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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-11

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Defence Minister to visit Athens
  • [02] Greek-American leaders discuss their role
  • [03] UN to revive Cyprus peace talks
  • [04] Russian envoy to visit Cyprus
  • [05] Special coin for WWF

  • 1030:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Defence Minister to visit Athens

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The strengthening of the defence cooperation between Cyprus and Greece will be discussed in Athens next week by new Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou and his Greek counterpart Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    Omirou announced Tuesday he will pay his first visit to the Greek capital on March 19, after an invitation from his Greek counterpart.

    The further upgrading of cooperation between Cyprus and Greece in the defence field and the joint defence pact agreed between the two governments in 1993, will be discussed.

    "We will also exchange views and take decisions on the reinforcement of the military capabilities of the National Guard of the Cyprus Republic," Omirou said.

    The Socialist EDEK party Minister added they will also exchange views on efforts to settle the protracted Cyprus problem and the Republic's accession talks with the European Union, scheduled to open end of March.

    He pointed out that the Republic's defence policy is formulated according to political developments.

    Asked when the official inauguration of the military air base in the western coastal town of Paphos will take place, Omirou said formal events are not important but what is important is that the base is ready and operational.

    He refrained from replying to a question if they will discuss the possibility of Greek military planes being stationed at the base and said they will discuss all important defence issues dealing with how to handle Turkish threats.

    The joint defence pact stipulates that Greece will offer Cyprus air and sea coverage in the case of a new Turkish offensive against the government- controlled areas of the Republic.

    Turkey continues to maintain and upgrade its troops on the island since 1974 when they invaded and occupied 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory.

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [02] Greek-American leaders discuss their role

    Washington, Mar 11 (CNA) -- Greek-American leaders met here yesterday, for the first time in years, under the auspices of Archbishop of America Spyridon, to discuss a common policy in national and church issues.

    In his opening statement, Archbishop Spyridon called on the 30 leaders of Greek-American community to cooperate for the common good and pledged to back their efforts.

    However, he clarified he will only deal with church issues and told them they should handle national issues such as the Cyprus problem and Greco-Turkish relations.

    A statement released after the meeting says they "believe that the unity of purpose for our Hellenic American community is of particular importance this year due to America's role in leading the world effort to address the physical and political dangers facing Hellenes and Orthodox Christians throughout the world, including Cyprus, the Balkans and Turkey."

    The representatives emphasised that they are "dedicated to the task of keeping that world effort focused on bringing all nations into adherence with the basic rules of a civilised world order."

    They pointed to respect for international law, sovereignty, human rights, religious freedom and the non-use of force or threats of force as such rules.

    "We further believe that adherence of such rules of civilisation will benefit all citizens of America, Cyprus, Greece, the Middle East and Turkey, " they added.

    President of the Council of Hellenes Abroad, Andrew Athens, said they discussed the formation of a committee to promote this initiative, which will meet sometime in the next six weeks.

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1998

    [03] UN to revive Cyprus peace talks

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General's top envoy for Cyprus will begin a visit to Cyprus later this month in a bid to achieve resumption of Cyprus peace talks, UN sources in New York have said.

    UN chief, Kofi Annan, had a meeting Tuesday in New York with the envoys of the five permanent members of the Security Council, who assured him of their support towards UN efforts to revive negotiations aimed at ending the division of Cyprus, it was reported.

    Diego Cordovez, appointed by Annan last year as his special advisor for Cyprus, who was present at the meeting, will begin a visit to the island on March 17, UN sources said.

    Cordovez will fly on to Athens on March 23 and Ankara on March 24, before traveling to Geneva on March 26 to brief envoys appointed to follow developments in the protracted Cyprus problem.

    The former Ecuadorean Foreign Minister had last summer brokered the UN- sponsored direct talks on Cyprus between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in the US and Switzerland, which ended in a deadlock.

    The talks have been on hold ever since, pending elections which resulted in the February re-election of President Clerides.

    The Cyprus radio reported today that Cordovez will convey letters from the Secretary-General to the leaders of the two communities urging them to participate in the peace talks aiming at a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    A majority of "deputies" of the 50-seat self-styled parliament of the secessionist entity in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, supported yesterday a proposal from Denktash that Turkish Cypriots should not take part in future talks, unless their pseudostate was recognised.

    Only Turkey recognises the puppet regime. The UN branded it "legally invalid" and called on all states "not to recognise" the self-styled entity, unilaterally declared in November 1983, and "not to facilitate or in any way assist the aforesaid secessionist entity."

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA AP/GP/1998
    1410: CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Russian envoy to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- Russian ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Mouradov, announced today his country's envoy for the Cyprus problem, Vladimir Tchizhov, will visit the island beginning of April.

    Speaking after meeting Interior Minister, Dinos Michaelides, Mouradov also said third countries should not become involved in bilateral relations between Cyprus and Russia.

    The ambassador said Tchizhov will visit Cyprus within the framework of Russia's interest to back efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Asked to comment on threats by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that he will not participate in peace talks, Mouradov said his country favours the continuation of the dialogue between the two communities of Cyprus.

    "This is the only way to find a fair solution," he said.

    Two rounds of UN-led peace talks were held last summer, which failed because of Denktash's refusal to negotiate after the European Union decided to open accession talks with Cyprus in March.

    Mouradov expressed Russia's view that "UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions should be implemented, as well as the two high level agreements between the two communities."

    He described the agreements of 1977 and 1979 reached between the leaders of the two communities, providing for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as the basis of a solution in Cyprus.

    Invited to comment on press reports that the US is exerting pressure on the Cyprus government to postpone the deployment of the surface-to-air missile system S-300 it ordered from Russia, he stressed the deal is legal in all respects.

    Mouradov said "Cyprus needs this defence system and this is why no pressure should be exerted and there should be no involvement in our bilateral relations."

    The S-300s were ordered by the Cyprus government in January 1997 and they are expected to be deployed later this year.

    "We have the right to develop such relations," Mouradov pointed out.

    Referring to his meeting with the minister, the Russian ambassador said they discussed a cooperation agreement in emergency situations, such as earthquakes and fires.

    "Cooperation between states in these fields is common and we believe it is necessary and will benefit the Cyprus Republic," he concluded.

    CNA MK/MA/GP/1998

    [05] Special coin for WWF

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The Central Bank of Cyprus announced the issue of a special coin commemorating the work of the World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF).

    The limited-edition coin depicts a green turtle (Chelonia Mydas) and will be available from March 23. The coinage was done at the British mint in England.

    Three thousand silver coins in presentation boxes will be available for 12.50 Cyprus pounds each, while another 3,000 copper coins will be available for one pound and eight cents (one Cyprus pound is about two US dollars).

    The sale and the acceptance of applications will start on Monday, March 23, and it can be done through commercial banks, post offices and the Central Bank of Cyprus.

    The Green Turtle (Chelonia Mydas) nests its eggs in the Akamas peninsula, at the westmost part of Cyprus, near the Lara and Toxeftra bay.

    The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) lists the Green turtle as an "endangered species".

    According to the IUCN, the annual number of green turtle nesting females in the entire Mediterranean could be as low as 325 - 375.

    Apart from Cyprus, they nest in very few other known locations. They depend on the beaches of Akamas for their survival in the Mediterranean.

    The international environmental organisation "Greenpeace" and many local environmental groups, such as the "Friends of Akamas", have launched a series of campaigns, demanding the protection of the area and its declaration into a National Park, thus providing full protection for the nesting sites.

    CNA DP/GP/1998
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