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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-14

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Vassiliou - Finnish Representative
  • [02] Mouradov - Cyprus problem
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Moushoutas - Syria
  • [05] New Cyprus High Commissioner - Canada
  • [06] UNFICYP - 35 years on
  • [07] French Senators - Meetings

  • 1515:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Vassiliou - Finnish Representative

    Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) -- Chief negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the European Union, George Vassiliou, told Finnish representative for Cyprus, Jaako Blomberg, that the lack of progress in the Cyprus problem, for which Turkey is exclusively to blame, must not affect the island's accession course in any way.

    Speaking after a meeting here Wednesday, Vassiliou said that they discussed Cyprus' accession course and the lack of progress in the Cyprus problem.

    He said that the Turkish side is solely to blame for the deadlock adding that for this reason "this sort of issue should not become involved in the whole accession course".

    Referring to his meeting with Blomberg, Vassiliou said that in view of Finland presiding over the EU during the second half of 1999, "it wants to give special weight to the accession course" and would like to learn more about the issue.

    Blomberg, who was accompanied by Finnish Ambassador to Cyprus, Pasi Patokallio, will be received on Thursday by President Glafcos Clerides.

    Cyprus began accession talks with the EU in March 1998. It applied for accession to the European Community in 1990.

    CNA GG/RG/EC/1999

    [02] Mouradov - Cyprus problem

    Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) -- A senior Russian diplomat has expressed the view that all parties involved in efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem are working on UN Security Council decisions and a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    "We all accept this position," Russia's Ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Mouradov, said here today.

    Asked if all countries working for a resumption of the intercommunal dialogue agree on these parameters, Mouradov replied "I have not heard any country rejecting these decisions as a framework and a basis for talks on a settlement."

    The Russian Ambassador said different efforts by different countries agree on the need for a push for a just and viable solution and a discussion of the issue by the G8 group.

    Commenting on the ability of the UN to assist a Cyprus solution, taking into account the organisation's inertia in the Yugoslav crisis, Mouradov said "sooner or later, the Cyprus question will be dealt within the UN framework."

    "Any positive push by the G8 to the Cyprus peace effort will be very helpful," he added.

    Replying to questions, Mouradov declined to link the Cyprus question with the Kosovo crisis and said "these are two different international problems."

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA GG/MM/EC/1999

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         120.96 (-0.39)
          Traded Value            CYP 4,610,364
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,646,456     153.93 (-0.21)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   161,615      73.23 ( 0.22)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    20.100      75.80 (-0.16)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   145,960      93.39 (-1.62)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   366,340      85.10 (-0.62)
          Trading Companies       CYP   193,484      50.80 (-0.96)
          Other Companies         CYP   113,782      84.65 (-0.45)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MM/1999

    [04] Moushoutas - Syria

    Nicosia, Apr, 14 (CNA) -- Labour and Social Insurance Minister Andreas Moushoutas leaves today for Damascus, Syria, to finalise the initial text of a bilateral agreement on social insurance to be signed between Cyprus and Syria.

    The two sides had first met in Cyprus where they negotiated and drafted the initial text.

    Moushoutas, who is visiting Damascus at the invitation of his Syrian counterpart, will be accompanied by ministry officials.

    CNA RM/MA/1999

    [05] New Cyprus High Commissioner - Canada

    Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus' new High Commissioner to Canada, Erato Kozakou Markoulli, presented her credentials yesterday to Governor-General, Romeo LeBlanc, who expressed his country's support to efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    LeBlanc said that Canada will continue to support efforts under UN auspices to establish a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus.

    He also said that he takes "pride that, for more than 29 years, member of the Canadian Forces served in the United Nations peacekeeping operations in Cyprus", adding that "this direct involvement is part of the reason for our determination to help improve relations between the communities in Cyprus."

    Referring to trade between the two countries, he said that although it is "still modest", Canada "is well aware that Cyprus can play a significant role in importing and distributing goods and services in the region, that can go far beyond the limits of the island itself."

    Markoulli thanked LeBlanc for his country's support in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, and said that the island's objective "is the establishment of a viable and genuine bizonal and bicommunal federation, based on democratic principles and respect for human rights with provisions to meet the particular concerns of both communities."

    She added that "Cyprus' European Union accession process is viewed as a catalyst in the efforts towards a solution to the Cyprus problem, while membership itself would provide the best safeguard for the viability of a solution, affording increased security and prosperity for all Cypriots."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has been refusing to participate in talks to reach a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory in 1974.

    His precondition for talks to establish a "confederation of two states" has been rejected by both the UN and the Cyprus government as it is contrary to UN resolutions.

    CNA RG/MA/1999

    [06] UNFICYP - 35 years on

    Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) -- UN resident representative Dame Ann Hercus today said that the peace-keeping force here (UNFICYP) is "not part of the (Cyprus) problem, but part of the solution."

    Dame Ann said the Force has managed to maintain peace since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory, but expressed regret because "what has not yet been so successful on Cyprus is the peace-making."

    The chief of mission along with the civilian police commander, the chief civil affairs officer and the Force commander held a press conference to mark the 35th anniversary since the creation of UNFICYP.

    The Force, which numbers 1230 soldiers from 12 countries, was created through Security Council resolution 186 of March 1964, after clashes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    In her opening remarks Dame Ann said a settlement in Cyprus "cannot be imposed by outsiders."

    "The international community can offer help to the parties to solve a dispute but it cannot do it for them," she said.

    However, she did not reply to any questions on her shuttle talks with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that got underway in October 1998 in a bid to reduce tensions and resume the peace talks.

    Dame Ann rejected suggestions that the present UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is not as involved in the Cyprus issue as his predecessors. She said that all five times she met Annan in the nine months since she was appointed he was "well informed" and noted she has "no doubt" about his commitment.

    Invited to comment on threats by Denktash to illegally settle the eastern occupied coastal town of Varosha (Famagusta) with refugees from Kosovo, Dame Ann recalled UN resolutions which stipulate that only the lawful inhabitants can settle the town. She added she has made this clear to Denktash.

    Asked about bicommunal meetings, Dame Ann said that as far as she knows none was held here since Denktash decided in December 1997 not to let Turkish Cypriots participate, but added that meetings abroad have increased.

    She said about 45 meetings between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots were held abroad in 1998.

    Since 1997 Denktash has also been refusing to participate in peace talks unless the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied areas is recognised and the Cyprus Republic withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    Dame Ann said UNFICYP is here with the consent of the two sides and noted that "the day consent is withdrawn or collapses is the day UN peace- keepers pack up their bags and go home."

    She rejected a comment that UNFICYP presence prevents progress towards a settlement, pointing out that the Force "helps to maintain the peace."

    "I contemplate what would happen if tomorrow we departed," she said and expressed the view that if the Force withdrew "peace-keeping would collapse".

    She said UNFICYP gives "space and opportunity for peace-making to be successful."

    Dame Ann said the Force tries to prevent a recurrence of fighting "by evenhandedly and with total impartiality keeping two opposing forces apart by maintaining, with just over 1230 soldiers, the military status quo within the buffer zone."

    She also said UNIFCYP tries to ensure that the 180-kilometre long buffer zone "is not dead land, but home and workplace for Cypriots."

    The UNFICYP chief said there are five villages in the buffer zone and eight thousand people who live and work in it.

    Replying to a question, she said UNFICYP employs 223 local staff of which 80 per cent Greek Cypriots and 20 per cent Turkish Cypriot "to maintain a balance in numerical numbers".

    Asked if the UN absence in the Kosovo crisis diminishes the organisation's credibility, she pointed out that contrary to the situation Cyprus there is no Security Council resolution on Kosovo nor have the parties given their consent to UN presence. Dame Ann expressed the view that there is no "one particular model" for peace-keeping.

    Force commander Major General Evergisto de Vergara said UNFICYP "maintains the status quo in the buffer zone with the consent of both sides" and added "we claim no onwership of buffer zone." He said the existence of the Force "does not compromise a settlement."

    UNFICYP civilian police commander Noel O'Sullivan referred to the duties the police undertake such as community policing, meetings with the locals and local detective work. He added that since January this year the two separate civilian police forces which existed have been integrated.

    Chief civil affairs officer Lone Jessen said her 22-member branch undertakes different tasks, such as meetings with some 300 Turkish Cypriots living in the government-controlled areas and some 600 Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the occupied area. She said it also facilitates technical meetings between Greek and Turkish Cypriots and escorts them to do repair work on electricity and water utility lines.

    CNA MA/MM/1999

    [07] French Senators - Meetings

    Nicosia, Apr 14 (CNA) -- House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou today expressed satisfaction with increased cooperation between the parliaments of Cyprus and France and said exchange visits will take place more often.

    Kyprianou met with a delegation of the French Senate France - Cyprus Friendship Group, which arrived yesterday for a five-day visit.

    Earlier today the delegation called on President Glafcos Clerides who outlined how he sees developments in efforts to settle the Cyprus question.

    The French delegation told the President it follows developments in Cyprus and expressed the hope that a settlement will be reached soon.

    "The delegation is sensitive towards the hopes Cyprus places on France in efforts for a settlement on the island," delegation head senator Marc Massion said after the meeting with Kyprianou.

    On his part the House President expressed satisfaction with the meeting.

    "As time goes by relations and cooperation between the two parliaments is being strengthened," he added.

    The French delegation also met with the House Foreign and European Affairs committee.

    Committee president Tasos Papadopoulos briefed his colleagues on developments in the Cyprus problem and the Republic's European Union accession course.

    CNA RG/MA/MM/1999
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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