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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-06-21

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Government Spokesman - G8 - Cyprus
  • [02] US Ambassador - Cyprus - G8
  • [03] Military cooperation
  • [04] Political parties - G8 statement
  • [05] Cyprus Airways - Pilots - Strike
  • [06] EU - Accession conference - Cyprus

  • 1455:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Government Spokesman - G8 - Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jun 21 (CNA) -- The government will comment on the extract on Cyprus in the G8 Summit's final communique after a UN resolution calling on the two sides in Cyprus to resume negotiations is approved later this month.

    Government Spokesman, Costas Serezis said today "the government will not at present comment on the G8 statement. It will do so after the UN resolution with which the Secretary General of the international organisation will invite the interested parties to talks".

    At the Cologne Summit which ended yesterday the seven most industrialised nations and Russia (G8) urged the UN Secretary General "in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions to invite the leaders of the two parties to negotiations in the fall of 1999".

    They urged the two leaders in accepting the invitation to commit themselves to the principles of no pre-conditions during the negotiations, all issues to be on the table, to continue negotiating until a settlement is reached and full consideration of relevant UN resolutions and treaties.

    Asked to comment on a statement by French President Jacques Chirac, that the European Union does not wish to import unresolved disputes into its ranks, Serezis stressed "the government is the first to wish for a settlement before its accession to the EU".

    He pointed out, however, that if this is not achieved by then, the government will hold a critical stance towards the international community, "because even though it has passed a number of resolutions it has not contributed towards a solution to the Cyprus problem".

    CNA MCH/EC/1999

    [02] US Ambassador - Cyprus - G8

    Nicosia, Jun 21 (CNA) -- US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, said today that the statement on Cyprus adopted by the Group of Eight at the end of their summit yesterday in Cologne underscores their interest to resume talks on the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Brill said that the US endorse this, adding that "we look forward to moving forward".

    Brill said that with the President he had "a good review of all the issues", including the Cyprus issue.

    He said that the G8 statement on Cyprus "speaks for itself" and that the G8 has been talking about Cyprus "for a number of years".

    Brill added that the statement "underscores the interest of the leading countries of the world to resume a comprehensive negotiating process".

    "That is certainly something that we endorse and we look forward to moving forward", he said, adding that the G8 has urged the UN Secretary- General to resume the negotiating process.

    Asked to comment on the negative reaction from Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, Brill said that "there have been various negative reactions from various sides about various things on the Cyprus issue".

    He further added that "if everybody reacted positively to everything, we wouldn't be here talking about it", noting that "the challenge of diplomacy is to try to find ways to move forward, and that is what we are engaged in right now".

    Asked about efforts on behalf of the US to change the context of the final statement of the G8 summit, Brill said: "I have read a lot of speculation in the press in recent weeks about that and many other things. I will just counsel you again that just because it is in print doesn't make it so".

    In their statement, the members of the G8 urge the UN Secretary- General in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions, to invite the leaders of the two parties to negotiations in the fall of 1999.

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

    CNA RG/EC/1999

    [03] Defence Ministers - Cyprus - Greece

    Nicosia, Jun 21 (CNA) -- Military cooperation between Cyprus and Greece was discussed today at a meeting in Athens of the Defence Ministers of the two countries Yiannakis Chrysostomis and Akis Tsohatzopoulos, respectively.

    According to the Athens News Agency, the two ministers discussed future cooperation in military exercises as well as the fields of training and specialisation.

    Replying to questions, Tsohatzopulos said agreements between the two countries are in the course of being implemented within the framework of a joint defence pact between Athens and Nicosia in 1993.

    The dogma stipulates that Greece will offer Cyprus military air and sea coverage in the case of a new Turkish offensive against the island.

    Turkey maintains a heavily armed force on the island since it invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    The Greek Defence Minister made it clear that the Cyprus Republic is responsible for its defence programme, adding Athens supports Cyprus' efforts to boost its defences.

    Tsohatzopoulos expressed the view that the Russian S300 defence missile system, which had been ordered by Cyprus but will be deployed in the Greek island of Crete, will be installed within the next three months.

    The Cyprus government had decided not to deploy the missiles on the island in December last year, in line with a Security Council resolution calling for the reduction of tensions on the island.

    On his part Chrysostomis thanked Greece for the support it offers to Cyprus.

    The two ministers welcomed a reference to Cyprus in the final communique of the group of seven most industrialised countries plus Russia (G8), urging the UN Secretary-General to invite the two leaders to negotiations in the fall of 1999.

    CNA MA/EC/1999

    [04] Political parties - G8 statement

    Nicosia, Jun 21 (CNA) -- The majority of Greek Cypriot parties appear satisfied with the reference to Cyprus in the G8 summit statement that urges the UN Secretary-General in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions to invite the leaders of the two parties to negotiations in the fall of 1999.

    However most parties express reservations with the reference included in the principles set out by the seven most industrialised countries of the world plus Russia (G8) that "all issues (will be) on the (negotiating) table".

    Ruling right-wing party (DISI) leader Nicos Anastasiades expressed satisfaction with the fact that the eight most powerful countries of the world are interested in the Cyprus issue and are becoming active.

    He pointed out that the Cyprus problem remains within the UN framework and a settlement will be based on the Security Council resolutions.

    The G8 statement, approved in Cologne on Sunday, calls on the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to commit themselves that in accepting this invitation they will take "full consideration of relevant UN resolutions and treaties."

    Main opposition party (AKEL) parliamentary representative Andreas Christou said the reference to the UN resolutions on Cyprus is positive.

    However, he expressed reservations with other references that could allow the Turkish side to place its unacceptable condition for a confederation in Cyprus on the negotiating table.

    President of centre-right DIKO Spyros Kyprianou said the statement proves that the G8 will become involved in efforts for a settlement in Cyprus.

    He said that even though the reference has some positive aspects it includes some points which must be clarified.

    Similar views were expressed by socialist EDEK party leader Vasos Lyssarides.

    Lyssarides appeared satisfied with the fact that UN resolutions will be part of the new effort for a settlement but said some references in the statement need to be satisfied.

    In a written statement the United Democrats party expresses satisfaction with the statement noting in particular that the new international effort on Cyprus comes from the world's eight richest countries, is within the UN framework and resolutions and also sets deadlines.

    In the reference to Cyprus the G8 members "undertake to give their full and sustained backing to the negotiating process and hope that it will prove possible for its outcome to be reported to the meetings of heads of state and government at the OSCE summit this November."

    The New Horizons party also believes that the statement allows the Turkish side to place its demand for a confederal solution in Cyprus on the negotiating table.

    A demand by the Turkish side for negotiations aimed at a "confederation of two states" has been rejected by the UN and the Cyprus government as it is contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus.

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

    CNA MA/EC/1999

    [05] Cyprus Airways - Pilots - Strike

    Nicosia, Jun 21 (CNA) -- Cyprus Airways pilots will go ahead with a 24-hour strike as from midnight Monday, despite calls from the Communications and Works Ministry for its suspension because of its dire consequences on the national carrier and the island's economy.

    Cyprus Airways has made special arrangements for around three thousand passengers that were to take the eleven flights scheduled for Tuesday.

    Petros Tsoupouris, member of the pilots trade union (PASIPI), told CNA that there has been no development until now in efforts to bring the two sides into a dialogue.

    The PASIPI members maintain that they should be first in line for captain vacancies at Cyprus Airway's subsidiary company Eurocypria.

    The company says collective agreements signed with unions clearly state that Eurocypria co-pilots have priority.

    The company had held off opening vacancies in Eurocypria for almost a year, but advertised them late last week.

    Cyprus Airways press spokesmen Tasos Angeli told CNA alternative arrangements have been made "so that all three thousand passengers can reach their destination".

    He said some flights have been combined while others have been rescheduled.

    Angeli expressed regret over any problems passengers will face and said "Cyprus Airways has no responsibility with the arbitrary and blackmailing PASIPI strike."

    He said the strike will cost thousands of pounds but above all it will have a bad effect on the company's image abroad and Cyprus as a tourist destination.

    Earlier today Communications and Works Minister Leontios Ierodiaconou said the PASIPI's action "cannot be explained" and called on the pilots to suspend the strike as it "will be catastrophic for the company, its employees and the island's economy in general."

    In a written statement he points out that Cyprus Airways faces strong competition the repercussions of which must be taken into consideration by all sides.

    CNA MA/EC/1999

    [06] EU - Accession conference - Cyprus

    Luxembourg, Jun 21 (CNA) -- The German Presidency of the European Union (EU) and the EU External Affairs Commissioner, praised Cyprus' "remarkable" accession course during the EU accession conference with Cyprus here Monday.

    At the same time, Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, pledged Cyprus will continue with the same fervour the process of harmonising with the acquis communautaire.

    The conference was held on the sidelines of the 2192nd session of the Council of European Union (General Affairs) in Luxembourg.

    In his intervention, German Deputy Foreign Minister, responsible for European Affairs, Ginder Verheugen, described Cyprus' accession course as "very positive", and referred to the conclusion of negotiations on 10 of the 14 chapters, a result which ranks Cyprus first among candidate member states.

    Regarding the Cyprus problem, Verheugen said the EU will encourage every effort for a solution.

    External Affairs Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek congratulated Kasoulides and the head of the Negotiating Team for Cyprus' accession to the EU, George Vassiliou for Cyprus' achievements.

    He said that since last year when negotiations started, no one could have imagined the progress which Cyprus has now made.

    Van den Broek referred to the Cyprus Republic's efforts to inform the Turkish Cypriots regarding the acquis communautaire, noting that the Cyprus & EU Accession Negotiations web site on the Internet which is also in Turkish "shows the Cyprus government's desire for Turkish Cypriots to enter negotiations".

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides in March 1998 during the first meeting of the European Conference presented an invitation to the Turkish Cypriots to appoint representatives as full members of the team negotiating the accession of Cyprus to the EU. The invitation was, however, rejected by the Turkish Cypriot leadership.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory. It applied for EU membership in June 1990.

    Kasoulides thanked Germany for its work during its six month EU presidency which ends this month, adding that Cyprus is especially pleased with the accession course. He assured that the island will continue with the same potential during the upcoming Finish presidency.

    Kasoulides was invited to comment on the statement on Cyprus by the Group of seven most industrialised countries plus Russia (G8) which urge the UN Secretary General to invite the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus for peace talks in the fall of 1999.

    The minister described the G8 statement as an "encouraging step" because it supports the UN efforts for a solution. He further said Cyprus has never put forward any preconditions for negotiations and that it always maintains a constructive attitude in efforts to find a settlement.

    On his part, Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou said Greece considers "positive" the G8 statement on Cyprus and expressed the hope that the willingness of the group for a solution will produce results.

    CNA NB/EC/AA/1999
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