|Friday, 13 December 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 01-02-19
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESPresident Clerides reiterated that stalled proximity talks are the fault of Turkish intransigence and Rauf Denktash's refusal to attend the talks,
Finance Minister Takis Klerides said great interest has been shown in the Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus programme,
United Democrats President George Vassiliou did not rule out the possibility of contesting May's parliamentary elections at the head of his party's ticket,
The start of Panicos Tsiakkourmas' mock trial has been pushed back 15 days, while the prosecution has rested its case in the trial of accused Turkish Cypriot drug trafficker Omer Tekoglu,
And Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stormed out of a National Security Council meeting after saying that he had been insulted by President Ahmet Sezer.
 CLERIDESPresident Clerides met this morning with the Greek ministers for Thrace-Macedonia George Paschalides and the Aegean Nicos Sifounakis who are visiting Cyprus as part of a Joint Assessment Committee's conference on the Thrace-Aegean-Cyprus programme.
Speaking after the meeting, President Clerides said the break in the proximity talks is owed to Turkish intransigence and Denktash's refusal to attend the talks.
Regarding US Presidential Emmissaries Alfred Moses and Thomas Weston, President Clerides said they will no longer be assigned to the Cyprus issue, once their contracts run out as part of George W. Bush's new policy of scrapping the practice of appointing emmissaries for various problems.
President Clerides said it is well known that US interest is now focusing on conflict areas such as the Middle East and as a corollary, the Cyprus issue.
President Clerides said that he has received assurances US interest in solution efforts will continue.
The two Greek Ministers thanked the President of the Republic for the briefing and expressed that hope that Cyprus joins the European Union at the 2003 EU summit meeting in Thessaloniki.
 KASSOULIDESThe two Greek Ministers met earlier with Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides who briefed them on the island's European Union accession course and the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.
George Paschalides expressed the hope that 2001 will bring Cyprus and Greece closer to a just and viable solution to the island's problem.
Pashalides added he is confident that Cyprus and Greece will emerge the winners from the European gambit.
Nikos Sifounakis said relations between Cyprus and Greece are currently at their best.
Referring to the island's accession course, Mr. Sifounakis said once Cyprus joins the EU, the Aegean-Thrace border extending down to the island will be Europe's own border.
 CLERIDESAddressing the opening ceremony of the Joint Assessment Committee conference for the Thrace- Aegean-Cyprus programme, Finance Minister Takis Klerides said great interest has been demonstrated about the programme and that numerous proposals have been submitted.
The programme aims at bolstering cooperation and joint action between agencies in the environmental and cultural sectors.
The Assessment Committee meeting today in Nicosia is tasked with selecting the best proposals and to set them in motion as quickly as possible.
Welcoming the Greek ministers for Thrace and the Aegean who are taking part in the programme, Mr. Kleries thanked the Greek government for its unwavering support for Cyprus on all sectors.
 VASILIOU1United Democrats President and head of the island's EU accession negotiations team George Vassiliou did not dismiss the possibility of heading his party's ticket at the parliamentary elections in May.
Speaking on CyBC, Mr. Vassiliou said that he has received intense pressure from officials and supporters of his party trying to convince him of the need to lead the party's ticket.
He said the issue will be discussed by the party's central committee which will meet tonight.
Mr. Vassiliou added that there is no conflict of interest between his role as head of the accession negotiations team and being an elected member of the House, stressing that he has appointed to the job when he was already an MP.
Mr. Vassiliou made clear that the resignation of Agriculture Minister Kostas Themistocleous so that he may seek a seat in the House has never been called.
Regarding Michalis Papapetrou's plans after the elections, Mr. Vassiliou said in case Mr. Papapetrou is chosen to lead the United Democrats ticket, then he will remain government spokesman.
 VASILIOUReferring to the possibility that George Vassiliou will run in May's parliamentary elections at the head of the United Democrats party ticket, President Clerides said this is not an obstacle to Mr. Vassiliou carrying out his duties on the island's European Union accession course.
The President said Mr. Vassiliou was appointed to lead the island's EU accession negotiations team when he was a United Democrats MP, so there is no conflict of interest.
 TSIAKOURMASThe start of Panicos Tsiakkourmas' mock trial at the so-called criminal court in occupied Famagusta has been postponed for 15 days.
Tsiakkourmas has been held captive for 10 weeks after being abducted by occupation regime agents from SBA territory last December.
The so-called pre-trial hearing had concluded last week.
 TEKOGLUThe prosecution rested its case in the Omer Tekoglu trial this morning.
Alleged Turkish Cypriot smuggler Tekoglu is accused of trying to sell two kilos of heroin to undercover police outside of Pyla last December.
Prosecution lawyer Elena Kleopa said prosecution witnesses have all testified before court and that it's the turn of the defence to present its case.
Tekoglu's lawyer said he will not object to the proceedings so far and that he is ready to call witnesses for the defence.
 TURKSTurkish Cypriot politician Ozgier Ozgiur said that around 50 thousand Turkish Cypriots have emigrated abroad since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Mr. Ozgiur added that Turkish Cypriot emigration from the island between 1963 and 1974 only numbered around six thousand.
Mr. Ozgiur attributed the rise in emigration among Turkish Cypriots to the stalemate in Cyprus solution efforts and to Turkish positions supporting partition.
He stressed that Greek Cypriots will accede "unilaterally" to the European Union, if Rauf Denktash and Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit insist on a two-state solution.
 ECEVITTurkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit stormed out of a meeting of political and military leaders on Monday, saying the president had insulted him and a "serious crisis" had arisen.
Ecevit, his voice shaking after an abortive session of the powerful National Security Council, quickly called an emergency cabinet meeting.
He gave no details of the dispute, but the men have frequently been at odds since President Ahmet Sezer was elected by parliament, with Ecevit's backing, last May.
Turkish shares tumbled 11 percent on news of the row, just as Turkey is just entering a crucial phase in a three-year International Monetary Fund programme designed to cut inflation, which reached up to 100 percent in the 1990s.
The National Security Council brings together senior military leaders, including the powerful Chief of General Staff, and top government ministers. It is chaired by the president, but the influence of the military is particularly strong.
Meetings usually last hours. Monday's was little more than half-an-hour old before Ecevit left.
 STUDENTSSome 25 thousand students from 70 countries are enrolled in five illegal universities in the occupied areas.
According to the Turkish Cypriot presss, the occupation regime's so-called education minister said the aim is to increase the number of students to 40 thousand.
 QUAKETwo tremors measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale struck India's western state of Gujarat, three weeks after the region was devastated by a killer earthquake.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries in the tremors, recorded a little more than six hours apart.
Monday's aftershock was 30 km north-northwest of Bhachau, one of the towns flattened by the country's worst natural disaster, which hit Gujarat on January 26, killing at least 30,000 people and registered 7.7 on the Richter scale.
Seismologists say an earthquake of magnitude 5.1 is classified as moderate and that it is not unusual for tremors to follow a major quake.
 ISRAELIsraeli and U.S. troops began a joint military exercise today to test Patriot missiles, used to intercept Iraqi Scud missiles in the 1991 Gulf War.
The wargames in the Israeli desert began three days after U.S. and British fighter planes attacked military installations near the Iraqi capital Baghdad, sending jitters through Israel, which endured Iraqi missile attacks during the war a decade ago.
The Israeli army insisted the exercise was pre-planned and had nothing to do with the recent U.S.-British strikes.
Israel has said it is taking seriously Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's threats to retaliate for the air strikes -- even though it considers there to be no immediate danger.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak met security officials yesterday to discuss developments in Iraq. His office said in a statement that Israel would keep a close eye on the situation, but "there is no need to take any sort of special measures".
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be cloudy with the possibility of isolated showers and thundershowers.
Winds will be southwesterly moderate to fresh, 4 to 5 beaufort with moderate seas.
Rain, isolated thundershowers and snow in the mountains is expected tonight.
Winds will be southwesterly fresh, 5 to 6 beaufort with rough seas.
The temperature will drop to 4 degrees inland, 7 on the coasts and minus three in the mountains.