|Sunday, 25 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 05-09-02
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose country is currently holding the EU rotating presidency, said last night that the protocol extending Ankara's customs union with the EU to the ten new member states would have to be implemented.
-- Cyprus is optimistic that Turkey will start talks to join the European Union, foreign Minister George Iacovou said today.
-- U.S. troops poured into New Orleans today with shoot-to-kill orders to scare off looting gangs so rescuers can help thousands of people stranded by Hurricane Katrina, find the dead and clean up the carnage.
And -- Israel has shelved plans for 1,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem, a minister said today, heeding U.S. pressure over a move Palestinians fear would deny them a viable state
 EU STRAWBritish Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, whose country is currently holding the EU rotating presidency, said last night that the protocol extending Ankara's customs union with the EU to the ten new member states would have to be implemented.
He noted that during the Informal Foreign Ministers' Council, which continues in Newport today, there was a broad but not unanimous agreement on the elements that should be included in an EU statement on the Turkish declaration issued at the time the protocol was signed, saying that it did not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.
European Commissioner on Enlargement Olli Rehn noted that the signing of the protocol should lead to its ratification and full implementation, which also meant opening Turkish ports to Cypriot vessels, adding that the Turkish declaration could not question the legal relevance and full implementation of the protocol.
Speaking at a press conference on the conclusion of the first day of the two-day Informal Council, Mr. Straw said "no one questioned the conclusions, which were reached in December last year and reiterated in June with respect to Turkey" and noted he remained "reasonably confident" that the EU would be able to meet the deadline of October 3 to begin accession negotiations with Turkey.
Replying to questions, Mr. Straw said "it goes without saying that formal documents such as the Ankara Protocol not only have to be signed and ratified but they also have to be implemented and the first two stages are necessary but not as efficient prelude to the third and major stage, which is the implementation."
 IACOVOU TURKEYCyprus is optimistic that Turkey will start talks to join the European Union, foreign Minister George Iacovou said today.
Asked about a comment by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw that he was "reasonably hopeful" Turkish membership talks would begin as scheduled on Oct. 3, Mr. Iacovou told reporters: "Let me say that I am optimistic that they will start."
Other EU ministers, arriving at a meeting in Newport, Wales, said their message to Turkey would be that talks would begin on Oct. 3 despite tension between Turkey and the EU over Ankara's refusal to open its ports and airports to ships and planes from EU member Cyprus or recognise the Cypriot government.
Mr. Iacovou also conveyed the view that COREPER will reach an agreement on the contents of the EU counter-statement and it will be referred to the Council of Ministers of 15 September.
Mr. Iacovou told CyBC that the document presented yesterday by the british presidency contained many ambiguities and many changes are necessary.
 TURKEY - ERDOGANTurkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said today Turkey had no more concessions to make to the European Union as it prepares to begin membership talks on Oct. 3.
"Now Turkey has nothing more to give (the EU). We have done everything related to the Copenhagen political criteria," he told a gathering in the Italian city of Naples televised live on Turkish television.
The Copenhagen criteria cover basic political freedoms and every EU candidate country must meet them before it can start accession talks.
 WEATHER KATRINAU.S. troops poured into New Orleans today with shoot-to-kill orders to scare off looting gangs so rescuers can help thousands of people stranded by Hurricane Katrina, find the dead and clean up the carnage.
Faced with a growing threat of anarchy after a natural disaster that may have killed thousands of people, the U.S. military rushed in National Guard reinforcements.
"These troops are battle-tested. They have M-16s and are locked and loaded," Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said last night of one group of 300 National Guard troops being deployed here after recent duty in Iraq.
Officials said the death toll was certainly in the hundreds and probably in the thousands, but details remained sketchy.
The reinforcements mean nearly 50,000 part-time National Guard and active-duty military personnel are being used in the biggest domestic relief and security effort in U.S. history.
Under pressure from some Democrats for allegedly acting too slowly and for cutting federal funding for improvements to New Orleans' levees, U.S. President George W. Bush was to visit the city on Friday.
Katrina forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes and shut refineries along the Gulf Coast shut, sending gasoline prices at the pump soaring to new records of well over 3 dollars a gallon in most parts of the country.
Meanwhile, EU officials appeared to contradict each other today over whether European nations were considering releasing oil reserves to help the United States after Hurricane Katrina.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said European countries were ready to provide petroleum if asked by the United States, but British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that was not what the EU had in mind when it discussed how to help after the disaster in southern U.S. states.
 PAPADOPOULOS BUSHPresident of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos sent today a message of condolences to President of the United States George W. Bush for the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina.
''It is with deep sorrow that I have received the news about the deaths, injuries and destruction caused by Hurricane 'Katrina' at the United States Gulf coast,'' President Papadopoulos said.
 MIDEASTIsrael has shelved plans for 1,000 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank near Jerusalem, a minister said today, heeding U.S. pressure over a move Palestinians fear would deny them a viable state.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who removed settlers from Gaza last month, has long wanted to build a link between Jerusalem and Israel's biggest settlement Maale Adumim. But aides recently signalled that the plan was on hold and his deputy publicly confirmed it.
Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview in the Jerusalem Post that the state of Israel has committed itself to freeze the building.
He made clear that the disputed "E1" project, which could largely cut the West Bank in two and seal it off from Arab East Jerusalem had been suspended due to U.S. opposition.
 THEMIS EUThe Representation in Cyprus of the European Commission announced today the appointment of Themis Themistocleous as its new Head.
''As of 1 September Mr Themis Themistocleous has taken office as the new Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus,'' a press release said today.
 MORFOU S. MAMASMany Greek Cypriots, most of them from the Turkish occupied town of Morphou, gathered this morning in the church of Ayios Mamas, the patron saint, to participate in a service, the second such service since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
The service was officiated by Morphou Bishop Neofytos, who yesterday also officiated the evening service.
Addressing the congregation, the Bishop called for initiatives to solve the question of Cyprus, saying ''time is working against us. ''He said a lot of people on both sides have a vision for a united Cyprus, where both communities live in peace.
The regime did not allow two buses to get through the check point, which were not on the list handed to the regime for passage to the occupied north, even though passengers on the buses were willing to go through the routine procedure, that is showing their passports, to cross into the occupied areas.
Morphou mayor Charalambos Pitas was very critical of a decision by the regime not to allow five pilgrims to cross, without giving any reason, and said the decision was unwarranted and was reported to the UN.
Present at the church service was Russia's Ambassador Andrey Nesterenko who said the permission given by the regime to Greek Cypriots to attend a church service was ''an important step for the two communities to build communication bridges.''
There was a strong presence of so-called police officers from the Turkish Cypriot regime, who subjected Greek Cypriot pilgrims to stringent security checks.
Two private cars, belonging to Greek Cypriots, parked in the grounds near the church were set on fire, extinguished by the ''fire brigade'' services.
 ARMENIAN MPBedros Kalaydjian, the representative of Armenians in Cyprus to the House of Representatives, has died at the age of 71.
He had been ill for some time and died on Thursday, it was officially announced.The funeral will take place tomorrow at the Armenian church in Larnaca.
He succeeded his late brother to the House as the Armenian representative at the by-election in 1995 and was subsequently reelected in 1996 and 2001.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
 WEATHERThis afternoon there will be cloud which will give isolated rain mainly over the mountain.
Winds will be south-westerly to westerly moderate to strong, force four to five an dlocally reaching force six. The sea will be mdoerate to rough locally. Temperatures will reach 35 C inland, 32 c on the south and east coast, 30 C on the west and 25 over the mountains.
Tonight it will be generally clear but locally there will be low cloud. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly light, force three to four. The sea will be slight to moderate. Temperatures will fall to 20 C inland and on the coasts and 15 over the mountains. The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.