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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-03-10

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

Tuesday, 10/03/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Clerides receives US Special Coordinator on Cyprus
  • [02] More light on missing persons issues
  • [03] President Clerides in Athens for talks with Prime Minister Simitis
  • [04] Vassiliou on Cyprus-EU affairs
  • [05] Foreign Trade Statistics for January-November 1997


[01] President Clerides receives US Special Coordinator on Cyprus

President Glafcos Clerides yesterday received the US State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, who arrived on the island last Sunday. Mr Miller was accompanied by US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill.

In a brief statement after the meeting, Miller said he had "a very good meeting with Clerides".

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, who was also present at the meeting, said that Thomas Miller reiterated "the American government's determination to step up its efforts to settle the Cyprus question, within the framework of the UN initiative".

Mr Kasoulides also said that President Clerides is willing to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash if the UN Secretary General extends an invitation to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus.

The Foreign Minister stressed that the government has the good will to work towards a settlement with "determination and seriousness".

Kasoulides said the government's decision to purchase the Russian-made surface-to-air missile system S-300 was brought up at the meeting and each side elaborated on its positions.

He said ways to overcome obstacles in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem were also discussed at the meeting between the President and Mr Miller, but refrained from elaborating.

[02] More light on missing persons issues

US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller had a meeting in Nicosia yesterday with Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Takis Christopoulos and discussed the issue of missing persons in the light of the confirmation of the death of Andreas Kassapis, one of the five missing Americans.

Describing the meeting as "a good exchange of views", Miller said he briefed Christopoulos on the case of Kassapis, aged 16 in 1974, who was confirmed dead after DNA tests.

Asked about the four other American citizens of Greek Cypriot origin, missing since 1974, Miller said "a report should be coming out in the relatively near future", which as he explained, "will be updated based on this latest information on the Kassapis case".

Pointing out that the gates to a resolution of the problem of missing persons "were already open with the agreement that the two leaders signed last July", Miller expressed the hope that the Kassapis case "can stimulate progress on these humanitarian cases".

The US Special Coordinator said he will also "be talking to the Turkish Cypriots about the missing".

Takis Christopoulos said after the meeting that the American envoy informed him that the remains "identified as belonging to Andreas Kassapis were found in a field and not in a grave. They were brought to the surface through ploughing over the years".

He also said that the bones had been scattered and that it had been difficult to find a suitable bone on which to carry out DNA tests to establish its true identity.

Moreover, President Clerides yesterday received representatives of the Committees of Relatives of Missing Persons.

Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Takis Christopoulos disclosed that Swiss diplomat Jean Pierre Ritter has been named as the third person to be appointed to the UN Investigatory Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), which deals with the process of establishing the identity of persons missing in Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The relatives of missing persons welcomed the discovery of Kassapis' remains as a positive step in the right direction.

They also welcomed the appointment of Ritter to the CMP.

[03] President Clerides in Athens for talks with Prime Minister Simitis

President Glafcos Clerides left for Athens yesterday where he is meeting today with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

Upon his departure, President Clerides said that he will exchange views with the Greek Premier on the substance of the Cyprus problem as well as on Cyprus' EU accession course.

[04] Vassiliou on Cyprus-EU affairs

George Vassiliou, head of the negotiating team for Cyprus' EU accession, said yesterday that the Cyprus government intends to finalise its position on Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession negotiations with the EU after President Clerides concludes his meetings in Athens and London with the Greek and British governments this week.

Mr Vassiliou was speaking after a working luncheon in London with British envoy and EU Presidency representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay and stressed that "it is important to convince the Europeans that we really want to do everything possible to have a federal united Cyprus join the EU".

He also expressed the view that it is unlikely that the Turkish Cypriots will participate in the accession process, but clarified that "if Turkey does not cooperate, we shall move on towards Europe".

[05] Foreign Trade Statistics for January-November 1997

The Department of Statistics and Research announced that it has prepared foreign trade statistics in summary form for the period January-November 1997.

Total imports (covering imports for home consumption and imports placed into bonded warehouses) totalled L1.743,5 mn as compared with L1.718,9 mn during January-November 1996.

Total exports were L593,2 mn in relation to L605,1 mn in January-November 1996.

As a result of the above developments the trade deficit amounted to L1.150, 3 mn compared to L1.113,9 mn in January-November 1996.

Imports for home consumption were L1.363,1mn in January-November 1997 and L1.351,8 mn in the same period of 1996.

The EU countries supplied Cyprus with goods valued at L824,5mn or 47,3% of the total imports as compared with L830,1 mn or 48,3% during January- November 1996.


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


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