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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-06-15

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Vassiliou optimistic about Cardiff European Summit
  • [02] Government awaits Cardiff conclusions
  • [03] British PM's Spokesman on Cyprus - Turkey - EU - relations
  • [04] US Ambassador says, Cyprus a great business opportunity
  • [05] Constantopoulos: Actions blocking EU accession should be avoided
  • [06] Security Council to decide on content of resolution
  • [07] Government restrained in comment on NATO view
  • [08] Cyprus assistance to Afghan tremor victims
  • [09] AMAN General Assembly
  • [10] EU presidency to table draft on EU-Turkey relations

  • 1455:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Vassiliou optimistic about Cardiff European Summit

    Nicosia, Jun 15 (CNA) -- George Vassiliou, head of the Cypriot delegation in the accession negotiations with the European Union today expressed hopes the Cardiff European Summit will not lead to a negative development regarding the island's accession course.

    Speaking to the press after his regular meeting with President, Glafcos Clerides, Vassiliou said they focused on recent statements by the French presidency that a divided Cyprus could not join the European Union (EU) and the island's accession talks should be postponed.

    Vassiliou said during his recent visit to Paris both the French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine and the Deputy Minister Responsible for European Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, made it clear that Cyprus' accession course will continue.

    However, Vassiliou reminded that "France has repeatedly stated that Cyprus' EU accession cannot be achieved as long as the island remains divided".

    He clarified that as accession negotiations will last for around four years, "the issue at present is the continuation of the negotiation process and not accession itself".

    "I want to express the hope, not the certainty, that there will be no negative developments in our case (Cyprus' European course) today in Cardiff", Vassiliou said.

    At the same time, he pointed to the need of great caution in all moves with EU member states and the European Commission as well as efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    Commenting on a statement by a French Presidency, given the recent assurances by Vedrine and Moscovici, Vassiliou said the French President and the country's government do not necessarily share the same views, particularly regarding the country's foreign policy.

    "This results also from the fact that the country's President and Prime Minister do not necessarily come from the same political party", Vassiliou explained.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides expressed disappointment last Saturday with statements by French officials regarding Cyprus' accession course.

    CNA AA/GG/MCH/1998

    [02] Government awaits Cardiff conclusions

    Nicosia, Jun 15 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government will wait for the conclusions of the European Union summit before it makes any assessment.

    "There is a very intense coordination between Cyprus and Greece these days which is expected to iron out any negative development," Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides told his daily press briefing, today.

    Replying to questions, the Spokesman said the government does not have any information about the possibility of introducing amendments to the text of matters relating to Cyprus' accession course.

    "If there are any, we will evaluate them," Stylianides added.

    He said the government has already taken the necessary steps following a statement by a spokeswoman of the French Presidency, who indicated France might raise objections to the continuation of membership talks for Cyprus because the Turkish Cypriots are not participating in these talks.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has steadfastly refused to accept an invitation from President Glafcos Clerides to nominate representatives to participate in the accession talks as fully fledged members.

    CNA KN/MM/MCH/1998

    [03] British PM's Spokesman on Cyprus - Turkey - EU - relations

    by Kyriakos Tsioupras

    Cardiff, Jun 15 (CNA) -- Britain wishes to see Turkey's relations with the European Union move forward and stresses at the same time that no country can veto the agreement for EU accession negotiations with Cyprus.

    Responding to a CNA question, on recent statements by the French presidency in relation to Cyprus' accession course, British Prime Minister's Spokesman, Alistair Campbell, said, "we agreed back in spring about opening negotiations and these negotiations opened officially."

    "We do not recognise the right of veto to any other country and that includes Turkey," he pointed out.

    He also noted that "the Cyprus government made an offer for the participation of Turkish Cypriots in these negotiations which was regrettably not taken".

    "Obviously accession would be easier, if there were also parallel political talks", Campbell noted.

    A spokeswoman for the French Presidency said last week that a divided Cyprus could not enter the EU and suggested that accession negotiations should be suspended.

    Replying to a question on Turkey-EU relations, the Spokesman said after talks between Britain's Premier Tony Blair and the leaders of the member states it was concluded that "we must take these relations forward".

    He pointed out that this subject came up for discussion during the meeting British Prime Minister Tony Blair had last Saturday with his Greek counterpart Costas Simitis.

    "They were difficult discussions", he stressed, adding that "we will see how the whole subject will go this afternoon but I would not like to raise expectations beyond the low point".

    CNA KT/MCH/MM/1998

    [04] US Ambassador says, Cyprus a great business opportunity

    Nicosia, June 15 -- US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill expressed today satisfaction with trade and economic relations with Cyprus, pointing out that the island provides an important opportunity for business.

    Speaking after a meeting with Finance Minister, Christodoulos Chistodoulou, Brill expressed satisfaction with the way bilateral trade and economic relations are developing.

    He noted that American companies ask questions about Cyprus and stressed:

    "Cyprus is an important opportunity to do business, it is not just the Cyprus problem".

    He pointed out, however, that the Cyprus question, "is a long standing problem that affects regional instability and regional instability affects economy".

    The US "would like to see this prosperous quarter of the world with opportunities for American and Cypriot businessmen", he added.

    On his part Christodoulou said "there is an increasing interest on the part of US businessmen for investments, mainly through Cyprus, to the countries of eastern and central European countries".

    CNA AA/MCH/1998

    [05] Constantopoulos: Actions blocking EU accession should be avoided

    Nicosia, Jun 15 (CNA) -- Actions that might block the process of Cyprus' accession into the European Union (EU) should be avoided, leader of the Greek Coalition of the Left and Progress party, Nicos Constantopoulos, said here Monday.

    Towards this direction, he added, Greece and Cyprus should accordingly coordinate and plan their moves and initiatives.

    "They should plan and promote positive initiatives to avert any moves aimed at creating tension or blocking the accession process," Constantopoulos told the press after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides.

    Cyprus is going through a "delicate and critical period," he said, stressing that his party considers Cyprus' entry into the EU as a "strategic objective of significant importance."

    Peace and security along with a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem is to the strategic interest of both Greece and Cyprus, he added.

    The Greek politician expressed the conviction that Cyprus' EU membership will facilitate such a solution and strongly opposed any solution with an "expiry date" that might lead to partition of the island.

    "We believe the solution should be a bizonal, bicommunal federation of a united state with one sovereignty and one citizenship, giving emphasis on demilitarisation and protection of human rights," he stressed.

    Noting that the governments of both Greece and Cyprus should aim at preventing any tension that might block accession, Constantopoulos said his party had at times expressed skepticism over the deployment of the S-300 defensive missile system on the island.

    "We respect Cyprus' decision to bolster its defences", he said, pointing out however that in exercising its rights the Republic should reinforce EU accession procedures.

    The Greek Left Coalition leader will tomorrow meet with President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou.

    CNA GG/AP/MCH/1998

    [06] Security Council to decide on content of resolution

    Nicosia, Jun 15 (CNA) -- UN top envoy in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, said it is up to the Security Council to decide on the text of a resolution extending the mandate of the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    Speaking after a lunch the Cyprus Union of Journalists hosted for him today, on the occasion of his retirement at the end of the month, Feissel said the Council is expected to issue its resolution next week, extending UNFICYP's mandate.

    Asked if there will be a reference to the Republic of Cyprus in the resolution, as has been the case in the past, he replied "it is not for me to prejudge what the resolution will say" and suggested people should be patient.

    Replying to questions, Feissel repeated that the Security Council will decide "what it wants to write in its resolutions."

    He also indicated that talk about the absence or not of a reference to the Republic of Cyprus in the resolution is "a result of certain things that have been said on the Turkish Cypriot side."

    The Turkish Cypriot side has recently stepped up its demand for international recognition of its illegal regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, saying that it will not attend peace talks unless it gains recognition by the international community.

    The Turkish Cypriot side has also demanded to have "inter-state" talks and the withdrawal of the Republic's application for accession to the European Union before it returns to the negotiating table.

    The Security Council has recently reiterated its position that talks take place between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and many states, including the US, have repeatedly said the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime cannot be recognised.

    Feissel also appealed to the media to "play a more meaningful and constructive role to help stimulate dialogue and thinking about the Cyprus problem and how to proceed."

    "I think the press have a vital role to play in assisting them by stimulating thinking and dialogue," he said.

    CNA MM/AP/1998

    [07] Government restrained in comment on NATO view

    Nicosia, Jun 15 (CNA) -- The government today refrained from any comment on a statement by NATO Secretary-General, Javier Solana, that the Alliance is ready to discuss a proposal to guarantee Cyprus' airspace, if an agreement on a no-fly zone is reached.

    Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides also refrained from revealing whether the government would ask Greece to put forward such a proposal to NATO, since Cyprus is not a member-state of the Alliance.

    Stylianides pointed out that no information could be made public on the issue, in accordance with a National Council (top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus question) decision.

    Cyprus radio quoted Solana as saying that NATO would be ready to consider a proposal to guarantee the Republic's air space, should an agreement to establish a no fly zone be reached.

    The NATO chief spoke to Cyprus radio on the sidelines of a meeting of the Association of European Journalists', which ended Sunday in Warsaw, Poland.

    Solana was also cited as saying it would be a mistake to deploy in Cyprus the Russian-made S-300 defensive missile system, due to be delivered later this year, noting it would not contribute to stability and reduction of tension.

    The Spokesman reiterated that Cyprus would not deploy the missiles if sufficient progress towards a Cyprus solution is made or an agreement for the island's demilitarisation is reached.

    "These prerequisites are well-known to those they are directed at, who can play a role on this issue," he noted.

    CNA KN/AP/MM/1998

    [08] Cyprus assistance to Afghan tremor victims

    Nicosia, Jun 15 (CNA) -- Cyprus has sent financial aid to victims of the recent earthquakes in Afghanistan.

    Constantinos Eliades, Charges d' affaires of the Cyprus embassy in Moscow, handed 3,000 US dollars to Afghan ambassador there Abdul Wahad Assefi as a donation by Cyprus for the earthquake-striken people.

    Handing the money, Eliades said this symbolic amount is an expression of the sympathy, solidarity and friendship of the government and people of Cyprus for the victims of the recent earthquakes that hit Aghanistan, an official press release said.

    On his part, the Afghan ambassador thanked Cyprus for its friendly gesture on behalf of his country's President and people, and said the money would be used for the purchase of pharmaceuticals to meet the demands of the victims.

    CNA AP/MM/1998

    [09] AMAN General Assembly

    Limassol, Jun 15 (CNA) -- Cyprus will host a special seminar of the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN) next year, to be organised by the French News Agency (AFP) in cooperation with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

    The decision was taken here today by the General Assembly of the Alliance.

    CNA took over the one-year presidency of the Alliance from the Egyptian News Agency MENA.

    The seminar will take place on the 16-17 March, 1999 in Nicosia and will aim at the technological upgrading and the improvement of the editorial work of news agencies.

    During the discussion that took place today, reference was made to specific topics of the seminar, such as transmitting news reports via telephone lines and satellite, as well as on the Internet.

    Meanwhile, Mahmoud Ahmed, General Editorial Supervisor and MENA Deputy Editor-in-Chief, read the activities report of the Chairman of the Alliance and President and Editor-in-Chief of MENA, Mahfouz El-Ansari.

    Mohamed Amara, Editor-in-Chief of the Tunisian News Agency (TAP) read the financial report of AMAN's Secretary-General and said contributions to the bank account, opened last year in Tunisia by member-agencies, reached 24,000 US dollars.

    Three news agencies announced today their contributions to the fund, namely AFP (5,000 dollars), the Athens News Agency (ANA) and the Lebanese News Agency (NNA), each contributing 2,000 dollars.

    Furthermore, a working paper was presented by CNA on the MEDNEWS bulletin in Arabic and English, in a bid to strengthen cooperation among member-agencies, through exchanges of news items.

    CNA RG/MM/1998

    [10] EU presidency to table draft on EU-Turkey relations

    by Kyriakos Tsioupras

    Cardiff, Jun 15 (CNA) -- Britain, the current rotating presidency of the European Union, submitted today a proposal to redraft an earlier EU decision governing the Union's ties with Turkey, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said here today.

    Speaking at a press conference, Simitis said he objected to the proposal and pointed out that the EU should insist on the decisions it took at its summit in Luxembourg.

    The EU, Simitis added, should also be patient until such time that Turkey displays a better disposition towards the terms Luxembourg has laid down.

    Asked if the proposed British draft means a change in the principles governing the Luxembourg conclusions, the Greek Premier said this will emerge from the actual text, which the presidency will present tomorrow.

    Simitis also said that France has not raised the issue of Cyprus' accession negotiations.

    Last week, a spokeswoman for the French president said it would be difficult for the EU to accept into its ranks a divided Cyprus and indicated it may ask the EU to suspend membership talks with Cyprus until the Turkish Cypriots join the talks.

    The Turkish Cypriots have turned down an offer from Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides to participate as full members in the Cypriot negotiating team and instead the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community demanded that Cyprus withdrew its application for accession to the EU.

    CNA KT/MM/1998
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