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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-05

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President - US Ambassador
  • [02] Cyprus FM - SG - Missing persons
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Stolen icons
  • [05] Government Spokesman - S-300
  • [06] Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister - Cyprus
  • [07] Kranidiotis - Sir David - Athens visit
  • [08] EPP - Communique

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President - US Ambassador

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, has said his government is working seriously on Cyprus in line with UN resolutions.

    He also said a US report into the illegal import of American arms into Cyprus will be released soon to Congress.

    Speaking after a meeting here today with President Glafcos Clerides, Brill said he talked about a variety of things, such as bilateral issues and Cyprus.

    Asked if one should expect the UN to turn to Turkey for compliance with the latest UN resolutions (calling for a reduction of tension and resumption of a dialogue), Brill said "the US goes about its business in a serious way, we do not do our business in public."

    The US, he said, views the Cyprus issue as "a serious effort, and a serious issue needs to be dealt with seriously."

    "We are doing that, we are not trying to create headlines or anything else, we are trying to get on with the business of working on this serious issue," he added.

    Invited to say if it is feasible to expect a response from Turkey, he said "we are working as we said we would work, as the President said in the wake of the UN Security Council resolutions, we are working in line with this direction."

    The US ambassador was replying to questions from the press following President Clerides' widely-welcomed decision not to deploy Russian anti- aircraft missiles in Cyprus and his acceptance in full of the UN Council resolutions.

    Commenting on the arms report, Brill said it is "being worked on and when it is ready it will be released to Congress."

    Turkey launched its invasion against Cyprus in 1974 with the use of US- made weapons.

    Some 35.000 Turkish troops still occupy 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1999

    [02] Cyprus FM - SG - Missing persons

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- A meeting took place here today on the issue of persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, in preparation for talks between Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, and UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

    Kasoulides and Annan will meet on February 16, in New York. The Cypriot Minister will be accompanied by Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Takis Christopoulos.

    Present at the Presidential Palace meeting, presided over by President Glafcos Clerides, were the Foreign Minister, Attorney-General Alecos Markides, Christopoulos, and a delegation of the Joint Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons.

    After the meeting, which lasted about one and a half hours, Kasoulides said they reviewed developments in the missing persons' question, in view of his trip to New York.

    CNA has learned that during the New York meeting the Greek Cypriot side will request that the Investigative Committee for the Missing, set up by the UN in 1981, reactivate.

    It will also request that the 31 July 1997 agreement between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, on exchanging information on missing persons, be implemented.

    A spokesman for the Joint Committee of Relatives, Nicos Theodosiou, told CNA that for three years the UN Committee has not been convening and that its third member, Jean-Pierre Ritter, has not yet met with the Cyprus Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons, despite the fact that he was appointed six months ago.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory. A total of 1.619 people were listed as missing persons.

    CNA FZ/RG/GP/1999

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         106.62  ( 0.49)
          Traded Value            CYP 4,742,149
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 1,651,303     125.33 ( 0.85)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   343,806      69.44 (-0.46)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   563,273      79.31 (-0.58)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   313,026      98.95 ( 0.70)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   196,903      81.34 (-0.09)
          Trading Companies       CYP   643,473      50.81 (-1.17)
          Other Companies         CYP   175,186      88.76 ( 0.44)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA RG/1999

    [04] Stolen icons

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- The Church of Cyprus will examine the prospect of an appeal against a decision by a Rotterdam court concerning four icons stolen from the Turkish-occupied church of Antifonitis in the northern Kyrenia district.

    Cyprus' Honourary Consul to the Hague and Representative of the Church of Cyprus for Stolen Arts, Tasoula Hadjitofi, will come here next weekend to discuss ways of dealing with the case.

    The Rotterdam District Court accepted that the four icons came from the Turkish occupied church but ruled there was insufficient evidence to prove they had not been purchased in good faith by a Dutch couple.

    It also refuted an argument by the Cyprus Church that the icons should be returned on the basis of the Protocol to the Hague 1954 Convention regarding the return of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.

    Even though the Netherlands have both signed and ratified the Protocol, no law has been passed in Dutch civil law for its enforcement.

    Hadjitofi told the CNA that both Turkey and the Netherlands have signed this Protocol which says that in case of armed conflict the country which declares war (in this case Turkey) is obliged to protect the cultural heritage of the other country (Cyprus).

    According to the Protocol, Hadjitofi added, the Netherlands were also obliged to return the icons to Cyprus.

    "The four icons were purchased by a Rotterdam couple between 1976 and 1978 from an Armenian merchant who was not, however, a certified arts' dealer", Hadjitofi pointed out.

    "The Rotterdam couple paid some 85.000 Cyprus pounds (around 170.000 US dollars) in cash without receiving any receipt", Hadjitofi added.

    The case was dealt with under Dutch law only, which provides that the Rotterdam couple should be recognised as the owners unless proven by the Church of Cyprus that they did not act in good faith when purchasing the icons.

    The Church of Cyprus has three months to decide whether to appeal against the Rotterdam District Court decision.

    In a press release the Cyprus Holy Archbishopric describes as "ironic" for Cyprus and its people the fact that their cultural heritage is sold in international markets and they have to go through expensive and trying procedures to succeed in its return to its legitimate owners.

    CNA MK/MCH/RG/1999

    [05] Government Spokesman - S-300

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, stressed today that the decision to deploy the Russian defensive system S- 300 on the Greek island of Crete was a given fact, adding that the decision concerned Cyprus and Greece.

    Asked to comment on a statement by NATO Secretary-General, Javier Solana, that NATO had no official position on the deployment of the S-300 missiles on Crete, Stylianides said:

    "Why should there be a NATO position. The decision concerns Cyprus and Greece."

    Commenting on the decision by President Glafcos Clerides not to deploy the S-300 on Cyprus, Solana said yesterday it "contributes greatly to confidence building measures in the region", adding at the same time that "we need less weapons, not more weapons".

    Asked to comment on discussions between Cyprus, Greece and Russia on the issue of the deployment of the S-300, Stylianides said "we are still negotiating. When negotiations are concluded we will let you know".

    He also repeated that "issues of defence and security should not be discussed in public".

    Recent UN resolutions have criticised the level of armaments and foreign troops on the island and have urged both sides to take measures towards reducing tension in Cyprus.

    CNA MK/MCH/RG/1999

    [06] Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- Norwegian Deputy Foreign Minister, Aslaug Haga, will be visiting Cyprus from February 7 to 10 at the invitation of Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides.

    During her stay, Haga will be received by President Glafcos Clerides, and President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou, and will have official talks with Kasoulides at the Foreign Ministry.

    Haga will also meet with Cyprus' Chief Negotiator in talks for accession to the European Union, George Vassiliou, as well as with party leaders and representatives.

    The Norwegian Deputy Minister will visit the old city of Nicosia and the cease-fire line dividing the capital, accompanied by Nicosia Mayor, Lellos Demetriades.

    CNA MCH/RG/1999

    [07] Kranidiotis - Sir David - Athens visit

    Nicosia, Feb 5 (CNA) -- British Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, will not travel to Athens next week, as he had announced earlier when visiting Cyprus last month.

    Diplomatic sources told CNA that Sir David had postponed his trip for a more convenient time.

    Sir David visited the island on January 21 and on his arrival at Larnaca airport had a short meeting with Greek Foreign Undersecretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis, who was returning to Athens.

    After the meeting, Sir David told the press he was planning a meeting with Kranidiotis in Athens on February 9.

    A spokesman for the Greek Foreign Undersecretary told the press that Kranidiotis had no scheduled meeting with the British Representative for Cyprus.

    Statements made by Sir David on his arrival in Cyprus had caused the dissatisfaction of the Cyprus government and as a result President Glafcos Clerides refused to attend a working dinner held at the British High Commissioner's residence in Nicosia, also attended by British Ambassadors to Greece and Turkey and the British Representative for Cyprus.

    CNA MM/MCH/RG/1999

    [08] EPP - Communique

    Brussels, Feb 5 (CNA) -- The urgent need for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the exertion of pressure on Turkey for democratisation and respect of international law, were stressed today in the final communique of the European People's Party.

    The communique, adopted by the 13th Ordinary Conference of EPP, concluded tonight, says "further economic integration based on the Customs Union, will promote political cooperation with Turkey", but points out that:

    "The European Union should continue the pressure on the Turkish government in order to accelerate democratisation, improve the dialogue and cooperation, with use of peaceful means, for the settlement of conflicts, assure the protection of minorities, apply human rights and assure the compliance with international law."

    Underlying "the urgency of resolving the Cyprus conflict", the communique calls on the EU at the same time "to fulfil the obligation to Turkey to which it is committed under the Mutual Financial Protocol".

    The Conference focused on EPP's course in the 21st century, while issues such as "Agenda 2000", the social and economic policy of the EU, the Union's common foreign and security policy, as well as environment were also discussed.

    CNA NB/MCH/RG/1999

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