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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-06-24

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN Chief - Report - Cyprus problem
  • [02] Rubin - US Ambassador - Cypriot political parties
  • [03] EU negotiator - Parliament
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Cyprus Airways - Strike - Passengers
  • [06] UN Chief - Report - Spokesman
  • [07] Hercus - Special Representative - Spokesman

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN Chief - Report - Cyprus problem

    by Michalis Gripiotis

    New York, Jun 24 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General has said he is ready to invite the two leaders in Cyprus "to enter into a process of comprehensive negotiations without preconditions and in a spirit of compromise and cooperation."

    In his report for his good offices mission in Cyprus, Kofi Annan says a statement on Cyprus by the seven most industrialised countries of the world plus Russia (G8) "highlights the continuing interest of the international community in a solution..."

    According to CNA diplomatic sources the UN chief will call President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to the negotiating table, in New York, in the first fortnight of October.

    Meanwhile, consultations are underway in New York on the draft of two Security Council resolutions on Cyprus, one on the Secretary-General's mission and the second for the extension of the UN peace-keeping force (UNFICYP) mandate.

    The two resolutions are expected to be approved on Monday. In his two-page report, that circulated yesterday, the UN chief identifies the core elements of the Cyprus problem which should be addressed in talks, that include the issues of security, distribution of powers, property and territory.

    "A compromise on these issues would remove the remaining obstacles towards a peaceful settlement," he says.

    He notes that these issues should be addressed "without preconditions in a practical, realistic and straightforward manner in comprehensive negotiations."

    Annan also refers to the shuttle talks undertaken by his deputy special representative Dame Ann Hercus the substance of which remains confidential.

    He says that "while this format allows me to assess to what extent there is convergence of views on the various aspects, it also has its limitations, as a formal agreement can only be achieved in comprehensive negotiations directly involving both leaders."

    Annan notes that President Clerides and Denktash are engaged in these talks "in a constructive manner" and adds that these discussion "have reconfirmed the importance of the issue of political equality."

    However, he says "the Turkish Cypriot contention is that other aspects of their situation place them at a disadvantage and undermine the commitment to political equality."

    The UN chief adds that a major challenge for the negotiations is "how to translate this commitment into clear, practical provisions to be agreed upon by both sides."

    He expresses the hope that both sides will approach any resumption of negotiations in that spirit and the confidence that the international community would support any solution upon which both sides can mutually agree.

    Referring to the G8 statement, approved in the Cologne summit on Sunday, Annan says it highlights the international communities interest in a solution in Cyprus "a solution which would have a positive effect on peace and stability in the entire region."

    He notes that the G8 members urge him "in accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions to invite the leaders of the two parties to negotiations in the fall of 1999."

    The UN Secretary-General says Cyprus is fortunate that there has been no resumption of fighting since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of its territory.

    However, he says "the absence of a settlement, comfortable as the status quo may appear to some, remains a source of instability and tension. Neither side has anything to gain from waiting any longer."

    Annan adds that "it should be understood by all concerned that a lasting settlement can only be reached in negotiations."

    He concludes by noting that "while each leader faces the responsibility of representing the views and aspirations of his side, they have the joint responsibility for achieving a concrete, mutually acceptable and forward-looking solution."

    The UN chief says he will ask Dame Ann to continue the process of dialogue she began in October 1998 to this end.

    CNA MG/MA/MCH/1999

    [02] Rubin - US Ambassador - Cypriot political parties

    Washington, Jun 24 (CNA) -- The US State Department has given full backing to the American Ambassador in Cyprus Kenneth Brill in his differences with two main Greek Cypriot parties on the Kosovo crisis.

    "We fully support Ambassador Brill's very active efforts to carry out US policy on Kosovo," State Department Spokesman James Rubin said replying to questions during his briefing yesterday.

    He said Brill "has worked hard and creatively to counter the misinformation that has appeared in much of the Greek Cypriot press about Milosevic's criminal activities and the brutalities committed against Kosovar Albanians."

    Parties and Greek Cypriots had criticised NATO and western countries for using double standards in the protection of human rights, as they did not act as decisively as they did in Kosovo on the persisting violation of human rights in Cyprus since Turkey invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    Criticism culminated when Brill did not meet House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, earlier this month when he was acting president, and after the US embassy here sent letters on the Kosovo issue to two of the largest parties, centre-right DIKO, headed by Kyprianou, and left-wing AKEL.

    Rubin said Brill had written to several political party leaders on the situation in Kosovo "and the inaccurate and irresponsible statements made by party officials during and after a June 7th anti-NATO rally in Nicosia."

    Political parties had organised a rally in the capital to protest NATO bombing and to demand a peaceful solution to the Yugoslav crisis.

    "It is the job of an American Ambassador to explain and articulate and represent the views of the US," he said.

    Rubin said it is "appropriate" for American ambassadors "to try to counter some of the propaganda coming out of Belgrade and other places" by people who say crimes have not been committed by the Milosevic regime in Kosovo.

    He added that people who said these crimes did not occur should be asked to respond now that mass graves have been uncovered.

    CNA DA/MA/MCH/1999

    [03] EU negotiator - Parliament

    Nicosia, Jun 24 (CNA) -- European Union negotiator for Cyprus' accession Leopold Maurer today underlined the parliament's role in the Republic's bid to harmonize its laws and regulations with those of the Union.

    Maurer discussed issues relating to the accession negotiations, including what he described as the "very important subjects" of taxation and free movement of capital, with members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs and EU Committee.

    "EU membership is for all people here and it should not be restricted only to meetings with officials. All your people should know about it and so we looked for a contact with the representatives of the people," he said.

    The EU official said that "as we are now approaching much more difficult issues the parliament has to do a lot because they have to implement all the legislation."

    Maurer said they discussed "two very important subjects for the future negotiations. Taxation and free movement of capitals which means the liberalisation of the whole financial system."

    The European official added that all restrictions have to be lifted before the Republic becomes an EU member.

    He described these two issues as very important and complicated, bringing as an example the fact that VAT in Cyprus is at eight per cent whereas in EU countries it is 15 per cent.

    Maurer said it is important to cooperate with parliament to find solutions which would be acceptable to the people.

    He added that much has to be done until the year 2003 when Cyprus and five central and eastern European countries that also opened talks last year are expected to join the EU.

    Maurer, who is heading a 13-member delegation, said "there is still enough time but one has to be serious now to be credible... because there will be a monitoring exercise which will start next year."

    CNA RM/MA/MCH/1999

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jun 24 CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         158.95 ( 1.36)
          Traded Value            CYP  12,596,932
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,983,963     206.99 ( 0.50)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   310,136      80.60 ( 2.19)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   170,130      89.13 ( 6.20)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   516,479      93.90 ( 1.01)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   793,091     121.43 ( 4.24)
          Trading Companies       CYP 2,896,345      84.34 ( 8.09)
          Other Companies         CYP 1,659,305     123.24 ( 2.02)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MCH/1999

    [05] Cyprus Airways - Strike - Passengers

    Nicosia, Jun 24 (CNA) -- Some five thousand passengers, scheduled to leave today on Cyprus Airways flights, will reach their destination despite a 48- hour strike by the majority of the company's pilots.

    Cyprus Airways press spokesman Tasos Angeli told CNA that "an emergency flight schedule is in effect and passengers are being flown out on company planes, aircraft chartered from American and European companies or with other airlines."

    He said the same arrangements have been made for some 4.500 passengers scheduled to leave tomorrow.

    "Flights are being carried out with the minimum possible effect on passengers," Angeli said.

    He said it is impossible to avoid all inconvenience to passengers and pointed out that the company is not to blame.

    The Pancyprian Airline Pilots Union (PALPU) is on strike to protest against procedures followed by Cyprus Airways to fill captains' vacancies in its subsidiary chartered company Eurocypria.

    Yesterday the government lifted air restrictions for as long as pilots are on strike in a bid to ease problems and tackle what it has described as their "unnecessary, against the rules and destructive measures".

    Angeli categorically denied allegations that Russian airplanes, which are not up to standard, are being used and that unqualified air stewards put passengers' lives at risk.

    "The airplanes chartered belong to European and American companies which comply with international regulations and have all air safety standards certificates," he said.

    CNA MA/MM/1999

    [06] UN Chief - Report - Spokesman

    Nicosia, Jun 24 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides will not comment on the UN Secretary-General's report on his good offices mission in Cyprus before he presents his views at a meeting of the National Council, Government Spokesman Costas Serezis said here Thursday.

    He also said the President will not make any public comments on views, outlined in the report, relating to political equality of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    The National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem, is scheduled to meet Wednesday, 30 June.

    In his report, Annan says "the Turkish Cypriot contention is that other aspects of their situation place them at a disadvantage and undermine the commitment to political equality."

    The Turkish Cypriot leader demands international recognition of his self-styled regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, which no country barring Turkey recognises.

    Serezis expressed the view that Annan has not "raised an issue of equality but said the two communities are politically equal", adding that he also talked "about equal political rights."

    The Spokesman added that according to the definition given by the UN Secretary-General in 1992, "political equality does not equal numerical representation...but effective participation of both communities in all organs and decisions of the federal government."

    In his report published yesterday Annan says a statement on Cyprus by the seven most industrialised countries of the world plus Russia (G8) "highlights the continuing interest of the international community in a solution."

    He also said he is ready to invite the two leaders in Cyprus "to enter into a process of comprehensive negotiations without preconditions and in a spirit of compromise and cooperation."

    CNA RG/EC/MM/1999

    [07] Hercus - Special Representative - Spokesman

    Nicosia, Jun 24 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has officially accepted the appointment of UN Secretary-General's resident representative, Ann Hercus, to the post of UN Chief's Special Representative for Cyprus, Government Spokesman Costas Serezis said here Thursday.

    Speaking after today's cabinet meeting, Serezis said the government has also asked for the "active participation of the UN Secretary-General in any talks."

    Hercus is conducting UN-led "shuttle talks" suggested by UN Chief, Kofi Annan, in separate meetings with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in New York, in September 1998, with a view to reducing tension and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement.

    The process began on October 16, 1998.

    CNA RG/EC/MM/1999
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