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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-07

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Yugoslavia - US soldiers - Mission
  • [02] Cyprus - Turkish threats - Varosha
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Kasoulides - Kyprianou's mission to Yugoslavia
  • [05] Chief negotiator - European Parliamentarians
  • [06] Kyprianou - Departure - Belgrade - US soldiers
  • [07] Cyprus - Milosevic ceasefire offer
  • [08] House President - Athens - Belgrade

  • 1445:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Yugoslavia - US soldiers - Mission

    Nicosia, Apr 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus is confident that it will succeed in its mission to secure the release of the three US soldiers who were captured last month by Yugoslav forces.

    House President, Spyros Kyprianou, announced here Wednesday that he will be going to Belgrade this afternoon, via Athens, on a humanitarian mission, to meet President Slobodan Milosevic and conclude an arrangement for the release of the three prisoners.

    Speaking to reporters, Kyprianou announced that "after some informal consultations which have lasted for some days," he will be leaving for Belgrade this afternoon.

    Following "some exchange of messages with President Milosevic, the objective of this trip is to prepare the ground and in fact conclude an arrangement, with regard to the release of the three US prisoners", the House President said.

    Kyprianou revealed that he will "bring them back to Cyprus and will give them to the American authorities".

    Noting the purpose of his mission "is purely humanitarian", Kyprianou said "it is something that nobody should object to".

    He specified that although there is not yet a final arrangement, the exchanges have been "very constructive so far and the indications are that this mission will succeed."

    Kyprianou expressed the hope that "this gesture will help pave the way for peaceful developments and make the climate better for anyone who is going to take a serious initiative for a political solution to the problem (of Kosovo)".

    The House President said he had discussed and conveyed to the US the purpose of his mission and "requested a ceasefire of bombings and hostilities for at least 24 hours so that I can conclude my mission and bring the three prisoners to Cyprus".

    Kyprianou said Yugoslavia is a country which Cyprus has always had very close relations especially within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement.

    "Also, the US, despite the fact that we disagree on the Cyprus problem and other issues, is a very friendly country, and we rely on the US to assist for a solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework of resolutions of the UN".

    The House President said "we consider it our duty to help as much as we can", noting the government will "not get involved in negotiations for a political solution" and that the involvement is based only "on humanitarian grounds".

    However, he said if Milosevic asks Cyprus to become involved in the political settlement, "then I shall see how we can handle it and we can discuss".

    Kyprianou said he will be leaving Cyprus this afternoon at 1600 local time (1300 GMT) and from Athens he will board a plane which will be provided by the Greek government.

    Asked whose initiative the mission was, Kyprianou said it was his idea. "It was just a thought I had in the beginning, as a Cypriot, and not necessarily as a politician," he said, pointing out however that he is going to Belgrade as President of the House of Representatives.

    CNA EC/MCH/1999

    [02] Cyprus - Turkish threats - Varosha

    Nicosia, Apr 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus protested to the UN General Secretariat threats by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to illegally settle Turkish occupied Varosha (Famagusta) with refugees from Kosovo.

    Government Spokesman Costas Serezis today appeared satisfied with the result of the protest and even though he did not reveal its content he assured that there should be no concern over the Turkish threats.

    "The Cyprus government has made representations to the UN General Secretariat, which brought results. The results are satisfactory to us," Serezis said.

    The spokesman refrained from replying to a question if the government has assurances that Varosha will not be illegally settled, but said "the government is satisfied in all aspects."

    Noting that "there is no reason for concern", he pointed out that the Security Council five permanent members back resolution 550 of 1984 which "considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible."

    Serezis said Denktash's threats are "part of the policy he always follows and he is now playing his game taking advantage of the crisis in Yugoslavia."

    Denktash said he will propose to bring Albanian refugees from Kosovo to settle illegally in hotels in Varosha belonging to Greek Cypriots who were forced to flee their homes after the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Varosha, the new town of the southern coastal town of Famagusta, was a thriving tourist resort before the Turkish invasion. Today, it has been turned into an abandoned "ghost town".

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Apr 7 CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                        119.53 ( 3.23)
          Traded Value            CYP 6,413,308
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 3,359,439     150.91 ( 3.73)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   120,886      73.21 ( 4.11)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    33,115      76.95 ( 1.41)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   236,469      95.72 ( 2.19)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   296,003      83.76 ( 1.47)
          Trading Companies       CYP   200,358      50.68 ( 3.56)
          Other Companies         CYP   171,198      84.60 ( 1.04)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MCH/1999

    [04] Kasoulides - Kyprianou's mission to Yugoslavia

    Nicosia, Apr 7 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said today that the Cyprus government will provide every assistance to the President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, in his mission to Yugoslavia aiming at the release of three American soldiers.

    Kasoulides wished Kyprianou "success" and expressed hope that he will "return with the three American soldiers", who were captured recently by Serb forces.

    He said that if Kyprianou returns from his expedition with the captives, that will be "a very important development for Cyprus".

    Responding to questions, Kasoulides noted that the Cyprus government had not been asked to make this effort, but that it was a personal initiative by Kyprianou, who is also currently acting President, due to the absence of President Glafcos Clerides.

    Kasoulides also said that Kyprianou "has not requested approval from the US Administration, but just informed it" on his mission, adding that the House President is "not going to Belgrade to negotiate the release of the three soldiers, but to bring them back".

    The Foreign Minister said that Kyprianou has requested "safety in the skies for a period of 24 hours", so that he may arrive and depart safely.

    CNA AA/RG/MCH/1999

    [05] Chief negotiator - European Parliamentarians

    Nicosia, Apr 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus is making tremendous progress in its European Union (EU) accession process European parliamentarians have said.

    A delegation of the Bureau of the Socialist Group of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe who are visiting the island had a meeting this morning with Cyprus' chief negotiator in the EU accession negotiations, George Vassiliou.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, the leader of the delegation Terry Davis described it as "very interesting and very useful", adding Vassiliou briefed them on Cyprus' progress in the accession process.

    "We are very encouraged of what we have heard, it looks as if Cyprus is making tremendous progress", Davis pointed out.

    All members of the delegation were very sympathetic to Cyprus' application before their arrival to the island, he said, noting that after Vassiliou's briefing "we are still very strong supporters, perhaps even stronger".

    Davis described Vassiliou as a "realist" regarding the island's EU accession process, adding "we appreciate very much his honesty and openness with us".

    On his part, Cyprus' chief negotiator said he also discussed with the European parliamentarians EU's enlargement.

    The European parliamentarians also met today with Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides.

    Cyprus, along with Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic started substantive accession negotiations with the EU in November 1998.

    CNA GG/MCH/1999

    [06] Kyprianou - Departure - Belgrade - US soldiers

    Larnaca, Apr 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, left this afternoon for Belgrade via Athens, to try to secure the release of three US soldiers captured by the Yugoslav army.

    Speaking at Larnaca International Airport, he hoped his mission would be successful, because it would "help improve the situation regarding Kosovo, it would satisfy the American people who are concerned about the three prisoners of war, and it would be proof of Yugoslavia's wish to proceed peacefully".

    Kyprianou said "only a political solution could be found to the problem", adding that he would be meeting Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for talks.

    Responding to questions, Kyprianou said he had requested a 24-hour ceasefire, enough for his arrival, stay and departure from Belgrade.

    Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, who was present at Larnaca airport, said he was "optimistic" that Kyprianou's mission would end successfully.

    He said the Cyprus government "fully supports the mission" and that it would be in continuous contact with Kyprianou in Belgrade, "for anything he may need".

    Kasoulides said he himself had contacted the US and Yugoslav embassies in Nicosia, adding that the former welcomed the initiative, and that the latter had not put forward any preconditions for the handing over of the three US soldiers.

    CNA MAN/RG/GP/1999

    [07] Cyprus - Milosevic ceasefire offer

    Nicosia, Apr 7 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government believes the unilateral offer by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic for a ceasefire in Kosovo could contribute towards reaching a settlement to the crisis.

    The government position was outlined today by its spokesman Costas Serezis who reiterated support to a peaceful settlement to the crisis, under UN auspices.

    Invited to comment on the Yugoslav President's proposal, Serezis said "we consider it as positive".

    "If it is accepted the proposal could contribute towards a settlement of the problem, something that would satisfy all sides," the added.

    The spokesman said the government supports a peaceful settlement, the sovereignty of all countries and actions under the UN Security Council auspices and is against any change in borders.

    "At the same time though, we condemn any violations of human rights by any side," he added.

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [08] House President - Athens - Belgrade

    Nicosia, Apr 7 (CNA) -- House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, is in Athens awaiting to depart for Belgrade, where he is aspiring to pick up the three American soldiers, held by the Yugoslav forces.

    The Director of House President's office, Marios Karoyan, who is accompanying Kyprianou, told CNA on the telephone from Athens, that the House President would stay in the Greek capital overnight, and would probably travel to Belgrade tomorrow.

    Karoyan said due to tonight's scheduled NATO bombings, Kyprianou's safe passage to Belgrade could not be arranged for today.

    The Cypriot officials were in touch with the Greek Foreign Ministry and other parties involved.

    Later tonight, Kyprianou is expected to meet Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister, Yiannos Kranidiotis.

    CNA RG/GP/1999
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