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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-09-22
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
WEDNESDAY 22 SEPTEMBER 1999
 HEADLINESCyprus' President and Foreign Minister meet US officials in New York, while the US Ambassador to Nicosia continues his contacts with Cypriot political leaders;
The European Union is positioning itself firmly in favour of the prompt resumption of direct talks on the Cyprus Issue;
The death toll from yesterday's earthquake in Taiwan has risen to over 18 hundred at the latest count;
Pro-Jakarta militias in East Timor show signs of going back on the warpath;
Coverage of the European Champions' League on CyBC's Second Television Channel continues tonight.
President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides are today scheduled to hold joint and separate meetings with senior US officials in New York.
According to our correspondent, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is expected to brief Cyprus' President and Foreign Minister on possible ways with which the US hopes to sway the current intransigence exhibited by Turkey.
Foreign Minister Kasoulides is also scheduled to meet with US Presidential Emissary Alfred Moses and the State Department's Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston, this morning.
In a parallel development, State Department Spokesman James Rubin last night stated categorically that the US Government will not give up easily on its current efforts to resolve the Cyprus Issue.
 NY MEETINGS BKGRDMeanwhile, our New York correspondent reports that all indications to date are that the US is promoting a process similar to that followed at Troutbeck, with the difference being that the proposed new round of talks will be held with the interlocutors being housed in the same building, at New York's West Point.
Our correspondent further reports that any new negotiations will be a combination of proximity and direct talks between President Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash under the auspices of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his special representative James Holger, with any other interested parties intervening according to the situation.
In his report, our correspondent also quotes an unnamed diplomatic source as saying that should Mr Denktash agree to sit at the negotiating table, then half the road to success will have been covered, since both the US and Britain have repeatedly stated that they will come forward with a methodology and proposals not permitting a repeat of the Turkish-Cypriot leader's past behaviour.
 BANDLER DENKUS Ambassador to Cyprus Donald Bandler crossed over into occupied Nicosia yesterday, where he met with Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
According to the Turkish-Cypriot press, Mr Denktash told the US Ambassador that no-one should realistically expect any progress on the Cyprus Issue as long as what he termed "the Greek-Cypriots' course towards EU-accession" continues.
Always according to the same sources, Mr Denktash further laid the claim that the road towards negotiations will open only when the Greek-Cypriot side accepts his unilaterally-declared pseudostate as a separate political entity.
 LYSSAR BANDLERRecent developments in the Cyprus Issue were also discussed at a meeting between US Ambassador to Cyprus Donald Bandler and EDEK Chairman Vassos Lyssarides this morning.
Speaking to reporters afterwards, the US Ambassador said that the meeting was held within the framework of his contacts with all Cypriot political groupings in his efforts to fully understand respective party positions on the Cyprus Issue. Ambassador Bandler also voiced his agreement with the position expressed by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, that what is of interest at present is that any new talks focus on the essence of the Cyprus Issue and not on the procedure to be followed.
On his part, EDEK Chairman Lyssarides described the meeting as sincere and constructive, but avoided any reference to its contents.
 TALAT CNAIn a parallel development, the Cyprus News Agency today quoted the leader of the Turkish-Cypriot Republican Turkish Party, Mehmet Ali Talat, as saying that Rauf Denktash is keeping everybody in the dark as to ongoing developments and continues to exhibit his well-known intransigence.
In statements carried in the Turkish-Cypriot press, Mehmet Ali Talat further calls on Rauf Denktash to abandon his intransigent policy and exercise efforts towards peace, which, according to Mr Talat, will be to the benefit of Cyprus, Turkey and Greece. In closing, Mr Talat also mentioned that a lack of a Cyprus solution will result in Turkey missing its opportunity to join the European Union.
 EU MEMO CYThe European Union is positioning itself firmly in favour of the prompt resumption of direct talks on the Cyprus Issue.
In a memorandum submitted to the UN General Assembly on behalf of the 15-nation bloc, Finnish Foreign Minister Tarza Halonnen, whose country is the current holder of the rotating EU-presidency, reconfirms the Union's stalwart support of Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts for a solution.
Expressing full endorsement of endeavours towards the ultimate demilitarisation of Cyprus, the memorandum also stresses that the accession of the island to the EU will prove to the benefit of all those involved and will help establish peace and reconciliation among all parties.
In closing, it mentions that both the EU-presidency and the European Commission will continue to press on with efforts aimed at convincing the Turkish-Cypriot community of the benefits of accession and the need for their timely participation in the accession process.
 TAIWAN SIT'NRescue teams pawed through toppled apartment blocks this morning, searching for victims of Taiwan's strongest earthquake on record, but as aftershocks rumbled on, hopes faded for thousands still trapped.
At the latest count, the official death toll stands at 1,863 people, with another 4,460 injured, some 26 hundred estimated trapped in collapsed buildings around the country and 184 still unaccounted for.
Rescuers faced daunting odds in the hunt for life in the worst-hit counties of Nantou and Taichung in central Taiwan, where in some areas few buildings were left standing.
Of the some 2,000 aftershocks which have been recorded so far, two were ranked as serious tremors in their own right, reaching 6.8 and 6.3 on the open-ended Richter scale and complicating the already dangerous rescue work.
 E.TIMORReuters News Agency reported today that the multi-national UN force being deployed in East Timor has cautiously begun moving out of the capital Dili, while anti-independence militias appear to have gone back on the warpath.
In the capital, a government warehouse was looted by hundreds of hungry refugees back from nearby hills, while a UN officer said members of the force had confiscated hundreds of crude weapons. Several buildings were on fire in the city, and refugees, gathering in a football stadium under UN guard, were harassed by Indonesian soldiers who burnt some of their belongings. Reuters also reported that a Dutch journalist was shot dead by men in Indonesian military uniform yesterday.
More than 2,000 of an anticipated 7,500 foreign troops have been deployed in East Timor so far.
 TAIWAN QUAKEMore than 1,100 people were killed and nearly 3,500 injured in a massive earthquake which rocked Taiwan late last night Cyprus time, knocking down buildings and causing power blackouts in many parts of the island.
Officials fear the toll could rise dramatically, since over 1,000 people remain trapped in collapsed buildings.
About 300 dead were reported central Taiwan's mountainous Nantou province, where the earthquake's epicentre was located. Power lines were cut and main roads were severely damaged by the earthquake and more than 1,000 aftershocks. Damage is believed to be extensive in various parts of the island, but details remain sketchy, more than 12 hours after the quake.
 WEATHERThe weather will be generally fair this afternoon, with moderate northeast to northwesterly winds, 4BF, on slight seas, rising to moderate in windward areas. Temperatures are not expected to exceed 33C inland, 31C along the south coast, 29C in the west and 24C at higher altitudes.
Fair conditions are also forecast for tonight, with winds abating to light northerlies, 2-3BF, on slight seas. Temperatures will drop to around 22C inland, 20C in coastal regions and 15C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.