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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-03-06

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cabinet appoints Vassiliou chief EU negotiator
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] US envoy to visit Cyprus
  • [04] Cyprus welcomes US Narcotics report
  • [05] Euro-Med Net'98 meeting adopts pilot projects
  • [06] European Stock Exchanges Forum ends
  • [07] Denktash lays down unacceptable demands
  • [08] Government to protest Denktash's letter
  • [09] National Council agrees on framework

  • 1600:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cabinet appoints Vassiliou chief EU negotiator

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- The Council of Ministers formally appointed George Vassiliou to head the Republic's team that will negotiate membership to the European Union (EU), Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides announced here today.

    Speaking after a cabinet meeting, Stylianides made it clear that Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides will be the person to represent the Republic of Cyprus and exercise executive power.

    "Vassiliou will act in accordance with government policy and the positions of the government as these are outlined. He will not have any authority to undertake any commitment without the prior instruction and approval of the Council of Ministers," Stylianides said.

    The Spokesman said Vassiliou, former Cyprus President from 1988-1993, will be kept informed by cabinet members about government efforts to align the country's legislation with that of the EU.

    Replying to questions, Stylianides said Vassiliou will have the right to participate in all meetings dealing with accession negotiations and be able to submit suggestions on the matter.

    "Vassiliou will not replace the Foreign Minister in issues of ratification or other related matters, which concern EU institutions," he said.

    CNA RG/MM/AP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1615:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 06 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    85,09 ( 1,14)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  97,86 ( 0,13)
    Approved Investment Companies          66,60 ( 1,23)
    Insurance Companies                    62,50 ( 2,83)
    Industrial Companies                   80,42 ( 3,67)
    Tourist Industries                     72,47 ( 2,62)
    Commercial Companies                   47,11 ( 4,97)
    Other Companies                        68,01 ( 1,37)
    
    Trading Voulume                        2,030,696
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1630:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] US envoy to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- US State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator, Ambassador Thomas Miller, will make an official visit to Cyprus between March 8 -10.

    A US embassy press release said the ambassador will meet a range of people in the two communities.

    Miller will be received by President Glafcos Clerides on Monday and reports suggest he will meet Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash on Tuesday.

    The US diplomat will visit Athens and Ankara following his visit to Cyprus.

    CNA EC/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus welcomes US Narcotics report

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- The Central Bank of Cyprus expressed satisfaction with a recent US State Department report praising Cyprus for its efforts to combat drug trafficking and its moves to curb money laundering.

    The Bank announced also that Cyprus was officially notified by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Secretariat that as from last month it is no longer in the "countries of priority" list, towards which influence and pressure should be exerted to introduce measures to curb money laundering.

    The decision had been taken at a February meeting of the FATF which was set up by the member-states of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

    A press release issued here Friday by the Central Bank of Cyprus said FATF's decision would positively act upon Cyprus' bid to join the European Union (EU).

    "The Central Bank has noted with satisfaction that the (US) report objectively outlines Cyprus' continuous and coordinated efforts over the past few years to combat the international problems of drug trafficking and money laundering," it added.

    It said the mention for Cyprus in the State Department's International Narcotics Control Strategy Report for 1997 was "positive" and noted its favourable comments.

    The report was released earlier this week and had pointed out that "the (Cyprus) government enforces tough anti-drug laws," noting the "excellent relations" it maintains with the US administration and other foreign government counterparts.

    It praised the fact that Cyprus has ratified UN, EU and the Council of Europe Conventions on laundering, search, seizure and confiscation of the proceeds from crime.

    "The island's strategic location in the Eastern Mediterranean and its current status as a gateway to and from Lebanon and elsewhere make it a convenient stopover for traffickers, especially from Lebanon and Turkey (for Northern Cyprus)," it noted.

    It also said Cyprus' success as an international offshore centre has made it vulnerable to international money laundering activities, especially by Russians and Eastern Europeans.

    "The money laundering investigations unit (SIU) believes Cyprus' efforts in this area have reduced money laundering activity. The Central Bank's efforts in recent years are encouraging. There has been a falloff in detected illicit financial activity on Cyprus during the past two years."

    The report outlined in detail action the Cyprus government took to combat drugs in 1997, including policy initiatives, law enforcement efforts and international enforcement cooperation.

    In conclusion, it said all these make it clear that Cyprus has taken drastic and comprehensive legislative and other measures to combat drug trafficking and curb money laundering.

    CNA AP/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2030:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Euro-Med Net'98 meeting adopts pilot projects

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- A senior European Commission official praised Cyprus for its efforts to promote a national strategy on the creation of an information society.

    "Cyprus is at the top in national strategies," Jorg Wenzel, Chief Advisor and Head of the Information Society Activity Centre of the European Commission told a press conference at the Euro-Med Net '98 meeting here today.

    "The strategy presented by the Minister of Communications and Work at the beginning of the conference contains all relevant elements and it is in our view a brilliant initiative which includes all relevant strategical approaches which have to be on the table", Wenzel said.

    He congratulated Cyprus on its efforts and he hoped that a number of neighbouring countries will follow its example.

    The conference adopted pilot programs in which Mediterranean countries will participate.

    "These proposals will be submitted to the European Commission and to its representatives who participated in the conference in order to be supported", Andreas Pitsillides, professor at the University of Cyprus and chairman of the conference said.

    Pitsillides noted that the countries which do not respond, will run the risk of becoming isolated and will not benefit the advantages of being members of the Society of Information.

    The director of the office of Science and Technology of the European Commission, Fernando Albano, said the Mediterranean is the key part in the future for the whole European arena.

    "But in my view not many EU members, not even many members of the European Commission realise that", Albano said.

    "The Society of Information is breaking the barriers", he added.

    CNA AA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2035:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] European Stock Exchanges Forum ends

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- The one-day European Stock Exchanges Forum of the Federation of European Stock Exchanges (FESE) in which around 30 bourses were represented, ended this evening in Nicosia.

    Speaking at a press conference on the Forum' results, Jean-Pierre Paelnick, FESE's Chief Co-ordinator for Relations with Central and Eastern European Markets stressed the stock exchanges' need for co-operation and adaptation to the new realities, imposed by the globalisation of the markets.

    Paelnick said the Central and East European bourses are very promising, but noted however that they still need assistance from the developed ones.

    He pointed out that co-operation between bourses is essential particularly "in the field of experience", and said the Press can play an important role in promoting the stock markets.

    On his part, Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) Chairman, Dinos Papadopoulos, characterised the Forum as very successful, as around 30 bourses were represented, while the stock exchanges of Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan also attended the Forum.

    Papadopoulos noted the CSE is seeking co-operation with the European bourses and those of the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, in an effort to turn Cyprus into a co-operation bridge in the region.

    Referring to the CSE's performance at present, Papadopoulos said optimism is prevailing.

    CNA GG/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2040:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Denktash lays down unacceptable demands

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has called on President Glafcos Clerides to acknowledge the existence and equal status of what he describes as "our respective states."

    Denktash also says that a "working relationship" must be worked out between "the two states" to secure peace, stability and mutual trust.

    In a three-page letter he sent to the President, he essentially rejects any notion of establishing a federation in Cyprus, something to which Denktash put his signature on in the late 1970s.

    The letter, on headed paper of Denktash's self-styled regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, was conveyed to President Clerides by the UN, but the President refused to accept it.

    Denktash signs the letter as "president" of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state, shunned by the international community and recognised only by Turkey.

    In the letter, Denktash congratulates President Clerides on his re- election in February, and refers to Clerides as "the Greek Cypriot President."

    "It seems to me that there is still a need for the contributions of our generation to help our two peoples to live side by side," the letter said.

    Noting that he wants to "focus on the future," Denktash said himself and Clerides "continue to carry an historic responsibility to find a new approach for the final settlement" of the protracted Cyprus problem.

    "I am convinced that the best way to build a better future is first to reach a common understanding on the guiding principles which will shape the future," he added.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader indirectly, albeit clearly, rejected any notion towards a united federal Cyprus.

    "The fundamental point in the circumstances of Cyprus is clearly the sovereign equality of the two sides," he said, reiterating his firm position that "neither party can be the government of the other or the government of the whole island."

    He criticised the Republic of Cyprus for its "unilateral" application to become a European Union (EU) member, under the influence of Greece, on behalf of the whole island."

    He said the Turkish Cypriot side considered this "the latest and gravest evidence that you have no intention of respecting our rights and creating a new and workable partnership."

    Denktash also claimed that this demonstrated Clerides' "obsession to accomplish your declared aim of completely Hellenising Cyprus and dominating the Turkish Cypriot people."

    Furthermore, he criticised the government's defence programmes, the joint military pact with Greece, the construction of a military airbase and the prospective deployment of Russian-made sophisticated anti-aicraft S-300 missiles.

    These, he added, "put in jeopardy the security and stability on the island, as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean."

    Denktash criticised President Clerides for abandoning "the agreed parameters of the negotiating process."

    All the aforementioned, he added, "have rendered the search for a federal settlement even more illusionary."

    "Under the prevailing conditions, insistence on such a solution can even be dangerous," Denktash said.

    He expressed the view that a "new beginning" should be made in Cyprus, noting "we now have two fully functioning democratic states on the island."

    "Efforts to build a worthwhile future for both our peoples must therefore be based on the acknowledgement of the existence and equal status of our two respective states," his letter said.

    Denktash told President Clerides they both have to show the necessary leadership to secure that future generations would not go through the bitter experiences the two had endured.

    "Our primary aim must be the immediate achievement of a working relationship between our two states so that peace, stability and mutual trust can be secured and the danger of a new conflict is averted," he concluded.

    CNA AP/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1150:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Government to protest Denktash's letter

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- The government intends to make representations concerning the content and the substance of a letter the Turkish Cypriot leader sent to President Glafcos Clerides here Friday.

    "The government considers the letter as totally unacceptable both in terms of substance and ethics. The President and his Foreign Minister will take the necessary measures on both counts," Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said here today.

    President Glafcos Clerides returned the letter, he said.

    Rauf Denktash sent a three-page letter to President Glafcos Clerides which essentially rejects federation, to which he agreed years ago, and reiterates his long-standing demand for recognition of his breakaway regime in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.

    The letter, communicated to the President by a senior UN official, said "insistence on such a solution (federal) can even be dangerous."

    Denktash further demands that efforts for a future settlement should be based on the "acknowledgement of the existence of equal status of our respective states."

    The UN and the international community recognise only one government and one state in Cyprus, that of the Republic of Cyprus and its legitimate government, and has called on all states not to recognise any other state but that.

    Turkey is the sole state that has recognised the self-styled regime.

    The Spokesman said after a four-hour long meeting of the National Council, that the President briefed Council members about his meetings with Greek government and European Union officials.

    The Council, made up of political party leaders, exchanged views about Turkish Cypriot participation in accession talks Cyprus is due to start in late March ahead of the President's meetings with the Greek and British premiers next week.

    Invited to say what the President thinks of Denktash after the letter, Stylianides pointed out the government acts in a responsible and serious manner during these crucial times and will make the necessary moves concerning the letter.

    "We all have to be responsible at this critical moments," he added.

    CNA MM/EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2310:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] National Council agrees on framework

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- Political party leaders and the government have agreed on a framework within which President Glafcos Clerides will move to handle matters relating to Turkish Cypriot participation in the European Union accession talks.

    The framework, formulated during a four-hour long meeting of the National Council, stipulates that the EU's sole interlocutor is the government of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus and leaves no room for any hint of recognition of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus.

    Speaking after the Council meeting, leader of the ruling Democratic Rally party, DISY, Nicos Anastasiades said what "is required is that the Republic's proposal to Europe should be attractive, that is to say it should stress good will for the participation of Turkish Cypriots".

    Asked to define an attractive proposal, Anastasiades said the matter was examined by the National Council and will be further discussed during Clerides' talks with Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis in Athens next week.

    On his part, AKEL General Secretary, Demetris Christofias said he considers the situation "difficult" both regarding the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the accession talks, and prospects to start a substantive dialogue to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Although his party did not hand any proposals on the issue of the Turkish Cypriots, it did agree to the framework in which President Clerides is expected to manoeuvre on the issue.

    Democratic Party leader, Spyros Kyprianou, said there is no point in discussing the issue again if President Clerides sticks to the guidelines agreed by the National Council.

    He pledged that his party will not be acting as the opposition during National Council meetings and stressed that President Clerides requires the support of all to promote our national problem.

    Socialist Party EDEK leader, Vasos Lyssarides, said President Clerides will not present a complete proposal regarding the participation of the Turkish Cypriots, during his talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair in London on March 12.

    He said the party leaders had different ways of approaching the issue and because of this no definite formula was agreed.

    However, he stressed that everybody agreed that the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the talks should not "directly or indirectly imply regognition of a separate so-called Turkish Cypriot state" or undermine the Republic's entity.

    The second vice president of the United Democrats, George Christofides, revealed that the party's president, George Vasiliou, who will head the Cypriot delegation to the accession talks, will have a working lunch in London with the representative of the EU presidency, Sir David Hannay.

    He stressed his party handed its views on the issue but believes that the Greek Cypriot side "is obliged to give some indication on what its invitation will include". This is expected to be decided in Athens, he added.

    On his part, New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, stressed the basis on which accession talks should be promoted is the Constitution and its provisions.

    Any effort to divert from it, "will have serious repercussions" on Cyprus, he added.

    Party leaders also agreed that a letter which Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash sent to President Clerides was "unacceptable" and endorsed the President's refusal to accept it.

    CNA EC/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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