|Saturday, 18 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-02-02
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
WEDNESDAY 2 FEBRUARY 2000
 HEADLINES--- Proximity talks on the Cyprus problem, which have been described as substantive, continue today in Geneva.
--- Turkey claimed that a solution to the Cyprus question could be found this year, if mediators paid attention to Turkish Cypriot demands for recognition.
--- Chechen rebels said they had abandoned the capital of Grozny.
--- Israeli warplanes raided suspected guerrilla positions in south Lebanon today.
 TALKSProximity talks on the Cyprus problem continue today in Geneva, with the UN chief's Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto, holding separate meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash.
President Clerides said yesterday that he did not know if Mr. Denktash had brought sovereignty issues to the table.
He added that the United Nations do not convey to either side the content of the separate meetings.
President Clerides also said that during his meeting yesterday with Mr. de Soto they discussed the four core issues that had been on the New York agenda.
 SOURCESThe Greek Cypriot side, the General Secretariat of the United Nations and foreign representatives believe that substantive talks are being held in Geneva.
According to CyBC sources, there are indications that the General Secretariat not only does not comment on but does not take into account various issues raised by Mr. Denktash during the proximity talks.
Other sources said that Mr. Denktash has discussed the territorial issue, despite the fact that he said he had not, and that in the first round of talks in New York he proposed Turkish Cypriot rule over 32 per cent of the island.
 KYPRIANOUHouse of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, expressed hope that the UN Secretary-General's statements that he would not comment on a possible recognition of the illegal regime in the north, had not been interpreted correctly.
Speaking on his departure from the United States, where he underwent major heart surgery, Mr. Kyprianou said that there are issues that cannot be discussed during the proximity talks, for example the recognition of the outcome of the 1974 Turkish invasion, the Turkish occupation and the national cleansing.
He also noted that the situation is very tricky and suggested a meeting in Nicosia, and possibly in Athens, to discuss the course of the Republic of Cyprus.
Regarding the possibility of broadening the Geneva talks' agenda with Mr. Denktash's issues, Mr. Kyprianou said that the crucial point was not how many issues are being discussed, but their content.
 CEMTurkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem, claimed that a solution to the Cyprus problem could be achieved this year, only if the international community gave more attention to the Turkish Cypriot demands, including recognition of the illegal regime in the north.
In an interview with Reuters, Mr. Cem said that a settlement could be reached if the Greek Cypriots and the international community took into account the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriots.
 CHECHNYARussia's military said today that organised resistance was melting away in the Chechen capital of Grozny after rebels announced they had abandoned the shattered city.
The rebels, at least some of whom had blasted their way out of Grozny in a costly retreat, confirmed that warlord Shamil Basayev -- Russia's most wanted man -- had been wounded in the leg. They did not say how severely.
Rebels have reported three other senior commanders killed in the retreat, a severe blow to a guerrilla force led by only a handful of charismatic commanders.
Grozny's fall ended the fiercest phase of Russia's four-month campaign in the breakaway region. For more than a month Russian forces had fought for the city street by street in some of the bitterest fighting in Europe since World War Two.
Russian forces continued to pound the ruined city today, saying rebel stragglers remained trapped.
There have been reports that Russian warplanes and helicopters had flown more than 150 sorties in the past 24 hours, mainly striking remaining rebel bases in the mountains to the south.
Meanwhile, the rebels vowed they would return to fight again as they did in the 1994-96 war that ended in Russian defeat.
 PUTINMeanwhile, acting Russian President Vladimir Putin, speaking at the start of talks with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, said he viewed the United States as Moscow's main partner.
Mr. Putin made the comment today as Mrs. Albright neared the end of a visit punctuated by harsh criticism of the scale of Russia's four-month military campaign against separatists in Chechnya.
Mrs. Albright repeated her view that Russia had a right to preserve its territorial integrity but risked exacerbating its "terrorism" problem with the campaign.
US-Russian relations are at their frostiest since before the end of the Cold War, partly because of the West's campaign against Russia's Orthodox Christian brethren in Serbia and partly over criticism of Russia's Chechnya offensive.
 LEBANONIsraeli warplanes today raided suspected guerrilla positions in a tense south Lebanon for the fourth consecutive day.
The air attacks follow an escalation by the Iranian-backed Hizbollah of the guerrilla war it is waging to end Israeli control of south Lebanon.
On Monday, Hizbollah killed three Israeli soldiers a day after assassinating the second-in-command of the pro-Israeli South Lebanon Army militia. The assaults were the bloodiest against Israel and its allies in months.
Israeli officials have blamed the upsurge in violence on Lebanon's political master Syria.
Today, Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy demanded Syria reign in Hizbollah.
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has also appealed to Israel, Syria and Lebanon to show restraint.
Hizbollah (Party of God) is fighting to oust Israel from a 15 km-deep zone it occupies in south Lebanon.
Israel, which controlled parts of Lebanon since 1978, carved out the zone in 1985 ostensibly to protect its northern territories against potential cross-borders attacks.
Israel and Syria revived peace talks in December after a 45-month halt but the negotiations broke down weeks later over Syria's demand that Israel commit itself to withdraw from the Golan Heights it has occupied since 1967.
 WORLDAnd now for a look at developments around the world in brief.
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Austria's conservatives and Joerg Haider's far-right Freedom Party were due to seek President Thomas Klestil's formal approval for a coalition pact that could isolate the country internationally.
The coalition, agreed by People's Party leader Wolfgang Schuessel and Mr. Haider, ends 30 years of Social Democrat-led government and risks damaging Austria's bilateral ties with its Western allies and business partners.
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French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine said the EU could suspend Austria's voting rights if a right-wing government came to power and repeatedly violated the European Union's democratic principles.
Meanwhile, Israel said it would withdraw its ambassador from Austria if Joerg Haider's far-right Freedom Party joined a new ruling coalition.
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In the United States, Republican presidential underdog John McCain crushed front-runner George W. Bush in the New Hampshire primary while Democrat Al Gore eked out a tense victory over former Senator Bill Bradley.
Mr. McCain, the senator from Arizona who often bucks the Republican party line, thrashed Texas Governor George Bush in the nation's first primary by 19 percentage points, 49-31 percent, with 84 percent of the vote counted.
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Indonesia's General Wiranto defied his president's order to step down over his role in last year's violence in East Timor but his position looked weak and few expected the showdown to trigger a coup.
President Abdurrahman Wahid, in one of his riskiest political moves since coming to office three months ago, said his influential coordinating minister for political and security affairs should resign immediately.
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Leaders from Britain, Ireland, and the United States will join Northern Ireland politicians to seek new ways to stop a dispute over IRA guns from blowing the province's peace process apart.
Anxiety has swept across the British province of 1.5 million people since First Minister David Trimble vowed a day earlier to put the landmark Good Friday peace accord on ice because the Irish Republican Army had not yet turned over its arsenal.
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In Mexico, at least 37 people were injured in a shower of rocks and Molotov cocktails when striking Mexican students clashed with university workers and police had to be called in to the campus restore order.
 AKAMASMinister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Costas Themistocleous, said that the ministerial committee on Akamas will be ready to present its report to the Council of Ministers in a fortnight.
Mr. Themistocleous also expressed certainty that the government's decision will safeguard the nature of the area, as a national park, and will not harm the interests of the people.
 STOCKThe Cyprus Stock Exchange general price index rose today by 14 units, closing at 600.
Total dealings dropped to 21 million pounds, compared to 24 million 200 thousand pounds yesterday.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be mainly fine with a few passing clouds.
Winds will be southeasterly to southwesterly, light, three beaufort, over slight seas.
Tonight will be mainly clear.
winds will be northwesterly to northeasterly, light, two to three beaufort, over calm to slight seas.
Temperatures will dropto 6 degrees inland, to 8 along the coast, and to 2 over the mountains.
The snow on Mount Olympus is 40 centimetres deep and in Troodos Square 35.