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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-06-12
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 UN Secretary General asks for renewal of UNFICYP for further six monthsThe UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has recommended the extension of the mandate of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further period of six months, until 31st Dec. 1998.
In his report to the Security Council which covers developments on the island for the period 8 Dec. 1997 to 8 June 1998, the Secretary General notes that "the presence of UNFICYP on the island remains indispensable to maintain the ceasefire between the two sides, which is a prerequisite for achieving the settlement of the Cyprus question sought by the international community".
The Secretary General points out that both the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot side continued major military construction works despite strong protests by UNFICYP "Such military construction tends to increase tension along the ceasefire lines".
The report reveals that no progress was made on the issue of the missing persons due to the unwillingness of the Turkish Cypriot Representative to discuss the necessary arrangements that would lead to the exhumation and return of the remains of the missing persons.
Both sides are blamed for the fact that no agreement has been reached on the package of measures proposed by UNFICYP to reduce tensions along the ceasefire line.
The report mentions that UNFICYP'S freedom of movement in the northern part of the island continued to be restricted to the point that it remained "subject to stricter limitations than those imposed on tourists and foreign diplomats.
The decision by the Turkish Cypriot regime to suspend bicommunal contacts in reaction to the European Union's decision to start accession negotiations with Cyprus is also referred in the report.
The new regulations and fees imposed by the Turkish Cypriot side for entry to and exit from the north have resulted in a significantl reduction in the number of Greek Cypriots and Maronites visiting their relatives enclaved in the occupied areas, the report says.
Finally the Secretary General urges both sides and "in particular the Turkish Cypriot side to facilitate arrangements within which bi-communal contacts can take place uninterrupted and without formalities".
 Canada supports Cyprus' efforts for a solutionCanada will lend whatever support it can to find a solution to issues that provide serious stalemate over the past few years, Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy stated yesterday.
The Canadian Foreign Minister, who is on a one day visit to Cyprus, speaking after a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, explained that the reason for his visit was "to underline the importance of finding a way of engaging in a dialogue and developing a serious examination of the issues"
Asked to comment on President Clerides proposal for the demilitarisation of the island, Mr. Axworthy said:
"Certainly, I think that would be a major step forward to demilitarise and download the confrontation areas".
Mr. Axworthy pointed out that he had also discussed the issue with Mr. Denktash adding that "there has to be a form of guarantee of security, because of the past history, which perhaps the international community can provide"
As a member of NATO, OSCE, G8 and the UN, Canada will support whatever initiative on Cyprus arises from any of these organisations he said.
 Finland supports that Cyprus accession will facilitate solutionThe question of Cyprus has two basic meanings: the UN framework for a peaceful solution and Cyprus European Union accession process, both of which Finland supports, Finland's Special Representative for Cyprus Mr. Jaakko Blomberg stated yesterday.
Speaking to the press after a meeting with President Clerides Mr. Blomberg explained that his visit was aimed at preparing the Finnish EU rotating Presidency which will start in July 1999.
His present mission was "to listen and learn from the parties their assessment of the current situation.
Mr. Blomberg pointed out that the EU is working on the assumption that Cyprus' accession could facilitate a settlement of the Cyprus issue. Thus the EU is determined "to assist both communities to be represented in the accession negotiations".
Asked whether his country considers the political solution as a precondition to Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr. Blomberg said:
"We certainly hope that there is a settlement and of course irrespective of the accession negotiations. The early settlement would of course make the Union accession negotiations so much less complicated".
Asked to comment on President Clerides proposal for demilitarisation the Finish envoy stated that it will be "a constructive part of a settlement, but realistically speaking only as a part of a settlement and not before"
 US will not recognise "TRNC" says Thomas MillerThe US will not recognise the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" the US State Department's Special Representative Thomas Miller stated yesterday.
Speaking at the American Congress during a conference organised by the American Hellenic Institute, Mr. Miller stressed that a number of American officials had made it absolutely clear to Turkey that it must abandon its threats against Cyprus and that in case of attack there would be repercussions.
Mr Miller pointed out that the US has already expressed its support for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from Cyprus and for Cyprus' accession to the EU without conditions .
During the conference a number of American members of the House of Representatives spoke in support of Cyprus'struggle for a peaceful settlement.
 Consumer Price IndexThe Consumer Price Index for May, 1998 increased by 0,19 units or 0,16 per cent to 122,67 units compared to 122,48 in the previous month.
According to an announcement of the Department of Statistics and Research this is mainly due to increases in the prices of certain fresh fruit and vegetables. Decreases were mainly recorded in the prices of motor cars and electricity.
The average rate of increase of the Index for the period Jannuary-May 1998 compared to the corresponding period of the previous year was 2,16 per cent while the Index of May 1998 compared to Index of May 1997 showed an increase of 2,53 per cent.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/