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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-02-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] UN believe 1997 offers opportunity for settlement
  • [03] Spokesman on multinational force
  • [04] Cassoulides on US moves
  • [05] Famagusta Municipality protests to UN chief
  • [06] Britain favours "comprehensive agreement"

  • 1450:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    72.67 (+0.62)
    Highest: 82.46 (21/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  86.78 (+0.94)
    Approved Investment Companies          65.68 (-3.16)
    Insurance Companies                    57.12 (+0.07)
    Industrial Companies                   72.33 (+0.74)
    Tourist Industries                     64.05 (-0.40)
    Commercial Companies                   52.17 (+0.48)
    Other Companies                        58.28 (+0.36)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 984564.012
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MCH/1997

    [02] UN believe 1997 offers opportunity for settlement

    Larnaca, Feb 17 (CNA) -- The UN believe that a face-to-face meeting between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash can be achieved this year and to this extent the UN Secretariat will discuss ways to make this possible in the first half of 1997.

    Speaking at Larnaca airport, today, shortly before departing for New York, UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel said UN Chief, Kofi Annan, "is making a major effort to bring the two leaders together in 1997 and, in fact, in the first half of the year."

    Feissel said he will meet with UN officials in New York to "review the situation" in Cyprus and discuss "how to proceed with the objective to bring the two leaders together this year."

    He added that the opportunity 1997 offers is also recognised by other countries and noted that the US, Britain and Russia are "actively involved" in supporting the UN Secretary General's effort.

    "The opportunity stems from things, that are really not so good," Feissel pointed out, noting "we had a lot of tension here since last summer, which underlines the fact that the current situation is not something that you want to maintain, because it can always create a problem."

    Pointing out at "time constraints" namely, Cyprus' accession talks for European Union (EU) membership and the February 1998 Presidential elections, Feissel said the UN "have to make a major push" towards a settlement, noting at the same time, that a meeting between the two leaders "is certainly within reach"

    Feissel said when President Clerides and Rauf Denktash come to direct talks they should "talk about all the issues not one or two", including security which he described as "a key aspect" for both Greek and Turkish Cypriots. He also stressed that President Clerides and Denktash should "stay together until they finish the job."

    The UN official said an arrangement should be found under which the two communities will feel secure adding that "this is achievable and we are working on that."

    Asked to comment on Denktash's threats to settle the occupied town of Famagusta, Feissel said the Turkish Cypriot leader assured him news reports on this matter "are not correct". He noted the UN observe the situation closely and said "we can confirm that nothing is going on."

    Feissel said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, will be in Cyprus later in March.

    CNA MA/AP/MCH/1997

    [03] Spokesman on multinational force

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- The government has confirmed that it has discussed with British officials the possibility of deploying a multinational force in Cyprus but noted there is no overall plan on this idea.

    The government has also said it would be ready to accept Greek and Turkish participation in the force, which should have a UN Security Council mandate.

    "The possibility of deploying a multinational force has been discussed in depth twice with British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and Britain's representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay," Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told the press today.

    He said some aspects of this idea were also discussed at a meeting with British Shadow Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

    "At this stage, we are not aware of a comprehensive plan concerning this idea," Cassoulides added.

    The British-backed proposal for a multinational force in Cyprus appeared in yesterday's edition of the British paper "The Sunday Times" which said it "could help end years of violence."

    The article said Britain would participate with a 600-troop contingent in the 5,000-strong force.

    Commenting on the make-up of the force, Cassoulides said "this must be under a mandate from the UN Security Council."

    The Spokesman said the government "is ready to accept participation of Greek and Turkish contingents in the force to facilitate the decision to set up the force."

    Replying to questions, Cassoulides said the commander of such a force "should not come from either the Greek or the Turkish contingent but should be a person from a third country."

    He said as far as he knows the US would favour Russian participation in the force.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997

    [04] Cassoulides on US moves

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- The government has no indication that a US initiative might not be launched and it believes the US will make a move to help settle the Cyprus question, once it concludes appointments at the State Department and forms its Cyprus team.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides made statements to this effect today, and added "so far we have no indication to the contrary."

    Referring to the State Department team which will deal with the Cyprus question, Cassoulides said the team will be made up of persons from various US ministries.

    Asked whether reducing tension (through an agreement on a UN package of measures for the military or a US-backed proposal for a moratorium on overflights over Cyprus) on the island was a precondition for the launch of the US initiative, Cassoulides replied "we take note of statements made that their (US, Britain) work will be facilitated if certain measures, which would help reduce tension, were adopted."

    This, he added, cannot be interpreted as a precondition.

    "We have never been told that this was a precondition to move on," he said.

    The Spokesman said "our side is doing what it should to get results in the (UN sponsored) military talks" and recalled the government position that it would take unilateral action to facilitate the climate of talks, once efforts for a solution are launched.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997

    [05] Famagusta Municipality protests to UN chief

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- The Municipal Council of Famagusta has called on UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, to take action against threats to colonise the Turkish occupied town and do all he can to expedite the return of all its lawful inhabitants.

    In letter addressed to the UN chief, Famagusta Mayor, Andreas Pouyouros, called on Annan and the UN Security Council "not to give in to such threats of colonisation", and to "take all necessary measures" for the return of Famagusta's lawful inhabitants. Pouyouros referred to Security Council Resolution 550 which states that it is "inadmissible for anyone other than (Famagusta's) lawful inhabitants" to settle the occupied town.

    Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, threatened recently to settle Famagusta if the government of Cyprus followed through with its purchase of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

    Famagusta's Municipal Council decided to send the letter following a meeting, held near the town's municipal boundaries close to the demarcation line, on the east of the island.

    "We expect the United Nations to enforce its own decisions and resolutions and give us back our freedom and our town from the Turkish occupiers," the letter concludes.

    CNA MH/MM/1997

    [06] Britain favours "comprehensive agreement"

    Nicosia, Feb 17 (CNA) -- Britain's special envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, believes that solutions to various aspects of the Cyprus question can only be found at the negotiating table.

    He considers that Cyprus' aspirations to join the European Union are linked to progress towards a settlement of the protracted Cyprus problem.

    The envoy has also said that Britain has not, nor is it about to put forward a proposal for the deployment of a multinational peace-keeping force in Cyprus and stressed that without new security arrangements there can be no settlement of the island's political problem.

    In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR) today, Sir David Hannay said "I do not think a step by step approach on confidence building measures or things like that will do the trick."

    Advocating a "comprehensive agreement", Sir David said he was convinced that "solutions themselves will only be found at the negotiating table" and added "I don't have any illusions or excessive expectations that we will get large chunks of the settlement agreed in advance of direct negotiations."

    The settlement, he pointed out, can only come from the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus (Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities) and not from outsiders.

    The British envoy said a comprehensive agreement "will pave the way for Cyprus to enter the European Union which is an important aspiration but one crucially connected in many ways with progress towards a settlement."

    He also said 1997 "could be a year that one could hope for a solution or at least substantial progress towards one."

    Sir David dismissed suggestions that Britain is taking the upper hand in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, and pointed out "we are not trying to achieve a British initiative - we are trying to achieve a concerted international effort in which the US, Britain, the EU, and others, including Russia, all take their part."

    Commenting on press reports that Britain has proposed the deployment of a 5,000-strong international peace-keeping force for Cyprus, Sir David said "We are not making a choice or a proposal" but acknowledged that Britain is considering options which will fit in with UN ideas, President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the demilitarisation of the island and Turkey's insistence on being a guarantor power for Cyprus.

    "Without a clear security dimension, there would be no settlement and without a settlement there won't be a change in the present unsatisfactory security arrangements," Sir David told LGR.

    The British envoy reiterated his government's strong disapproval of a decision by the Cyprus government to buy surface-to-air missiles and described the move as unhelpful and unwise at the present stage.

    He also called on both sides in Cyprus to avoid making "defiant statements" to gain applause at home but instead to make statements about "a willingness to settle in a spirit of give and take."

    Referring to Turkish Cypriot threats to settle the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, on the east, Sir David said "it would be completely wrong if Famagusta is settled" as this runs contrary to UN resolutions.

    "We would not condone it, we would criticise or condemn any action taken in Famagusta by the Turkish Cypriots," he said.

    Sir David will be in Athens and Ankara next week and in mid-March he will visit Cyprus for talks with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997

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