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Athens News Agency: News in English, 04-04-18

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN chief Annan to submit report to Security Council on Cyprus issue
  • [02] Memory of Holocaust victims honoured
  • [03] Cyprus President Papadopoulos says he is ''at ease with his conscience'
  • [04] Weather Forecast: Cloudy on Monday, with local showers
  • [05] FM Molyviatis on Cyprus issue: 'There are no last chances'
  • [06] Foreign ministry statement on Hamas leader's slaying
  • [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

  • [01] UN chief Annan to submit report to Security Council on Cyprus issue

    18/04/2004 22:55:22

    NEW YORK (ANA/P. Panagiotou) - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in a report which he will submit to the UN Security Council, will ask, firstly, the adoption of the proposed solution to the Cyprus issue, secondly the prohibition of the sale of arms to Cyprus, in the event that both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities vote ''yes'' in the April 24 referenda, and, thirdly, the creation of a new peacekeeping force and its conversion to a UN peacekeeping mission.

    U.S. and British diplomats leave it to be understood that the eventuality remains open of a Security Council decision being reached after the submission of Annan's report, with which the implementation of the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem will be placed under the UN's Capter 7, on the basis of which the peacekeeping mission will have the right to proceed in military operations aimed at enforcing the implimentation of the agreement.

    A senior diplomatic source told the ANA that the possibility of the Security Council members agreeing on such a thing is very restricted, while it evaluates that in such a development Turkey will disagree.

    [02] Memory of Holocaust victims honoured

    18/04/2004 20:11:06

    The Jewish community of Athens on Sunday honoured the six million victims of the Holocaust with an event held at the Jewish Cemeterey at Nikea.

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camps, people who lost relatives and friends, representatives of the state and a multitude of people attended a service officiated by Athens rabbis Jacob Arar and Isaac Mizan.

    Speaking at the event, among others, was Deputy Transport and Communications Minister Anastasios Nerantzis.

    Wreaths were laid on behalf of the Greek Parliament by vice-president Ioannis Tragakis, on behalf of the government by Internal Affairs, Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos, by political party officials, by the ambassadors of Germany, Israel and Austria, as well as by other diplomats.

    [03] Cyprus President Papadopoulos says he is ''at ease with his conscience'

    18/04/2004 20:08:39

    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, in an interview with the Sunday edition of the ''Ethnos'' newspaper, said he was ''at ease with his conscience.''

    Papadopoulos appeared pleased with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis' statement, ''knowing or suspecting under what terrible pressure he must have been to come out and openly support the Annan plan.''

    The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are called on in separate and simultaneous referenda in Cyprus on April 24 to accept or not UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's fifth and final plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    In an address to the nation on April 7, President Papadopoulos called on the people to vote against the Annan plan.

    On the stance of Greece's main opposition Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) leader George Papandreou, Papadopoulos said that he spoke with Papandreou after the meeting last week of Greece's political leadership on the Cyprus problem.

    ''He told me that in his opinion he positioned himself timely so that his choice not to appear as 'an answer' to my proclamation. This I leave to your judgement, but despite the fact that we have different assessments on the Annan plan, I am obliged to thank him, as I did taking into account the last phrase of his statement that Greece will be next to us and will stand by our side regradless of what we decide. That was the most important.''

    ''If a 'no' answer is a mistake I believe that opportunities will be presented to correct (the plan) in its entirety or partially. If a 'yes' answer is a mistake then it is irreversible,'' the Cypriot president said.

    Papadopoulos said that ''personally I have no doubts. I'm at ease with my conscience.''

    Asked to comment on U.S. reactions to his person, Papadopoulos said that ''the Americans always wish to have good relations with leaders who do not create problems to their own policy.''

    Concluding, Papadopoulos said he doubted that a statement by the presidium of the UN Security Council for the securing of the implementation of the Annan plan will suffice.

    [04] Weather Forecast: Cloudy on Monday, with local showers

    18/04/2004 18:05:53

    Local cloud is forecast throughout the country on Monday, with local rain and showers in western, central and northern Greece. Winds westerly,light to moderate. Temperatures in the country will range from 6C to 22C. Temperatures in Athens from 12C to 20C and in Thessaloniki between 8C and 16C.

    [05] FM Molyviatis on Cyprus issue: 'There are no last chances'

    18/04/2004 17:55:45

    Greek Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis underlined on Sunday that ?there are no last chances?, when asked about next weekends separate referenda on the Annan peace plan for Cyprus and political scenarios should one or both sides vote no.

    ?In life there are no last chances ... the need to deal with a solution for Cyprus will be turn up again,? he was quoted as saying in an interview published in the Sunday edition of the ?Kathimerini? daily.

    ?I personally do not believe in last chances. Life continues; life always offers opportunities. I believe, not immediately, of course, on the next day following a potential rejection of the Annan plan, but with the flow of developments, the need to face a solution for Cyprus will again turn up, because a solution to Cyprus political problem will facilitate all; as well as the European Union, the United Nations and Turkey itself,? Molyviatis stressed.

    He also reminded that even in case of a ?no? vote by both or one of the two communities on the island republic Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots all of Cyprus will still accede to the European Union on May 1. ?With the only difference being that implementation of the (Unions) acquis communautaire will be suspended in the northern part.?

    Asked about the prospect of European recognition of the islands division following a potential rejection of the plan, the retired career diplomat said recognition by the 25 EU members (new and old) is out of the question.

    In reference to press reports citing possible recognition of the Turkish-occupied breakaway state by the former Soviet republic of Azerbaijan, Molyviatis said he is unsure as to ?how states that may recognise the northern part of Cyprus as an independent country will manage their relations with the European Union; but I believe it will be rather difficult; there will be a problem in their relations with the EU?.

    In reply to a question on US Secretary of State Colin Powells recent comments concerning a possible ?no? vote, he said the message out of Washington and the EU, for that matter, is that economic support may be forthcoming.

    Continental shelf issue

    Molyviatis also reiterated the Greek governments intention to continue a policy of normalisation in Greek-Turkish affairs, noting that a Greek negotiator will head to Ankara this week to recommence exploratory talks focusing on the issue of the Aegean continental shelfs delineation.

    Moreover, he forecast that the Erdogan government also wants to extricate Greek-Turkish relations from the Cyprus issue.

    [06] Foreign ministry statement on Hamas leader's slaying

    18/04/2004 17:54:34

    Athens on Sunday condemned the assassination of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi a day earlier by Israeli forces in Gaza.

    ?The illegal execution of Abdel Aziz Rantisi is condemned as a act of violence that is contrary to the civil state,? foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said.

    ?Yet again, we express our opposition to acts of violence, from wherever they may come from, which undermine efforts for peace in the region and the finding of a fair and viable solution to the Palestinian problem,? the spokesman stated in a press release.

    The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), on its part, issued a strongly worded press release condemning the strike.

    [07] Foreign Exchange Rates: Monday

    18/04/2004 17:26:56

    Reference buying rates per euro released by the European Central Bank

    U.S. dollar 1.202

    Pound sterling 0.673

    Danish kroner 7.503

    Swedish kroner 9.280

    Japanese yen 130.5

    Swiss franc 1.566

    Norwegian kroner 8.348

    Cyprus pound 0.590

    Canadian dollar 1.620

    Australian dollar 1.632

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