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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-12-31

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN Secretary-General - S300
  • [02] Greenpeace - "Haifa Chemicals" - Mediterranean
  • [03] Kranidiotis - Interview
  • [04] President Clerides - New Year Message
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 0920:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN Secretary-General - S300

    Nicosia, Dec 31 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, welcomed President Glafcos Clerides' decision not to deploy Russian-made defensive system S-300 on the island and reiterated his full commitment to on-going "shuttle talks" on the island undertaken by his Resident Representative.

    A statement attributable to the UN Chief's Spokesman stresses that "the Secretary-General was very glad to hear President Clerides' decision not to deploy S-300 missiles on Cyprus".

    It also describes Clerides' decision as "tangible positive response to Security Council resolutions 1217 and 1218" and "to the appeal to both parties to avoid any actions which might increase tension, including by further expansion of military forces and armaments".

    The two most recent UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus reiterate "grave concern at continuing excessive levels of military forces and armaments in the Republic of Cyprus" and the "lack of progress towards any significant reduction of foreign troops" and stress the "importance of eventual demilitarisation".

    A 35.000-strong heavily armed Turkish force occupy the northern part of Cyprus for more than 25 years, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus.

    Concluding, the UN Secretary-General "reiterates his full commitment to the initiative which he took on September 30, 1998, to ask his Deputy Special Representative, Dame Ann Hercus, to begin a process of on-island talks with both aides with a view to reducing tensions and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement".

    President Clerides announced on Tuesday night his decision not to deploy the S300 surface-to-air missiles in Cyprus and instead to negotiate with the Russian government their possible deployment in the Greek island of Crete.

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis welcomed President Clerides' decision.

    The United States, Britain, the Austrian Presidency of the European Union, France and Germany have welcomed President Clerides' decision not to deploy the missiles in Cyprus.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998
    0930:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Greenpeace - "Haifa Chemicals" - Mediterranean

    Nicosia, Dec 31 (CNA) -- "Haifa Chemicals" must scrap its latest dumping permit and declare that it will not dump even one drop of toxic sludge in the Mediterranean beyond 1998, the environmental organisation Greenpeace urges in a press release.

    The claim yesterday by the fertiliser producer "Haifa Chemicals" that it will stop sea dumping toxic sludge by the end of this year is "absurd", Greenpeace argues, because "the company is still insisting to keep the latest official permit to dump an addition of 10.000 tons of toxic sludge until March 1999".

    It underlines that an appeal by the department of sea and coast in the Ministry of Environment against this permit did not change the decision and this means that there is no guarantee that the company will not use the permit to the fullest.

    According, to Greenpeace Mediterranean campaigner in Israel, Ofer-Ben- Dov, "we must not forget that the toxic sludge treatment implemented by the company generates waste that must be treated again or stored. The only real solution is not to produce waste in the first place".

    Greenpeace says that "during the past 13 years the US-owned company has dumped about 650.000 tones of toxic industrial wastes into the Mediterranean" while Greenpeace "has been campaigning against this practice since 1995".

    CNA DG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1300:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Kranidiotis - Interview

    by Costas Iordanides

    Athens, Dec 31 (CNA) -- Greek Foreign Undersecretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis has assured that the decision not to deploy Russian S-300 anti- aircraft missiles on the island does not undermine a defence agreement between Cyprus and Greece.

    In an interview with CNA, Kranidiotis stressed that Greece "secures and guarantees Cyprus' defence and promotes the aspirations and interests of Greek Cypriots".

    He remarked that "spectacular steps have been made in recent years in the field of defence" and the Cyprus problem had been promoted in diplomatic fora in Europe.

    Stressing that the defence agreement between Greece and Cyprus goes beyond the S-300, Kranidiotis reaffirmed his country's commitment that "any Turkish offensive move against Cyprus is cause for war for Greece".

    Commenting on the prospects of deploying the S-300 surface-to-air missiles on the Greek island of Crete, Kranidiotis said it is in the framework of the joint defence pact agreed between Cyprus and Greece (in 1993). He stressed that the qualitative upgrading of Cyprus' defence capability had been decided.

    The Greek official described the decision not to deploy the missiles on the island as a "tactical move", adding that the decisive factor was to secure Cyprus' vested interests.

    Kranidiotis repeated that Greece stands for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem and pointed out that militarisation favours Turkey which aims at creating tension and disorientation from the real nature of the problem.

    "The first aim should be the implementation of the two recent UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and the use of their positive elements," Kranidiotis said.

    "The second aim should be the withdrawal of US-made arms on the island in violation of US legislation," he added, noting that they are in the possession of the Turkish occupation forces and stressed that Greece would press towards this goal.

    Kranidiotis underlined as a third aim "the promotion of Cyprus' accession course to the European Union," pointing out that "it is a catalyst in developments in the Cyprus problem".

    Concluding the Greek Foreign Undersecretary reaffirmed his country's determination to continue working hard for a solution of the Cyprus problem and stressed that "the Cyprus problem calls for greater national unity".

    CNA KI/MCH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1330:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] President Clerides - New Year Message

    EMBARGOED UNTIL 1800 (1600 GMT)

    Nicosia, Dec 31 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has called on the international community to act more decisively and to fulfil its responsibilities towards Cyprus by exerting its influence on the Turkish side to change its intransigent policy in efforts for a settlement on the island.

    In his New Year message, the President points out that the government goal for Cyprus' European Union (EU) accession is beginning to be realised with the opening of substantive talks.

    At the same time, he underlines the necessity for close cooperation with the government of Greece, describing Athens' support towards Cyprus as "valuable and irreplaceable".

    "One of the two basic targets of our strategy, our accession to the EU, is already beginning to be realised with substantive negotiations being carried out on an official level," President Clerides says.

    Cyprus opened substantive accession with the EU in November. He points out that the selfless support and practical help of Greece was and still remains vital for the achievement of this target. This was strengthened by the way the government handled accession and the Cyprus problem and the good situation of the island's economy.

    "However," the President adds, "our struggle continues to be difficult because of the intransigent stand of the Turkish side."

    The Turkish Cypriot side has been refusing to return to the negotiating table unless the illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974 is recognised and the Republic withdraws its application to join the EU.

    "The international community is called upon to undertake more decisively and dynamically and fulfill its responsibilities by exerting its influence on the policy in Cyprus of the Turkish side," President Clerides says in his New Year message.

    He adds that for this reason he is "making a public appeal to the international community to undertake fully the responsibilities falling on its shoulders for the prevalence of a permanent and just peace and stability in Cyprus on the basis, always, of the relevant resolutions of the UN, international law and justice."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has put forward a proposal for the establishment of a confederation of two states in Cyprus, that has been rejected by the government, the UN and the EU as it is contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    "A more decisive and dynamic stand on the part of the international community will give a new dimension to the catalytic role our accession course to the EU may play on the Cyprus problem," President Clerides says.

    He assures that the government strategy "has been and remains the only one that can persuade, encourage and help the international community exhaust all possibilities of effective involvement in the Cyprus problem" so that a settlement is reached.

    "In this very difficult period we are going through, especially valuable and irreplaceable is Greece's support to our struggle both for our security, in the framework of the Joint Defence Doctrine, and for the achievement of our two strategic objectives," the President says.

    A Joint Defence Pact agreed between the governments of Athens and Nicosia in 1993 stipulates that Greece will come to Cyprus' aide in case of a new Turkish offensive.

    Clerides reiterates that the government objectives are a just, viable and workable solution to the Cyprus problem through peaceful means and the Republic's accession to the EU.

    "Without the support of Greece our future would be bleak," President Clerides says, underlining that this is the reason for which cooperation between the two governments must be safeguarded. "We must go on deciding jointly with Athens on issues of vital importance not only to Cyprus but also to Greece," he adds.

    The President says that "the guide to our thoughts and actions must always be the protection and promotion of the interests of the Republic of Cyprus, without however harming or endangering, through lack of prior consultation and agreement with Greece, vital interests of the Greek Republic."

    He also says that Cyprus faces problems because it is a small state in an extremely sensitive geo-strategic area of the world and with Turkey as its neighbour.

    Clerides describes Turkey as "intransigent and threatening" and underlines that "until today it has not been faced by the international community in the way that international law and the relevant UN resolutions dictate."

    Stressing that Cyprus follows a policy of peace, he makes it abundantly clear that "if provoked or attacked we are ready to give everything to safeguard our freedom and our human and national dignity, however strong the enemy might be."

    President Clerides concludes his New Year Message on an optimistic tone, underlining that the people of Cyprus have suffered much in their 3000-year history but have always managed to survive.

    "We will survive this time as well, with unwavering determination, with endless patience, with the necessary political prudence and with the indomitable will to safeguard our future in the land of our fathers," he adds.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1420:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 31 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                          90.59 (-0.06)
    
          Traded Value            CYP 1,898,682
    
          Sectural Indices
    
          Banks                   CYP   776,372     106.28 (-0.32)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   129,601      58.39 ( 0.69)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   223,043      64.92 ( 0.43)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   176,561      86.14 (-0.10)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   157,479      70.35 ( 1.34)
          Trading Companies       CYP   183,797      40.61 (-0.07)
          Other Companies         CYP    54,165      81.59 ( 0.28)
    
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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