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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-06-01

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] "Sunday Times" report "tendentious", says Greek FM
  • [02] No travel advice against visiting Cyprus, say British officials
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Kyprianou backs Euro-Med partnership
  • [05] Former US congressman awarded honourary doctorate

  • 1415:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] "Sunday Times" report "tendentious", says Greek FM

    Athens, Jun 01 (CNA) -- Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos described as "tendentious" a report in the "Sunday Times" over British plans in case of war in Cyprus, because of the deployment later this year of the Russian- made defensive missile system S-300.

    He said the report aimed at striking a blow to tourism in Cyprus, the island's biggest money earner, and revealed that Greek ambassador to Britain will ask the Foreign Office to clarify the whole issue.

    "I think the report was tendentious, aiming to exert pressure on the Cyprus government to cancel the deal", for the purchase of the S-300s, Pangalos said.

    He reassured that Greece will help Cyprus defend itself against a new Turkish attack, as provided for by a joint defence pact agreed by the two governments in November 1993.

    Pangalos said the "Sunday Times" report also aimed to "strike a blow to tourism in Cyprus" and noted "it is obvious that certain financial interests, using mean and deplorable methods, lie behind this effort."

    The Minister said the Greek ambassador to Britain was advised to visit the Foreign Office and ask for "confirmation regarding the official sources cited in the report."

    "If such a confirmation is not given, then it has to be dismissed by the same official sources," Pangalos said.

    The Cyprus government has repeatedly stated that the S-300 surface-to- air missiles will not be deployed if there is substantial progress over a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem or agreement for the island's demilitarisation.

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

    CNA KI/AP/MA/1998

    [02] No travel advice against visiting Cyprus, say British officials

    Nicosia, Jun 1 (CNA) -- British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, today said there is no travel advice to British tourists not to visit this eastern Mediterranean island.

    His comments echoed a statement by the Foreign Office in London today that said it sees no reason why British tourists should not visit Cyprus.

    Speaking after an hour-long meeting with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Madden disassociated efforts to settle the protracted Cyprus problem with a government decision to deploy the Russian-made defencive missile system S-300.

    He reiterated British disagreement with the deployment of the S-300 later this year, but reassured that Britain continues its efforts for a political settlement in Cyprus.

    Madden also clarified that his meeting with the Foreign Minister had nothing to do with an article published in yesterday's "Sunday Times", about a British contingency plan to airlift 250.000 people from Cyprus, citing fears over war if the S-300 is deployed.

    "That wasn't the main purpose of my call this morning," he said, noting that the meeting was arranged last week.

    The British High Commissioner pointed out that "contingency planning is one thing, risk assessment is another" and said that every defence ministry looks at contingencies around the world and sometimes at worst case scenarios.

    "Risk assessment is an entirely different matter and on risk assessment I should point out that we have not changed our travel advice for people planning to come to Cyprus," he said.

    Madden added that "we are certainly not advising people not to come to Cyprus and that is a consequence of our risk assessment."

    Replying to a question, Madden said the British High Commission in Nicosia has not made any suggestions to the Defence Ministry, noting that "their job is to look at possible scenarios."

    "We're not looking now just at Cyprus, this is a question of worldwide contingency planning," he added.

    Referring to the "Sunday Times" report, he said his view is that "quite a lot of the detail is fairly fanciful."

    Asked why the scenario leaked now and if this is an effort to pressure the Cyprus government over the S-300 missile system, Madden assured "this is not an effort to pressure anyone."

    The British High Commissioner reiterated his government's position, expressed since January 1997 when the contract to purchase the S-300 was signed, that "there was a risk that this might lead to increased tension on the island."

    Replying to questions he said he does not share the assessment that the substance of the Cyprus problem is being turned into a S-300 issue.

    "Obviously the Cyprus problem remains the Cyprus problem and we'll continue to work as hard as we can, in coordination with others, to try and bring about a political settlement and we continue to devote a great deal of effort and attention and energy to do precisely that," Madden stressed.

    Asked if he believes that such articles affect bilateral relations he expressed the "sincere" hope they do not.

    "I hope that the very useful discussion I've just had with the Foreign Minister will help ensure that it doesn't affect the relationship in any way," Madden added, noting that "the press writes what it wants to write."

    Meanwhile, in a statement to CNA correspondent in London, a Foreign Office spokesperson pointed out that "there are contingency plans for various parts of the world which change every now and again."

    "This does not mean we share in any way the interpretation that a war will break out in July or any other time in Cyprus," the spokesperson added.

    He said "the advice the Foreign Office gives to British citizens wishing to visit Cyprus has not changed" and added "we do not see any reason for them not to go there."

    "The Sunday Times report was not in any way inspired by the British government," the official said.

    On the S-300, the Foreign Office reiterated that Britain "recognises the right of any sovereign country to take measures for its defence its government thinks proper.

    But, at the same time, we did express to the Cyprus government the view that the missiles will complicate further the situation on the island and in the area."

    The Cyprus government has repeatedly stated that the S-300 surface-to- air missiles will not be deployed if there is substantial progress over a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem or agreement for the island's demilitarisation.

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

    CNA MA/KT/AP/1998

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jun 1 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    83,24 (-2,08)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  96,64 (-1,80)
    Approved Investment Companies          60,47 (-0,74)
    Insurance Companies                    61,72 (-2,28)
    Industrial Companies                   75,09 (-2,51)
    Tourist Industries                     68,32 (-0,60)
    Commercial Companies                   46,24 (-3,77)
    Other Companies                        68,56 (-5,30)
    Trading Volume                         1.077.150,91
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1998

    [04] Kyprianou backs Euro-Med partnership

    Nicosia, Jun 1 (CNA) -- Cyprus House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou today called on European and Mediterranean speakers to make the Euro-Mediterranean partnership a reality.

    Addressing a meeting of Speakers of the European Union (EU) and Mediterranean Parliaments, in Palermo, Italy, Kyprianou expressed full support to this partnership.

    He also referred to the protracted Cyprus problem, noting that the Turkish side's intransigent policy and the international community's double standards policy are to blame for the lack of progress in efforts to reach a peaceful settlement.

    "The Cyprus House of Representatives has always supported a dialogue and the exchange of views between the EU and Mediterranean countries at parliamentary level," Kyprianou said.

    He expressed the view that the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Forum is a correct step towards achieving this dialogue.

    Pointing out that Turkey is part of the Euro-Mediterranean process, the House President referred to the Turkish side's intransigent stance in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem noting it has led to the present deadlock.

    He said that the international community is also to blame for the deadlock, because "with its tolerance and stance it encourages Turkish policy" of ethnic cleansing in Cyprus and the Turkification of the areas of the island occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    "The international community's double standards policy is a provocation to our efforts for stability, peace and conditions of social and economic progress," Kyprianou added.

    He pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side is aiming at a unified state in Cyprus, whereas the Turkish side is seeking division.

    Kyprianou also described a proposal by the Cyprus government for the demilitarisation of the island as an "historic" decision affecting Cyprus and the Mediterranean.

    He stressed that the situation in Cyprus "is an anachronism and a blatant violation of the rule of law".

    "It is up to us, the people of the Mediterranean, to make the Euro- Mediterranean partnership process a reality, in order to achieve a better future, to create conditions of security for our citizens and the prospects of economic and social progress, peaceful cooperation and understanding," Kyprianou said.

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [05] Former US congressman awarded honourary doctorate

    Nicosia, Jun 1 (CNA) -- Former US congressman, John Bradimas, today stressed the importance of education, especially for small countries like Cyprus.

    Speaking at a ceremony at the University of Cyprus during which he was awarded an honourary doctorate of the Faculty of Humanity and Social Science, Bradimas stressed that "Cyprus must be well prepared for the next century and the next millennium".

    "That means educated people", he said, adding that the island's geographical position "means it faces both East and West which makes it liable to be a lively centre for international business".

    Bradimas called on the people of Cyprus to be ready and not overwhelmed "when the change comes".

    "In small countries that are poor in natural resources, such as Cyprus, in order to secure safety it is imperative to invest in brainpower and foreign capital", he added.

    Referring to the Cyprus question, Bradimas said that "Turkey must realise that a solution to the Cyprus problem would be in the interest of the nation (Turkey)".

    "A decision to solve the Cyprus problem is up to Turkey", he added.

    The former US congressman also said that the Cyprus problem is also an "obstacle" for better relations between Ankara and the European Union.

    "The normalisation of Greek and Turkish relations depends on a solution to the Cyprus problem", he added.

    Bradimas also referred to the security concerns of both the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, noting that they are important for a solution and that guarantees should be found.

    He described a Cyprus government decision to order the Russian-made S- 300 surface-to-air missile system, expected to be deployed later this year, as "a wholly understandable move".

    The American former congressman also called for renewal of contacts between the two sides in Cyprus, which were broken off last December after a decision by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill, party leaders, MPs, Church representatives and other officials were present at the ceremony.

    CNA MA/RG/1998


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