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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-20

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Syria - Memorandum - Illegal immigration
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Students - Protest - US embassy
  • [04] Rolandis - Rozbora
  • [05] Cyprus - EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Meeting
  • [06] Foreign Minister - Cyprus problem - EU accession
  • [07] European Parliament - Cyprus - Resolution
  • [08] Ukraine Justice Minister - Arrival
  • [09] Russian Communist Party leader - AKEL

  • 1510:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Syria - Memorandum - Illegal immigration

    Nicosia, Apr 20 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Syria have signed a memorandum aimed at combating illegal immigration, while an agreement for wider cooperation on the issue is being discussed.

    Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou told a press conference on his return from Syria today that he is satisfied with the results of his visit.

    During his stay in Damascus, the minister signed the memorandum with his counterpart Muhammad Harbah and called on Premier Mahmoud Az-Zoubi and Vice President Abd Al Khaddam, with whom he discussed the further upgrading of "traditionally good" relations between the two countries.

    Christodoulou said that according to the agreement the Syrian government will accept back people who illegally arrive in Cypriot ports once it is proved they are Syrian citizens.

    It will also accept the return of Syrian nationals who come to Cyprus posing as tourists but it is proved they have come to work here illegally.

    Damascus will also accept back nationals of third countries who leave its ports or airports and arrive in Cyprus illegally and those third country nationals whose last visa was issued in Syria.

    Christodoulou said that all the above also apply to Cypriot nationals who go to Syria illegally.

    The minister said the Syrian government also informed him about the criteria it has set out regarding visits of its nationals to Cyprus.

    Only business persons, people with scientific specialisations, students and Syrians belonging to high income groups will be allowed visits.

    Christodoulou expressed satisfaction with the fact that in the past few years the number of Syrians working or arriving in Cyprus illegally has decreased.

    He said that according to 1998 statistics the work permit of some 1500 Syrians living in Cyprus have expired, but it is estimated that dozens more are working here illegally.

    Regarding the total number of illegal immigrants of different nationalities in Cyprus, he said "they are estimated at between three to five thousand."

    Reminding of a similar agreement Cyprus has signed with Lebanon, Christodoulou pointed out that "some thousands of foreign nationals, especially from African countries, are in Lebanese ports waiting for a chance to go to other countries, including Cyprus."

    CNA MK/MA/GP/1999

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Apr 20 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         120.07 (-0.38)
          Traded Value            CYP 4,827,441
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,659,149     152.88 (-0.11)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   138,935      72.05 (-1.03)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    65.380      75.15 (-2.54)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP    53,570      92.13 (-0.54)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   399,042      85.91 (-1.21)
          Trading Companies       CYP   125,315      49.72 ( 0.42)
          Other Companies         CYP   235,388      84.16 (-1.48)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA EC/1999

    [03] Students - Protest - US embassy

    Nicosia, Apr 20 (CNA) -- Cypriot pupils and students here Tuesday rallied together outside the American embassy to protest the continuing bombing of Yugoslavia and demand an end to the hostilities.

    "You cannot win peace with war" and "how many children have you killed so far" read some of the banners the students waved outside the embassy, which was guarded by a heavy security cordon.

    One student leader, Kyriakos Kenevezos, told CNA the purpose of the rally is to "condemn NATO bombing and we hope to send a message for moral solidarity with these people who oppose arbitrariness."

    A petition approved by the students described the bombing as "unacceptable" and pointed out they created a huge wave of refugees with social and economic repercussions in the region and in Europe.

    Methods like these, the petition said, are contrary to every principle of international law and order and threaten indirectly world peace.

    "We condemn the double standards policy adopted by the US, NATO and the international community who regard KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) guerillas as freedom fighters and PKK (Kurdish Workers Party) Kurds as terrorists and allow Turkey for the past 25 to implement a policy of ethnic cleansing," the petition added.

    Today's protest is one of many that have taken place in the past weeks to demand an end to NATO's bombing of Yugoslavia.

    CNA RM/MM/EC/1999

    [04] Rolandis - Rozbora

    Nicosia, May 20 (CNA) -- Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Nicos Rolandis, has today accepted an invitation from the Slovak Finance Minister to visit Slovakia this year.

    The invitation was extended to Rolandis by Slovak Ambassador to Cyprus, Dusan Rozbora, during a meeting earlier today.

    Rolandis said he accepted the invitation to visit Slovakia, adding he will be accompanied by a group of businessmen in a bid to increase trade exchanges between the two countries.

    Rozbora also announced that Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Minister, Eduard Kukan, will visit Cyprus in mid-June providing another opportunity "to show the improvement of relations between" the two countries, he added.

    CNA AA/EC/1999

    [05] Cyprus - EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Meeting

    Paphos, Apr 20 (CNA) -- Cyprus' European Union accession course, the Republic's efforts to harmonise its legislation with the acquis communautaire, the Cyprus problem and the Yugoslav crisis were at the centre of discussions during today's opening of the Cyprus - EU Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting.

    Fourteen Cypriot MPs and six EuroMPs are participating in the 15th two- day meeting which is taking place in the western coastal town of Paphos. Head of the EU negotiating team for Cyprus' accession, Leopold Maurer, is also attending the meeting.

    In his opening remarks, Committee co-chairman Tasos Papadopoulos said that "Cyprus' accession course is continuing satisfactorily because of the political will of the government, the parliament and the support of the people of Cyprus."

    "Difficulties in Cyprus' accession course exist but they are not insurmountable, as depicted by the Cyprus - EU relations", the Cypriot MP said.

    Papadopoulos assured his European colleagues that the House of Representatives works closely with the government and other departments involved in efforts to harmonise legislation with the acquis communautaire.

    He also expressed certainty that the meeting would reconfirm the position that a settlement of the Cyprus problem is in no way connected to the Republic's EU accession.

    Referring to the Yugoslav crisis, Papadopoulos said Cypriots are concerned with the developments and are hoping for a diplomatic settlement, because they themselves are victims of the 1974 Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    In her address to the opening, EuroMP Mechtild Rothe described the Republic's accession course as a "catalyst" in efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    She also said that the European Parliament strongly criticises any member states that connect the Cyprus problem with the Republic's EU accession bid.

    Rothe said she understands the Cypriot peoples' concerns over the Yugoslav crisis and described as unacceptable statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to illegally settle refugees from Kosovo in the occupied town of Varosha (Famagusta).

    "In a letter to the Commission we have expressed our indignation and said that the settlement of refugees in an area where the Greek Cypriots were forced to leave would be provocative," she added.

    Security Council resolution 550 has stressed that Famagusta, which has become a "ghost town" since the invasion, can only be settled by its legal inhabitants.

    The Committee also examined the economic and technical aspects of Cyprus' accession talks and the Republic's participation in EU programmes.

    German ambassador to Cyprus, Marie Gabriele Von Malsen Tilborch, on behalf of the EU presidency, and EU ambassador to Cyprus, Donato Giovanni Chiarini, spoke about the situation in Cyprus and relations between the Republic and the EU.

    CNA SS/MA/EC/1999

    [06] Foreign Minister - Cyprus problem - EU accession

    Paphos, Apr 20 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides today expressed the hope that the Turkish side will respond positively to an invitation by the eight most developed countries of the world (G8) to come forward to negotiate for a Cyprus settlement.

    In a speech during the 15th meeting of the Cyprus -European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Committee at the western coastal town of Paphos, Kasoulides also said Cyprus expects its accession talks with the EU to continue unimpeded.

    "We are expecting an initiative on the part of the G8. The intention is that the G8 will call on the two sides to attend an unconditional dialogue, under UN auspices, and the General Secretary to invite the two sides (for talks) based on UN resolutions, somewhere in New York," he said.

    The Foreign Minister expressed the hope that the Turkish side "will respond, not only to the invitation itself, but also to come forward with the political will to negotiate."

    He said the EU "should send Turkey a clear message that its negative stance in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem will not create any obstacles in Cyprus' accession talks."

    He assured that the government "will continue its efforts and positive stance in the bid to find a just and lasting settlement."

    Speaking about developments in the Cyprus question since the Committee last met, the Foreign Minister referred to the "difficult and arduous" decision of the government last December not to deploy the S300 Russian defence missile system.

    He said that the decision was taken even though the factors which made the government order the missiles, still exist.

    The government had ordered the Russian-made missile system in a bid to boost its air defence, in the case of a new Turkish offensive. Turkey maintains a strong military force here since it invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island in 1974.

    "With this decision we proved to our EU partners that the government of Cyprus, as a candidate for accession, is ready to contribute, despite the cost it had to face, to a common EU foreign and security policy...," Kasoulides said.

    He pointed out that the UN and the EU had welcomed this decision, but "Turkey did not respond".

    Kasoulides added that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash remains intransigent in his demands for the recognition of the illegal regime in the occupied areas and the creation of a confederation in Cyprus, contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The Foreign Minister said that the start of accession talks between Cyprus and the EU, last year, opens new prospects in all fields.

    He added that the accession procedure and the detailed examination of the European acquis communautaire are continuing "smoothly" and said Cyprus is trying to fulfill its obligations the soonest.

    Kasoulides assured that the government "will continue and step up its efforts to inform the Turkish Cypriots on the accession procedure" and thanked the EuroMPs for their efforts towards this direction.

    He also expressed certainty that the Committee will continue to play an important role in Cyprus' accession course, despite the fact that some of its members may not be re-elected in the upcoming elections for the European Parliament.

    CNA SS/MA/EC/1999

    [07] European Parliament - Cyprus - Resolution

    Nicosia, Apr 20 (CNA) -- The European Parliament has said that the progress in Cyprus' accession negotiations with the European Union "confirm that Cyprus is economically ready to join the EU and will not have substantial problems to incorporate the acquis communautaire in time."

    It also insists that the accession negotiations, which opened in Brussels in March 1998, "should be kept separate from efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem."

    In a resolution adopted last week that circulated in English today, the European Parliament criticises the Turkish side for its intransigence in efforts to settle the Cyprus question and calls on it to participate in peace talks.

    It "calls on the Commission and the Council to put pressure on Turkey, by clearly indicating that the quality of EU-Turkey relations also depends on the Turkish attitude towards the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    The resolution on the Regular Report from the Commission on Cyprus' progress towards accession points out that the report could only focus on the southern government-controlled part of the island as the regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974 was not willing to cooperate.

    It acknowledges that "according to UN figures the northern part of Cyprus is populated by 89,000 Turkish Cypriots, 110,000 mainland Turkish settlers and 35,000 mainland Turkish troops, which implies that the northern part of Cyprus is in majority populated by mainland Turks."

    The European Parliament also recognises that the negotiations for a settlement in Cyprus "have come to a virtual standstill due to the lack of willingness on behalf of Mr. Denktash to reengage in negotiations unless certain conditions are accepted."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said he would not participate in peace talks unless his illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas is recognised and Cyprus withdraws its application to join the EU.

    He has also proposed talks aimed at establishing a "confederation of two states", which has been rejected by the Cyprus government, the UN, the EU and key players in the peace efforts, such as the US and Britain, as it is contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The European Parliament welcomes the response in union from the EU, UN and US against Denktash's proposal, pointing out that if it were accepted it "would be a reward to Turkish aggression and to the partial occupation of Cyprus."

    Welcoming a decision taken by the Cyprus government in December 1998 not to deploy the S300 defence missile system on the island, the resolution "invites both the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriot community to reciprocate this act by comparable confidence building measures, such as withdrawal of foreign troops from the territory."

    It expresses support to negotiations under UN auspices, based on the international organisation's resolutions.

    At the same time it "calls on member-states to refrain from statements concerning the final stage of the negotiations, since the accession negotiations and the negotiations to reach a solution to the Cypriot problem are separate tracks."

    In its reference to the accession negotiations, the resolution "regrets the difficulties arising at present with regard to the acquis communautaire in the whole of Cyprus, due to the continued occupation of a part of the island and the refusal of the Turkish Cypriot leadership to participate in the negotiations."

    Denktash has rejected a proposal by President Glafcos Clerides to nominate Turkish Cypriot representatives in the official team carrying out the accession talks.

    The European Parliament "welcomes the substantial progress made in adaptation to the acquis communautaire and encourages Cyprus to reinforce its administrative capacity in some fields, such as the internal market, sea transport, telecommunications, environment, justice and home affairs."

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [08] Ukraine Justice Minister - Arrival

    Larnaca, Apr 20 (CNA) -- Ukraine's Minister of Justice, Suzanna Stanik, arrived today in Cyprus to sign a declaration on bilateral cooperation.

    In statements Stanik said that the bilateral cooperation in the legal sector is "extremely important, because it lays the foundations for further cooperation in the economic sector".

    Stanik, who is visiting Cyprus at the invitation of Justice and Social Order Minister, Nicos Koshis, said that her country is "open to investments and economic reform" and that Cypriots are "welcome to take part in these reforms and economic cooperation".

    She also said that she hoped to share her country's experience with Cyprus, as a member of the Council of Europe.

    Welcoming Stanik, Koshis said that they will discuss matters "concerning both countries" and especially the justice sector.

    Koshis added that Cyprus has "close and friendly ties" with Ukraine and both countries "belong to the bilateral cooperation signed by the Soviet Union, which is in effect to this day, as well as to other multi- party agreements".

    During her visit, Stanik will also meet the island's Assistant Attorney-General, the chairman of the House of Representatives Legal Affairs Committee, the President of the Supreme Court and other officials.

    CNA MAN/RG/EC/1999

    [09] Russian Communist Party leader - AKEL

    Nicosia, Apr 20 (CNA) -- Leader of the Russian Communist Party Gennadii Zyuganov today underlined the need for a peaceful settlement to the Yugoslav crisis, as it may prompt unprecedented consequences.

    He also expressed the view that Russia must help Yugoslavia in both the military and humanitarian fields.

    Zyuganov, who arrived on the island earlier today for a meeting of left-wing parties organised by AKEL party to discuss the situation in Yugoslavia, stressed the need for cooperation among left-wing parties on the issue.

    On his part, AKEL General Secretary Dimitris Christofias said the two- day meeting to be held in Nicosia will discuss "ways in which left-wing forces can contribute towards an immediate end to NATO's offensive against the people of Yugoslavia."

    He said the presence of parties from Greece, Italy, Germany and Russia at the meeting "underlines the friendship and cooperation amongst our parties and their support and solidarity to the people of Cyprus in their struggle against the Turkish occupation."

    Turkish forces occupy 37 per cent of the island's territory since they invaded Cyprus in 1974.

    Zyuganov also underlined the importance of tomorrow's meeting and expressed certainty it will be successful.

    "The main issue is to achieve understanding among the parties, aiming at ending the war (in Yugoslavia) as there is a danger that it will spread and take unprecedented dimensions in Europe", he added.

    The Russian Communist Party leader expressed regret because "NATO and the US have undertaken the role of international caretakers" and said this is "detrimental to Europe" which is "going through a very crucial period".

    Replying to questions during his arrival earlier today, Zyuganov said his party believes "that Russia must help Yugoslavia in the humanitarian field and militarily" and recalled that two world wars began in the Balkans.

    He also expressed the view that NATO is preparing an attack with ground forces in Yugoslavia and warned that "if they do so then there will be a new Vietnam."

    Germany's Party of Democratic Socialism, Italy's Reconstructured Communism and Greece's Coalition of the Left and Progress party, will also participate in the meeting.

    CNA AA/MA/EC/1999
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