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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-23

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Britons - Car accident
  • [02] Central Bank - Inkombank - Licence revocation
  • [03] Cyprus - UN resolutions
  • [04] British Premier - Cyprus - UN resolution
  • [05] Schussel - Cyprus - UN resolutions
  • [06] Greece - Cyprus - UN Resolutions

  • 1430:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Britons - Car accident

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- Three British nationals were killed in a car accident this morning in the southern town of Limassol. A fourth Briton was seriously injured.

    Police identified the three victims, who died instantly, as Walter Mildred Stella, 51, Frank Jones, 53, and Judith Diana Jones, 50.

    The driver, Troy Edward Carl, 31, was seriously injured. He was taken to the town's general hospital.

    According to Police, their car crashed into a tree, early in the morning, in a Limassol street.

    CNA RM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1440:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Central Bank - Inkombank - Licence revocation

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- The Central Bank of Cyprus has revoked the banking business licence it granted to Inkombank on July 20, 1993, an official press release issued today says.

    The revocation took place on November 18. The Central Bank's decision comes after the revocation on October 29 of a similar licence the Central Bank of Russia had granted to the same bank in that country.

    Based on the licence the Central Bank of Cyprus had granted to Inkombank in 1993, the latter had set up an international banking unit (IBU) branch on the island.

    The island's Central Bank has granted so far 34 business licences for IBUs.

    CNA GG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1530:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus - UN resolutions

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- The government considers two UN resolutions on Cyprus approved by the Security Council yesterday as positive and said they offer new prospects to efforts for a settlement to the protracted Cyprus problem and the reduction of arms on the island.

    "The Cyprus government considers these two resolutions as positive because we believe they create some hopeful prospects regarding efforts to open the road on the core issues of the Cyprus problem, but mainly for the reduction of all armaments with an aim to the demilitarisation of the island," Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told a press conference today.

    He made special reference to the Russian stance at the UN Security Council which assisted the unanimous adoption of the two resolutions.

    Kasoulides called a press conference to comment on the two resolutions, regarding the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (1217/98) and on Kofi Annan's good offices mission here (1218/98).

    The Foreign Minister underlined that "we know the Turkish side well and we know the history of the Cyprus problem, but at the same time we have the obligation to take any opportunity, when it is created."

    Kasoulides said the Greek Cypriot side has to "work positively and constructively whenever the chance arises, hoping it will bear fruit."

    Efforts to settle the Cyprus problem reached a stalemate after the Turkish Cypriot side, in defiance of UN resolutions, demanded recognition of the illegal regime unilaterally declared in the areas of the island occupied by Turkey in 1974.

    Referring to resolution 1217, the Minister welcomed the reaffirmation that "a Cyprus settlement must be based on a single citizenship, with its independence and territorial integrity safeguarded and comprising two politically equal communities as described in the relevant Security Council resolutions, in a bicommunal and bizonal federation."

    Kasoulides pointed out that this reaffirmation is important in view of the Turkish side's demand for a confederation of two states in Cyprus.

    Regarding resolution 1218, Kasoulides noted that the Security Council requests the UN chief to work intensively with the two sides for a settlement in Cyprus and the reduction of arms, and does not restrict itself to urging the two sides to work to this event, as in previous UN resolutions.

    He pointed out that for the first time it calls upon the two sides to show compliance with these objectives, cooperating fully with the Secretary- General.

    Commenting on a statement issued by US President Bill Clinton with which he expresses support to resolution 1218, Kasoulides said "it creates some new hopes for 1999".

    He pointed out that the US President reiterates his willingness to work towards a settlement in Cyprus.

    Kasoulides acknowledged that similar statements were made by the US President in the past, but underlined that "in this statement he expresses the US government's will to take all necessary steps to support a sustained effort to implement UN resolution 1218."

    He added that similar statements of support are expected to be issued by Britain and other Security Council member states.

    The Foreign Minister refrained from commenting on the issue of the Russian-made S300 defence missile system ordered by the government, noting it will be discussed tomorrow at a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus question.

    Asked if the government position on the S300 has changed in view of the two UN resolutions approved, Kasoulides said the official position will be outlined tomorrow.

    He said the two resolutions, the content of discussions held in Athens between President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Premier Costas Simitis and Clinton's statement will be put before the political party leaders.

    The government has said it would reconsider its decision to deploy the defence missile system if substantive negotiations on the Cyprus issue get underway or if talks on the reduction of tension and arms, leading to demilitarisation, begin and are on a good path.

    CNA MCH/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] British Premier - Cyprus - UN resolution

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his commitment to work for the implementation of Security Council resolution 1218 approved yesterday, requesting the UN chief to continue to make progress for the reduction of tension and a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus.

    In a written statement issued today, Blair stresses that it is important for all parties in Cyprus to avoid action which might increase tension on the island.

    "Britain is committed to working for full implementation of this resolution," the British Premier says, calling on all parties "to continue to cooperate with the UN Secretary-General and his Deputy Special Representative in a constructive and flexible manner and to secure progress on the issues it identifies."

    He adds that "it is particularly important that all parties avoid any action which might increase tension on the island, including through the expansion of military forces and armaments."

    Blair refers to an announcement made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on September 30th, for a UN process aimed at reducing tensions in Cyprus and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement.

    "We have been greatly impressed by the subsequent efforts of his Deputy Special Representative, Dame Ann Hercus, in support of this process and have welcomed the constructive approach taken by the parties," he adds.

    The British Premier underlines that "it is crucial that this process continue and that the momentum towards the objective set out by Kofi Annan on 30 September is maintained."

    "I therefore applaud and strongly endorse resolution 1218 passed by the UN Security Council on 22 December and setting out clear and far- reaching objectives for further progress and steps which will need to be taken to achieve this," he adds.

    Concluding, he says his government "wants to see a major, sustained effort towards securing a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus and will work itself, and with other permanent members of the Security Council, to give complete and whole-hearted backing to this effort."

    "The international community, as this resolution makes clear, shares this objective and will rally to this effort."

    The Security Council approved two resolutions on Cyprus, one for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peace-Keeping Force (1217) and a second on the Secretary-General's good offices mission (1218).

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

    CNA MA/RM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1630:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Schussel - Cyprus - UN resolutions

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- Austrian Foreign Minister and President of the European Union General Affairs Council Wolfgang Schussel today called on the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to cooperate with the UN for achieving progress in a settlement on the island and the reduction of tensions.

    In a statement issued after the Security Council adopted two resolutions on Cyprus yesterday, Schussel notes the constructive approach the two sides have taken so far in renewed UN efforts.

    The Security Council adopted resolution 1217 with which it renews the mandate of the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus for a further six months.

    A second resolution (1218) refers to the UN chief's good offices mission and requests Kofi Annan to work intensively with the two sides for the reduction of troops, armaments and tensions as well as progress in the core aspects of a Cyprus settlement.

    "I warmly welcome and strongly endorse resolution 1218... aiming at further progress towards a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus and a reduction of tensions on the island," Schussel says.

    He adds that "we fully support the efforts so far deployed by Dame Ann Hercus, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Cyprus, and hope that she will pursue them further."

    The Austrian Foreign Minister notes with satisfaction "the constructive approach taken by both sides towards these UN efforts."

    Hercus began separate meetings with the two sides in October and she told a press conference on Sunday that she was genuinely encouraged by the positive and constructive approach displayed by President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Schussel called on the two sides to continue to cooperate with the Secretary-General and Hercus "with a view to achieving tangible results in the areas identified in resolution 1218."

    "In this situation," he concludes, "it is of great importance that all parties observe utmost self-restraint and avoid any action which could increase tensions."

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

    CNA MA/RM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1845:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Greece - Cyprus - UN Resolutions

    Athens, Dec 23 (CNA) -- Greece believes the two resolutions on Cyprus adopted yesterday by the UN Security Council and statements made by world leaders raise hopes that the international community is willing to take up responsibilities for the enforcement of international law in Cyprus.

    Greek Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos said today that Athens is satisfied with the resolution (1217) for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus for a further six-month period and a second resolution (1218) regarding the Secretary-General's good offices mission in Cyprus.

    In a written statement, he said they "prove not only that the international community is interested in the Cyprus issue, but also that the Security Council has realised the dangers from the continuation of the problem."

    Pangalos said it is the first time the Security Council uses such strong wording and gives concrete instructions and directives which proves that "it is determined not only to reduce tension in the short-term, but also to substantively tackle the crucial issue of security and move decisively towards the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    He added that one of the resolution addresses the basic parametres of the Cyprus issue, making it clear that proposals put forward by the Turkish side, for the establishment of a confederation of two states on the island are not accepted.

    Resolution 1217 reaffirms that a settlement must create a single sovereign state, with one international personality and citizenship, within a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

    Pangalos said there is only one state in Cyprus and underlined that the situation imposed through the use of force cannot be accepted.

    Turkey invaded the island in 1974, occupying 37 per cent of its territory, and continues to maintain a 35-thousand strong army in Cyprus, in defiance of numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of all troops.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said he will not participate in peace talks unless his illegal regime unilaterally established in the occupied areas is recognised. Only Turkey recognised the puppet state.

    Referring to resolution 1218, the Greek Foreign Minister pointed out that it proposes concrete means for achieving progress on security issues, such as the two sides refraining from the threat or use of force or violence and a gradual reduction of troops and armaments on the island.

    He noted that this is in line with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the island's demilitarisation.

    The Greek Minister welcomed statements made today by US President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and European Union officials with which they express support to the UN resolutions and pledge to work for their implementation.

    "The Greek government expects their implementation with specific initiatives," he added.

    Pangalos said the resolutions and the statements by foreign leaders "create well-founded hopes that the international community appears ready to take up its obligation to enforce international law in Cyprus."

    He expressed the Greek government's readiness "to cooperate in a constructive spirit with the UN and the international community for the implementation of these resolutions."

    Replying to questions, the Greek Foreign Minister dismissed a comment that the resolutions contain only "verbal improvements" on previous UN resolutions on Cyprus, and said the "improvements are substantive".

    Asked about the deployment of the Russian-made S300 defence missile system ordered by the Cyprus government, Pangalos said the final decision will be taken by the Cyprus Republic's government and political leaders.

    The National Council, top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus issue, is meeting tomorrow to discuss the S300 issue in view of the Security Council resolutions.

    Noting that President Glafcos Clerides has already discussed this issue with the Athens government, he said "we will wait for the conclusions."

    However, he pointed out that this issue is also part of a joint defence pact agreed between the governments of Greece and Cyprus in 1993.

    "We are willing to help towards the direction. We will take decisions jointly," Pangalos added.

    He clarified that no decision has been taken for the deployment of the S300 in the Greek island of Crete, as press reports suggested. He added comments will be made if such a decision is taken.

    CNA KI/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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