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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-11-22

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President - Interior Minister - Corruption charges
  • [02] President - Statements
  • [03] DIKO - elections

  • 2116:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President - Interior Minister - Corruption charges

    Larnaca, Nov 22 (CNA) -- The President has vehemently defended his decision to keep his Interior Minister while an inquiry into corruption allegations against the Minister is underway.

    The President also stressed that as long as he leads the country, he will not allow any of his ministers to be victimised without an impartial investigation and pointed out that no man can be prosecutor and judge at the same time.

    "We have followed an impeccable procedure after the submission of two reports on the allegations, one by the Attorney General and one by the Auditor General," the President said at Larnaca airport on his way to London.

    He said it was easy to level accusations against somebody but one has to look into these first.

    "As long as I am president, I am not going to allow any of my ministers to become a victim without an in-depth and objective inquiry," he stressed.

    His comments come only 24 hours after the cabinet decided to drop eleven charges relating to acquisition of wealth by improper means against the Interior Minister and order an inquiry into two allegations concerning the sale of a flat and the approval of files at the Immigration Department.

    The cabinet decision came under fire by political parties and the deputy who brought to the open the allegations, saying the Minister, Dinos Michaelides, should have been removed from office.

    Clerides rejected the minister's resignation, submitted on Friday. The President was also very critical of the tendency to air accusations through the media.

    "You cannot be prosecutor and judge at the same time," he said. Replying to questions, Clerides said the Interior Minister will retain its post but will not be exercising his duties while an inquiry relating to his ministry is going on.

    Ministers, he pointed out, do not resign just because there are allegations against them.

    Michaelides said yesterday he was fully satisfied with the cabinet decision.

    CNA MM/GG/1998

    [02] President - Statements

    Larnaca, Nov 22 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has stressed that as long as the current balance of power exists, the anti-aircraft missiles Cyprus has ordered are a must for the defence of the country.

    He also said this outlook can change only if the Turkish side is ready to discuss a reduction of forces and equipment.

    The President chastised the media for too much talk about the purchase of the Russian S300 SAM (surface to air missiles), saying this does not serve the national interest and stressing he would never reveal if and when the missiles arrive.

    He also dismissed press suggestions that his talks in Athens on Friday will focus on the issue of the missiles and stressed he feels under no pressure in connection with this issue.

    "The criterion (for the final decision) on the missiles has always been whether the missiles are needed for the defence of Cyprus," the President said on his departure for London.

    This criterion will change only if the Turkish side "declares it is ready to discuss reduction of forces and equipment."

    "As long as the present balance of power exists, the criterion for the need of the missiles continues to be valid," he stressed.

    Addressing himself to the press, he said "you must understand that you are not serving the national interest when you continue to busy yourselves with the issue of the missiles."

    "I will never tell you whether the missiles will come and when they will come," he pointed out.

    The President went a step further and warned the press that they are facilitating the work of foreign secret services which are trying to find out if and when the missiles will arrive in Cyprus.

    Invited to comment on his talks in Athens, Clerides said he feels "at ease and under no pressure" ahead of his Athens meeting.

    "I am not going to Athens to discuss the issue of the missiles," the President explained, noting that in Cyprus there is the impression this is the purpose of his visit to the Greek capital.

    He told the press that there is not only a lot of talk about the missiles in Cyprus but also an obsession with them.

    He said he availed himself of the opportunity of being in Patres, Greece, to give a lecture at the University and requested a meeting with Greek Premier Costas Simitis.

    "The Athens meeting was not set up to discuss the issue of the missiles," he added.

    Commenting on press reports about a letter by Greek Foreign Minister suggesting to find ways to postpone indefinitely the arrival of the missiles, the President was categorical "Mr. Pangalos' letter (Greek FM) does not include the word missile or (military) equipment."

    "The letter refers to the stalemate in the Cyprus question and notes the need for the international community and in particular the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to try and break the deadlock which the Turkish intransigence has created," he explained.

    Tomorrow Clerides will address a conference on Cyprus organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry in cooperation with the Confederation of British Industries to promote investment in Cyprus.

    While in London he will have a meeting with Britain's envoy for Cyprus and European Union presidency representative Sir David Hannay.

    "Sir David has asked to see me to brief me on his recent talks in Ankara with the Turkish government. The missiles will not be part of our discussions," the President said.

    On 28 and 29 November Clerides will be in the Greek city of Patres to inaugurate a memorial of two Greeks who were killed in Cyprus.

    CNA MM/GG/1998

    [03] DIKO - elections

    Nicosia, Nov 22 (CNA) -- Spyros Kyprianou was reelected to the presidency of the Democratic Party (DIKO) he has led since it was established more than twenty years ago.

    Following today's election conference, Spyros Kyprianou got 1.041 votes, against 187 of his opponent Michalakis Kyprianou and 133 the third candidate for the party presidency Nicos Papadopoulos obtained.

    Speaking after the election results were announced, Kyprianou, whose authority was challenged for the first time, said he was very pleased with the outcome.

    "What is important is that the electoral conference took place in a democratic atmosphere and I believe DIKO is the winner of this contest."

    He expressed the hope that those who did not vote for him would rally around him to help the party.

    CNA MM/GG/1998
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