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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cypriot scientist - AIDS
  • [02] Blair - Cox - Letter on Cyprus
  • [03] Spokesman - Buffer zone - UN
  • [04] Cyprus - Arab countries
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [06] Foreign Minister - US trip

  • 1515:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cypriot scientist - AIDS

    Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- Cypriot scientist Dr Leon Kostrikis and John Moore of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center in Manhattan announced that about 20% of African Americans carry a genetic mutation that puts them at six times greater risk than whites of being infected with HIV once they are exposed to the disease.

    The two scientists, interviewed by the American newspaper "Newsday", said that the defect is related to a cell receptor, called ccR5, that is used as an entryway for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

    They said that about 20% of African-descendant Americans carry the 356- T mutation, which somehow manipulates their ccR5 receptors in a way that makes them highly vulnerable to HIV.

    The researchers said that preliminary results of further study indicate that the mutation is also widespread in West Africa.

    Kostrikis found the 356-T mutation through genetic analysis of 1,500 babies born to HIV-positive mothers.

    About 250 of the babies were also HIV-positive and the majority of those who were infected were black and had the 356-T mutation.

    Research also indicated that although some Caucasians have mutations that protect them from infection by eliminating their ccR5 receptors, the beneficial mutation has not been seen in people of African descent.

    CNA DG/RG/1999

    [02] Blair - Cox - Letter on Cyprus

    London, Feb 12 (CNA) -- Britain continues "to believe that the best means of achieving a solution" to the Cyprus problem "is through the UN Secretary- General's mission of good offices".

    This statement is included in a letter of reply, dated Feb. 3, by British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, to Labour MP, Tom Cox, who at the beginning of January wrote to Blair asking what the British Government was planning to do on Cyprus.

    Blair said in his letter that he shared Cox's "frustration and that of Cypriot communities everywhere, that the tragedy of Cyprus's division continues, despite the many efforts, over more than 30 years, of the United Nations and the international community".

    "However, we continue to believe that the best means of achieving a solution is through the UN Secretary-General's mission of good offices, which enjoys our full support", Blair wrote.

    Blair added that he "strongly endorsed UN Secretary Security Council Resolution 1218, which was adopted on December 22, 1998, and which sets out clear and far reaching objectives for progress, towards a political settlement in Cyprus".

    "We are committed to working for full implementation of this resolution", he added, pointing out that he had "made it clear publicly that we want to see a major, sustained effort by the international community, towards securing a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus".

    "We therefore look to the parties to co-operate in a constructive and flexible manner with Kofi Annan and his Deputy Special Representative Dame Ann Hercus", he concluded.

    CNA KT/FZ/RG/1999

    [03] Spokesman - Buffer zone - UN

    Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- The government of the Republic of Cyprus has sovereignty and jurisdiction over the buffer zone, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides has stressed.

    He has also pointed out that the government has "no political argument with UNFICYP (UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus) over the status of the buffer zone."

    In a written statement, issued here today in the wake of recent problems of access to the buffer zone, Stylianides explained that "the UN is entrusted with the task of maintaining the ceasefire and dealing with security issues in the area."

    In the past ten days, there were problems between UN peace-keepers and Greek Cypriots seeking entry into the buffer zone for work purposes.

    "Any problems of a practical nature which may arise will be faced and resolved in a practical manner through consultations with UNFICYP, without affecting the status of the buffer zone. For obvious reasons, there cannot be uniform solutions to practical problems," the statement said.

    The spokesman also stressed that "UNFICYP should not be regarded as our adversary, for Turkey is our adversary. It is therefore better not to seek the solution of certain problems through the media as this is likely to affect the chances of settling problems in a practical manner."

    UNFICYP has been on the island since March 1964 when intercommunal strife between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities erupted.

    After the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern third, the UN force maintains the 180 kilometre long ceasefire line.

    CNA MM/RG/1999

    [04] Cyprus - Arab countries

    Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said here today that Cyprus has not in any way downgraded its diplomatic and political relations with the Arab world.

    "We maintain very good relations with the Arab countries, have diplomatic ties with them and try to promote trade links to the best of our ability," Stylianides told his daily briefing, in response to press suggestions that Cyprus has neglected its ties with the Arab world because of its European orientation.

    The spokesman acknowledged that Cyprus' strategic goal is its European course, stressing at the same time that "the government believes that its new relations with Europe should be based on our historical and traditional ties with the Arab world and the countries of the Middle East."

    "We believe we should increase these ties," Stylianides added. Invited to comment on US press reports about Israel's defence cooperation agreement with Turkey, the spokesman said the Government is monitoring developments and is trying through diplomatic means to deal with any painful surprises.

    "What we are interested in is to form a kind of political framework in such a way that certain new alliances do not affect us in a negative manner, " he noted.

    He said Cyprus is also entering into similar alliances to promote its own national interests in a constructive manner.

    He recalled that President Glafcos Clerides had expressed to his Israeli counterpart Ezer Weizman some concerns about his country's military agreement with Turkey during Weizman's visit here last November.

    CNA MM/RG/1999

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         118.32  (-4.60)
          Traded Value            CYP 11,098,286
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 6,602,511     147.06 (-6.47)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   739,430      80.11 (-3.52)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   290,647      79.77 ( 1.33)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   253,814      96.02 (-1.48)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   182,772      78.24 (-3.29)
          Trading Companies       CYP   638,194      55.08 ( 1.01)
          Other Companies         CYP   179,763      88.88 (-0.98)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA RG/1999

    [06] Foreign Minister - US trip

    Nicosia, Feb 12 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides leaves Saturday for New York via London for meetings with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    Kasoulides will be accompanied by Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs Takis Christopoulos and the Director of the Minister's Office Minas Hadjimichael.

    The Minister is scheduled to have a meeting with Annan on Tuesday morning and hold talks with Albright on Wednesday in Washington.

    Christopoulos told CNA that humanitarian issues will be raised at the meeting with Annan and said that it will be pointed out that the 1997 July 31 agreement on the issue of missing persons must be implemented.

    The agreement, which has run into trouble because of Turkish demands, calls for the exchange of information on the location of graves and the return of remains to relatives of missing persons whose death is established.

    While in the US, Kasoulides is also expected to see American Senators and Congressmen and meet with leaders of the Greek American community.

    Christopoulos returns home next weekend but the Minister and the Director of his Office are expected back at the end of the month.

    CNA MM/RG/1999

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