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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-08-23

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Spokesman - Resignation - Statements
  • [02] Cyprus Defence Minister - Resignation - Statements
  • [03] President Clerides - New US ambassador - Credentials
  • [04] Foreign Minister - US Ambassador
  • [05] Famagusta Mayor - Skopje - Protest
  • [06] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [07] Clerides - Kyprianou - Niotis
  • [08] Foreign Minister - Cyprus problem
  • [09] Overseas Cypriots - Meeting
  • [10] Cyprus Union of Journalists - Victims in Turkey

  • 1505:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Spokesman - Resignation - Statements

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Costas Serezis, who resigned earlier today, praised the "excellent cooperation" he has had with the President but was very critical of the attitude of many in the ruling Democratic Rally party towards him.

    Serezis also lambasted the "polemics" he had to face from the media and the way some people tried to undermine his authority when they decided he had to leave the post he took up in mid March.

    The former spokesman stressed he always, barring one occasion, acted with the consent of President Glafcos Clerides and wondered why those who persuaded him to accept the post of government spokesman in March did not have the courage to tell him he was not fit for the job.

    In his letter accepting Serezis' resignation, the President said he accepted it "because you insist on resigning" and thanked him "for the cooperation and the strict confidence with which you have safeguarded sensitive issues you were privy to as government spokesman."

    Serezis had resigned twice in the past four weeks, once orally and once in writing, following a public row with DISY leader Nicos Anastasiades about some remarks he had made and criticism about the way he carried out his duties as spokesman.

    In a statement issued today, Serezis said he stayed on to facilitate the President by giving him time and to avert any accusations against the President that others take decisions for him.

    "Had the circumstances been different, I would have left without making any statement. But I faced such polemics that even I wondered, along with the public at large, for the severity of such criticism," Serezis said in the statement.

    Noting that the President did not wish to see such public arguments, he said once some realised the President worked for consensus "they decided I should go."

    Serezis stressed that, except only one occasion when he aired his own views after strong criticism from Anastasiades, on every other occasion any statement he made was with the approval of the President.

    "I am the last person to say that one does not have the right to express one's opinion in a democratic manner. Nevertheless, one cannot dismiss the fact that members of the ruling party often maintained different views from those of the government, on crucial issues," Serezis said.

    Fending off criticism in the media about inadequate briefing, he said a spokesman needs the help of others to be fully briefed on all issues and added "I worked 24 hours a day on this score."

    He dismissed criticism that his appointment contributed to a worsening of the ruling party's popularity and said "these are difficult times for a government spokesmen but even more so for those who act like an ostrich."

    Referring to his cooperation with President Clerides, he said he had an "excellent" working relationship with him and described it as "the most positive experience he has had in this adventure."

    Serezis, who replaced Christos Stylianides who resigned after a strong disagreement with a government decision not to dismiss a member of the cabinet, arrived in Cyprus from Athens to become spokesman at the recommendation of the DISY leader.

    CNA MM/MA/1999

    [02] Cyprus Defence Minister - Resignation - Statements

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- Cyprus Defence Minister Yiannakis Chrystostomis resigned today citing reasons of "dignity and sensitivity".

    Speaking to the press after handing his resignation letter to President Glafcos Clerides, Chrysostomis criticised the fact that the media were reporting on a cabinet reshuffle while the ministers themselves were kept in the dark.

    Asked if he was led to this decision following reports in the media that he was going to be reshuffled, he said "a minister cannot carry out his duties under such conditions."

    However, he acknowledged that it is the President's prerogative to replace his ministers.

    "I have submitted my resignation to the President of the Republic of Cyprus from the post of Defence Minister for reasons of dignity and sensitivity," he said.

    Chrysostomis, a former supreme court judge and district court president, was appointed to the Defence Ministry on January 5, 1999.

    Asked if his resignation was accepted by the President, Chrysostomis said his decision was final.

    Chrysostomis said he cannot reveal more details at this stage but will in the future give more details on his assessments and conclusions from his time in office.

    The 63-year-old former Defence Minister had often come under fire for not being in line with government policy and making controversial statements.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [03] President Clerides - New US ambassador - Credentials

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- The new US ambassador in Nicosia Donald Bandler today said that achieving a settlement to establish a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus remains one of the American government's "major foreign policy priorities".

    Presenting his credentials today to President Glafcos Clerides, Bandler pointed to the role the two communities in Cyprus have to play to this end and said the US will continue to support bicommunal programmes.

    Receiving the credentials, President Clerides said he expects the international community and especially the US to exert influence on Turkey so that it will negotiate a settlement.

    He said his government is willing to participate in negotiations based on UN resolutions but will never accept the preconditions set by the Turkish side.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, backed by Turkey, is refusing to participate in peace talks unless the illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974 is recongised.

    He also demands that talks aim at establishing a "confederation of two states", a position rejected by the UN, the Cyprus government and all key players in the peace effort as it is contrary to UN resolutions which call for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    "I would like to reaffirm that achieving a just and durable resolution of the Cyprus problem remains one of President Clinton's and Secretary Albright's major foreign policy priorities," Bandler said.

    He added that the US "remains determined to encourage a Cyprus settlement that establishes a stable, bizonal, bicommunal federation with adequate security guarantees for all".

    "That is a task for the people of Cyprus themselves to accomplish but the US will do all it can to help them find the right path to create the circumstances in which a settlement can be reached," the new American ambassador said.

    He said that to this end "we will support bicommunal programmes that increase mutual understanding between the two communities and address real problems that affect the daily lives of all Cypriots."

    Bandler said that "our determined efforts to bring about negotiations and ease tensions are not a sign that we look upon Cyprus as just a 'problem'" and referred to the "excellent bilateral relationship" between the US and Cyprus.

    He pledged that during his stay he will work towards deepening cooperation in issues such as the fight against terrorism, money laundering and illegal narcotics as well as expanding trade.

    President Clerides said "we are expecting that the international community, and especially the government of the USA with its unique position in the international scene, will exert the necessary influence on Turkey so as to show the will to negotiate a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem."

    The President said the solution must be "based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation and the respect of the human rights of both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities."

    "We recognise the commitment of President Clinton to contribute effectively, in the remaining part of his mandate, to the finding of an acceptable and just solution which will end the division of the island and promote peace and stability in the region", he added.

    "We solemnly declare that we are ready to negotiate a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem within the parametres contained in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, but we wish emphatically to declare that we will not accept the preconditions demanded by the Turkish side nor accept the legalisation of the illegal and destructive invasion and occupation of Cyprus by Turkish forces," Clerides said.

    President Clerides emphasised that "Cyprus' accession to the European Union opens a window of opportunity which can have catalytic effects on the efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem for the benefit and well-being of both communities on the island."

    Cyprus opened accession talks with the EU last year. Clerides pointed out that ethnic cleansing "which is strongly condemned by the international community nowadays, has been actively and yet inconspicuously pursued by Turkey since the invasion in 1974, long before the term achieved its present notoriety."

    The President said that despite the fact that Cyprus and the US are unequal in size and power and despite their geographical distance, they share common values and ideals such as the rule of law, the respect of human rights and the safeguard of international peace and security.

    CNA MA/MM/1999
    1525 :CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Foreign Minister - US Ambassador

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- US Ambassador to Cyprus, Donald Bandler, has assured that President Bill Clinton and the US administration are determined to lend active assistance to the parties in Cyprus for a settlement to the political problem.

    He further pledged to strengthen human ties between the two countries during his term in Cyprus.

    Speaking after meeting Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, Bandler referred to his morning meeting with President Glafcos Clerides where he presented his credentials.

    "I had a good meeting with him in which we discussed both the Cyprus question and the excellent relationship between the US and Cyprus," Bandler said.

    During his meeting with Kasoulides, he said they "covered the same ground in a little bit more detail", adding "we are off to a good start."

    Bandler remarked that before leaving Washington and as he was preparing for his assignment here, he met with President Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the National Security Advisor and other senior officials in the US administration.

    "I know that President Clinton and the whole government is determined to lend active assistance to the parties to the dispute in Cyprus and to try to bring about a durable and a just solution to the problem", Bandler assured.

    "Moroever, we place a lot of weight and value on our relationship with Cyprus, there are a lot of human connections between Cyprus and the US, we share the same basic values and I will be trying during my time here in Cyprus to build upon that relationship and make it even more positive", the US Ambassador added.

    Meanwhile, new Public Affairs Officer at the US embassy in Nicosia, Walter Douglas, arrived on the island last night and was present at the Presidential Palace ceremony. Also present was Assistant Public Affairs Officer, Thomas Kelly, who arrived in Cyprus last week.

    CNA EC/GP/1999

    [05] Famagusta Mayor - Skopje - Protest

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- Famagusta Mayor, Andreas Pouyouros, today sent a telegram to his counterpart in Struga, Skopje, complaining about the Balkan town's intention to sign a twinning agreement with the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta.

    In his letter, Pouyouros says that with this action, Struga "indirectly recognises aggression, foreign occupation and violation of all our fundamental freedoms and human rights, contrary to the resolutions of the United Nations, the Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights".

    Pouyouros notes that "we always had friendly connections with your people, and we call upon you to annul this twinning, which should be made with the lawful citizens of Famagusta, whom I have the honour to represent since 1953".

    The of town of Famagusta has been under Turkish occupation since 1974 when Turkey ordered its troops into Cyprus. It has often been at the core of negotiations to reunite the island which so far have yielded no results, due to the intransigent demands by the Turkish side.

    CNA RG/MM/1999

    [06] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Aug 23 CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         348.67 ( 2.35)
          Traded Value            CYP 2,115,326
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 1,099,599     464.15  ( 2.06)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   124,840     241.11  ( 3.41)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    11,660     176.10  ( 1.68)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP    68,584     141.69  ( 3.83)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   257,164     282.66  ( 2.49)
          Trading Companies       CYP    35,200     147.16  ( 1.93)
          Other Companies         CYP   295,631     287.37  ( 2.73)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MM/1999

    [07] Clerides - Kyprianou - Niotis

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Gregoris Niotis today called on the Cyprus President and the President of the House of Representatives with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem and ways by which Greeks living abroad can back efforts to achieve a settlement on the island.

    "The President briefed me on the prospects for developments in the Cyprus issue and we exchanged views," Niotis said, adding that he reconfirmed that Athens stands by Nicosia.

    Niotis is here to address the World Congress of Overseas Cypriots, which opened in the capital Nicosia last night.

    He said that with President Clerides they also discussed ways by which Greeks and Cypriots living abroad, especially in the US and Europe, can campaign to help the two governments in their efforts to settle the Cyprus problem.

    Niotis renewed an invitation to President Clerides to address the world meeting of the Council of Greeks living abroad to be held in Thessaloniki, Greece, in December.

    He said President Clerides has accepted a proposal from the Greek government for overseas Cypriots to participate in the Council living abroad with their own Vice-President.

    After his meeting with the House President, both Niotis and Spyros Kyprianou said they agreed Cyprus' course for accession to the European Union should be pursued until membership is achieved.

    Kyprianou said they also agreed that "if there is any path creating positive prospects for a Cyprus settlement it should be discussed."

    The House President said they discussed the role all overseas Cypriots and Greeks can play in the Cyprus issue, especially those living in the US and Britain.

    CNA MA/MM/1999

    [08] Foreign Minister - Cyprus problem

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides today said the importance placed on the protection of human rights has been upgraded since the events in Kosovo and thus Cypriots living abroad should be more demanding in the restoration of human rights in their home country.

    Talking to some 120 participants at the 11th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots taking place in Nicosia, Kasoulides said "no one can dispute that Turkey practiced ethnic cleansing against the people of Cyprus in 1974".

    Around 200 thousand Greek Cypriots were forced to flee their homes following the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Kasoulides rejected the demand put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for recognition of the illegal regime unilaterally set up in the occupied areas.

    "According to international law, a state can be recognised if it controls land, it has a population and an administration. Denktash does not control land in Cyprus. It is the Turkish occupation forces that have control in the occupied areas," he said.

    He expressed the view that Denktash wants to gain the acknowledgment of the presence of his illegal regime in the occupied areas and will then do his utmost to ensure that peace negotiations will fall through.

    "Acknowledgment is the last step before the recognition of a state and it would be suicidal on our part if we accepted it," Kasoulides said.

    The Foreign Minister said the Greek Cypriot side would not accept "the so called realities created through the force of arms in violation of all principles of International Law either."

    Referring to Denktash's demand for a confederation in Cyprus, Kasoulides said that "only someone who is ignorant can believe this is a good solution. In reality this would legitimise the status quo."

    "Mr Denktash is demanding two sovereign, independent and internationally recognised states which will have a loose connection between them," he said.

    "We are prepared to cooperate for a settlement of the Cyprus issue but not to consolidate the status quo," he said.

    UN resolutions call for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus.

    The Foreign Minister said "the time has come for us to stop looking at the past. What is important is how Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will build our common future."

    Kasoulides said the international community, and especially the US, should step up their pressure on Turkey so that the Cyprus problem is settled before the Republic joins the European Union.

    "Turkey has so far shown no signs that it will change its policy on the Cyprus issue," he said.

    However, the Foreign Minister pointed out that the Cyprus problem is in no way connected to Cyprus' accession course that got underway last year.

    CNA MA/MM/1999

    [09] Overseas Cypriots - Meeting

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- Some 120 Greek Cypriots living abroad today began discussing issues such as children's education, communication and contact with the younger generations in their annual meeting that got underway last night.

    Greek Cypriots from the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Africa and Greece are participating in the 11th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots.

    The official part of the five-day meeting, held in the capital Nicosia, was opened last night by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides on behalf of President Glafcos Clerides.

    In his address today, President of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots Haris Sophoclides warned of the consequences faced by people living away from their home country, such as the loss of identity.

    Expressing particular concern for the younger generation of Cypriot origin, Sophoclides said "we must organise more events for youngsters".

    He added that preparations for a political youth meeting to be held in the year 2000 are underway.

    Meanwhile delegates today renewed their request that satellite programme from Cyprus can also be viewed in the US, Australia and Canada.

    Until today only Greek Cypriots living in Europe, South Africa and the Middle East can watch the satellite programme from Cyprus.

    Delegates will discuss the issue in more detail and will put forward proposals.

    CNA MA/MM/1999

    [10] Cyprus Union of Journalists - Victims in Turkey

    Nicosia, Aug 23 (CNA) -- The Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) will be sending the symbolic sum of 1000 US dollars to victims of the earthquake that shook Turkey last week, after a letter from the Turkish Progressive Association of Journalists.

    According to a UCJ press release, the Turkish Association has sent a letter to the Cypriot Union thanking it for the "kind and friendly" way it has responded to the tragedy.

    It asks the UCJ to forward its symbolic donation to the Association's bank account in Ankara.

    "The symbolic financial assistance of the UCJ is being sent," the press release says.

    In the aftermath of the earthquake the UCJ sent messages to the Journalists Syndicate and the Progressive Association of Journalists expressing "grief and deep sympathy" as well as its solidarity.

    CNA MA/MM/1999
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