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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-02-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


  • [01] Clerides - Amman - Funeral
  • [02] Norwegian Deputy FM - Cyprus
  • [03] Clerides - Amman
  • [04] Greece - Cyprus - Defence Ministers
  • [05] Nuclear reactors - Turkey - Toronto conference
  • [06] Cyprus President - Hussein - Tribute

  • 0815:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides - Amman - Funeral

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides leaves this morning for Amman, to attend the funeral of King Hussein of Jordan.

    Presidential Palace sources told CNA that the President would be departing at 0930 local time (0730 GMT) from Larnaca Airport, accompanied by Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides.

    CNA RG/GP/1999

    [02] Norwegian Deputy FM - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Norwegian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aslaug Haga, arrived in Cyprus last night for a three-day visit.

    On her arrival, Haga said her country believes that contacts between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen contribute towards promoting mutual understanding and the building of confidence on the island.

    Haga said that the purpose of her visit was to strengthen relations between Norway and Cyprus, and promote contacts between businessmen on both sides.

    She added that Norway invests a lot of money in these contacts, because progress in this field was a precondition for progress in the general efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Haga will have separate meetings today with House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, Cyprus' Chief Negotiator in European Union accession talks George Vassiliou, as well as leaders and representatives of political parties.

    The Norwegian official will also have talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    Tomorrow, she will visit the ceasefire line, accompanied by Nicosia Mayor, Lellos Demetriades.

    Haga was to be received by President Glafcos Clerides, this morning. The meeting was cancelled, as the President decided to fly this morning to Amman, to attend the funeral of King Hussein of Jordan.

    CNA RG/GP/1999

    [03] Clerides - Amman

    Larnaca, Feb 8 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides left this morning for Amman, where he will attend the funeral of King Hussein of Jordan.

    Speaking on his departure at Larnaca Airport, the Cypriot President said that King Hussein "was a leader of international prestige, who contributed greatly to all efforts towards finding a solution to the Middle East problem".

    He described the late King as "an exceptional figure, who spoke his mind and dealt with matters in such a way that Jordan, despite its many enemies, managed to survive as an independent state".

    President Clerides said that King Hussein "also contributed greatly to preventing war in the region".

    He is accompanied by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

    CNA MAN/RG/GP/1999

    [04] Greece - Cyprus - Defence Ministers

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Athens, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Cyprus Defence Minister, Yiannakis Chrysostomis, will fly to Moscow on February 15, if Nicosia and Athens agree today on details regarding the deployment of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles on the Greek island of Crete.

    Chrysostomis, who is in Athens for official talks with his Greek counterpart, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, will discuss technical and economic aspects of a Cyprus-Greece joint decision to deploy the missiles in Crete.

    The S-300 surface-to-air missiles were initially to be deployed in Cyprus, but President Glafcos Clerides decided not to bring them, thus complying fully with UN Security Council resolutions calling for reduction of armaments and tension, as well as any move that may cause tension to escalate.

    Nicosia will negotiate with Moscow the missiles' deployment in Crete with Athens' agreement.

    President Clerides' decision was welcomed by the United Nations, the European Union and countries such as the United States, Britain, France and Germany.

    During today's meeting, which is expected to result in common views, each side will express its positions. Sources in Athens believe that the talks will conclude on a positive note.

    The meeting will begin at 12.30 local time, will break at 14.30 for a press conference, and will continue over a working lunch.

    Tonight, Chrysostomis will attend a dinner hosted in his honour by Tsohatzopoulos.

    CNA MA/RG/GP/1999

    [05] Nuclear reactors - Turkey - Toronto conference

    By Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Toronto, Feb 8 (CNA) -- Pending bids to sell nuclear reactors to Turkey should not go through because of numerous pressing environmental, economic and ethical reasons, including the spectre of nuclear weapons proliferation in the region, a prominent Canadian environmentalist has said.

    David Martin, research Director for Nuclear Awareness Project, emphasised the danger of nuclear arms race that may be spawned in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, if Turkey attains nuclear technology.

    "A nuclear reactor is not necessary to build nuclear weapons, but it sure helps", Martin said, noting that Turkish officials have alluded recently to the possibility of Turkey engaging in a nuclear weapons programme.

    Martin made the revelation during the second and final day of a conference entitled "Conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean: Issues of Regional Security an Stability". The conference was organised by the Hellenic Canadian Federation of Ontario.

    Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) is vying with two other vendors, the Franco-German consortium Nuclear Power International (NPI) and partnership between Westinghouse of US and Japan's Mitsubishi, to sell two CANDU nuclear reactors to Turkey.

    It is believed the winner of the contract will be announced most likely after elections in Turkey this April. The AECL is considered the front-runner in the bidding.

    The proposed construction site of the reactors, Akkuyu Bay on Turkey's southern coast, has been a source of controversy over just how prone it is to earthquakes. There is ongoing scientific debate whether Ecemis fault, which lies about 30 kilometres from the proposed construction site, is active or not.

    Martin said more research needs to be done on how seismically active the Akkuyu site is before construction proceeds and referred to eminent Turkish scientists who have said publicly that going ahead with construction at Akkuyu would be "criminally irresponsible".

    Martin's assertion was supported by the conclusions of seismic experts Dr. Karl Buckthought and Professor Arsalan Mohajer, who also addressed the conference.

    Mohajer, who is associate professor of environmental studies at the University of Toronto, said that AECL studies on Akkuyu conducted 16 years ago were based on Turkish research that was insufficient and inadequate.

    "We don't know enough to make a decision and more study is definitely needed", Mohajer said, adding that AECL claims that the Akkuyu Bay is relatively earthquake-free cannot be verified on "vague and uncertain" data.

    Dr Buckthought disputed AECL claims that there are no active faults within 150 kilometres of Akkuyu and that CANDU reactors can withstand large magnitude earthquakes.

    Noting that nuclear energy in Canada has been a "disaster", Martin said that two years ago, CANDU reactors rated worst in performance in the world and that despite AECL claims to the contrary, CANDU reactors are not "immune" to meltdown.

    Martin also accused Canada of having a "double standard" on human rights when it comes to doing business with other countries - choosing to admonish some countries for their human rights violations, while turning a "blind eye" to the human rights problem faced by Turkey and China.

    Also addressing the conference was retired Canadian Major General Lewis MacKenzie, who served in Cyprus and in other parts of the world as a UN peace keeper, including the former Yugoslavia where he served a time as UN commander of peacekeeping contingent there in 1992.

    He stressed the need of restarting intercommunal talks on Cyprus if a solution to the problem will come about.

    Asked by CNA to give his view on the Cyprus government's proposal to demilitarise the island, MacKenzie was unequivocal in his response.

    "I would love to see that island demilitarised on both sides of the cease-fire line and I would love to see the population of the island back together, quite frankly", MacKenzie said.

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

    CNA MH/AA/GP/1999

    [06] Cyprus President - Hussein - Tribute

    Nicosia, Feb 8 (CNA) -- The late King Hussein of Jordan was one of the great men of modern world history, the President and the government of the Republic of Cyprus have said.

    An official statement, issued here today, said President Glafcos Clerides and the Cyprus government "wish to express their deep sorrow over the death of King Hussein of Jordan."

    "King Hussein contributed a great deal to the peace process in the Middle East and his death is truly a great loss not only to Jordan but to the whole Middle East," the statement said.

    His vision, the statement added, was "to transform the Middle East region from a battlefield into a zone of peace, stability and prosperity for all its peoples."

    Describing the late King as a personal friend of President Clerides, the statement said "he (King Hussein) quite rightly takes his place among the great men of modern world history."

    "The President of the Republic and the Cyprus government wish to congratulate the new King Abdullah on the assumption of his high duties and express the hope that he will continue and accomplish the work started by the late King Hussein," the statement concludes.

    President Clerides and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides are among many foreign dignitaries attending today's funeral.

    CNA MM/GP/1999
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