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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-03-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus expects UN chief to press Denktash
  • [02] CoE committee to examine cultural heritage destruction
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Cyprus considers accession talks start "historic"
  • [05] Minister addresses Cyprus Shipping Council meeting
  • [06] Party leaders stress need for pressure towards Turkey
  • [07] Austrian to lead negotiations with Cyprus
  • [08] EU-applicant countries negotiators meet in Prague

  • 1430:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus expects UN chief to press Denktash

    Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government expects UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, to point out to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, that the current situation in Cyprus cannot continue for ever.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, stressed today, that "ways should be found for effective pressures towards the Turkish Cypriot side to return to the negotiating table for a solution to the Cyprus problem."

    Replying to a question, Stylianides said the government expects the UN Chief to point out to Denktash, during their meeting in Geneva tomorrow, that "the Cyprus problem cannot remain unresolved".

    The UN Chief's special advisor on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, had said, Denktash asked to meet Annan to find how the Security Council reacts to his demand for recognition of the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    He also said the UN Security Council did not receive favourably Denktash's demand for recognition of his puppet regime unilaterally declared in 1983, in order to participate in talks for a resolution of the Cyprus problem.

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

    CNA KN/MCH/1998

    [02] CoE committee to examine cultural heritage destruction

    Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) -- The Council of Europe's (CoE) Committee of Ministers has decided to examine the continuing destruction of the cultural and religious heritage in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

    The move came after a series of official complaints by Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the CoE Thalia Petrides, at a time that the occupation regime threatened to turn an historic Armenian monastery in the north into a hotel.

    Petrides told the CoE's Committee of Ministers Wednesday it would be unacceptable if Europe remained silent on the continuing destruction and looting of the island's cultural, religious and historical treasures.

    Especially at a time when Europe is launching a cultural heritage campaign, she remarked.

    The Cypriot Ambassador went on to say that the cultural and religious heritage in the north were being deliberately and systematically destroyed.

    She pointed out this was part of Turkey's efforts to "eradicate the area's character and anything that marks the island's thousands of years of civilization, in order to prepare the occupied areas to be annexed by Turkey."

    Petrides reminded the Committee of recent Turkish plans to turn the Saint Makar Armenian monastery, situated near Halefka on the occupied north Pentadaktylos range, into a hotel.

    The monastery is a landmark holy place for the Cypriot Armenian community and Christianity in general.

    She also referred to the case of Turkish dealer Aydin Dikmen who was recently arrested in Germany for illegal possession of religious and archaeological art treasures which had been stolen from Cyprus' occupied north.

    Petrides asked the Committee to condemn all these acts and demand that they are immediately terminated.

    On his part, the Greek representative called for an international inquiry to assess the situation and prepare an action plan to help protect cultural heritage and restore it.

    Despite Turkish reactions, the Committee decided to continue examining the issue in order to finalise action to be taken by the CoE.

    According to press reports, the CoE Committee adopted a recommendation on how to promote the integrated conservation of historic complexes.

    These recommendations could apply to churches and other religious or archaeological monuments in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    CNA DA/AP/1998

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    88,41 (-0,02)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  99,06 ( 0,32)
    Approved Investment Companies          65,70 (-0,36)
    Insurance Companies                    66,34 (-0,03)
    Industrial Companies                   84,95 (-1,51)
    Tourist Industries                     78,46 ( 0,56)
    Commercial Companies                   54,77 (-0,04)
    Other Companies                        81,46 (-1,27)
    Trading Volume                         1.832.105
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1998

    [04] Cyprus considers accession talks start "historic"

    Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) -- The government hailed today the forthcoming start of Cyprus' accession negotiations with the European Union (EU), describing it as "historic".

    It also called on all political parties for unity and cooperation for a successful completion of the accession course and said it will keep a close eye on Turkish reactions related to the start of the Cyprus-EU accession talks.

    In a statement, read today by Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, "the government considers an historic event the forthcoming accession negotiations between the EU and the Cyprus Republic," and points out that as from March 30 "a new era starts for both the country's political and social life".

    "In this difficult course, the people of Cyprus will have the constant support of the Greek government and the whole political leadership of Greece, for which we are very thankful," it adds.

    The statement makes special reference to President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the Republic's negotiating team.

    This proves "the firm wish of the Cyprus government for the Turkish Cypriot community's involvement in this historic challenge," it stresses.

    The government expressed the conviction that the Republic's negotiating team has been adequately prepared even for the start of negotiations on a technical level, scheduled for April 3.

    It called on all Cypriot political parties for unity and cooperation to make Cyprus' historic objective of EU membership a success.

    The Spokesman said the government keeps an eye on Turkish reactions, in view of the start of Cyprus-EU accession talks and is facing the situation with restraint.

    The Government Spokesman dismissed Turkish allegations that the Cyprus question is being transformed into an EU-Turkey problem and stressed that it remains an international problem of Turkish invasion and occupation.

    The EU has decided to invite Cyprus for membership talks in the Union's first expansion into eastern Europe along with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Estonia.

    Turkey, smarting at not being included in the envisaged expansion, threatened to unite with the occupied north of Cyprus if the EU went ahead with entry talks with the Cyprus government.

    Cyprus applied for EU full membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    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/MCH/1998

    [05] Minister addresses Cyprus Shipping Council meeting

    Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) -- The President and the government of Cyprus are determined to support the shipping industry and maintain it as a major service industry, Minister of Communications and Works, Leontios Ierodiaconou said today.

    Ierodiaconou was addressing the 9th Annual General Meeting of the Cyprus Shipping Council (CSC), which took place in Nicosia today.

    Present at the open session of the Meeting were also the President of the House, Spyros Kyprianou, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Nicos Rolandis, the Greek Ambassador to Cyprus, Kyriakos Rodoussakis, and Members of the Parliament.

    Ierodiaconou expressed his confidence that "Cyprus can maintain its competitive position in international shipping, even after the island's accession to the European Union (EU) and overcome hostile actions, such as the Turkish embargo".

    The Minister of Communications and Works referred to the recent appointment of additional marine surveyors and inspectors, which, he said, has strengthened the flag state control considerably.

    The results are already obvious, he noted, pointing out that the number of Cyprus ships detained on account of deficiencies in 1997 decreased by 7 to 12 per cent, compared with those in the previous year.

    Ierodiaconou reassured the island's shipping world that the government will try to maintain shipping incentives even after Cyprus' EU accession.

    On his part, CSC President, Juergen Hahn, said in 1997 the Council's attention was focused on two major issues; the improvement of the Cyprus Maritime Administration's image and the island's accession to the EU.

    Hahn conceded that recent measures by the government of Cyprus have contributed to the improvement of the image of the island's flag; he called however, for accelerated measures.

    Hahn pointed out the CSC is seeking a close co-operation with the House and the island's political parties in an effort to improve the image of the Cyprus Maritime Administration.

    CNA GG/MCH/1998

    [06] Party leaders stress need for pressure towards Turkey

    Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides briefed today party leaders on recent developments in the Cyprus problem, which will also be discussed at a National Council meeting on Thursday.

    Speaking after the briefing, political leaders reiterated the need for pressure by the international community towards Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, to abandon their intransigent position in efforts for a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    Ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISI) party leader, Nicos Anastasiades, said the situation regarding the breaking of the deadlock in efforts for a Cyprus solution is expected to clear in the next fortnight.

    Anastasiades referred to efforts on the part of the US and the European Union (EU) and said they concerned both the Cyprus problem and the question of Turkish Cypriot participation in the Cyprus-EU accession talks.

    He also stressed that the illegal entity, unilaterally declared in the northern Turkish-occupied part of the island in November 1983, will not be recognised by the UN despite the demand of the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Main opposition left-wing AKEL party Secretary-General, Demetris Christofias, stressed a dialogue for a Cyprus solution "should be bi- communal as expressed in UN resolutions" and pointed out that UN Secretary- General, Kofi Annan, should make this clear to Denktash.

    He also said he expects the UN Security Council to take measures against Denktash's demand for the recognition of his puppet regime.

    Pointing out that Ankara is responsible for Denktash's intransigence in efforts for a Cyprus settlement, Christofias said the US should turn their attention in the direction of Turkey and press her to assist efforts for a solution.

    President of the House of Representatives and leader of centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO), Spyros Kyprianou, sounded pessimistic, noting that "what would be desirable cannot be spotted in the horizon."

    Pointing out that Turkish intransigence continues, Kyprianou said the UN chief should adopt a firm position concerning Denktash's demand for recognition of his pseudostate.

    Socialist EDEK party leader, Vasos Lyssarides, said a Turkish attack on Cyprus, if the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles are deployed on the island, would cause a Greco-Turkish war.

    Lyssarides was speaking at Larnaca airport, shortly before departing for Athens earlier today where he will have meetings with Greek political leaders.

    New Horizons' leader, Nicos Koutsou, stressed the need for new ways to cope with the new Turkish foreign policy, which as he said, aims at the recognition of two separate states in Cyprus and at hindering Cyprus' course of accession to the EU.

    Meanwhile, United Democrats leader George Vassiliou, briefed by President Clerides earlier this week, stressed the need for a common strategy to combat Turkish intransigence.

    CNA MCH/AP/1998

    [07] Austrian to lead negotiations with Cyprus

    Brussels, Mar 27 (CNA) -- An Austrian official, Leopold Maurer, will lead the European Union delegation in talks for the accession of Cyprus to the Union.

    The accession process for Cyprus and other five European countries will be formally launched during a ministerial meeting on Monday, March 30, in Brussels.

    Meanwhile, British European Union presidency sources, stressed, here today, they will continue efforts for the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the talks, despite the negative stance adopted by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash.

    Between April and the end of the summer, EU officials will be meeting with applicant countries in groups, the sources said, describing these meetings as more of an instructive character.

    The applicant countries will be separated into two groups. the first will be made of the favoured six: Cyprus, Poland, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia and the Czech Republic.

    The second group will include Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

    In September, there will be separate meetings with each one of the applicant countries and efforts will be made to locate fields where there are difficulties or problems.

    The meeting on Monday, between the EU Council of Ministers and the 11 applicant countries will have a ceremonial character.

    The speaking order will be as follows: the Presidency will address the meeting first, followed by the Commission and then by the Ministers of both the member and applicant states, who wish to intervene. Finally, the Presidency will make some remarks to bring the meeting to an end.

    On Tuesday, March 31, there will be individual intergovernmental conferences beginning with Cyprus. Hungary, Poland, Estonia, the Czech Republic and Slovenia will follow.

    CNA NB/MCH/GP/1998

    [08] EU-applicant countries negotiators meet in Prague

    Nicosia, Mar 27 (CNA) -- The heads of the delegations of applicant countries for European Union (EU) membership met today in Prague to discuss ways of cooperation and exchange information on matters of common interest.

    The meeting, of the representatives of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Estonia, took place at the Czech Foreign Ministry, in view of the start of accession negotiations with the EU on March 30.

    Cyprus was represented by chief negotiator in talks with the EU, George Vassiliou, former President of the Republic and United Democrats leader.

    Vassiliou stressed both during his meetings with the Czech Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister, as well as during a joint press conference given by the chief negotiators of the six applicant countries, that Cyprus' course to the EU is entirely independent from the peace talks for a Cyprus settlement.

    CNA MCH/AP/1998
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