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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-15

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Illegal immigrants - Compensated and deported
  • [02] Pauline Green - S-300 - Rapprochement
  • [03] Cypriot - Greek - Turkish - Left-wing parties
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Cyprus - Turkey - Violations - UN
  • [06] Trade union leader - Retirement
  • [07] Dame Ann Hercus - Buffer zone
  • [08] President Clerides - 1st Mediterranean Student Congress

  • 1600:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Illegal immigrants - Compensated and deported

    Nicosia, Feb 15 (CNA) -- The Republic of Cyprus has compensated 30 Nigerian illegal immigrants, for the treatment they received by the Police on October 23, 1998, while in custody at Larnaca Police Department.

    Attorney General, Alecos Markides, said the Nigerians, who were deported today on a chartered flight accompanied by 50 policemen and a doctor, were part of a group of illegal immigrants, against whom the Police used violence, during an incident at the Department.

    Speaking at a press conference, Markides said that the illegal immigrants received compensation of 300-1000 US dollars, totalling 10.000 CY pounds (around 20.000 US dollars) depending on the degree of mistreatment.

    Markides added that the Nigerians who accepted the compensation, signed a statement saying they were satisfied with the arrangement and had no other claims.

    The Attorney General said three Indians, four Nigerians and five Kurds remained on the island to testify in Court about the incident of October 23. The twelve aliens will be granted temporary residence and working permits until the end of the trial.

    Another five Indians, who have said they would like to return to their country, will depart from the island this week.

    Referring to the events of October 23, Markides said policemen had attacked and injured various persons but none of the victims were able to identify their attackers, who were wearing gas masks at the time.

    Markides said although no measures could be taken against the attackers, the chief of the operation, Police Lieutenant, Charalambos Mavros, would be taken to Court for not carrying out his duties, and may be sentenced to a maximum of two years in prison.

    He stressed, however, that this did not mean that Mavros was guilty.

    CNA FZ/RG/MCH/1999

    [02] Pauline Green - S-300 - Rapprochement

    London, Feb 15 (CNA) -- Pauline Green, leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, said that meetings between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and all those interested in a solution to the Cyprus problem, are helpful towards building trust and confidence.

    Talking to London Greek Radio (LGR), she also said that the decision of the Cyprus Government not to deploy the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles in Cyprus was a powerful step towards the demilitarisation of the island, and expressed hope that Turkey would respond positively.

    Commenting on a statement yesterday by European Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, that Cyprus has a right to expect a positive response from Turkey, after the decision not to deploy the S-300 missiles, Green said this was a "brave act".

    Asked if she shared this view, Green responded positively, adding that "anybody who is seriously interested in a solution to the Cyprus problem will realise that the cancellation of the S-300 was a really powerful step towards demilitarisation".

    Green said the decision was also "a clear perspective that the Government of Cyprus sees its vocation in Europe, and that the S-300s, whether right or wrong, were an obstacle to closer relations with the rest of Europe".

    She described the decision as a "brave act", which means that Cyprus "should expect those in Turkey, who are interested in a solution, to respond positively to that very positive message".

    Green expressed hope that "they (in Turkey) will respond positively". Asked about the yesterday's meeting in London between Greek, Turkish, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leftwing parties, Green said she has "always supported those parties and groups that come together to bring the communities closer together, because you can build trust and confidence".

    "I think yesterday's meeting was a very powerful statement", she said adding that "with Greeks and Turks, and Greek and Turkish Cypriots coming together, I think it is that sort of thing that has to happen and I was delighted to be able to be there".

    She said that "if Cypriot people and all those of good will, who really want a solution, are prepared to come together and talk and meet and discuss difficult issues, without aggression, then I think you are on your way to at least better understanding of each other's position".

    Green said she hoped that "this will spawn many other meetings of that sort.

    CNA RG/MCH/1999

    [03] Cypriot - Greek - Turkish - Left-wing parties

    London, Feb 15 (CNA) -- Six left-wing parties from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey have reconfirmed their support to a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions stipulating for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Representatives of the six parties met in London over the weekend to discuss the Cyprus question and exchange ideas on how to increase contacts between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    In a joint communique released today, the parties also express support to the gradual reduction of armaments and troops in Cyprus, leading to demilitarisation.

    The parties that participated were: Greek Cypriot AKEL, Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party and Patriotic Unity Movement, the Communist Party and the Left Coalition of Greece and the Turkish Freedom and Solidarity Party.

    The politicians agreed on a number of practical measures to increase contact between the two communities of Cyprus, that will be announced during a press conference to be held on the island.

    The two-day meeting ended on Sunday afternoon with an open event attended by Greek and Turkish Cypriots living in the UK. The politicians spoke to the audience and then replied to questions.

    Both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot politicians stressed the need for a settlement to the Cyprus problem based on relevant UN resolutions and high level agreements reached between the two sides in 1977 and 1979, providing for a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

    CNA KT/MA/MCH/1999

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 15 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         116.72  (-1.35)
          Traded Value            CYP 8,248,449
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 4,724,428     144.13 (-1.99)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   393,396      75.88 (-5.28)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   621,942      78.83 (-1.18)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   244,332      95.04 (-1.02)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   171,761      81.07 ( 3.62)
          Trading Companies       CYP   728,681      56.62 ( 2.80)
          Other Companies         CYP   218,782      88.61 (-0.30)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA RG/1999

    [05] Cyprus - Turkey - Violations - UN

    Nicosia, Feb 15 (CNA) -- Cyprus has denounced to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan the violation of its airspace by Turkish aircraft, an official statement says.

    The letter denouncing the violations which took place on February 4 and 8 has circulated as a paper of both the UN Security Council and the General Assembly.

    The letter stated that a Turkish military C-130 carrier entered the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR) on February 4, in violation of both the international aviation regulations and the island's airspace.

    The carrier landed at the illegal airport of Timbou in the north part of Cyprus which is occupied by Turkish troops.

    Four days later another C-130 entered the island's airspace and flew over the Turkish-occupied north-east peninsula of Karpasia.

    In its letter to the UN Secretary General, Cyprus protested strongly at the violations, saying they prove once again that Turkey defies international law, the UN Charter and recent UN resolutions on Cyprus.

    The violations came two months after the UN Security Council resolutions 1217(1998) and 1218(1998) calling on all countries to respect the independence and territorial integrity of the Cyprus Republic and avoid any acts which could dispute the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the island, the letter said.

    Turkey's acts constitute another example of Ankara's refusal to comply with the said UN resolutions, the letter noted.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA GG/MCH/1999

    [06] Trade union leader - Retirement

    Nicosia, Feb 15 (CNA) -- The Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO), one of the two main trade unions of Cyprus, today bade farewell to their Secretary General Avraam Antoniou who is retiring.

    Antoniou, who led the leftist trade union in the last nine years, is a House deputy of left-wing leading opposition party AKEL.

    He will leave his post as PEO's Secretary General on February 23 when the trade union's new leader will be elected.

    Speaking at today's farewell meeting, Antoniou said he was involved in the trade union for the last fifty years, adding that the last decade has been "productive and beneficial" to the island's working class.

    He pointed out that his retirement will not keep him away from labour, social and political developments.

    Addressing the meeting, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Andreas Moushouttas said the struggle for a better life for the working people, for which Antoniou himself has worked, will continue.

    On his part, the Secretary General of AKEL Dimitris Christofias pointed out that Antoniou along with his colleagues managed to keep Cyprus' labour movement of the left "united and strong".

    The ceremony was attended also by the leaders of other trade unions and the employers' organisations.

    CNA MEM/GG/MCH/1999

    [07] Dame Ann Hercus - Buffer zone

    Nicosia, Feb 15 (CNA) -- UN Representative in Cyprus, Dame Ann Hercus, stressed here today she did not accept that the risk of a UN peace-keeper's life was worth "a bunch of wild asparagus".

    Dame Ann told members of the Rotary Club of Nicosia, at a luncheon meeting at the Hilton Hotel, that "problems occur, sometimes very serious problems, when people enter the buffer zone without authority".

    She said that "people who do so, risk their own lives -and the lives of my soldiers", and stressed: "I do not accept the risk of a peace- keeper's life is worth a bunch of asparagus, a shot at a hare, or a political point".

    Dame Ann said there are "basic principles and very practical operational rules" applying in the buffer zone, where nearly 8.000 people live and another 2.000 go every day to work.

    She said that the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), has made every effort since 1974 "to encourage civilian activities and economic use of property by its legal owners, with as little restriction as possible".

    Wherever restrictions are imposed, it is done "for pretty obvious safety and security reasons", such as minefields and armed soldiers on either side, she added.

    The UN representative stressed that UNFICYP is present because it has been asked to and maintains the ceasefire with the consent and cooperation of both sides.

    Dame Ann said the buffer zone "is a temporary agreement, which does not prejudge a future settlement", and made clear that "the arrangements in the buffer zone are not about sovereignty, they are about safety and security for all, they are about preventing tension, or worse, renewed hostilities".

    Citing from a report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council of December 1976, Dame Ann pointed out that "in the area between the lines, the status quo (including innocent civilian activities and the exercise of property rights) is maintained, without prejudice to an eventual settlement concerning the disposition of the area".

    UNFICYP has been in Cyprus 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.

    Recently, there had been problems between UN peace-keepers and Greek Cypriots seeking entry into the buffer zone.

    The Cyprus Government reiterated that the Republic of Cyprus has sovereignty and jurisdiction over the buffer zone, and pointed out that the Government had no political argument with UNFICYP over the status of the buffer zone, as the UN is entrusted with the task of maintaining the ceasefire and dealing with security issues in the area.

    CNA RG/MCH/1999

    [08] President Clerides - 1st Mediterranean Student Congress

    Nicosia, Feb 15 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides urged "everyone, particularly young people, who have a deep belief in international law and human rights, which govern modern democratic societies", to assist in the struggle for the restoration of justice in Cyprus.

    Addressing the opening ceremony of the 1st Mediterranean Student Congress, organised by the Students Union of the University of Cyprus, President Clerides said "we are fighting today for the restoration of justice in Cyprus, based on the UN Charter, the UN resolutions and international law and order".

    He said "our aim is to achieve a solution of the Cyprus problem by peaceful means, the reunification of our divided island, demilitarisation, a lasting and just peace and cooperation once more with our fellow countrymen, the Turkish Cypriots, for the common good within the framework of the European Union".

    "In this way", he said, "we shall contribute to the stability and security of the wider south-eastern Mediterranean region".

    The Congress has attracted some 100 university students from most of the Mediterranean and some European countries, representing a variety of cultures, nations and civilisations.

    During the Congress, the students will participate in a number of debates and lectures on the European Union and the Mediterranean, the Mediterranean identity and civilisation, and the promotion of peace in the region.

    President Clerides expressed certainty that "new ideas" will come from the "thinking young people" participating in the Congress, which "will be useful to all of us".

    CNA RG/MCH/1999
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