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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-01-29

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Thursday, 29/01/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Government satisfied with Kinkel's statement
  • [02] Cyprus has the undeniable right to defend itself
  • [03] Cypro-Russian Intergovernmental Meeting
  • [04] Tourism strategic plan to focus on culture, environment and the human element
  • [05] Cypriot jurist elected to new European Human Rights Court
  • [06] Turkish Cypriots to cross to free areas on pilgrimage


[01] Government satisfied with Kinkel's statement

Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides, expressed yesterday the Cyprus' government's satisfaction with statements made by German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, criticising Turkey for its illegal occupation of Cyprus' northern territory.

The German Foreign Minister was giving a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem in Bonn on 27.1.98 while allegations by Mr Cem that the EU follows a discriminatory policy towards Turkey, caused Mr Kinkel's reaction who stressed that the Union could not be blamed for Turkey's problems.

He said Turkey had to resolve its problem with Cyprus, Kurds, and human rights if it wanted to gain membership.

"The EU countries can't do anything about it if Turkey has illegally occupied northern Cyprus or if it cannot find a way to resolve the issue with Kurds," Kinkel said to the Turkish Foreign Minister.

Welcoming Kinkel's statement in Nicosia, Mr Christofides pointed out that the German Minister reaffirmed that Cyprus-European Union accession talks will start on March 30.

Kinkel's statement "crashes all arguments fabricated by Turkey in an attempt to justify its unjustifiable crimes against Cyprus and international law and order", Christofides said.

[02] Cyprus has the undeniable right to defend itself

Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides made clear yesterday that the Government of Cyprus shares the view that increased armaments are not constructive in a period of negotiations but also stressed the Republic's undeniable right to defend itself.

Mr Christofides was commenting on a statement by British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook who said that the deployment of Russian S300 anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus, scheduled later this year, was "not the wisest step".

Mr Cook was speaking after the first formal meeting of a European Union- Russia joint cooperation council on 27.1.98 in Brussels, when he said: "We fully recognise the sovereign right of Cyprus to its self-defence. But this fact does not necessarily mean the purchase of these missiles is a wise exercise of that right of self-defence."

Mr. Cook added that "as far as the (EU) presidency is concerned, our prime interest in this is that we want to achieve a successful enlargement which draws Cyprus into membership of the EU. We therefore would be very anxious, as we proceed with that objective, and in our belief that Cyprus is one of the strongest candidates for membership of the EU, that there is no increase in tension that would make the negotiation process more difficult."

On the Russian part, Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov said that "if it were possible to come to an agreement on the demilitarisation of the island, and if there was some movement in the questions concerning that, then certainly we would be prepared to look at the question of not putting up these missiles. Under present circumstances unfortunately, however, this has not happened and so the contract remains in place."

In Nicosia Mr Christofides also indicated there is a six-month period between now and the arrival of the S300, pointing out that "there is enough time for progress and for achieving results if there is good will".

[03] Cypro-Russian Intergovernmental Meeting

A Russian Foreign Ministry press release (27.1.98) refers to the results of the first meeting of the Cypro-Russian Intergovernmental Committee which took place in Moscow between 21-22 January 1998.

The Cypriot delegation was headed by Finance Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou, and the Russian by the First Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin.

Russian Ambassador to Nicosia, Georgi Muratov, said yesterday that the meeting confirmed the upward course of relations between the two countries and described it as "a very important economic and political event".

Speaking at a press conference, Muratov said various matters were discussed at the meeting, including the prospects of further development of mutual trade exchanges, cooperation in investment, construction and transport sectors, and ways of cooperation between Cyprus and the provinces of the Russian Federation.

The next meeting of the joint Intergovernmental Committee will take place in Nicosia in the beginning of 1999.

[04] Tourism strategic plan to focus on culture, environment and the human element

The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) is preparing a strategic plan for the period until the year 2010, aiming at maximising financial benefits and achieving the viability of investments, by making the sector flexible and able to compete.

Speaking at a press conference in Nicosia yesterday, CTO President Andreas Erotokritou, said the plan is necessary because the tourist product of Cyprus is becoming more expensive and poorer in quality, reducing its ability to compete with other countries.

He pointed out that the plan will focus "on the quality, rather than the quantity" of tourists.

Mr Erotokritou noted the plan includes creation of holiday centres in rural areas, pointing out that aims such as agrotourism, sports and conference tourism, have already been materialised.

The CTO will focus on Cyprus culture, environment and the human element, Erotokritou added.

Referring to prospects for 1998, he said the first signs are generally encouraging, indicating an increase in arrivals and income. Making reference to 1997, he said that income from tourism reached 825 million pounds (around 1.650.000.000 dollars), compared with 780 million pounds (1.560.000.000 dollars) in 1996.

[05] Cypriot jurist elected to new European Human Rights Court

Deputy Attorney-General, Loucis Loucaides, has been elected judge in the new European Court of Human Rights.

The new European Court of Human Rights will be set up in Strasbourg. According to Protocol 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the new Court will be a single, full time Court in place of the present Convention control mechanism.

[06] Turkish Cypriots to cross to free areas on pilgrimage

A total of 800 Turkish Cypriots is expected to cross to the free areas of Cyprus this Saturday (31.1.98) on a pilgrimage to the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Around 400 Turkish Cypriots made the trip to the Hala Sultan Tekke, one of Islam's holiest, last year.

The visit is being organised by UNFICYP as part of goodwill measures between the two sides.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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