|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-03-07
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesIt's time for the news, and we begin with the headlines:
The Greek Cypriot side will go to The Hague on Monday to ask UN chief Kofi Annan for more negotiations to improve on his settlement blueprint,
It doesn't appear that Ankara will give a positive reply at the Hague, suggesting that the Annan plan was far from meeting its expectations,
The National Guard's readiness will remain at the highest levels irrespective of political developments,
The Finance Minister and the Chairman of Cyprus Airways have struck a temporary deal on how to run the national air carrier,
AND the US president said he will force a vote seeking UN authorisation to invade Iraq within days.
 Council1The National Council convenes tomorrow to be briefed by President Tassos Papadopoulos on his talks with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.
It's understood that Athens and Nicosia agree on the strategy to be followed this Monday at The Hague where UN chief Kofi Annan will ask the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides if they agree to hold referendums on his settlement plan on March 30th.
 PapadopoulosPresident Tassos Papadopoulos maintained that negotiations still need to be held on the UN blueprint so that its provisions are improved.
Speaking on his return from Athens where he met with Greek leaders, Mr. Papadopoulos said the Greek Cypriot side's reply at The Hague on Monday will be crystal clear but not necessarily a simple "yes" or "no".
He noted that a clear answer can be given by expressing positions and opinions.
The President said that he and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis examined all possible scenarios and choices ahead of The Hague meeting.
 ChrysostomidesGovernment spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides repeated that the Greek Cypriot sides wants more negotiations on the Annan plan, noting that much will be depend on UN Chief Kofi Annan's stance at The Hague meeting.
The spokesman said President Papadopoulos will state his position to Mr. Annan first thing Monday morning.
Mr. Chrystostomides left open the possibility that the Greek Cypriot side's position may change at the last minute at The Hague, even though political leaders will express their views at tomorrow's National Council meeting.
The spokesman also announced that former President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides will also travel to The Hague.
He added that it doesn't appeal likely that Ankara will offer a positive reply at The Hague, judging by the outcome of yesterdays' Turkish National Assembly meeting.
 SimitisFollowing his meeting with President Papadopoulos yesterday, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis expressed the view that discussion will be the order of the day at The Hague on Monday, rather than a one-word reply to whether the two sides accept or reject taking the Annan plan to referendums.
He said the Greek side is going to The Hague for a discussion and not to give a one-word reply.
Mr. Simitis repeated that the Cyprus issue remains Greece's top national priority and that his government will continue to work closely with Nicosia to meet both countries' common goal.
The Greek Prime Minister stressed that the European Union factor is a guarantee that any difficulties that are encountered can be overcome.
 AssemblyThe Turkish National Assembly expressed support for the Denktash regime and for a solution based on the equality of both sides.
In a declaration following Rauf Denktash's address yesterday, the National Assembly repeated that it will never accept the Greco-Turkish balance in Cyprus to be upset.
It also rejected efforts to present a Cyprus settlement as a precondition to Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
The Assembly claimed that the process that led the Republic of Cyprus to join the EU contravened international accords.
It added that proposals and initiatives which upset bizonality will negatively impact security in Cyprus and lead both sides to open conflict.
In his address to the Assembly, Rauf Denktash said he accepted UN Chief Kofi Annan's invitation to travel to the Hague only to ask for major changes to the UN settlement blueprint which he called "unbalanced and unjust".
 Turkey2Meanwhile, Turkey said the Annan blueprint was far from meeting Ankara's expectations.
The Turkish president's spokesman made the statement after a day of talks between Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkish leaders to agree a common position before Monday's meeting at The Hague.
He also said the question of holding referendums on the plan was something that the two sides of the island must address "through their own democractic and constitutional structures".
 MavronikolasDefence Minister Koulis Mavronikolas repeated that the government is committed to keeping the National Guard's readiness at the highest levels irrespective of political developments.
On a tour of the Andreas Papandreou air base in Paphos this morning, Mr. Mavronikolas said the joint defence pact with Greece will continue to be in effect undiluted and unaltered from its original aims.
The Defence Minister expressed the hope that settlement efforts are crowned with success, but noted that the National Guard will carry on its mission and continue to be upgraded as long as a Cyprus solution is finalised.
Mr. Mavronikolas also travelled to the Paphos village of Kouklia to lay a wreath at the spot where National Guard chief Evangelos Florakis was killed along with four other officers in a firey helicopter crash last July.
 AirwaysFinance Minister Markos Kyprianou and Cyprus Airways chief Haris Loizides have reached a temporary deal on management issues concerning the national air carrier.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Kyprianou said the day-to-day running of the airline will be handled by management as usual, but decisions concerning hiring new staf and funding will be taken jointly with his Ministry.
Concerning the composition the airline's board, the Finance Minister said the issue will be raised at the next Cabinet meeting.
Meanwhile, Mr. Loizides said Board members have not been asked to resign, noting that only President Papadopoulos has the power to make such a request.
The Finance Minister had earlier asked the Cyprus Airways Board to hold off on taking decisions on hiring, promotions, appointments and purchases.
 BushIn world news, U.S. President George W. Bush said he will force a vote seeking U.N. authorization to invade Iraq in the next few days.
Dismissing Iraq's destruction of banned missiles in recent days as a charade, Mr. Bush reiterated he could launch a war without U.N. approval because U.S. security was paramount.
Asked if he was close to a war decision, Bush said he was still in the final stages of diplomacy.
He said he would spend only days trying to persuade nations to support a new U.N. resolution before bringing the issue to a vote regardless of its chances of passage.
Britain said it was searching for a formula that could command a majority in the Security Council where the US president faces increasingly stiff opposition from veto-holders France, Russia and China.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell also discussed possible changes in the proposed text of the new resolution with foreign ministers of key European nations in an effort to win wider support.
Meanwhile, China joined an anti-war coalition while Sen. Tom Daschle, the top Senate Democrat, broke ranks with Bush over Iraq, accusing him of "rushing to war."
 PaphosPolice believe a fire that broke out in a Paphos pub was the work of arsonists.
The fire, at the S-300 pub near the Tombs of the Kings area, broke out at around dawn.
The owner first noticed the blaze and tried to put it out using a garden hose.
Damage to the pub has yet to be estimated.
 weatherCloudy periods this afternoon with the chance of some light showers.
Winds will be southwesterly to westerly light to moderate, force 3 to 4 and with slight to moderate seas.
Temperatures will reach 17 degrees inland, 19 on the coasts and 7 in the highest mountains.//
Mainly fine conditions tonight, with fog patches developing in some areas.
Winds will be northwesterly to northeasterly light, force 2 to 3, and with calm to slight seas.
Temperatures will drop to 7 degrees inland and the eastern coast, 10 on the western and southern coasts, and 2 in the highest mountains.
Snow accumulation on Mount Olympus is 60 centimetres and 50 centimetres in Troodos Square.