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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-03-09

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus problem, EU membership focus of Athens talks
  • [02] President ready to meet Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] More details emerge on case of missing, CMP member named
  • [05] Earth tremor felt in Cyprus
  • [06] British MPs back Cyprus' EU entry
  • [07] Britain expects "very serious" proposal this week
  • [08] Britain reiterates position on Cyprus
  • [09] Vassiliou outlines views on EU matters

  • 1650:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus problem, EU membership focus of Athens talks

    Larnaca, Mar 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus question and the Republic's accession course towards European integration will top the agenda of talks in Athens between President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

    "I leave for Athens at the invitation of the Greek Premier to exchange views on our national issue. During our discussions, we shall exchange views on the substance of the Cyprus problem as well as on our accession course," President Clerides said.

    He explained that "all matters pertaining to these two issues will be discussed."

    Replying to questions before leaving for Athens this afternoon, the President said defence issues will not be on the agenda of his talks in the Greek capital.

    He said Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou will go to Athens to deal with these issues.

    Invited to say how he intends to overcome steadfast Turkish intransigence, Clerides said "it is obvious that this is one of the issues at hand which we will tackle."

    CNA MM/AP/1998

    [02] President ready to meet Turkish Cypriot leader

    Nicosia, Mar 9 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides is willing to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash if the UN Secretary-General extends an invitation to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus.

    The President's readiness to meet Dentkash, within the framework of UN efforts to settle the protracted Cyprus problem, was reiterated today by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

    "The government is prepared to discuss the substance of the Cyprus problem aiming at a comprehensive solution," Kasoulides said.

    Replying to questions after a meeting between President Clerides and US State Department Cyprus Coordinator Tom Miller, Kasoulides stressed the government has the good will to work towards a settlement with "determination and seriousness".

    He also said Miller reiterated "the American government's determination to step up its efforts to settle the Cyprus question, within the framework of the UN initiative."

    Kasoulides said the government's decision to purchase the Russian-made surface-to-air missile system S-300 was brought up at the meeting and each side elaborated on its positions.

    He expressed the view that it is now understood that the S-300 are part and parcel of the substance of the Cyprus question and the Republic's security.

    Kasoulides said ways to overcome obstacles in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem were also discussed at the meeting between the President and Miller, but refrained from elaborating.

    He pointed out that "there are many ways" to back UN efforts.

    Since the two rounds of peace talks hosted by the UN in summer 1997, the Turkish side has stepped up its intransigence and said it will not participate in a dialogue.

    Last week Denktash sent a letter to President Clerides in which he essentially rejects an agreement between the two sides, reached over 20 years ago, to establish a federation in Cyprus.

    He also reiterated his long-standing demand for recognition of his illegal regime unilaterally established in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    The President returned the letter as totally unacceptable in terms of substance and ethics.

    Asked if he is satisfied with the US government's reaction to Denktash's letter, the Foreign Minister noted that foreign governments have not asked for changes in the UN mandate for a Cyprus settlement.

    Kasoulides said that in view of Denktash's effort to "undermine" UN efforts for a settlement, he has met with the ambassadors of the UN Security Council member states, whom he asked to support a visit to Cyprus by UN chief's Special Advisor, Diego Cordovez.

    Cordovez is scheduled to visit Cyprus end of this month.

    CNA MA/MM/1998

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 09 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    85,33 ( 0,28)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  97,60 (-0,27)
    Approved Investment Companies          66,54 (-0,09)
    Insurance Companies                    63,08 ( 0,93)
    Industrial Companies                   80,35 (-0,09)
    Tourist Industries                     73,74 ( 1,75)
    Commercial Companies                   47,03 (-0,17)
    Other Companies                        72,20 ( 6,16)
    Trading Voulume                        2,312,730
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1998

    [04] More details emerge on case of missing, CMP member named

    Nicosia, Mar 9 (CNA) -- The remains of an American citizen, of Greek Cypriot descent, missing in Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island were found in a field and not in a mass grave, it was revealed here today.

    It was also disclosed that Swiss diplomat Jean Pierre Ritter has been named as the third person to be appointed to the UN Investigatory Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), which deals with the process of establishing the identity of persons missing in Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    "The bones identified as belonging to Andreas Kasapis were found in a field and not in a grave. They were brought to the surface through ploughing over the years," Takis Christopoulos, Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner told the press today.

    He explained that the bones were scattered and it was difficult to find a suitable bone to carry out DNA test to establish its true identity.

    Replying to questions, he said nobody knows whether the bones found in the area belong to one or more persons and explained that DNA tests to establish somebody's identity cannot be carried out on all bones.

    Christopoulos was speaking after a meeting with US State Department Special Coordinator on Cyprus, Thomas Miller.

    Miller briefed him on the case of 16-year-old Kasapis, who was taken prisoner during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and was listed as missing.

    The US President commissioned a report on the five American citizens, of Greek descent, who are listed as missing in Cyprus in a bid to establish their whereabouts.

    Kasapis' family has been duly notified of the findings.

    Christopoulos said the government has given its approval to the appointment of the Swiss diplomat to the CMP, made up of representatives from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and a third person appointed by the UN Secretary-General.

    Representatives of the Committees of relatives of missing persons welcomed the discovery of Kasapis' remains as a positive step in the right direction.

    They also welcomed the proposed appointment of Ritter to the CMP.

    "We are pleased to see that when the Americans want they can act. We have to make the best use of this development," Nicos Theodosiou, of the Pancyprian Committee of Parents and Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons said.

    Father Christoforos, of the National Struggle Committee for the Missing, expressed the hope that Ritter's appointment would herald the appointment of UN expert researchers to help decipher the fate of all those missing.

    CNA KN/MM/AP/1998

    [05] Earth tremor felt in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 9 (CNA) -- An earthquake measuring 5,2 on the Richter scale was felt in Limassol, Paphos, Nicosia and Larnaca districts shortly after 1300 local time (1100 GMT).

    There are no reports of any injuries or damage.

    The epicentre of the quake was some 230 kilometres northwest of Paphos, in the sea area between Cyprus and the Greek island of Rhodes, Kyriacos Solomis of the Geological Survey Department told CNA.

    The tremor lasted about ten seconds, he added.

    Solomis said there were some after shocks measuring 2,5 on the Richter scale but assured that there is no cause for concern.

    CNA MM/AP/1998

    [06] British MPs back Cyprus' EU entry

    Nicosia, Mar 9 (CNA) -- Three British deputies have urged their Prime Minister to "help and support" Cyprus' bid to become part of the European family, especially during the British presidency of the European Union.

    They also believe Cyprus should not be held hostage by those wishing to maintain and consolidate the island's division and separation of its two communities.

    In a recent letter to Tony Blair, the three MPs say Cyprus "deserves to be a member of the EU as soon as possible" and express the hope that Britain will remain a champion of their place in Europe and a guide and friend during the (accession) negotiations.

    Sir Sydney Champman, David Amess and Nick Hawkins, all Conservatives, express "particular concern" about the hostile view Turkey and some Turkish Cypriots have adopted on the Cyprus application and sensible talks to bring the division of the island to a peaceful conclusion.

    They also praise President Glafcos Clerides' positive statements indicating determination to achieve EU membership, stability and a peaceful solution.

    "We firmly believe Cyprus should become an EU member, without delay, and should not be held hostage by those who only want to reinforce the division and separation of the two communities," the letter said.

    Europe, it added, needs to act "decisively to ensure that Cyprus takes its place in the European family."

    Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, applied for EU membership in July 1990. Accession talks are scheduled to start on March 31, 1998.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [07] Britain expects "very serious" proposal this week

    London, Mar 9 (CNA) -- The British presidency of the European Union expects a "really serious and generous" proposal on Turkish Cypriot participation in EU accession talks from the government of Cyprus this week, a top British diplomat has said.

    Britain's Cyprus representative and presidency envoy Sir David Hannay also said the presidency attaches "great importance" to Turkish Cypriot involvement in EU negotiations.

    Speaking after a working lunch with George Vassiliou, who heads the Cypriot EU negotiating team, Sir David said he was hopeful "that we will have a really serious offer from the government of Cyprus this week."

    President Glafcos Clerides is due to meet British Premier Tony Blair on Wednesday evening and hold talks with Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

    "The involvement of Turkish Cypriots is of very great importance but I am hopeful," Sir David added.

    He pointed out that the first thing to do "is to have a very serious and generous position by the Greek Cypriot side" and carry on from there.

    Invited to outline the next steps, the British diplomat replied "the next steps are to open negotiations with Cyprus and the EU and in the terms of getting a settlement for Cyprus is the visit by UN Secretary-General's special Cyprus envoy Diego Cordovez."

    "We do hope to see the resumption of the peace process which was set in hand by the UN Secretary-General last year but did not get us anywhere before the (February's presidential) elections," he added.

    Sir David said the process now really needs to be taken seriously because it is in the success of both these negotiations that lies a successful future for Cyprus.

    CNA KT/MM/GG/1998

    [08] Britain reiterates position on Cyprus

    London, Mar 9 (CNA) -- Britain does not recognise nor does it intend to recognise the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said here today.

    Invited to comment on repeated demands by the Turkish Cypriot leader for international recognition of his puppet regime, an FCO official spokesman said "we in the UK do not recognise and do not intend to recognise the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus)", which only Turkey recongises.

    "We hope very much that Mr. Denktash (Turkish Cypriot leader) will not turn his back on the UN process and we wait with interest the outcome of his discussions with the UN Secretary-General's Cyprus envoy Diego Cordovez, " the spokesman added.

    Denktash has steadfastly refused to meet with either Sir David Hannay, Britain's envoy for Cyprus, or European Commissioner for External Relations Hans Van den Broek, who visited Cyprus in the past week.

    CNA KT/MM/GG/1998

    [09] Vassiliou outlines views on EU matters

    London, Mar 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government intends to finalise its position on Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession negotiations with the European Union after talks in Athens and Britain, George Vassiliou, former Cyprus President and head of the Cypriot negotiating team, said here today.

    Vassiliou also made it clear that reaching a just and viable solution of the protracted Cyprus question is the top priority.

    Speaking after a working lunch with Britain's envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, Vassiliou said "the positions of the government of Cyprus will be formulated after talks President Glafcos Clerides will have with the Greek government in Athens and the British government here."

    Clerides, in the Greek capital for talks with Premier Costas Simitis, is scheduled to meet British Premier Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Robin Cook on Wednesday.

    "It is important to convince the Europeans that we really want to do everything possible to have a federal united Cyprus join the EU," Vassiliou said after the lunch.

    He also expressed the view that it is unlikely that the Turkish Cypriot will participate in the accession process, but clarified that "if Turkey does not cooperate, we shall move on towards Europe."

    "It is very important to convince everybody that our main priority is to solve the Cyprus question and reach a just and lasting settlement," he added.

    The former President also noted that "we are ready to cooperate with the Turkish Cypriots and we would like them to assist in this process."

    CNA KT/MM/GG/1998
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