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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-12-09

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Clerides - Missiles - EU meeting
  • [02] Turkish helicopter - Violation
  • [03] Cyprus - Israel
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 1020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides - Missiles - EU meeting

    Larnaca, Dec 9 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides today underlined that the political leaders' decision on the deployment of anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus still stands as the conditions set out for a possible postponement have not been met.

    Speaking on his departure for Vienna, where he will take part at meeting of the European Council with the applicant countries, President Clerides described press reports that efforts on the Cyprus question are focusing on the S300 missile system as an "exaggeration".

    Replying to questions on the Russian-made S300 surface-to-air missiles, President Clerides said that "there is a decision of the National Council, which stands for as long another decision is taken."

    The National Council is the President's top advisory body on the Cyprus problem comprising political party leaders.

    The President refrained from replying to a question on when the S300s will be deployed.

    Asked if US efforts on the Cyprus issue are focusing on the postponement of the missile order and if the Americans have put forward a relevant proposal, he said "the situation is being exaggerated."

    "The Americans and the Europeans told us their thoughts on this issue long ago, but it is very wrong to believe that we discuss the missiles issue every day," the President added.

    President Clerides also said that "they have not made a proposal, neither have we asked them to make a proposal, nor are we looking for excuses."

    The President reminded that he has written to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the issue, outlining the government conditions to cancel the S300 deal.

    The government has publicly said it would reconsider its decision on the missile system if talks for a Cyprus settlement begin and are on a good path or if a dialogue on the reduction of tension with an aim to the demilitarisation of the island gets underway.

    "If these conditions are met that would be fine, otherwise there is no purpose for us looking for excuses," Clerides said.

    The missiles were ordered in a bid to boost the Republic's air defence in case of a new Turkish offensive against the island.

    Turkey maintains a 35-thousand man strong army on the island since it invaded Cyprus in 1974, occupying 37 per cent of its territory.

    Asked whether the government would reconsider its decision on the S300s if the resolution expected to be approved this month for the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate supports his proposal for demilitarisation, the President said "this would not be sufficient."

    "It would not be satisfactory for the UN to say, as they have in the past, that there should be a reduction of arms within the framework of demilitarisation," he said.

    President Clerides pointed out that demilitarisation is not possible "because Turkey does not accept it".

    Replying to questions, he disagreed with the position supported yesterday by German Cyprus envoy Detlev Graf Zu Rantzau that the S300s are not sufficient for Cyprus' defence.

    "Our assessment is that Cyprus can defend itself and should defend itself if there is a new aggressive act," he said.

    Asked if he will be meeting UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in Vienna, the President said that for the time being no meeting has been arranged.

    "We have not asked for a meeting neither has the Secretary-General," he said.

    Tomorrow, President Clerides will attend a meeting of the Group of the European People's Party for heads of states of countries that have applied for European Union membership.

    The Cyprus Republic opened substantive talks for EU membership last month.

    President Clerides will take part on Saturday at a meeting of applicant countries with the European Council where, as he said, "we will be informed on EU decisions, followed by an exchange of views."

    President Clerides returns to Cyprus on Sunday.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1050:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Turkish helicopter - Violation

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- Cyprus' National Guard has protested to the UN Peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the violation of the cease-fire line by a Turkish helicopter yesterday.

    A Defence Ministry spokesman told CNA today that Tuesday morning a Turkish helicopter flew over National Guard outposts in Nicosia's eastern suburb of Omorphita.

    He added that the helicopter was over the outposts for about three minutes and was flying at a height of only 100 metres.

    UNFICYP mans the 180-kilometre long buffer zone across the island since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its northern territory in 1974.

    CNA FZ/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1110:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus - Israel

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- Cyprus honored Jews, born in internment camps in Cyprus between 1946 and 1948 when the island was a British colony.

    A special ceremony took place Tuesday evening in Tel Aviv for about 500 Jews, who were born on the island, which included a message from Israeli President Ezer Weizman and an address from Cyprus' Ambassador to Israel Euripides Evriviades.

    The honoured Jews were given a symbolic birth certificate to mark the occasion.

    In his message, read by the Assistant Director of the President's office, Daniel Meron, the Israeli President said "the 1916 Israelis, who were born in Cyprus symbolise the unique relations between the two countries and the two peoples."

    Expressing his fond memories from family holidays in Cyprus, Weizman said his recent visit to the island made him realise that "the human warmth and hospitality for which the Cypriots are famous has not changed."

    The President described the arrest of two Israelis, suspected of spying against the National Guard, as a "slight cloud" which appeared over bilateral ties.

    "I wish to state with complete responsibility, that what was done, as problematic as it may be, was not meant to harm Cyprus or its interests," the President said in his message.

    He expressed hope and confidence that "this cloud will not hover long on the good and close relations existing between us."

    Weizman also thanked the President of the Cyprus - Israeli Friendship Association, Prodromos Papavasiliou, who helped many interned Jews, and said he would be nominated Honorary Consul of Israel in Cyprus.

    In his remarks, Ambassador Evriviades said Cyprus contributed to the establishment of the state of Israel when the people of Cyprus helped thousands of Jewish survivors of the Nazi holocaust, detained and in need of help.

    He made a special reference to Papavasiliou's "dedicated and tenacious assistance" to the Jewish people and said Cyprus honours the Jewish people, who were born in the British internment camps from 1946 - 48.

    "We pay tribute to you and through you to the six million innocent victims of the Nazi holocaust," the Ambassador said and concluded "we urge you not to forget the plight of Cyprus, raise your voice for Cyprus and for justice."

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1430:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                          89.97 (-0.52)
    
          Traded Value            CYP 2,297,521
    
          Sectural Indices
    
          Banks                   CYP   608,022     103.97 (-0.36)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP    32,033      59.38 (-0.45)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   550,261      68.66 (-0.54)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP    49,243      86.68 (-1.06)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   144,438      67.63 (-1.44)
          Trading Companies       CYP   175,597      43.75 ( 0.00)
          Other Companies         CYP   121,035      82.85 (-0.40)
    
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA EC/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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