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Cyprus News Agency 96-06-27.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] UN Chief decries impasse on Cyprus
  • [02] Clerides:Demilitarisation necessary precondition for solution
  • [03] Cyprus hosts AWMR Conference
  • [04] UN Chef's report ''very positive'', says Cyprus
  • [05] Title deeds for refugees
  • [06] Council of Europe Committee invited to hold session in Cyprus
  • [07] President calls for ''fresh start'' in industry
  • [08] Liberalisation of interest rates prior to EU accession talks
  • [09] Polish seaman dies at sea
  • [10] House honours the late Greek Premier
  • [11] Cyprus aims at participation in EU research programme

  • 1100:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN Chief decries impasse on Cyprus

    United Nations, Jun 27 (CNA) -- Decrying the fact that ''negotiations on Cyprus have been at an impasse for too long'', UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali called on the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island to establish common ground for the resumption of direct negotiations.

    In his report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus submitted to the UN Security Council, Ghali describes the absence of progress as ''especially disappointing when the elements required to construct an overall settlement have been identified.''

    Ghali stresses that the ''main responsibility'' for a Cyprus settlement rests with the two communities on the island and notes that ''a lasting settlement will not be achieved unless the two leaders can persuade their communities that their interests will be better served by flexibility and compromise than by continuing confrontation.''

    Referring to Cyprus' prospects for accession to the European Union (EU), the UN Chief notes the decision of March 6, 1995 of the Council of Ministers for accession talks to begin six months after the Intergovernmental Conference and describes it as ''an important development that should facilitate an overall settlement.''

    He also stresses that accession to the EU ''promises enhanced security and prosperity for Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike'' and that ''the imminence of the accession negotiations should instil a new sense of urgency to the search for an overall agreement.''

    Noting that the ''Security Council has repeatedly stated that the existing status quo is unacceptable'', Ghali refers to the growing interest of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the EU in the Cyprus problem and their ''readiness'' to assist his efforts ''to help the two communities in Cyprus secure peace and prosperity in their island.''

    In his observations the UN Chief sees Greece and Turkey to have a ''special responsibility'' in Cyprus.

    ''It is crucial that they should not only lend their active support to the search for a settlement but should ensure that their own relations do not develop in a way that endangers that search'', he notes.

    Reviewing events since 1992, Ghali refers to the informal talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in 1994.

    He notes that even though Denktash ''reaffirmed his commitment to a federal solution'', ''on some aspects, notably sovereignty and political equality, his position remained at variance with Security Council resolutions.''

    Ghali notes President Clerides' proposal for demilitarisation of the island and the formation of an international force on the basis of a revised UN mandate providing for the right of direct intervention to guarantee the overall agreed settlement and the security of each community.

    Meanwhile speaking to the press, Ghali's spokesperson Sylvan Foa, noted that ''Cyprus was discussed at length'', during the UN Chief's recent meetings with British Prime Minister John Major and British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind.

    CNA JD/MCH/GP/1996

    [02] Clerides: Demilitarisation necessary precondition for solution

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides stressed here today that the demilitarisation of the island is a necessary precondition for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to the press President Clerides said ''there can be no solution to the Cyprus problem that will allow the presence of Turkish troops on the island, other than those (troops) that would participate in an international force under UN command.''

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    President Clerides said he is not surprised that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash rejects his demilitarisation proposal and the formation of an international force under the UN to guarantee an overall agreed settlement and the security of each community on the island.

    He repeated that there can be no direct talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides before common ground on the keep aspects of the Cyprus problem is found.

    ''There can be no common ground'', President Clerides noted, ''when Denktash insists on double sovereignty.''

    CNA MCH/GP/1996

    [03] Cyprus hosts AWMR Conference

    Limassol, Jun 27 (CNA) -- Around 100 women from Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Middle East are attending the fifth annual conference of the Association of Women of the Mediterranean Region (AWMR), taking place in this coastal town, to discuss refugee and immigration issues.

    The conference, which ends on June 30, is organised by AWMR Cyprus members POGO and GOED. Taking part are ''women from all walks of life and political persuasions'' AWMR President Jana Mintoff Bland told CNA.

    Noting that this is the first time that the conference is being hosted in Cyprus, Mentoff Bland said it will give participants the chance to ''understand the tragedy of partition more and to seek ways to restore the territorial integrity of the island.

    ''The main themes of the conference are those of immigrants and refugees'', Mentoff Bland said.

    She noted that ''80 per cent of refugees are women and children'', adding that the conference ''is concerned of their increasing number.''

    During the conference, the Cyprus refugee problem as well as the questions of the Greek Cypriot enclaved and missing persons and the issue of destruction of the island's cultural heritage by the Turkish occupation forces will be highlighted.

    Women from Lebanon, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and the territories that used to form former Yugoslavia will put forward their own experiences resulting from war situations.

    Turkish Cypriot women were also invited to the conference but despite the interest they showed they were regretfully not ''allowed'' by the Turkish occupation regime to attend. The participants will visit refugee settlements in the free areas of the Republic. They will also be received by Limassol Mayor Antonis Haggipavlou.

    Addressing the opening of the conference last night, Justice and Public Order Minister Alecos Evangelou stressed the government's ''sensitivity on matters of peace, human rights and justice'' and its determination and commitment ''to fight for their protection and restoration.''

    He referred to ''the ratification by Cyprus of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in 1985''.

    The minister said this ''had a tremendous impact on further progress as it has provided the general framework of government policy in promoting women's issues.''

    CNA MCH/GP/1996

    [04] UN Chief's report ''very positive'', says Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides described, today, as ''very positive'' the report of UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to the UN Security Council on his mission of good offices in Cyprus.

    ''It is very important that the UN Secretary-General notes that the positions of Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash on issues of sovereignty and political equality remain at variance with the Security Council resolutions'', Michaelides said.

    Speaking to the press before the weekly session of the Council of Ministers, Michaelides noted the UN Chief's description of Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) as ''an important new development that should facilitate an overall settlement.''

    Michaelides noted that Ghali describes the present situation in Cyprus as ''unacceptable'' and adopts the view that common ground has to be a precondition for direct talks between the two communities on the island.

    The UN Secretary-General stresses in his report that there should be an overall approach to the Cyprus problem, Michaelides told the press, adding that this is a position which the Greek Cypriot side has supported all along. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996

    [05] Title deeds for refugees

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government will issue title deeds to all refugees living in refugee estates or plots of land given to them by the state after they fled their homes in the aftermath of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern third.

    The decision was announced today by Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides, after a Council of Ministers meeting chaired by President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides.

    Michaelides said the proposal was put forward by his Ministry and described the Cabinet decision as ''important''. He said the decision will be enforced as soon as possible and added it does not need the approval of the House of Representatives.

    About 200.000 Greek Cypriots, one third of the island's population, residing in the northern areas of the Republic were uprooted by the Turkish invasion troops.

    The Minister said all refugees will hold a title deed for the houses they have lived in until today, and noted that these people have spent a lot of money on them.

    Speaking to the press, Michaelides explained that when the refugees are issued title deeds they will be able to mortgage their homes, sell them, or transfer ownership to their children.

    CNA MA/GP/1996

    [06] Council of Europe Committee invited to hold session in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- The Cyprus House of Representatives has invited the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to hold its next meeting in Cyprus.

    The invitation was extended by Cypriot MP Doros Christodoulides, on behalf of House President Spyros Kyprianou.

    Christodoulides is in Strasbourg taking part at a meeting of the European United Left and the Parliamentary Assembly meetings.

    The Cypriot MP met the Rapporteur of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee, Erik Jurgens, who is preparing a report on the living conditions of about 550 Greek Cypriots living in the Turkish-occupied part of the island.

    Meanwhile, the violation of the human rights of Greek Cypriots enclaved in the occupied north was put forward yesterday by British Labour MP Tom Cox.

    Cox, who was speaking during a Parliamentary Assembly discussion on minority rights, said the enclaved have become a minority in the occupied part of their own country because the illegal regime systematically persecutes them.

    The British MP said the enclaved people were deprived of their rights to carry out their religious rights while the occupation regime restricts visits of children to their parents living in the occupied areas.

    Cox expressed the hope that a Council of Europe delegation will soon be able to visit the occupied part of Cyprus for tan on-the-spot search on the living conditions of the enclaved people.

    CNA MA/GP/1996

    [07] President calls for ''fresh start'' in industry

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has called on industrialists and employers to ''restructure their businesses and reduce production costs'' to meet an increasingly competitive environment.

    In his remarks to a conference, organised by the Employers and Industrialists Federation, the President outlined the importance of a sound industry and a healthy manufacturing industry.

    ''Let this meeting provide you with food for thought for future plans and let it be springboard for a fresh beginning. The government will stand by your side and back your efforts,'' he said.

    Development in the manufacturing industry has slowed down in recent years because of increasing competition coupled with management problems, lack of long-term planning and low productivity, he said.

    ''Our industry has to operate in a new environment, affected by electronic technology, our bid to join the European Union and the GATT (General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade) and we do not share the view that our industry has no prospects,'' the President said.

    What Cyprus needs, he said, is to improve the quality of its products and produce new ones, apply modern methods of development and specialisation of its human resources as well as manage funds and introduce new strategy in marketing these products.

    The President also referred to government incentives to help industrialists, including a 20 per cent grant for investment in new capital equipment and subsidy of interest for long term loans.

    The government, he said, has also decided to allocate 700,000 Cyprus pounds (about 1,4 million US dollars) for the Fashion Institute and is pushing for a bill for a ten-year tax relief of profits from the production of new products.

    In his remarks to the meeting, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, Andreas Moushoutas, said ''flexible specialisation and exploitation of market niches are Cyprus' primary strategic goals in our effort to strengthen our industry.''

    The Minister stressed the importance of improved management and business services in the industrial sector.

    Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Kyriakos Christophi said the small size of most manufacturing units and the dependence on imported raw materials are setbacks in local industry.

    On a more optimistic note, the Minister said ''I firmly believe that our industry has the capability and the potential to overcome the serious problems it faces today.''

    He cited the ability to adjust, and the business spirit that prevails among Cypriot enterpreneurs as features that would help the local industry to take an upward trend.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [08] Liberalisation of interest rates prior to EU accession talks

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- Liberalisation of interest rates in Cyprus will take place prior to accession talks with the European Union, expected to start end of 1997, Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said here today.

    ''It has often been pointed out to us by the EU and the IMF (International Monetary Fund) that we must align our policy on the liberalisation of interest rates with that of the EU, something other applicant countries have already done,'' he told journalists after a cabinet meeting here today.

    Judging by the experience of these countries, he said, ''as well as assurances we have received prove that we must not be concerned about increasing trends of interest rates but we are likely to have the opposite,'' he said.

    Liberalisation is a necessary prerequisite for Cyprus' prospective EU membership, the Minister pointed out.

    Asked if liberalisation would have adverse affects on low income people, Christodoulou said ''given our macro-economic prospects, such as low inflation, small public deficit, there is every reasonable expectation that we shall have a reduction of interest rates.''

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [09] Polish seaman dies at sea

    Larnaca, Jun 27 (CNA) -- A Polish seaman, 40-year-old engineer Ryszard Blaszokowski, died early today when he lost consciousness on board the commercial vessel ''Celtic Warrior'' when she was sailing off Cyprus' southern coast.

    The ship's captain alerted the Cyprus authorities and the man was taken to Limassol hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

    Police are investigating the circumstances of his death but do not suspect foul play.

    CNA TA/MM/GP/1996

    [10] House honours the late Greek Premier

    Nicosia, Jun 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus parliamentary parties paid tribute to Greece's first socialist Premier, Andreas Papandreou, who died on Sunday in a brief but sombre ceremony here today, marked by speeches full of praise for the late Prime Minister.

    Acting Parliamentary spokesman of the ruling Democratic Rally party (DISY) Panayiotis Demetriou said Papandreou contributed a great deal towards national unity among Greece's political forces and added ''the agreement he made with Cyprus for a joint defence pact is the most serious move since 1974 and offers Cypriot hellenism, for the first time, a sense of security and optimism.''

    Opposition AKEL parliamentary spokesman Andreas Christou described Papandreou as a ''distinguished personality and one of the most prominent leaders of post war Greece.''

    Democratic Party parliamentary spokesman Tassos Papadopoulos said Papandreou turned the Cyprus problem from a ''headache of the Greek government to the number one national issue, warning at the same time against subordinating the Cyprus question to foreign interests.''

    Socialist EDEK MP Demetris Eliades pointed out Papandreou's close links with Cyprus and said he consolidated democracy and modernise Greek political thought.

    George Vassiliou, former Cyprus president and leader of the Free Democrats Movement, said Cyprus had lost an invincible freedom fighter and described him a ''true friend of Cyprus who placed the Cyprus problem at the top of his political activity.''

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [11] Cyprus aims at participation in EU research programme

    Brussels, Jun 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus wishes to participate in a European Union research programme, ''Fourth Framework Programme'', Communications and Works Minister Adamos Adamides has told a meeting on research policy in Brussels between EU officials and Cyprus.

    Cyprus, the Minister said, attaches great importance to research and development and added ''we wish to commence direct discussions with the European Commission to conclude an agreement regarding the terms and conditions for participation.''

    The main objectives of the technology policy of Cyprus, he said, are to enhance the ability to select, transfer, develop and apply existing technology and foster efforts for some technological generation in certain areas of specialisation.

    Information Sciences, service industries, agriculture, the environment, solar and wind energy are some of the priorities of the government of Cyprus, the Minister cited.

    He said Cyprus can play a ''leading role'' in developing a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, and could act as a ''regional focal point in this field.''

    ''Furthermore, we would like to enlist technical assistance for the development of the appropriate legal framework in respect of protection and security of data and privacy,'' Adamides added.

    The Brussels meeting is part of a structured dialogue Cyprus is involved in with the EU.

    CNA NB/MM/GP/1996

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