision not to conclude agreements for the purchase of new arms and military equipment for a reasonable period of time and expects to see the Turkish side accepting paragraphs of resolution 1218 in toto.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [08] British High Commissioner - Letter to Clerides

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- British High Commissioner to Cyprus David Madden said he is "saddened" by President Glafcos Clerides' decision not to attend a dinner he was scheduled to host tonight, in the presence of London's ambassadors to Greece and Turkey as well as British envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay.

    In a reply letter to the President, released after Clerides announced his decision not to attend the dinner, Madden said it "would have been a valuable occasion for us to hear your views on the way ahead and for us to confirm to you my Prime Minister's commitment to a sustained effort to achieve measures to reduce tension and to advance the prospects for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem."

    Madden supported that Sir David made neither of the points to which President Clerides objects and enclosed a transcript of the British envoy's statements.

    In a letter sent to Madden earlier today, the Cyprus President said he decided not to attend the dinner as it would serve no purpose after statements made by Sir David on his arrival yesterday, which he considered as offensive.

    In his letter, the British diplomat refers to statements made by Sir David with regard to the island's future constitution and says that "so far as the Swiss constitution is concerned Sir David did not advise Cyprus to follow the Swiss model."

    "His objective", Madden added, "was to show that excessive concentration on pre-conditions about form, as in Mr Denktash's proposals of 31 August, was not the best way to proceed".

    In August 1998, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash proposed the establishment of a confederation of two states in Cyprus, rejected by the Cyprus government, the UN, Britain, the United States and other countries as it is contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Referring to a letter President Clerides sent to the UN Secretary- General earlier this month, the British High Commissioner said Sir David stated yesterday that "we very much welcomed it" and described it as "an extremely important step", and "a very good start, a very welcome initiative".

    President Clerides wrote to Kofi Annan to announce his decision not to deploy a defence missile system on the island and not to conclude certain agreements for new military equipment in the light of a UN Security Council resolution calling for the reduction of arms.

    The President also noted he could not postpone indefinitely the conclusion of these agreements and expressed the hope that within a reasonable time the Turkish side would make a similar move.

    The British Diplomat concludes his letter to President Clerides by clarifying that Sir David's comment "about tactical manoeuvring did not relate to your letter but to a question from a journalist as to whether the Security Council would now seek a similar response from the Turkish side."

    CNA RM/MA/GP/1999

    [09] CYTA - Black Sea fibre optic cable

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) has signed an agreement for a Black Sea fibre optic cable (BSFOCS), which will connect the area at a low cost.

    The agreement was also signed by companies from Armenia (Armentel), Bulgaria (BTC), Greece (OTE), Slovenia (Telekom), the Ukraine (UKR), Russia (Westelcom), the United States (ATT), Germany (DTAG), Croatia (HT) and Japan (KDD).

    CYTA announced that the project involves high technology and upgrading facilities, which will cover present and future needs.

    The cable will connect the Bulgarian port of Varna with Novorossiysk in Russia and Odessa, Ukraine.

    Fibre optic cables allow thousands of more calls and high-speed communications compared with conventional copper wires.

    After an international contest, the construction of the project was awarded to a joint venture, comprising ASN ALCATEL and TYCO.

    The total cost of the project will reach 51 million dollars, of which CYTA will contribute 3.2 million dollars.

    A huge demand is expected to arise for the services of the project by other telecommunications organisations, which will result in profit for the owners, hence CYTA as well.

    CNA RG/GP/1999

    [10] Political parties - British envoy

    Nicosia, Jan 22 (CNA) -- All political parties have backed a decision by President Glafcos Clerides not to attend a dinner that British High Commissioner in Cyprus David Madden was scheduled to host tonight, in the presence of London's ambassadors to Athens and Ankara as well as its envoy for the Cyprus problem Sir David Hannay.

    They strongly criticised statements made by Britain's envoy for Cyprus, while some parties supported that Sir David must be replaced.

    Invited to comment on a Turkish proposal for the establishment of a confederation in Cyprus, Hannay told the press on his arrival yesterday that there is "excessive concentration on matters of forms and not enough of focus on matters of substance."

    He cited Switzerland as an example, despite the fact that this country does not have a bizonal, bicommunal system as stipulated in UN resolutions for Cyprus.

    Sir David had also described a letter President Clerides sent to the UN chief earlier this month with which he proved he was complying with UN resolutions calling for the reduction of arms as "a tactical way of proceeding."

    In a letter to Madden, President Clerides objected to the British envoy's statements, described them as offensive and said he saw no purpose for attending the dinner.

    The British High Commissioner replied in writing and said he is saddened by the decision and supported that Sir David had made neither of the points to which the President objected.

    Political party leaders have described Hannay's statements as "unacceptable" and the President's decision as "correct".

    Ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISI) party leader Nicos Anastasiades said he "fully backed and agreed with" the President and added that such statements "only succeed in making the Turkish Cypriot leader more insolent".

    Main opposition left-wing AKEL party spokesman Nicos Katsourides said "we consider the President's decision not to attend the dinner as correct" while in a written statement the party describes Hannay's statements as "unacceptable".

    President of centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO) Spyros Kyprianou, who is also President of the House of Representatives, described Sir David's statements as "insulting" and said it is obvious "he is promoting a confederation in Cyprus", a proposal put forward by the Turks.

    Leader of socialist EDEK party Vassos Lyssarides said "if Hannay was not expressing his personal views then we have major differences with the British government."

    United Democrat party leader George Vassiliou said Hannay's statements were "unfortunate at the least" and expressed the view that the President had all reason to decide not to attend tonight's dinner.

    The opposition parties supported that this outcome "is proof of the wrong way" with which President Clerides has been handling the Cyprus problem.

    DIKO and EDEK believe it is a result of a decision taken by President Clerides at the end of last year not to deploy a defence missile system on the island and his letter to the UN chief with which he puts arms purchases on hold.

    CNA MA/GP/1999
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