|Wednesday, 29 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-02-04
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
FRIDAY 4 FEBRUARY 2000
 HEADLINES--- Proximity talks on the Cyprus problem continue today in Geneva.
--- Turkish Foreign Minister, Ismail Cem, arrived in Athens last night.
--- Austria's new centre-right coalition takes office today.
--- Russia is on the verge of completing its campaign to restore control over the Chechen capital of Grozny.
--- Israel and the Palestinians failed at a summit yesterday to bridge differences.
 TALKSProximity talks on the Cyprus problem continue today in Geneva, in a heavy atmosphere created by the negative stance of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash.
The CyBC reporter covering the Geneva talks said that the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied areas is not expected to be recognised, but that although there were hopes for a settlement this year, expectation are now focusing for a solution in one, two or even three years.
Meanwhile, Mr. Denktash told Turkish Cypriot reporters that he would not discuss the territorial issue with the United Nations, and proposed a "territory for recognition" formula, meaning that he would not give up any land if his pseudostate was not recognised.
 MEETINGSUN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, will have separate meetings today with President Glafcos Clerides and Mr. Denktash.
No meetings are scheduled for the weekend, and talks will resume on Monday to go over the four core issues discussed during this second round of proximity talks, expected to end on Tuesday.
A third round of talks is expected to begin in May.
 CONFIDENCEThe United States and the United Nations are expected to propose new confidence building measures, between the second and third round of proximity talks.
The Americans and foreign representatives for Cyprus agree with President Clerides' position that the measures should be kept away from the proximity talks.
 KYPRIANOUHouse of Representatives President and Democratic Party leader, Spyros Kyprianou, said that proximity talks on the Cyprus problem were not on the right track.
In a statement to the CyBC correspondent in London, Mr. Kyprianou criticised the G8 on its stance that all issues are on the negotiating table.
Mr. Kyprianou also criticised the UN Secretary-General for accepting to discuss issues that rendered UN resolutions void.
He also said that the Turkish side is being encouraged now more than ever.
Mr. Kyprianou returns to Cyprus this afternoon, after major heart surgery in the United States.
 BISHOPPaphos Bishop Chrysostomos urged the political leadership of the island not to succumb to pressure and not to accept any solution to the Cyprus problem, which would not safeguard human rights and the return of refugees to their homes.
The Bishop told CyBC that there had been painful concession in the past, and reminded that the 1977 and 1979 high level agreements provided for the return of the displaced.
The Paphos Bishop furthermore said that Ankara's intransigent stance and provocative Turkish statements did not leave much room for optimism
 ATHENSGreek Foreign Minister, Giorgos Papandreou, said that the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus had poisoned relations between the two neighbouring countries.
Welcoming his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, to Athens, Mr. Papandreou said that Greece is still living in the shadow of the national tragedy in Cyprus.
Addressing Mr. Cem, Mr. Papandreou expressed certainty that as relations between Greece and Turkey improve, Turks will understand the pain felt by every Greek about the Cypriots, adding that Turkish Cypriot concerns for safety and well-being are taken into consideration.
Mr. Papandreou also said that despite differences between the two countries on the Cyprus problem, the bilateral approach cannot but help towards a settlement.
On his side, Mr. Cem made no reference to Cyprus.
He said that relations between Greece and Turkey were improving and that more had been done in the past 6 months than in centuries, adding that efforts were focused on bridging the gap of the past 40 years.
 AUSTRIAAustria's new centre-right coalition takes office today despite a storm of international protest over the inclusion in government of Joerg Haider's far-right Freedom Party.
President Thomas Klestil will swear in conservative People's Party leader Wolfgang Schuessel as chancellor, ending 30 years of Social Democrat-led government and testing the resolve of Austria's European Union partners to carry out their threat to isolate Vienna politically.
Prime Minister Antonio Guterres of Portugal, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said in Lisbon that political sanctions would take effect from today to isolate the new government.
The EU sanctions state that:
-- The other 14 EU governments will not promote or accept any bilateral official contacts at political level with an Austrian government containing the Freedom Party,
-- There will be no support for Austrian candidates seeking positions in international organisations,
-- Austrian ambassadors in EU capitals will be received only at technical level.
Mr. Haider, best known for remarks playing down the crimes of the Nazis, will not be in the new cabinet, but his party will have six ministers.
The United States said concerns about the Freedom Party would deepen as it took office.
In its first official reaction, Russia said today it hoped Austria's new government would not take measures that could destabilise Europe.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Ambassador to Austria left for home today in a protest against the inclusion of Joerg Haider's far-right Freedom Party in the new Austrian government.
 CHECHNYARussia says it is on the verge of completing its campaign to restore control over Grozny and is preparing for the next stage of its offensive -- the destruction of separatists in Chechnya's southern mountains.
The four-month offensive was expected to be one of the main points of discussion for French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, who is due to meet Acting President Vladimir Putin today.
France and other Western nations have criticised Moscow for using excessive force in its campaign against rebels whom Russia blames for staging devastating bomb blasts in the capital and other cities. The rebels deny any responsibility.
In the mountains, Russian forces are attacking from three directions, pressing down from the northern lowlands, sending marines across mountain passes from the east and dropping paratroops along the southern border with ex-Soviet Georgia.
Russia has accused Georgia of allowing arms and supplies to pass across the border into rebel hands.
 JOURNALISTMeanwhile, television stations in Moscow showed today what they said were pictures of the handover of Russian radio journalist Andrei Babitsky to Chechen rebels in exchange for Russian soldiers.
The short piece of film, shot by the Federal Security Service, showed an unshaven Babitsky being escorted by Russian soldiers along a road and then given to an unarmed man wearing a camouflage jacket and a balaclava.
The man with the balaclava was shown taking Babitsky, who showed no sign of injury, by the elbow before the camera switched again to the two soldiers for whom he was exchanged.
There was no indication of when the film had been shot.
News that Russia had swapped Babitsky, who works for US-funded Radio Liberty, for the soldiers caused shock in the media community.
Russia's main spokesman on Chechnya had announced the bizarre exchange yesterday and read out a faxed statement which said the journalist had agreed to the move.
 MIDEASTIsrael and the Palestinians failed at a summit yesterday to bridge deep differences on the land issue at the heart of their negotiations and clear the way to meet a looming deadline for a framework peace deal.
The deadlock marked yet another setback for the Middle East peace process following the suspension last month of recently resumed peace talks between Israel and Syria, stymied over the fate of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat held more than two hours of talks at the entrance to the Gaza Strip aimed at concluding the framework accord by February 13 -- a precursor to a final peace deal by September.
The summit was also meant to clear the way for an interim transfer of 6,1 percent more West Bank land to the Palestinians.
 LEBANONIsrael's Lebanese allies have decided to vacate a military post in southern Lebanon that had come under repeated attack by Iranian-backed Hizbollah guerrillas.
An Israeli army communique said militiamen in the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army would relocate from Soujoud to two new positions in Israeli-occupied south Lebanon where they would have better protection and could operate better.
The South Lebanon Army, trained and paid by Israel, last June fled another enclave -- in Jezzine -- which had been caught for years in the struggle between the SLA and Hizbollah guerrillas fighting Israeli occupation.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be mainly fine, with a few passing clouds.
Winds will be southeasterly to southwesterly, moderate, three to four beaufort, over slight seas.
Tonight will be cloudy, with local showers.
Winds will be westerly to northwesterly, light, two to three beaufort, over slight seas.
Temperatures will drop to 6 degrees inland, to 8 along the coast, and to 3 over the mountains.
The snow on Mount Olympus is 35 centimetres deep, and in Troodos Square 30.