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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-17

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

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


  • [01] Britain to press on with T/C participation in EU talks
  • [02] Cyprus should join EU first, says Greek FM
  • [03] CNA signs agreement with ITAR-TASS
  • [04] Swedish delegation in Cyprus for talks

  • 1050:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Britain to press on with T/C participation in EU talks

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Britain will continue its efforts to persuade the Turkish Cypriots to participate in accession negotiations with the European Union, and expresses hope this can be achieved.

    "We still very much hope that it will be possible to fulfill the wish which has been expressed many times by EU member states to have Turkish Cypriots participating in the EU accession process," British High Commissioner to Cyprus David Madden said here today.

    Speaking after a meeting with the Commerce Minister, Madden acknowledged that public statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash leave little room to manoeuvre but underlined that Britain, which holds the EU rotating presidency, "shall continue to see that some substance is given to the wish of the EU that Turkish Cypriots are included in the accession process at some stage."

    Asked if this is possible, Madden replied "I hope so" and added that he would brief EU partners on his meeting Monday with Denktash.

    Replying to questions, Madden categorically dismissed press reports that the British government has sent a letter to the Swedish government concerning Russian missiles Cyprus has bought and intends to deploy later this year.

    "I can confirm there is no letter from the British to the Swedish government. I can say categorically there is no letter," he added.

    On his part, Cyprus' Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said this was the first of many meetings he will have with Madden to discuss bilateral trade issues.

    He also said he would be travelling to the UK, probably next month, and will continue his talks with Madden after his return.

    CNA MM/GP/1998

    [02] Cyprus should join EU first, says Greek FM

    London, Mar 17 (CNA) -- "It is absolutely natural for Cyprus to be the first country to complete entry negotiations with the EU", Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos has said.

    Speaking at the Royal Institute of International Affairs here last night, Pangalos stressed that Cyprus, not only fulfils the

    Maastricht criteria, but also has got some other advantages, such as its legal system and civil service.

    Regarding the Cyprus problem and the EU accession bid, the Greek Foreign Minister pointed out that "we cannot have doubled standards for Cyprus" and gave the example of Estonia, where there is a 30 per cent Russian minority.

    "The EU will not negotiate with any community, it will negotiate with the government", Pangalos said, underlining that in the case of Cyprus the EU must negotiate only with the Cyprus government.

    Pangalos described as "very generous" the proposal put forward by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, regarding the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the accession negotiations.

    "It wouldn't be acceptable to give the right of veto to the Turkish Cypriot community," Pangalos pointed out.

    The Greek Minister added that regarding the position taken by both Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, that Cyprus can enter the EU only when Turkey joins the Union, such an arrangement would be like holding Cyprus "hostage" to Turkey.

    CNA KT/RM/GP/1998

    [03] CNA signs agreement with ITAR-TASS

    Moscow, Mar 17 (CNA) -- The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS signed a cooperation agreement here today.

    The agreement was signed by CNA Director Andreas Christofides and ITAR- TASS Director General Vitaly Ignatenko.

    It provides, among others, for exchanges in the field of information as well as exchanges of visits of officials, experts and technicians between the two news agencies.

    The CNA Director praised the agreement, saying through it CNA looks forward to develop its relations with ITAR-TASS.

    Christofides said the agreement "reflects the excellent relations between Cyprus and Russia, in all fields."

    The ITAR-TASS Director General said the agreement "opens new roads" for cooperation between the two agencies.

    Ignatenko noted that relations between the two nations were being developed very quickly, in all sectors.

    The CNA Director invited Ignatenko to visit Cyprus. Christofides conveyed a similar invitation from Cyprus' Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides.

    Ignatenko accepted the invitation. The visit will be arranged later.

    CNA AC/GP/1998

    [04] Swedish delegation in Cyprus for talks

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- A Swedish delegation was due to arrive in Cyprus this afternoon for contacts with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides on the protracted Cyprus problem and the Republic's bid to join the European Union (EU).

    The delegation comprises State Secretary for EU affairs, Gunnar Lund, special advisor on Cyprus affairs ambassador Kaj Falkman, ambassador to Cyprus John Hagard, and Deputy Assistant Under Secretaries at the Foreign Ministry Ingrid Hjelt af Trolle and Anders Hagelberg.

    The Swedish delegation will meet Wednesday with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and head of the delegation that will carry out the EU negotiations George Vassiliou.

    On the same day, the Swedish officials will meet representatives of the Turkish Cypriot leadership and possibly Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Haggard, based in Tel Aviv, told CNA the purpose of the visit "is to stay in touch with the Cyprus issue, now highlighted by negotiations with the EU which start on March 31."

    Pointing out that Sweden is a member of the UN Security Council, he said "it is important for the sake of the issue at stake, that is to say for both communities, that we stay in close contact and we have first hand information."

    Haggard said it is "highly likely" that the State Secretary will raise the Cyprus government's decision to deploy the Russian-made S-300 surface- to-air missiles later this year.

    "It is an armament issue in a volatile situation and not conducive to calm the situation," he explained.

    The government ordered the S-300's in January 1997, in a bid to boost the island's air defences and has repeatedly said it would be used only in the case of a new Turkish offensive.

    Heavily armed Turkish troops remain on the island since they invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    Replying to a question, Haggard said that with the Turkish Cypriots they will also raise the issue of the Turkish occupation troops.

    Asked if they will encourage Denktash to return to the peace talks and allow Turkish Cypriots to participate in the accession talks with the EU he replied "absolutely".

    President Glafcos Clerides has extended an invitation to the Turkish Cypriots to nominate representatives in the team that will carry out the talks with the EU.

    However, the Turkish Cypriot leader has stated he will not participate neither in the Cyprus peace talks nor the negotiations with the EU unless his illegal "state", unilaterally declared in 1983 is recognised.

    Numerous UN resolutions call on member states not to recognise nor in any way facilitate the illegal regime.

    The Swedish delegation will also visit the cease fire line in the old part of Nicosia, accompanied by mayor Lellos Demetriades.

    CNA MM/MA/GP/1998
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