|Monday, 4 March 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-09-20
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
MONDAY 20 SEPTEMBER 1999
 HEADLINESPresident of the Republic Glafkos Clerides begins official contacts in New York;
The US and Britain are sounding out the possibility of multi-party talks on the Cyprus Issue, while the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey hold an impromptu meeting;
The first UN troops arrive and deploy in the East Timorese capital of Dili;
Kosovo's rebels are given 48 hours more to fully demobilise;
Former Soviet first lady Raisa Gorbachev died this morning, having lost the battle against leukaemia;
Illegal-substance-use among National Guardsmen is showing an upwards tendency.
 CLER NEWYORKPresident of the Republic Glafkos Clerides is today beginning official contacts on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York, where he will convey the explicit message that the Greek-Cypriot side will respond positively to the current initiative over the Cyprus Issue.
The Cyprus President's agenda includes a meeting, today, with Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, two other meetings tomorrow with the US-Jewish Committee and the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, while on Thursday he will address the UN General Assembly.
Yesterday, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stated that the Greek-Cypriot side seeks a substantive dialogue with no conditions and aimed at a solution of the Cyprus Issue, and has no desire to become entangled in what he termed "procedural games".
 PAP-ALBRIGHTThe United States and Britain are sounding out the intentions of Greece given the possibility of multi-party talks on the Cyprus Issue.
According to our New York correspondent, the Greek Government views the holding of such talks in a positive light, while it was also leaked that US and British officials are discussing, with Greece, the prospects of upgrading Turkey's EU-status to that of a candidate-state.
Our correspondent further reported that the issues in question will be placed before Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou during separate meetings with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay.
Commenting on the matter, Mr Papandreou said that he and Ms Albright will discuss the Cyprus Issue, greco-american relations and details of US President Bill Clinton's upcoming visit to Athens.
 PAP-CEMGreek Foreign Minister George Papandreou held an impromptu meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem in New York yesterday.
Reliable sources reported that the meeting revolved around the joint greco-turkish initiative expected to be developed within the framework of the UN General Assembly session and concerning the best possible ways in which the international community may respond to major natural disasters, such as the recent earthquakes which hit the two countries.
The two Foreign Ministers, who are scheduled to meet again on Friday, also discussed the current course of the greco-turkish dialogue, while Mr Papandreou added that even though the Cyprus Issue was touched upon, there emerged nothing new.
 TURKEY CYThe Turkish-Cypriot newspaper "Kibris" reported today that Washington has advised Ankara to unconditionally attend talks on the Cyprus Issue, and to set any claims it may have as to a confederal or triple-sovereignty solution at the negotiating table.
The report further describes the next few days as "critical" for the island's long-standing problem, and also mentions that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, acting on Security Council instructions, will invite the Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot sides to direct talks in mid-October or the beginning of November.
In a parallel story, the Turkish newspaper "Cumhurriyet" mentions that Washington is not about to exercise great pressure upon the Turkish side over the Cyprus Issue, and adds that Turkey's Minister of State for Cyprus, Shukru Sina Gurel, is on an official but previously-unannounced visit to the occupied area of the island since yesterday.
 E.TIMORHeavily-armed multinational forces fanned out through the East Timorese capital of Dili this morning and immediately began disarming pro-Jakarta militias responsible for weeks of savagery in the tiny territory.
Ruined Dili was quiet as the first contingents of the UN force flew in from the north coast of Australia. More are arriving by sea, and by the end of the day there should be 2,000 international troops on the ground. The Australian commander of the troops, Major-General Peter Cosgrove, said he had received no resistance but described the situation as risky. There were, however, no signs of confrontation with the militia-backing Indonesian troops guarding the territory's main roads.
The multinational force, which will eventually number about 7,500 troops from more than 20 nations, was created by the United Nations with a mandate to use "all necessary measures" to stop the killing, and facilitate humanitarian aid for hundreds of thousands of refugees.
 KOSOVOKosovo's NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) today gave ethnic Albanian guerrillas 48 hours more to demobilise, but warned them that they were placing the stability of the province at risk by not accepting KFOR plans.
All-night talks failed to yield an agreement on how many weapons a new civil protection force, designed to take in former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army or KLA, should be allowed to hold. Under an accord signed in June between KFOR and the KLA, the rebels should have completely disarmed and demilitarised by midnight last night. Commenting on the process, KFOR commander Lieutenant-General Sir Mike Jackson said he was satisfied that the guerrillas had disarmed in accordance with the agreement, but added that he was giving them another 48 hours as a legal force to allow more time for talks on the weapons issue. International officials are anxious that the new 5,000-strong Kosovo Corps be as civilian in nature as possible, seeing it as a force to help rebuild the war-scarred province and assist with humanitarian emergencies.
 RAISA GONEFormer Soviet first lady Raisa Gorbachev died in hospital in Germany this morning following a two-month battle with acute leukaemia. She was 67.
The announcement was issued by a spokesman for the Gorbachev Foundation said in Moscow, while Russian television made the news of her death its top item, pushing recent bomb blasts and tensions in the volatile south down the running order.
Raisa Gorbachev was admitted to a Muenster clinic in July, following her husband's appeals to US President Bill Clinton and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for assistance in arranging medical help to treat her leukaemia.
 NATGUARD DRUGSThe prevalence of illegal-substance-use among National Guardsmen is showing a tendency towards increasing, according to figures released by the Cyprus Police Drug Squad.
Commenting on the issue, Drug Squad Chief Christos Katsikides stressed the need for more effective measures in order to deal with the problem. He further noted that many youths are already users before being inducted into the National Guard, and while serving also act as pushers for other soldiers.
In closing, Mr Katsikides said that according to Drug Squad investigations, the most widespread illegal substance being used within the ranks of the National Guard is marijuana.
 WEATHERIncreasing cloud cover is forecast for this afternoon, with the possibility of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms. Winds will be moderate west-to-southwesterlies, 3-4BF, on slight seas, while temperatures are not expected to exceed 31C inland, 30C along the south coast, 28C in the west and 23C at higher altitudes.
Partly cloudy conditions and the possibility of scattered showers, primarily in coastal regions, are forecast for tonight. Winds will turn to light northwesterlies, 3BF, on slight seas, and temperatures are expected to drop to 19C inland and in the west, 21C along the south coast and 14C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.