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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-26

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Video piracy fading
  • [02] US rejects Greek proposal
  • [03] Britain tries to persuade Turkish Cypriots
  • [04] US acknowledges impasse in Cyprus peace effort

  • 0900:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Video piracy fading

    Nicosia, Mar 26 (CNA) -- The fight to curb copyright theft in Cyprus has made great strides but there is still more to be done, Michalis Komodikis, president of the Cyprus Federation against Copyright Theft (CYFACT) has said.

    Outlining the work of the organisation since it was established in 1992, he said "piracy has been severely curbed but we still detect several cases and cooperate with the police to bring the culprits to justice."

    He told a press conference the courts do not impose strict enough penalties in spite of the fact that legislation provides for up to 2,000 Cyprus pounds fine and 1,000 pounds guarantee for two years. (one pound is about two US dollars)

    "The highest penalty was a 400 pound fine and 1,000 pound guarantee for two years," he said.

    Achilleas Demetriades, CYFACT legal advisor, pointed out the court decisions on piracy do not provide for the maximum of penalties and efforts have been made to raise those penalties.

    "A lot of work has been done, the police have helped in this but we still have a long way to go," Demetriades added.

    There are now 50 videoclubs operating in Cyprus compared with 391 in 1992.

    The number of existing cinemas is 34 whereas five years ago there were only 12 and cinema tickets sold in 1997 are nearly one million compared to just over 200,000 in 1992.

    CNA AA/MM/GP/1998

    [02] US rejects Greek proposal

    Washington, Mar 26 (CNA) -- The US has rejected a proposal by Greece for an agreement to create a no-fly zone over Cyprus guaranteed by the international community, such as a NATO force.

    "The US would welcome the establishment of a permanent moratorium of all combat aircraft overflights over Cyprus by Greece and Turkey as a serious effort to reduce tensions and build confidence," a US State Department official has told CNA.

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos had suggested that the US guarantees a no-fly agreement of Greek and Turkish aircraft.

    The State Department official said "we do not agree however that a no- fly enforcement regime that could potentially pit one NATO ally against another is the best way to accomplish this objective."

    CNA DA/MM/GP/1998

    [03] Britain tries to persuade Turkish Cypriots

    Nicosia, Mar 26 (CNA) -- Britain's High Commission (embassy) in Nicosia is in touch with the Turkish Cypriot leadership to encourage them to remain actively engaged in the search for a Cyprus settlement, British Foreign Minister Doug Henderson has said.

    At the same time, he expressed the wish that "the Turkish Cypriots will reconsider their refusal to take up the offer to participate in the delegation to the accession negotiations (with the European Union) made by President (Glafcos) Clerides."

    Replying to a question in the House of Commons by Labour MP Tom Cox, concerning British efforts to develop further links between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, Henderson said the British High Commission in Nicosia is also trying to persuade the Turkish Cypriots to cooperate with the Cypriot Government so that "the benefits of EU membership are available to all Cypriots, and to develop further links between Cypriots on both sides of the island.

    "We also cooperate closely with the UN and others to promote bicommunal contacts," Henderson added.

    Replying to a second question by Cox, the British official said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had expressed his views "very clearly," by refusing to take up the offer of Britain's Foreign Secretary Robin Cook to meet him in London this month.

    "We hope that the Turkish Cypriots will reconsider their refusal to take up the offer to participate in the delegation to the accession negotiations made by President Clerides," he said.

    He added this would allow the Turkish Cypriots to make clear their views to the EU side and also to understand fully the implications of EU membership, "including the very substantial benefits which would we believe, flow to the Turkish Cypriot community."

    Cyprus divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, applied for full EU membership in July 1990. It starts accession talks with the EU on March 30- 31.

    CNA DG/GP/1998

    [04] US acknowledges impasse in Cyprus peace effort

    Nicosia, Mar 26 (CNA) -- US ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, said there is an impasse in the efforts to make headway towards a negotiated settlement in Cyprus but stopped short of actually admitting the peace effort is deadlocked.

    Brill also said the US considered a proposal by the Greek Foreign Minister for the prohibition of Greek and Turkish overflights in Cyprus by combat aircraft as "not very practical" but refrained from explaining the reasons behind this thinking.

    Speaking after a meeting here today with President Glafcos Clerides, he said he talked about "a lot of things across the board, and had a wide ranging discussion on issues of the day relating to Cyprus and bilateral relations."

    "I had a good discussion," he said, but avoided to disclose any details.

    Referring to Greece's proposal on overflights, Brill said "I can confirm that the issue was raised, it was an idea that came from Pangalos (Greek FM) and I guess this was his own initiation."

    The US ambassador said Pangalos raised the idea of an agreement on a ban of overflights with US or NATO guarantees at last week's meeting with his American counterpart and added "it did not seem very practical."

    He noted he had "no idea" what the governments of Cyprus and Greece said to each other about this idea.

    Replying to questions, Brill said he continued to believe in "quiet diplomacy" in the Cyprus peace effort and avoided any further substantive comment.

    Asked if now was the time for an American initiative on Cyprus to push the process forward, Brill said the US had been working away on the Cyprus issue for quite some time both directly and in its broader context.

    "Clearly, if you read the public positions of the sides, it seems there is a certain amount of logger-heads here and it is going to take some creativity and some energy to try and find a way through the current seeming impasse and that is where we are focusing our attention," he told the press.

    Asked if there is a deadlock, Brill replied "I used the term logger- heads and impasse" and indicated that there is always a glimmer of hope in the current situation.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said he would not attend future negotiations unless his breakaway state is recognised and have "state-to-state" talks with President Clerides.

    Denktash will meet UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on Saturday, in Geneva.

    UN Chief's special advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez, was due to meet today in Geneva, foreign governments' envoys on Cyprus, following his tour of Cyprus, Greece and turkey.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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