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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-03-13

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

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


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Cypriot Minister on EU membership talks
  • [03] Green welcomes Clerides' proposal
  • [04] British to exercise on Akamas despite local reactions
  • [05] National Guard dismisses claims on "shooting incident"

  • 1600:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    86.44 ( 1,29)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  97,39 ( 0,24)
    Approved Investment Companies          65,94 ( 1,57)
    Insurance Companies                    64,50 ( 3,61)
    Industrial Companies                   83,10 ( 1,83)
    Tourist Industries                     79,79 ( 5,61)
    Commercial Companies                   49,40 ( 3,54)
    Other Companies                        75,99 ( 2,52)
    Trading Voulume                        1.655.915
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1998

    [02] Cypriot Minister on EU membership talks

    London, Mar 13 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has expressed optimism regarding the outcome of the island's European Union (EU) accession talks, scheduled to start March 31.

    Kasoulides warned, however, the EU course would have its "ups and downs".

    He was speaking to the press after the Cyprus government proposal on the Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU accession talks was submitted to the British EU presidency in London yesterday.

    Kasoulides said the Turkish Cypriot participation is welcome, and expressed the view that if the Turkish Cypriots accept the proposal, the settlement of the Cyprus problem would be easier.

    He said a mixed team made up of representatives from both communities of the island would mean a number of issues dividing its people for many years have been overcome.

    The Cypriot Minister added this would also have a positive impact on the bicommunal talks, which have been going through an impasse.

    Kasoulides clarified that the Cyprus government submitted its proposal on the Turkish Cypriot participation, only when it received assurances on three issues:

    First, the accession talks will take place between the EU and the Republic of Cyprus.

    Second, the Turkish Cypriot participation should not, in any way, lead to the direct or indirect recognition of the bogus state in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

    Third, the participating representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community should not oppose the island's EU accession.

    The EU's views on the issue were in line with those of the Cyprus government, Kasoulides noted.

    Replying to a question on the S-300 surface-to-air missiles expected to be deployed in Cyprus later this year, Kasoulides said the government's position was that this issue was not irrelevant to the island's political problem.

    The Foreign Minister expressed the view that the EU should not relate Cyprus' accession with the missiles issue, saying "this would be counter- productive".

    "We consider the EU accession as an important issue but the reunification of the island, the security of its people" and the protection of Cyprus' international personality as an independent state are even more important, Kasoulides pointed out.

    CNA KT/GG/GP/1998

    [03] Green welcomes Clerides' proposal

    London, Mar 13 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has made a good offer to the Turkish Cypriots, concerning their participation in Cyprus' delegation for accession talks with the European Union, and now it is up to them to show the same goodwill and accept it.

    This was stressed here today by the leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament Pauline Green, adding that she is very pleased that President Clerides has made an "open offer" which allows the full involvement of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Speaking to the London Greek Radio (LGR), the British Labour Euro MP said clearly the details will have to be worked out, noting that it is important that the Turkish Cypriots themselves have the opportunity to determine the details with Mr Clerides.

    "He (Clerides) has made a very good offer I think. It is now up to them (Turkish Cypriots) to show the same goodwill and openness and to accept it and I hope they will", she added.

    Invited to comment on objections and concerns expressed by France, Green said "what we are hearing is a lot of attempts to keep international pressure to move and to drive forward a solution."

    She reminded that the EU had made a statement to include Cyprus in the first six of the applicant countries and that "it would be quite unacceptable for anybody to ask that negotiations be frozen".

    Noting that after the formal opening negotiations will become bilateral between the EU and each country, Green said Cyprus will be negotiating individually and that it would be hardly conceivable to her if the Union froze negotiations.

    "That would be completely counter-productive anyway to pursuing a solution for the Cyprus problem which, in my view, if it has any hope of success must run parallel with negotiations of Cyprus to join", Green remarked.

    Referring to Turkey, she said that dealing with cross border crime, drugs and common problems of the environment is very important and that she would be "very surprised and very disappointed" if the Turks are saying that such issues are not worth talking about.

    "If they are serious about wanting to become full members of the EU this will be an ideal opportunity for them to begin that process", Green said.

    The socialist leader expressed the hope that the Turks will realise that they have missed an opportunity and come back in the European Conference.

    Describing the Turkish rhetoric in the last few weeks with regard to Germany as "completely unacceptable", she said it is a very strange position for a country that is trying to be a member of the EU.

    "So, I hope that for the value of all of us, including the Turkish people, they will come and at least join in some of these discussions and the door is open to them", she added.

    Asked about the meeting of the European Socialists which took place in London on the eve of the European Conference, Green said it was an "extremely good meeting" with representatives of the 35 Socialist, Social Democrat and Labour parties from around the European Union.

    She mentioned that the meeting was joined by all colleagues, including Cyprus' socialist party EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides.

    The largest group in the European Parliament will meet annually to take stock of progress on EU enlargement.

    Furthermore, the group will set up a working team on enlargement, which will bring together the 35 parties and "look at practical steps on how we encourage progress."

    She said a European Socialist delegation will begin a series of study visits to all the applicant states, including Cyprus.

    "So that is a very lively and exciting new dimension to our work in the Party of European Socialists," Green concluded.

    CNA KN/GP/1998

    [04] British to exercise on Akamas despite local reactions

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- British military exercises on the western Akamas peninsula, scheduled for late March, are in accordance with the 1960 Treaty of Establishment, spokesman of the British Bases in Cyprus, Mervyn Jones, told CNA today.

    British infantry soldiers using live ammunition will exercise on Akamas between March 23 and 27, contrary to fierce reactions by local environmentalists who plan peaceful protests in this environmentally sensitive area during the exercises.

    Asked by CNA to comment on the scheduled exercises the British Bases spokesman said "it must not be forgotten that the Bases, under the terms of the 1960 Treaty Establishment, have the right to train for up to 70 days of the year on the Akamas."

    Jones pointed out that existing Treaty Agreements entitle the British Forces to train on the Akamas, noting "we would wish to continue to do so until such time as a suitable alternative has been found."

    To a question whether negotiations to this direction with the Cyprus government have been showing any progress, he said "we continue to be in discussion with Cypriot authorities with a view to an alternative training area to that on the Akamas."

    "But that eventuality does not arise in connection with the training for the week after next," he added.

    He explained that an alternative area has been suggested and is being looked into by both the Republic and the Bases Authority, at Melanda, west of the Episkopi Garrison.

    Jones clarified that a very small part of Melanda is within the sovereign British Bases with the remainder being in the Cyprus Republic.

    Under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus, which gained its independence from British colonial rule, Britain has retained two military Bases on the island.

    Asked to comment on local press reports suggesting that it has been decided that the western area of Paramali will be the alternative training location, Jones said this area "continues to be a very small infantry training area which we have been using for very many years."

    He noted that Paramali is "totally inappropriate to our requirements for basic infantry training such as we do on the Akamas."

    The spokesman said at this stage the British Forces are planning to exercise between March 23 and 27 with the exception of March 25 which is a hunting day. Some 90 soldiers from Episkopi using hand-held infantry weapons will participate.

    "We continue to plan on this basis, having heard nothing to the contrary from the government of the Republic of Cyprus," he said.

    To a question about protests to be staged in the area by local environmentalists and other groups to prevent the exercises Jones said "we are clearly not insensitive to the issues surrounding the training."

    He stressed that these exercises with infantry weapons, causes absolutely minimal if any damage to the environment."

    He explained that up to several years ago British troops were only using 35 to 40 days a year and for the past two years that dropped down to about 20 to 25 days, noting that under the Treaty they are entitled to 70 days training.

    Several activities will be organized by the Co-ordinating Committee for the Termination of British Military Exercises on the Akamas next weekend.

    There will be a concert on Sunday, March 22 at the Toxeftra bay, along with a peaceful camping in the area over the weekend.

    in addition to this, political parties and environmental groups have decided to make representations on the issue to the British government and the House of Commons and to inform the European Parliament accordingly.

    A declaration by the Committee calls on the Cyprus government and the House of Representatives to maximise efforts for the immediate termination of British exercises on Akamas.

    The Akamas peninsula, situated on the western tip of Cyprus is considered to be of unique importance for its flora and fauna and for its beaches where the endangered species of Loggerhead and Green turtles hatch their eggs.

    CNA DP/AP/1998

    [05] National Guard dismisses claims on "shooting incident"

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The National Guard categorically denied this evening press reports that earlier today its troops opened fire on a Turkish occupation army military post in the southeastern Akhna area, situated near the Turkish-occupied coastal town of Famagusta.

    An official press release by the National Guard's Chief of Staff office said "the National Guard categorically denies Turkish claims that around 1640 local time (1440 GMT) shots were fired by a National Guard military post, in the Akhna area, on a Turkish military post."

    The announcement added that a thorough examination of the guns and ammunition carried by Greek Cypriot soldiers in the area has shown that "none of these guns were used."

    The National Guard said Turkish claims come as a distraction to an incident on March 1, when Turkish occupation troops fired two bullets on a National Guard military post, hitting its solar heater, in the nearby Dherynia UN-controlled buffer zone.

    "The National Guard has today protested to the UN for confirming the incident," to foreign news agencies, the press release concluded.

    CNA AP/KN/1998


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