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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President replies to Ecevit
  • [02] President Clerides congratulates US President
  • [03] President Clerides to be accompanied by two advisors
  • [04] Foreign Minister on EU accession
  • [05] CNA opens data bank at House of Representatives
  • [06] Clerides - Blair to meet in London
  • [07] Central Bank - 1996 Annual report
  • [08] CYTA annual report

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President replies to Ecevit

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has described a statement by Turkey's Vice President, Bulent Ecevit, that Cyprus poses a danger for the security of the Turkish Cypriots and that of Turkey, as utterly absurd.

    The President reiterated his readiness to go to New York for direct talks with the Turkish Cypriot side "with goodwill" and pledged to "make every effort to find a solution to the Cyprus problem."

    In a written statement, read here today by Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides, the President said "Cyprus with only 0,65 million people is no threat to Turkey with 65 million."

    The President's statement come in reply to Ecevit's comment on Thursday about his country's role in Cyprus and efforts to settle the Cyprus question.

    "Mr. Ecevit's statement that Cyprus is a danger to the security of both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey constitutes the height of absurdity," the statement read.

    It noted the "imperative need" for Cyprus to build "the most effective defences against the 40,000 Turkish troops, stationed on the island in contravention of every principle of international law and the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council, which call for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Cyprus."

    The President explained that the naval and air base under construction in Cyprus will offer Greece, one of the three guarantor powers (Britain and Turkey being the other two) facilities "enabling her to be ready to implement her publicly and repeatedly declared policy that any Turkish expansionist move on Cyprus constitutes a casus belli."

    Referring to his 1993 proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus and the establishment of an international force with a mandate from the UN Security Council, the President notes that "Turkey rejected this positive proposal and now claims that her security is being threatened by Cyprus."

    An international force, the statement added, "could intervene whenever one community, through illegal actions, endangers the security of the other or violates agreements, or acts in any way endangering the independence and territorial integrity of the federation to be established."

    Commenting on Ecevit's message that Turkey will be the main respondent at next week's UN-sponsored direct talks, the President said "this does not add anything new that we did not already know and this is why we always pointed out to all concerned that they should direct their efforts not to Denktash, but to Ankara."

    If this position is the policy of the new Turkish government, the President concludes "this does not augur well as regard Turkey's attitude on the Cyprus problem."

    CNA RG/MM/MA/1997

    [02] President Clerides congratulates US President

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides expressed his utmost appreciation for US President Bill Clinton's personal commitment to a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In a congratulatory message to President Clinton on the occasion of the 221st anniversary of the US Declaration of Independence, President Clerides expressed the hope the forthcoming UN-sponsored direct negotiations in New York "will pave the way to a just settlement of the Cyprus question based on the United Nations resolutions and the principles of international law".

    "The United States and Cyprus have enjoyed close bonds of friendship and cooperation through the years. It is my earnest desire to further consolidate these ties," President Clerides said.

    On the 221st anniversary of the founding of the United States, President Clerides conveyed to his American counterpart, "on behalf of the people and the government of the Republic of Cyprus and myself, warmest greetings and heartfelt congratulations.

    "I warmly wish Your Excellency good health and well-being and the friendly American people continuous progress, prosperity and welfare," President Clerides added.

    CNA MH/GP/1997

    [03] President Clerides to be accompanied by two advisors

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- Under-Secretary to the President, Pantelis Kouros, will be one of the two advisors to President Glafcos Clerides, in the UN- led negotiations beginning in the US next week, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides officially announced here Friday.

    The Republic's Attorney General, Alecos Markides, is the other advisor to the President.

    The President's advisors are the only two persons who will be with him during the negotiations, to be held July 9 - 13, in Troutbeck, while political party leaders will also be in the area to consult with President Clerides.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will be also accompanied by two advisors.

    Christofides believed that the negotiations between President Clerides and Denktash, would not be confined to investigating the positions of the two sides.

    "I do not believe the negotiations will be confined to investigating the positions of the two sides... on the Cyprus issue, as this has been done over the past decades," he said, noting that all aspects of the problem are well known.

    The Spokesman stressed that the Greek Cypriot side is "more than ready to participate in the talks whether a document will be presented or not".

    The UN initially announced it would present a document to the two community leaders but subsequent clarifications explained that the UN envoy to the talks, Diego Cordovez, will make an oral presentation of his views and talking points for the negotiations.

    Cordovez will conduct the first round of talks between Cyprus' two community leaders, to be opened by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on July 9. Another two rounds of negotiations are also expected to take place this summer.

    Christofides attached particular importance to the presence of foreign governments' envoys for Cyprus in Troutbeck, near New York, where the negotiations will be held, noting "they will decisively contribute towards achieving progress."

    Envoys from 12 countries will be in the wings of the direct talks, including representatives from the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the European Union.

    The Spokesman stressed their presence offers a "window of hope" for a solution to the Cyprus problem and pointed out they are not prepared to take part "in a comedy or parody" but want "serious and positive negotiations".

    "The presence of so many personalties gives assurances that progress can be achieved in the negotiations," Christofides noted, adding that "with coordinated efforts they can break the deadlock and try to achieve the best possible result".

    Replying to questions, he said the government does not expect the Cyprus problem to be solved this year, and pointed out that "we expect to achieve progress and cover ground so that in 1998 we can conclude what we are beginning this year."

    Christofides also confirmed today that President Clerides will have a second meeting with US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, after the end of the first round, on July 14. The first meeting will be held on July 8, one day ahead of the direct talks.

    Holbrooke himself had asked to meet President Clerides, Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, and Denktash, in New York, one day before the talks begin, as he will not be in the area where they will take place.

    The Spokesman said President Clerides may also meet British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, in London, possibly on July 15, on his way home from the United States.

    CNA RG/MA/GP/1997

    [04] Foreign Minister on EU accession

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus is expected to be included in the first group of countries to begin accession negotiations with the European Union, Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, has said.

    Speaking before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Kasoulides expressed the conviction that Cyprus will be included in the first wave of European enlargement.

    However, he also pointed out that the final decision on the issue will be taken by the EU in December.

    "The road to a united Europe may not be full of roses but Cyprus has the possibility to make it (join the EU)," Kasoulides said.

    The Foreign Minister told Committee members that he is planning to visit other candidate countries for EU membership, including the Baltic states.

    Commenting on Turkish propaganda to counteract Cyprus' efforts to join the EU, Kasoulides said Attorney-General, Alecos Markides, has prepared a legal opinion which proves that Cyprus fulfils all legal criteria for EU accession.

    Markides' opinion will be communicated to EU member-states.

    The Minister said that an expert on International Law will be asked to prepare an additional opinion on Cyprus' eligibility for accession.

    A legal opinion, prepared on behalf of Turkey, claims that Cyprus is not eligible to enter the EU, citing constitutional restraints.

    CNA EC/MM/1997

    [05] CNA opens data bank at House of Representatives

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) has opened a new chapter in information establishing a data bank at the premises of the House of Representatives.

    In a solemn ceremony, CNA Board Chairman, Anthos Lykavgis, in the presence of CNA Director, Andreas Christofides, presented the data bank to House President, Spyros Kyprianou.

    The House President expressed gratitude on behalf of the 56-member Parliament for the establishment of the bank, stressing that this constitutes a significant development because it will give deputies the opportunity to fulfil their duties while referring to a constant flow of up- to-the-minute information.

    He underscored that being properly informed on international issues is of the utmost importance and absolutely necessary in light of the critical times the Cyprus issue is now passing through.

    In his address, Lykavgis said that with the opening of the new service, CNA has come full circle and added that the agency utilises its facilities and resources to the utmost of its abilities.

    Referring to the information bank's services, Lykavgis said that Cypriot MP's will now have access to invaluable information, having at their disposal the latest news on Cyprus and Greece.

    Lykavgis also paid tribute to the Athens News Agency's (ANA) contribution to CNA's service, particularly ANA Director-General Andreas Christodoulides, whom without "less things would have happened".

    The CNA Board Chairman furthermore noted the agency's active regional as well as international role.

    "CNA, with the unanimous decision of the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN), has been voted AMAN president for the one-year period commencing in June, 1998," Lykavgis said.

    AMAN held its General Assembly last week in Cairo. The Alliance encompasses news agencies from 16 countries around the Mediterranean basin, including the French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Turkish news agencies as well as all Arab-language news agencies in the area. The Middle East News Agency (MENA) of Egypt is the current AMAN President.

    Lykavgis also referred to CNA's recent successful participation in an international pavilion in Amsterdam during the General Assembly of the World Association of Newspapers (FIEJ) and the World Editors' Forum.

    He added that CNA garnered the highest praises from distinguished directors of large and respected newspapers from around the world. CNA/KN/MH/GP/1997


    [06] Clerides - Blair to meet in London

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will meet British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on July 15, a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman has said.

    "I can confirm that there will be a meeting between President Clerides and Prime Minister Blair on July 15," the spokesman told CNA today.

    The FCO spokesman could not give any other details about the meeting at this stage.

    This will be the first meeting between Blair and Clerides since the Labour leader became Prime Minister after the country's parliamentary elections on May 1.

    Clerides will be stopping over in the British capital on his way home from New York, where he will represent the Greek Cypriot side at UN- sponsored talks between 9-13 July.

    The Turkish Cypriot side will be represented by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Rauf Denktash.

    CNA EC/MM/1997

    [07] Central Bank - 1996 Annual report

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- Economic activity in 1997 is expected to show a slight improvement, provided tourism is given a boost, Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Afxentis Afxentiou, said here today.

    Speaking at a press conference to present the Bank's 1996 Annual Report, Afxentiou noted that as a result of weak domestic demand and a drop in tourism, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1,9 per cent, compared with 6, 0 per cent in the previous year.

    Full employment conditions continued to prevail, despite the increase in unemployment to 3,1 per cent, compared with 2,6 per cent in 1995. The rate of inflation rose to 3,0 per cent, compared with 2,6 per cent in 1995, he added.

    Afxentiou said the fiscal deficit reached 3,4 per cent of the GDP in 1996, in comparison with 1,0 per cent in 1995.

    Referring to the prospects for 1997, he noted that in contrast to the bad tourism performance in the first five months of the year, tourist arrivals in May alone increased by 5,0 per cent, and indications are that an increase will also be recorded in June, leading to an expected GDP growth rate of 2,5 per cent.

    Inflation rate, Afxentiou went on, is expected to be around 3,3 per cent in 1997, showing no significant change compared with 1995 figures. The unemployment rate, as well as the fiscal deficit as a percentage of GDP, are not expected to show any significant change.

    Replying to questions, the Governor said the Republic has taken every necessary measure to curb and eradicate it.

    CNA GG/MM/1997

    [08] CYTA annual report

    Nicosia, Jul 4 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CYTA) is entering the most crucial phase in its history, said its Chairman, Michalakis Zivanaris.

    Presenting the Authority's annual report for 1996, Zivanaris pointed out that CYTA is one of the best telecommunication organisations in the world and its services rely on state-of-the-art technology, making Cyprus one of the most attractive business centres in the world.

    Describing 1996 financial results as "very satisfactory", Zivanaris said they enabled CYTA to play a leading role in the development of the Cyprus economy. The Authority's surplus has surpassed 26 million Cyprus pounds (52 million US dollars) before tax, compared with 16,1 million in 1995.

    He said "1996 was a very good year for the Authority which continued its upward course".

    As part of its policy for technological upgrading, CYTA continued to digitalise its network, introduced the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and the number of Internet subscribers rose to 366.363.

    The number of mobile telephone service subscribers reached 51.300, recording an increase of 145 per cent, ranking Cyprus eighth in the use of mobile telephone services in Europe.

    In 1996 CYTA signed a memorandum to participate in the construction and maintenance of SEA-ME-WEE, the biggest in length and capacity international submarine fibre optic cable system.

    "Developments in telecommunications are such that we cannot afford to be complacent," Zivanaris said.

    The liberalisation of telecommunications will soon be a reality, he pointed out and noted that the advancement in technology abolishes borders, monopolies and barriers.

    "The time has come for bold decisions", Zivanaris concluded.

    CNA RM/EC/MM/1997
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