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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-24

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government - National Health Scheme
  • [02] Rolandis - Egypt
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] President Clerides - Turkish allegations
  • [05] Britain - Cyprus peace effort
  • [06] Cyprus - UN - Destruction of cultural heritage
  • [07] Cyprus 5 - Armenia 1 - Cyprus Cup
  • [08] Cyprus University - Upgrading - New Schools
  • [09] Iranian official - Culture - Cyprus
  • [10] Demonstration - Ocalan - Kurdish problem
  • [11] Cyprus - EU - Communication issues

  • 1510:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Government - National Health Scheme

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- The government will tomorrow table a Bill for the establishment of a National Health Scheme (NHS) in the House of Representatives, Health Minister Christos Solomis announced.

    He said the Council of Ministers approved today the legislation for the NHS, estimated to cost around 200 million pounds per year (1 CY pound = 2 US dollars approximately).

    Solomis, who expects the Bill to be approved in about one year or 18 months, said the NHS will cover all citizens of the Republic permanently residing here.

    He added that at least five years are necessary to prepare for the introduction of the new NHS, through which people will have the choice to seek medical care either in the public or private sector.

    Employees' contribution to the NHS will be compulsory, while an independent body will be set up to run the Scheme.

    "Both the President of the Republic and the Council of Ministers believe that it is an absolute necessity to modernise and upgrade the health services," Solomis said.

    The Health Minister pointed out that "despite our effort to build new and modern health centres, only the introduction of a NHS will solve problems."

    CNA MK/MA/RG/1999

    [02] Rolandis - Egypt

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus can act as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Nicos Rolandis has said.

    Rolandis, who is on an official visit to Egypt, yesterday met with the Egyptian Minister of Supply and Trade Ahmed Gueily, with whom he discussed ways to strengthen commercial relations between the two countries.

    During the talks between the two Ministers, which took place in a "warm and friendly atmosphere", Rolandis expressed Cyprus' wish for further development of relations between the two countries in the fields of trade, industry, tourism and energy.

    He also stressed that Cyprus can act as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East as it has "close friendly links" with both regions.

    The two Ministers decided to renew an agreement between the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce and the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry in a bid to promote relations between the two countries.

    Rolandis yesterday also held talks with the Egyptian Minister of Industry and Mineral Wealth Sulayman Reda, during which they discussed ways of cooperation between the two countries in the field of industry.

    They examined in particular the possibility of Cypriots investing directly or through consortiums in Egypt and vice versa.

    Rolandis, who invited the two Egyptian Ministers to visit Cyprus, also met with the Chairman of the Egyptian General Authority for the Promotion of Tourism Adel Abd al-Aziz.

    During their talks, they examined ways of cooperation which would increase the number of tourists visiting the two countries from North America and the Far East.

    They also agreed to organise a workshop on tourism in May in the Egyptian capital, in which Cypriot professionals will also participate.

    Rolandis is scheduled to return to Cyprus late Thursday night. Cyprus, Estonia, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic started substantive accession negotiations with the European Union in November.

    CNA GG/RG/1999

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         114.27  ( 0.06)
          Traded Value            CYP 4,128,997
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,259,179     140.77 ( 0.56)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   195,289      71.93 (-0.64)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    64,342      77.47 (-0.09)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   336,520      98.70 (-2.84)
          Tourism Companies       CYP    69,442      78.17 ( 0.84)
          Trading Companies       CYP   325,295      52.11 (-0.15)
          Other Companies         CYP   297,076      86.74 (-0.36)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA RG/1999

    [04] President Clerides - Turkish allegations

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today refuted Turkey's allegations that Kurdish military training camps exist in Cyprus, pointing out that members of the UN Peace-Keeping Force (UNFICYP) and foreign diplomats have freedom of movement here and would have noticed such camps if they existed.

    Replying to questions, the President also said that if European countries wish to send representatives to travel throughout Cyprus, "they too will establish that the accusations Turkey has levelled against Cyprus are totally unfounded".

    "In Cyprus there is a UN Peace-Keeping Force which has freedom of movement. If such camps existed they would not have escaped UNFICYP's notice," President Clerides said.

    He added that "moreover, the ambassadors of all European Union member- states as well as other countries can move freely in the island and if there were such a thing it would not have escaped their notice either".

    In a bid to involve Cyprus and Greece in its problem with the Kurds, Ankara alleged that the two countries back the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), led by Abdullah Ocalan.

    Last week Turkey abducted Ocalan from Kenya and transferred him to a Turkish prison.

    CNA MA/RG/1999

    [05] Britain - Cyprus peace effort

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has said London is working closely with the UN, the European Union and the US for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1218 backing UN efforts for the reduction of tensions and an overall settlement in Cyprus.

    Replying to a letter sent by President of the Federation of Cypriots living in the UK, Hari Sophoclides, to the British Premier, Cook also says a decision by the Cypriot President not to deploy a missile system on the island contributes to international efforts to reduce tension in the region.

    Sophoclides had written to British Premier Tony Blair about the Cyprus issue on January 20 and the reply letter from Cook, dated February 22, was made known today.

    Noting that London had warmly welcomed President Glafcos Clerides' decision not to deploy the Russian-made S300 anti-aircraft missiles, Cook describes it as "a significant contribution to international efforts, in which Britain plays a prominent part, to reduce tension in the region."

    "It also helps to create the conditions necessary for securing a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus," he adds.

    The British Foreign Secretary says London had strongly endorsed resolution 1218 and is "working closely with the UN, our EU partners and the US to achieve the full implementation of this resolution."

    "We will also be active in encouraging both sides to cooperate in a constructive and flexible manner with Kofi Annan and his Deputy Special Representative Dame Ann Hercus," he adds.

    Dame Ann launched on-island contacts with the two sides in October last year aiming at the reduction of tensions and a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    Cook also says that "the British government and its EU partners have made it clear that the accession of Cyprus to the EU should benefit both communities, reinforce efforts towards a settlement and help bring about peace and reconciliation."

    "We continue to give this process our strong support," he concludes. The Turkish Cypriot side has turned down an invitation by President Clerides to nominate representatives in the official team negotiating the Republic's EU accession since March 1998.

    CNA MA/RG/1999

    [06] Cyprus - UN - Destruction of cultural heritage

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus once again protested to the UN Secretary General about the plundering of churches in the areas of the island occupied by Turkey since 1974 and the transformation of some of them into mosques.

    According to an official announcement, in a letter to Kofi Annan sent last week, Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN Sotos Zackheos says that Turkey continues its policy of changing the cultural character of the areas it occupies.

    He said that according to latest information, the church of Chriseleousa, in Katokopia village, has been turned into a mosque, while the frescoes of the old church have been stolen.

    Zackheos says that, according to Turkish Cypriot journalists and other sources, the church of Archangelos Michael in Rizokarpaso and Saint Afxentiou in Komi Kepir, have been looted and their frescoes removed.

    "Turkey steadily and methodically continues its policy of changing the cultural character of occupied Cyprus with vandalism and the destruction of its archaeological and religious treasures, which constitute part of the international heritage," he says.

    The Cypriot ambassador points out that Turkey's actions violate UNESCO's convention for the protection of cultural heritage in periods of war.

    "Turkey is responsible and must account for its illegal actions," he concludes, calling on the international community to stop tolerating this unacceptable situation.

    CNA MA/RG/1999

    [07] Cyprus 5 - Armenia 1 - Cyprus Cup

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus Under 16 national soccer team thrashed 5-1 the Armenian squad at Pafiakon stadium in Pafos, this afternoon, for the UEFA championship.

    The Cyprus team will play against England on Friday, February 26, at the same stadium. England had beaten Armenia 2-1.

    Even with a draw with the English team, the island's Under 16 team will qualify for the final phase of the European championship to be played in the Czech Republic.

    Cyprus Cup

    Three refugee teams, namely Anorthosis and Nea Salamina, both from the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta, and Ethnikos from the Turkish-occupied village of Akhna, as well as APOEL of Nicosia, qualified today for the semi- finals of the Cyprus Cup.

    Anorthosis, who lead the Cyprus League table, were defeated 3-2 at home by Evagoras of Pafos but qualified for the next phase because of their 3-0 away win in the first match.

    Nea Salamina smashed 4-1 AEK of Larnaca in the return match. AEK had beaten the Famagusta team 4-3 in the first game.

    Ethnikos drew 0-0 with Paralimni today but qualified for the semi- finals because of their 1-0 win in the first match.

    APOEL beat 3-0 Omonia of Nicosia. In the first match the two Nicosia teams drew 2-2.

    CNA GP/1999

    [08] Cyprus University - Upgrading - New Schools

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- Discussions for the upgrading of the University of Cyprus with a Medical School, a Law School and a Polytechnic are now underway, according to its Vice-rector Andreas Demetriou.

    Demetriou told CNA today that within the next few days he expects a report prepared by a special committee for the establishment of a Medical School to be submitted to the University Senate.

    However, he pointed out that the first school expected to be established in about two years is the Polytechnic as the only issue that remains is the approval of the University budget by the House of Representatives.

    The University Vice-rector also said that a special committee has already submitted its initial report for the establishment of a Law School.

    He did not rule out the possibility of the Law School to start operating before the Medical School.

    "All these Schools should begin operating within the next seven to eight years," Demetriou said.

    CNA AA/MA/RG/1999

    [09] Iranian official - Culture - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- Cultural Director for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Masjed Jamei, recently paid a four-day visit in Cyprus, during which he was briefed on latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the island's European Union accession course.

    Jamei met with Archbishop Chrysostomos, Minister of Education and Culture Ouranios Ioannides, Armenian Archbishop Varzan, and Foreign Ministry and other officials. He also visited the Cyprus University.

    According to an official announcement issued today, the mutual will to further develop cultural bonds between Cyprus and Iran was reaffirmed.

    CNA RG/MA/1999

    [10] Demonstration - Ocalan - Kurdish problem

    Nicosia, Feb 24 (CNA) -- Seven Cypriot political parties and movements have called on the European Union to pressure Turkey so that it respects the Kurdish people's demand for a political settlement to their problem.

    A resolution adopted during a demonstration held in central Nicosia today in support of the Kurds condemns the abduction of rebel Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkey, demands his immediate release and underlines that his treatment violates international law.

    Around 200 people, including Kurds living in Cyprus, participated in the demonstration co-organised by socialist EDEK party, the United Democrats, the New Horizons, as well as the Ecologist Movement, the Movement for Political Renewal, the Movement for the Reformation of the Center and the Pancyprian Anti-Occupation Movement.

    Holding Cypriot and Kurdish flags and chanting slogans demanding freedom for Ocalan, the demonstrators marched to the European Union delegation office in the capital where they handed their petition.

    "We strongly condemn the abduction of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan by Turkey as an act that violates international law and we demand his immediate release," the petition says.

    It also deplores "the Turkish authorities inhumane and humiliating treatment of the Kurdish leader, which is contrary to all international treaties, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention of Human Rights."

    The resolution calls on all democratic countries to show their solidarity to the Kurdish people and its leader.

    "We especially call on the EU and all its institutions to take up their responsibilities and demand from Turkey to respect international law and conventions for the protection of the human and personal rights of the Kurdish people and the PKK leader," it adds.

    The Cypriot political parties also call on the EU to take immediate and effective action "to safeguard Ocalan's physical integrity and human personality."

    "We call on the EU to demand from Turkey that it respects the claims of the Kurdish people for a political settlement to the Kurdish issue, based on the principles of the UN Charter," it concludes.

    In their speeches, heads or representatives of the parties and movements organising the demonstration condemned Ocalan's abduction and called on the international community to intervene forcefully.

    CNA AA/MA/RG/1999

    [11] Cyprus - EU - Communication issues

    Brussels, Feb 24 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides and Press and Information Office Director George Hadjisavvas today briefed European Union officials on efforts to inform the public on European issues.

    The two Cypriot officials also outlined efforts made to inform Turkish Cypriots on the benefits of EU accession, through the use of the Internet and TV reports, and asked for EU financial and technical aid.

    They met EU Commissioner in Charge of Relations with the European Parliament and also member states (transparency, communication and information), Culture and Audiovisual Policy, Marcelino Orega, other officials of this unit as well as Commission officials in charge of communication.

    Orega expressed satisfaction with the fact that the Cyprus government has fulfilled its obligation to inform Turkish Cypriots on the Republic's EU accession course.

    The website of the office of Cyprus' chief EU negotiator, in both Greek and Turkish, was launched earlier this year.

    Cyprus, that opened accession talks last March, is among the first candidate countries whose website is linked with the EU page.

    Stylianides and Hadjisavvas concluded their visit to Brussels with meetings with Greek EuroMPs, with whom they exchanged views on Cyprus' EU course and the Cyprus problem.

    CNA NB/MA/RG/1999
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