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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Minister to visit Rome
  • [02] No missile components in Cyprus, Government Spokesman says
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Cyprus a priority of US foreign policy, diaspora leader says

  • 1600:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Foreign Minister to visit Rome

    Nicosia, Aug 28 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, will be visiting Rome soon for a meeting with his Italian counterpart, Lamberto Dini, to clarify statements made by Dini in which he tacitly recognised the puppet regime in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.

    In statements to the press today, Kasoulides said the exact date for his visit has not yet been set.

    Dini had caused an uproar in both Nicosia and Athens, Wednesday, after stating that there are two governments in Cyprus, a position which contravenes Italy's long-standing position on Cyprus as well as UN resolutions which consider the puppet regime legally invalid.

    The Italian Foreign Minister had made his statements in Rome after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Ismail Cem, Tuesday, and less that 24 hours later Italy corrected his statements through a Foreign Ministry statement and an announcement by Premier, Romano Prodi.

    In a telephone conversation with Greek Premier, Costas Simitis, Prodi said Italy remains firm in its positions and reiterated that a Cyprus solution should be based on relevant UN resolutions.

    Meanwhile, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides told his daily press briefing today that the government considers the issue closed, but noted it is looking into Dini's motives.

    Christofides described Prodi's announcement as a development which satisfies the government and restores political relations between the two countries.

    He also welcomed the fact that the Greek Premier acted immediately and spoke with his Italian counterpart, who put the record straight.

    However, the Spokesman said "we are concerned with the issue that came up this specific period and we must have our own conclusions."

    Replying to questions he said the issue was not caused due to a misunderstanding by the press, because "Dini had said what was reported."

    Christofides added that the Italian Foreign Minister's statements create a "serious issue" with regard to their purpose and repercussions.

    According to reports in the Cypriot media, Dini's wife has important economic interests in Turkey, whereas Ankara is becoming Italy's economic springboard to the region.

    Meanwhile, Christofides expressed the government's satisfaction with a US State Department statement which notes that the US recognises only the legal government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The Government Spokesman said the statement "complies with all UN resolutions which call upon all governments to recognise the Republic of Cyprus and its legal government and not to recognise the occupation regime." CNA KK/MA/MH/AP/1997


    [02] No missile components in Cyprus, Government Spokesman says

    Nicosia, Aug 28 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides categorically denied Turkish claims that the first components of the Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missile system will be installed in Cyprus by December.

    Briefing here today delegates at the 10th World Conference of Overseas Cypriots, Christofides clarified that the surface-to-air missiles "will arrive in the middle of 1998, but they will not arrive at all if agreement is reached on President Clerides' proposal for demilitarisation, or if there is progress on the Cyprus problem which would justify such a decision."

    Turkey entered a state of alert Tuesday after receiving information that Russia has begun shipping to Cyprus components of the missile system.

    According to the Turkish daily "Hurriyet", stringent security measures have been taken along the Bosporus strait by Turkish authorities.

    The Cyprus government signed an agreement late last year with Russia to purchase the anti-aircraft missiles.

    However, the government has repeatedly stated that no missiles would arrive to Cyprus if enough progress was made in ongoing UN-led efforts to solve the protracted Cyprus problem, or if President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the complete demilitarisation of island was accepted by the Turkish side.

    Turkey maintains 35,000 troops of occupation in Cyprus' northern third since its invasion of the island 23 years ago.

    In light of the fact that the exact date for the start of accession negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Cyprus will be decided in December, Christofides described that month as a "watershed" and noted that "everyone must be on their guard."

    Turkey has threatened to partially integrate the occupied areas if EU- Cyprus accession talks go ahead.

    Responding to a question whether there is any possibility that accession talks are halted because of the Turkish threats, Christofides stressed there is no chance of that happening.

    He also noted President Clerides' repeated statements that if Cyprus' EU accession course is either postponed or cancelled, then "he will not take part in any new rounds of direct negotiations on the Cyprus problem," a stance reiterated by other government officials, including Greek government officials.

    The Government Spokesman stressed, however, that if developments proceed normally, then the government is bound to take part in further talks.

    "If the UN calls our side in March, either earlier or later, for talks on the Cyprus problem, we don't have the luxury to say no," Christofides said.

    He also stressed that the peace process continues and has not stopped, adding that "there is simply now a pause" in that process.

    Two rounds of face-to-face talks between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, held in Troutbeck, New York, from July 9 to 12 and in Glion, Switzerland, between August 11 and 15, ended in deadlock.

    UN Security Council President, Sir John Weston of Britain, had expressed the 15-nation body's disappointment for the lack of progress at the Glion talks and blamed the Turkish Cypriots for raising irrelevant preconditions at the negotiations table.

    In a statement following a Security Council briefing by the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, who chaired the talks, Sir John said the peace process "is a continuing process to which both parties remain committed."

    Denktash had threatened to abandon the peace process if the EU-Cyprus accession talks go ahead.

    CNA GG/MH/AP/1997

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Aug 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.63 (+0.07)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  86.65 (+0.28)
    Approved Investment Companies          65.00 (-0.61)
    Insurance Companies                    56.84 (-0.19)
    Industrial Companies                   75.43 (+0.07)
    Tourist Industries                     65.84 (-0.93)
    Commercial Companies                   47.27 (+0.79)
    Other Companies                        59.92 (-1.22)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 601714.756
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1997

    [04] Cyprus a priority of US foreign policy, diaspora leader says

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Nicosia, Aug 28 (CNA) -- President Bill Clinton is the first United States president to have truly established the Cyprus problem as a priority on its foreign policy agenda and has taken some important steps to aid efforts towards a solution of the island's drawn-out problem, a top Greek diaspora leader has revealed.

    "I think it's important to recognise that Clinton is the first President that really, truly has established Cyprus as a priority. That is a fact," Council of Overseas Hellenes (SAE) President Andrew Athens said, in exclusive statements to CNA.

    The SAE President is currently in Cyprus, attending the four-day 10th World Conference of Overseas Cypriots which ends here today.

    Athens added that in a bid to demonstrate his commitment to a Cyprus solution, President Clinton appointed one of his most respected diplomats, Richard Holbrooke, as Presidential Emissary on the Cyprus problem.

    Holbrooke, the architect of the Dayton peace accord in Bosnia, has been monitoring from the sidelines two rounds of UN-led direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The face-to-face talks, held in July and August respectively, ended in deadlock, with Denktash threatening not to attend further talks if accession negotiations between Cyprus and the European Union go ahead, early next year, in accordance with a March 1995 decision.

    In statements following a Security Council briefing on the talks by Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, Security Council President Sir John Weston expressed the Council's disappointment that further progress was not made due to the Turkish side's introduction of issues beyond the scope of the talks.

    Political leaders in Cyprus believe that the US has the political clout to pressure the Turkish side into abandoning its intransigent stance on the Cyprus problem and await the much-touted US initiative on Cyprus to unfold with Holbrooke at the helm.

    Athens said that Holbrooke is now waiting to see enough progress in the negotiations so that he can step in and mediate those stickiest aspects of the Cyprus problem on which the two sides cannot come to agreement.

    The SAE President quoted the US Presidential Emissary as saying to him: "I prefer to see them negotiate some of the main issues. Then you'll get four or five, whatever the number is, sticky issues which neither party can come to terms with. Then, I will sit in and we'll try to knock some heads a bit and try to get these things resolved."

    "But he (Holbrooke) doesn't want to come in from the outset to attempt to promote the negotiations," Athens added.

    The SAE President noted that Holbrooke has gained the respect of the Turks and will use that respect as leverage to compel them to agree to a Cyprus solution.

    "The Turks respect (Holbrooke), he's done a lot for the Turks," Athens said. "I told Holbrooke, 'You've given them everything they wanted. And what's the payback?' He said to us that the payback is Cyprus. I said we're waiting. So we'll wait."

    Athens stressed that the appointments of key US diplomats, like US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, in influential positions within the US government could positively influence the Cyprus peace process and inject further impetus to solution efforts.

    "We are convinced of this: that we have in place all the people who are in the position of power with respect to the Cyprus issue," Athens said.

    Noting that even though the Cyprus problem has dragged on for 23 years, the SAE President warned against a sense of pessimism which would cast a dark cloud over the renewed solution efforts.

    "We can't be pessimistic because we can't afford to be. We have to have a certain cautious optimism and say that something is going to work. We never had these elements before. We have them now. By gosh, if it doesn't work now, I don't know when it will," Athens said.

    CNA MH/AP/1997

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