|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 04-07-20
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES--Cyprus woke up to the sound of sirens today, marking the 30th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the island's third.
--Italy stressed the need for efforts to continue to find a solution to the Cyprus problem and expressed its willingness to help towards this direction.
-- A Filipino truck driver held hostage in Iraq was freed and handed over to the United Arab Emirates embassy in Baghdad today,
--France said today it was still waiting for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to explain a call for French Jews to emigrate immediately to Israel, but signalled it wanted to end the diplomatic row quickly.
 SIRENS CYPRUSCyprus woke up to the sound of sirens today, marking the 30th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the island's third.
The sirens sounded at five thirty in the morning when the invasion began 30 years ago. At midday, the bells rang and all activity stopped for three minutes, as a protest for the continuing turkish occupation. The demonstration ended again with the sound of the sirens.
 MEMORIAL SERVICEThe political, church and military leadership of the island, in the presence of a ministerial delegaiton from Greece, attended this morning's memorial service at the Faneromeni church in Nicosia for those who fell during the invasion. The service was officiated by Bishop Trimithountos Vassilios.
In his oration, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides praised the heros of the invasion, and said that 30 years after the tragedy, Cyprus is at another crossroads of its history.
He said we should learn from the past and be baptised again with the memories which call for dedication to the principles.
He reiterated that the rejection of the Annan Plan should not be interpreted as a rejection for a solution but for the specific plan.
In his statements, President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos said the fight for justice continues. The people of Cyprus, he said, decided that the Annan Plan was not acceptable, pointing out that this did not mean no to a solution but instead, the people are urging for a solution.
Invited to comment on statements by Turkish Cypriot politician Mehmet Ali Talat on the government confidence building measures for Turkish Cypriots, President Papadopoulos said until a solution is found, it is necessary to take some measures.
 INVASION TONIGHTEvents to mark the invasion culminate this evening with a gathering at the Makarios Amphitheatre at the School for the Blind.
President Tassos Papadopoulos will address the gathering which will also include music from George Dalaras, Alkinos Ioannides and the Diastasis choir. The gathering will be transmitted live at nine from CyBC 1 television and the first radio station.
 HOUSE SESSIONThe House of Representatives convened in an extraordinary session today to mark the invasion. During the session, the last before the summer holidays, three new deputies were sworn in, replacing the three deputies who were elected to the European Parliament.
Stela Mishaouli of AKEL replaces Adamos Adamou, Kate Clerides replaces DISY's Panagiotis Demetriou and Athena Kiriakidou replaces Marios Matsakis of DEKO.
 ITALY CYPRUSItaly stressed the need for efforts to continue to find a solution to the Cyprus problem and expressed its willingness to help towards this direction.
The position was conveyed to Cyprus Foreign Minister by his Italian counterpart Franco Fratini during a meeting yesterday in Rome.
Mr. Iacovou informed Mr. Fratini on the current situation of the Cyprus problem and examined Turkey's prospects to enter the EU.
The foreign Minister presented the problems which Turkey is putting forward against Cyprus, both within the framework of its relations with the EU and also at other international organisations.
Mr. Fratini said that Italy, which maintains friendly relations with Turkey, will continue to encourage her to fulfil all its obligations that are associated with its european aspirations.
 IRAQA Filipino truck driver held hostage in Iraq was freed and handed over to the United Arab Emirates embassy in Baghdad today,
Manila ignored criticism from the United States and Iraq's interim government, which accused it of bowing to terrorists, and completed the withdrawal of its humanitarian contingent of troops yesterday in response to demands from the kidnappers.
Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said the Filipino hostage freed by his kidnappers in Iraq was in high spirits and good health after talking to him by telephone from Baghdad.
She defended her decision to pull Filipino troops out of Iraq in response to the kidnappers' demands, straining ties with the United States, by saying that truck driver Angelo de la Cruz was an innocent father of eight who had not deserved to die.
Militants threatening to behead Angelo de la Cruz had set a July 20 deadline for Philippine troops to leave Iraq.
Kidnappers have seized dozens of foreigners since April to press demands for foreign troops to leave Iraq, to deter foreigners from working with U.S. forces or to extract ransoms.
Many hostages have been freed, including an Egyptian released on Monday, but at least four have been killed. An American and a South Korean were beheaded by a group led by Jordanian militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, accused by Washington of having links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda.
An Egyptian driver was freed after the Saudi firm he worked for met kidnappers' demands by promising to stop doing work in Iraq.
Meanwhile, a member of the regional council of Basra, Iraq's second biggest city, and two bodyguards were assassinated on Tuesday.
According to a council spokesman Hazim Tawfiq al-Anachi was shot dead at a checkpoint in the southern Iraqi city.
 MIDEAST BORDERIsraeli forces and Lebanese Hizbollah guerrillas traded fire on the border today, a day after a Hizbollah official was killed in bomb blast in Beirut that the group blamed on Israel.
The Israeli army said the incident began when snipers at a Hizbollah base near the border opened fire at an Israeli military position in the western Galilee, causing no casualties.
An army spokeswoman said troops returned fire and hit the Hizbollah base. An Israeli military source said helicopter gunships also fired at the Hizbollah position.
In Beirut, Lebanese security sources and Hizbollah's al-Manar television reported that Israeli aircraft fired on the border town of Eita al-Shaab and that tanks also fired into southern Lebanon.
There were no immediate reports of Lebanese casualties.
 FRANCE ISRAEL- France said today it was still waiting for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to explain a call for French Jews to emigrate immediately to Israel, but signalled it wanted to end the diplomatic row quickly.
A day after France put on hold an invitation for Mr. Sharon to visit Paris until he explains his comments, France and Israel both said the row arose from a misunderstanding and an Israeli official said Israel was preparing to offer "clarifications".
French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said France wanted to move on from the dispute to focus its diplomatic efforts in the Middle East on seeking peace.
"We are waiting for explanations," Mr. Barnier told Europe 1 radio. But he sought to avoid making any comments that would worsen the dispute.
He made clear France was upset because it considered Mr. Sharon, who urged French Jews to escape "the wildest anti-Semitism", had not paid enough attention to French efforts to fight anti-Semitism and had misrepresented the situation in France.
Israel also made clear it wanted to end the dispute.
Avi Pazner, an Israeli government spokesman and former ambassador to France, said it was a misunderstanding between Israel and France which was caused by cultural differences."
 WEATHERThis afternoon, the weather will be clear. Winds will be south-westerly to westerly moderate, three to four beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will reach 37 C inland, 34 C on the south coast, 31 C on the west and 28 over the mountains.
Tonight the weather will remain clear but locally there will be thin mist and low cloud. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly light, two to three beaufort and the sea calm to slight. Temperatures will fall to 24 C inland, 22 C on the south coast, 20 C on the west and 18 over the mountains. The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.