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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-02-20

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Dolphins visit Limassol
  • [02] More opportunities for solution, says Greek ambassador
  • [03] Solution through peaceful means, says Clerides

  • 1630:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Dolphins visit Limassol

    Nicosia, Feb 20 (CNA) -- A dead dolphin washed ashore this morning, next to Limassol's old harbour, while a number of others were seen along this southwestern town's coastline.

    The dead mammal was taken by Fisheries Department officials who are looking into the causes of its discovery on the shore.

    Fisheries Department Director, Andreas Dimitropoulos, told CNA, in preliminary examinations by experts, the dolphin seems to have been caught in the nets of local fishermen, where it drowned and later washed ashore.

    Dimitropoulos said five similar instances of dolphins getting caught in fishing nets have occurred in the past few years.

    The Fisheries Department, he added, has purchased sophisticated sound equipment from Tunisia which will be placed on fishing vessels to ward off dolphins from areas where nets are present.

    The appearance of dolphins has been observed in Cypriot waters in the last three years because they are in search of food near fishing areas, Fisheries Department officials said.

    Dimitropoulos said fishing licenses will be limited, while only small vessels will be permitted to fish, to avoid incidents of this kind.

    Passers by near Limassol Municipal Garden, experienced this morning a spectacular sight, when a number of dolphins were seen very close to the coast. It is believed the dead dolphin was a member of this group.

    CNA MH/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1920:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] More opportunities for solution, says Greek ambassador

    Nicosia, Feb 20 (CNA) -- Greek ambassador to Strasbourg, Dimitris Konstas, supported that the new world order offers more opportunities for a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    The Greek professor was speaking at a lecture organised here this evening on "European and International parameters of Greece's and Cyprus' foreign policy", by the Bank of Cyprus European Services Unit.

    Konstas said the new world order may be hiding a few risks but, at the same time, the end of the cold war offers more opportunities to promote a Cyprus solution, he noted.

    The ambassador described close coordination between Cyprus and Greece as a precondition to achieve this goal.

    Konstas outlined international developments since the collapse of the eastern block and their repercussions on the role of the UN and other international organisations, such as NATO and the European Union (EU).

    After referring to the Greco-Turkish relations, Konstas examined the consequences on efforts to reach a Cyprus solution, as a result of Greece's and Cyprus' foreign and military policy.

    He said efforts to reach a solution in the Cyprus issue, with the help of international organisations and the Republic's bid to join the EU, are promoted simultaneously with the upgrading of Cyprus' defences capability.

    CNA MA/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2100:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Solution through peaceful means, says Clerides

    Nicosia, Feb 20 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides sent the message that the Greek Cypriot side is not seeking a solution to the Cyprus problem through military confrontation.

    He also pointed out that, as long as Turkish troops occupy part of the island, the government will continue with its defence programme, but stressed he insists on his proposal for the island's complete dimilitarisation.

    President Clerides was speaking at a gathering held in Athens this evening on the issue "1997, a year for Cyprus", organised by the "Citizens Initiative on National Issues and Social Progress".

    "The first message I wish to send out in all directions, including Turkey, is that we are not seeking a solution of the Cyprus problem by military confrontation, but by effective peaceful procedures," President Clerides said.

    He also stressed "we are not seeking a Cyprus settlement through military conflict between Greece and Turkey", because, he explained, neither country has the power to impose its peace terms, it would have dire repercussions and in the end they would have to sit at the negotiating table.

    President Clerides added his second message is that despite the "irrevocable decision" to solve the problem through peaceful means, "we shall continue with our defence programme and acquire the high technology weapons we consider necessary and which, as an independent and sovereign country, we are entitled to acquire for a more effective defence."

    He noted this policy "will continue for as long as there are Turkish occupying troops in Cyprus."

    The President also sent the message that his proposal for the island's complete demilitarisation "is still on the table" as well as the proposal "for a substantive phased reduction of military forces and weapons" by both the Greek and Turkish sides "within a time-frame which will lead to complete demilitarisation."

    President Clerides outlined the reasons why the governments of Cyprus and Greece decided on a Joint Defence Pact, in November 1993, noting the presence of Turkish troops, ethnic ties between Greek Cypriots and Greece, and Greece's obligation through the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, to ensure the island's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

    "The moment Turkey withdraws its occupation troops from Cyprus and the island is demilitarised, there will be no need for the joint defence pact," he added.

    The government has an obligation to ensure the security of its people and "seek maximum protection of the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic," he said.

    He also pointed out that Turkey has repeatedly shown it disregards and blatantly violates international law and legal order, UN resolutions and human rights.

    President Clerides reassured that when initiatives for a Cyprus solution get underway "we shall see that there are no actions which might create tension and, as a result, negatively affect the climate in which talks will be conducted."

    "The time has come to make a more persistent and decisive effort to achieve a solution of the Cyprus problem," he said and expressed the government's determination "to work in this direction with sincerity and an open mind" with the UN and all those who support their efforts.

    Stressing that, for a solution to be achieved, the two communities must feel it ensures their security, President Clerides said that "such security can exist only within the context of a federal Cyprus Republic, where an international force will be stationed under a (UN) Security Council mandate."

    He added this force should have the mandate to intervene "if the independence, territorial integrity and constitutional order of the country or the security of either community are threatened by illegal actions."

    President Clerides expressed readiness for face-to-face talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in 1997, "as soon as the ground is properly prepared to ensure their success."

    He noted he is not prepared to "begin another round of fruitless talks", as in the past.

    He explained this would destroy the credibility of the negotiating process and would focus international attention on the bi-communal aspect instead of the real issue at stake, which is the Turkish invasion and occupation of a large part of the Republic, since 1974.

    "On our part, we shall continue to do all we can to help the UN Secretary-General succeed in his renewed efforts to seek a lasting solution, " President Clerides assured.

    He added the government will promote its application for European Union membership, because "accession will have benefits for both communities."

    Expressing hope the accession talks will begin as scheduled, six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference, President Clerides said "we sincerely hope a solution to the Cyprus problem will be found before accession."

    Concluding his speech, the President said his government is ready for a "sensible compromise" to reach a solution in Cyprus, but warned that "if the Turkish forces try to impose a solution, Cyprus will be more than ready to respond".

    Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, National Defence Minister of Greece Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Greek deputy Stavros Dimas also addressed the gathering.

    The President replied to questions put forward by Greek politicians, diplomats, academics and other members of the audience.

    CNA MA/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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