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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] PSEKA - Annual Conference starts
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Cyprus - New Zealand
  • [04] Cyprus - Yugoslav President - Bank accounts
  • [05] Italian Deputy Foreign Minister - Arrival
  • [06] Religion - Politics Seminars
  • [07] Parliaments of EU candidate countries - Cyprus
  • [08] Cyprus - Italian Deputy FM - EU Chief Negotiator
  • [09] US Ambassador - Cyprus
  • [10] House President - New Zealand FM

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] PSEKA - Annual Conference starts

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- The 10th annual meeting of the International Coordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus, (PSEKA) has begun in the US capital, with diplomats stressing the significance of overseas Greeks in promoting a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In a speech, Cyprus' Ambassador in Washington, Erato Kozakou-Markouli, expressed the Cyprus government's appreciation over PSEKA's contribution to efforts to restore justice and freedom in Cyprus.

    Markouli also referred to the continued Turkish intransigence by imposing unacceptable conditions and proposals which are contrary to the Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.

    Greece's ambassador to the US, Alexandros Filon, expressed the view that the UN should become more active in helping towards a Cyprus settlement.

    He also said that the UN should oppose the international community's apathy which is based on the excuse that due to the Turkish intransigent positions it is impossible to achieve any progress.

    On his part, Cyprus Presidential Commissioner Manolis Christofides, who deals with issues involving overseas Greek Cypriots, referred to the unanimous decision of overseas Greeks in Salonica, Greece, last year, that the Cyprus problem will be the first priority on the national agenda issue.

    He called on overseas Greeks to unite their forces and with a unified political speech, fight for a Cyprus settlement.

    In their speeches, PSEKA President Philip Christopher and other officials stressed that the Cyprus problem and not the Kosovo issue is the most important issue at the conference.

    Over 100 Greek-American and Cypriot-American leaders from the US and around the world are participating at the conference and will have the opportunity to meet America's top policy makers.

    Among the congressmen, who will attend the sessions, are Ben Gilman, George Gekas, Robert Menendez, John Porter and Michael Bilirakis.

    Participants will meet over 30 US senators and members of Congress, who serve on the key committees and subcommittees and others, that play a major role in the formulation of US policy towards Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

    The conference will "highlight the 25th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus", according to a PSEKA statement.

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

    During the conference, which ends tomorrow, PSEKA will honour President Bill Clinton's Chief of Staff, John Podesta, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs, Marc Grossman and John Catsimatidis.

    CNA EC/GP/1999

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Apr 28 CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         123.59 ( 0.53)
          Traded Value            CYP 6,299,226
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,359,640     158.75 ( 0.99)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   280,938      73.25 ( 0.44)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   103,127      75.67 (-0.43)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP    87,587      89.65 (-1.63)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   767,631      93.61 ( 0.35)
          Trading Companies       CYP   181,727      48.44 (-0.39)
          Other Companies         CYP   395,293      84.18 (-0.08)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MM/1999

    [03] Cyprus - New Zealand

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand, Don McKinnon, today expressed hope that the Cyprus problem will soon be solved.

    Speaking after a meeting with Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, McKinnon said that "New Zealand contributed a police contingent to Cyprus back in the early 1960s."

    "One would like to see the Cyprus problem resolved, the issue has been around for a long time," he said.

    McKinnon expressed support for the ongoing UN process and said that he is "well aware of the trampling of feet of envoys that have come and gone over many years, all trying to do their best but not always succeeding."

    Referring to UN Resident Representative, Dame Ann Hercus, McKinnon said they were colleagues in the New Zealand Parliament and noted that "she is a very hard working person".

    Speaking on today's meeting, McKinnon said "we give each other a lot of mutual support in the UN, in the Commonwealth, and regional institutions, and we often have an empathy amongst ourselves on issues that are pretty similar".

    He said that "New Zealand has offered a number of initiatives in the UN over the years", adding that "we have always been supported by Cyprus, and Cyprus' initiatives have invariably been supported by New Zealand."

    McKinnon added that "countries surrounded by larger countries do have that kind of empathy".

    He also referred to trade relations between the two countries and stressed that "they can be enhanced on both sides."

    McKinnon said he discussed the Kosovo crisis with Kasoulides and noted that his country has been involved in the Balkan issues for about seven or eight years with military observers and members of the UNHCR and the Red Cross.

    "Like everyone else", he said, "we do hope to see a sustainable solution to what is happening in Kosovo, in the Balkans".

    Kasoulides said they had the "opportunity to discuss a variety of issues, that are of common interest", adding that "the fact that there are New Zealanders of Cypriot origin in New Zealand, unites us, as do the Commonwealth and other international fora".

    He said that they had "very fruitful talks" and that "Mr McKinnon has announced to us his candidacy to become Secretary-General of the Commonwealth".

    "We expressed to him our appreciation for all his contribution to the Commonwealth and we believe that he fulfils all the necessary criteria to do a very successful job, if elected, and we wish him every success," Kasoulides added.

    CNA RG/MM/1999

    [04] Cyprus - Yugoslav President - Bank accounts

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- "The family of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic does not have any accounts with banks in Cyprus," the government announced today, dismissing relevant reports in foreign newspapers.

    Government Spokesman Costas Serezis also said that the Central Bank "is carrying out an investigation" into "American suspicion that accounts of Yugoslav off-shore companies may be used to violate international embargoes against Yugoslavia."

    Serezis also dismissed reports that often circulate that money laundering is taking place in Cyprus.

    "Cyprus follows a responsible policy on this issue and abides by international conventions," the spokesman said.

    He pointed out that various organisations such as the Council of Europe and the International Financial Action Task Force, based in Paris have often praised the policy followed by the government on the issue.

    CNA MA/MM/1999

    [05] Italian Deputy Foreign Minister - Arrival

    Larnaca, Apr 28 (CNA) -- Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Umberto Ranieri, arrived here today for a two-day visit during which he will also inaugurate the Italian Cultural month on the island.

    Speaking through an interpreter at Larnaca airport, the Italian Deputy Minister expressed his country's support for Cyprus' accession to the European Union and said that political, economic and cultural issues will be discussed at his meetings here.

    Ranieri referred to the need to deal with the problem of Kosovo, pointing out that it "has been worsening during this month".

    The Italian Deputy Minister will meet later today with Chief negotiator in Cyprus' talks for accession to the EU, George Vassiliou.

    Tomorrow he will call on President, Glafcos Clerides and visit President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou.

    Later in the day he will have official talks with Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides and will then give a press conference.

    CNA MAN/MCH/MM/1999

    [06] Religion - Politics Seminars

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- Two separate seminars, one on religion and one on politics, will take place in the southern coastal town of Limassol in the coming week with the participation of distinguished personalities of international acclaim.

    The first event, a High-level Expert Group meeting on "Religious Implications of the Middle East Peace Process", is being organised for the InterAction Council by the Centre for World Dialogue, based here.

    The second event, a conference on "Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Divinity in a Political World" is being organised by the Centre in association with the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University, Washington DC.

    The two events were announced today at a joint press conference by former Cyprus President and member of the Inter-Action Council, George Vassiliou and the Chairman of the Centre for World Dialogue, Hossein Alikhani.

    Announcing the High-level Expert Group, Vassiliou said the Cyprus meeting is in preparation of the Council's annual session to be held in Cairo from 23 to 16 May.

    The Council's annual meetings are held in a different country every year. The Cairo meeting will deal with globalisation, the movement of capital and its implications on foreign exchange and on the economy of various countries in the world and on the role of religion in a peace process.

    "The experts invited to participate are well known professors of theology or related subjects," Vassiliou said, pointing out that religious leaders playing a key role in political events will also attend the meeting.

    He said that the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, will give a reception on Friday in honour of the participants.

    On his part, Alikhani said that more conferences have been scheduled for June 18 to 20 and June 24 to 26. One will deal with Iran in the 21st century and the other will be a meeting of media professionals in the Middle East.

    The Inter-Action Council was established in 1983 as an independent organisation to mobilise the experience, energy and international contacts of a group of statesmen who have held the highest office in their own countries.

    Amongst its members are former Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Fraser, who is Council Chairman and former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who is the Honorary Chairman.

    CNA AA/MCH/MM/1999

    [07] Parliaments of EU candidate countries - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- Presidents of Parliaments of the twelve countries which are candidates for accession to the European Union (EU) expressed their support for every move promoting EU enlargement.

    This is included in the conclusions of the 7th Meeting of the Presidents with the President of the European Parliament (EP) which ended today in Sofia.

    Cyprus was represented by Deputy President of the House of Representatives Nicos Anastasiades.

    In their conclusions, the twelve Presidents pointed out that "the current tragic situation in Yugoslavia provided a dramatic reminder of the historic importance of the enlargement process as the principal source of peace, stability and security in Europe".

    They reiterated that "the success of the enlargement process meant that it had to remain as open, inclusive and transparent as possible and that National Parliaments would have a decisive role to play in ensuring public acceptance of each step on the road to enlargement, in particular the ratification, in due course, of the various accession treaties".

    The Presidents welcomed decisions taken by the European Council in Berlin which "create the conditions for maintaining the momentum of the enlargement process".

    Addressing the Meeting, Anastasiades said the National Parliaments have an important role to play in familiarising citizens with developments concerning the EU and promoting their involvement in EU-related activities.

    The Treaty of Amsterdam, which looks at "a Union for its citizens", supports that role of the National Parliaments, Anastasiades noted.

    Referring to the Cyprus Parliament, he said it promotes dialogue with the citizens of the island, stating as an example the fact that representatives of trade unions, farmers, environmentalists and other non governmental organisations were invited to attend the recent 15th Meeting of the EU - Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee in Paphos, Cyprus.

    In a statement on the situation in South Eastern Europe, the Presidents noted their "support for the efforts to bring peace to Yugoslavia" and expressed their "outrage at the humanitarian situation in the region".

    They also condemned "the deliberate policy of ethnic cleansing", adding that "peace could only be built upon the basis of democracy and human rights in all the countries of the region".

    CNA GG/MCH/1999

    [08] Cyprus - Italian Deputy FM - EU Chief Negotiator

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- Italy appreciates Cyprus' good will and serious commitment to work for a solution to its political problem on the basis of guidelines set out by the UN, Italian Deputy Foreign Minister, Umberto Ranieri has said.

    He also pointed out his country supports Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU).

    Ranieri was speaking after a meeting this afternoon with Cyprus' Chief Negotiator in the EU accession talks, George Vassiliou.

    He said Italy "appreciates very much the efforts of Cyprus" to meet the accession criteria, adding that EU enlargement "should occur also towards the Mediterranean sea".

    "We also appreciate the good will and the serious commitment on the part of the Cyprus government to work along the indications given by the UN" to solve the Cyprus question, he pointed out.

    Ranieri noted that "Cyprus will always find in Italy a partner" in its efforts for EU accession.

    Asked if Italy links Cyprus' accession to the EU with a settlement of the island's political issue, he said "Italy thinks that it is very important to encourage the efforts made by Cyprus along the UN lines to solve" the problem.

    "We sincerely hope, and this hope is shared by the other EU member - countries, that Cyprus become a full member of the EU", he pointed out, adding that EU member - states express hopes for a solution to the island's problem as well.

    Cyprus' political problem as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the continuing occupation of its northern areas, has been "going on for too long", he pointed out.

    Asked whether Cyprus can join the EU before a solution to its political problem is reached, Ranieri said "these are the two major objectives", noting that "we hope that Cyprus can as rapidly as possible become a full member of the EU and the conflict may be solved".

    "These are two separate issues, but which mutually influence each other", he said.

    On his part, Vassiliou said this is also the stance of the Cyprus Republic on the issue, adding that Italy supports EU enlargement to the South.

    Cyprus Chief Negotiator reiterated that the President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides' invitation to the Turkish Cypriots for participation in the negotiating team is still valid, adding that the government would welcome such participation.

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

    CNA GG/MM/1999

    [09] US Ambassador - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, denied that American nationals here have been instructed to report any anti- American activities but stressed that the priority of any embassy abroad is to look after its nationals.

    AsĦed to comment on a CyBC report that the US embassy has issued a circular asking American nationals to collect any information concerning anti-American activities, Brill said:

    "No, we have not, that's absolutely wrong. What we are asking is whether there are problems involving American citizens, if there are, we would like to help them deal with them. If there aren't, that is very good. We would like to know that as well."

    Brill commended the cooperation of the local security authorities and the police in security matters, stressing, "we are very satisfied".

    "We've had a few reports of a few incidents involving Americans. We don't know what the facts are. The first priority of any embassy overseas whether it's American or Cypriot is to look after its nationals," he stressed.

    "This (US) embassy has done a lot to try to promote Cyprus as a good place to do business and to come for tourism and we expect to continue to do that," Brill remarked.

    Brill was speaking on the sidelines of an environmental conference on "Earth Learning, Earth Living" organised by the American Centre of the US Embassy and the Cyprus Fulbright Commission.

    Replying to questions, he dismissed attempts to give a political character to the conference, in the light of the environmental damage caused in Yugoslavia by the NATO bombing.

    Cypriot environmentalists organised a protest rally against NATO bombing in Yugoslavia, stressing that they cause irreparable damage to the country's environment.

    Protestors held banners reading "With love and civilisation we answer to the bombings".

    CNA RM/MCH/MM/1999

    [10] House President - New Zealand FM

    Nicosia, Apr 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus question and the Kosovo crisis were amongst the issues discussed here today between the President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand Don McKinnon.

    Speaking after the meeting, Kyprianou described the talks as "very useful and constructive" and added that he briefed McKinnon "on Turkey's stance and intentions and specifically on the issue of ethnic cleansing".

    On his part, McKinnon said he was well informed by the House President "about the history of Cyprus which is so important for anyone who is trying to get any kind of understanding".

    He added that issues relating to Kosovo were also discussed, pointing out that "we are dealing with a very complex issue but we both concluded that there has to be a political settlement someday".

    CNA RM/MM/1999
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