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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-08-31

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Spokesman - US government - Cyprus problem
  • [02] Cypriot deputy - Mosque
  • [03] Clerides - Theodorakis - Nobel peace prize
  • [04] Minister of Labour - Unemployment
  • [05] Rolandis - Tourism strategy
  • [06] SPORT: Maccabi 85 - Zalgiris 76
  • [07] Cook - Kranidiotis - Cyprus problem

  • 1625:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Spokesman - US government - Cyprus problem

    Nicosia, Aug 31 (CNA) -- The government today expressed satisfaction with continuing US interest for a settlement in Cyprus establishing a bizonal, bicommunal federation, commenting on American President Bill Clinton's recent report to Congress on the Cyprus issue.

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou also said the new US State Department Cyprus coordinator Thomas Weston is expected here on Saturday for a familiarisation visit and will call on President Glafcos Clerides on Monday.

    "We point out two positive elements in President Clinton's report", Papapetrou said, namely, "American insistence on a bizonal, bicommunal federation as well as the renewal of US interest in a settlement and the need for future talks for a settlement in Cyprus."

    Referring to the possibility of Cyprus peace talks resuming, the spokesman said that "a number of countries and especially the Security Council permanent members will be in the wings and will try to facilitate the UN Secretary General's efforts through interventions in the direction of the two sides."

    In his report submitted to Congress on August 19 on progress towards a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question, for the period April - May 1999, President Clinton says his administration "will continue efforts to bring about a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation."

    He also says that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright discussed the possibilities of resuming the Cyprus negotiations this fall with her Greek and Turkish counterparts.

    Negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides have not been held since the summer of 1997 following preconditions set by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the recognition of the illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974.

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

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [02] Cypriot deputy - Mosque

    Nicosia, Aug 31 (CNA) -- Deputy Takis Hadjidemetriou will inform the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Education and Cultural Committee on the Cyprus government's measures to protect Moslem places of worship and the repair work done to the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca following an arson attempt.

    In a letter to House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou the MP informs him that at a Committee meeting to be held on September 2 he will condemn Sunday's arson attempt against the mosque, that caused only slight material damage.

    Hadjidemetriou, who handles issues concerning the protection of Cyprus' cultural heritage, protests the arson attempt and welcomes the fact that the government, the House President and all political parties vehemently condemned it.

    A leaflet signed by an unknown organisation named "Patriotic Organisation of Cypriot fighters" was found at the Hala Sultan Tekke, on the southern coast, that was built in the memory of Umm Haram, an aunt of the Prophet Mohammed, who is said to be buried in the shrine.

    Hadjidemetriou suggests that the Parliament should discuss the issue: "The protection, preservation and restoration of Muslim mosques and monuments in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus" when it reconvenes from its summer recess.

    The Cyprus government has restored a number of Muslim places of worship, while it is estimated that over 500 churches in the areas of the island occupied by Turkey since 1974 have been destroyed, desecrated, turned into mosques or used for other purposes.

    Meanwhile, a meeting will be held tomorrow at the Larnaca Police station during which final decisions are expected to be taken for increasing security measures at the mosque.

    Police are continuing investigations into the arson attempt, upon orders from President Glafcos Clerides for its full mobilisation to investigate the crime and bring the criminals to justice.

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [03] Clerides - Theodorakis - Nobel peace prize

    Nicosia, Aug 31 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will become a signatory to a petition proposing the internationally acclaimed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis as a contender for the year 2000 Nobel peace prize.

    Announcing the President's decision today, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said Clerides will sign all relevant documents during a visit to Athens in the second half of September.

    Greek Premier Costas Simitis is heading the list of celebrities from politics, the arts, media, science and sports that have signed the proposal.

    The Premier and Foreign Minister of the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) are among the personalities who have signed the proposal.

    A campaign will be launched in Europe and the US to collect more signatures for Theodorakis, not only known as a composer but also for his resistance to the dictatorship in Greece from 1967 - 1974.

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [04] Minister of Labour - Unemployment

    Nicosia, Aug 31 (CNA) -- Cyprus' unemployment rate in the first six months of 1999 was 3,6 per cent, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Andreas Moushouttas has said.

    Moushouttas today presided over a meeting of senior Ministry officials to review the latest developments in unemployment, attended also by representatives of the official Planning Bureau and the Industrial Training Authority.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, he said the unemployment rate in the first six months of 1999 according to preliminary data was 3,6 per cent.

    Unemployment in 1998 was 3,3 per cent. He explained that the upward tendency in unemployment which started last year is weakening, adding that the slight increase is attributed to the recession in the manufacturing and constructions sectors and the illegal employment of foreigners.

    Asked about the sectors and population groups which are most struck by unemployment, he said the figure in the constructions sector rose to 6,5 per cent while women's unemployment is 4,7 per cent.

    Commenting on reports predicting massive redundancies due to Cyprus' European Union course, the Labour Minister noted that the island's future accession to the Union is likely to have a negative effect on unemployment.

    He pointed out, however, that the government is looking closely at the issue and is already preparing the necessary Bills in order to safeguard the rights of the working population.

    Cyprus started substantive accession negotiations with the EU in November 1998.

    CNA GG/MCH/1999

    [05] Rolandis - Tourism strategy

    Nicosia, Aug 31 (CNA) -- Four new marinas are expected to be built in Cyprus, increasing their number to six, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism Nicos Rolandis said today, adding that an additional six to seven golf courses will also be constructed as the two existing ones are doing well.

    Rolandis headed a meeting of government officials, representatives of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation as well as Irish experts who have prepared a preliminary report on tourism strategies and prospects for Cyprus.

    The minister said that the report prepared by the Irish experts on tourism until the year 2010 will be discussed and they will be given final instructions.

    He clarified however that it is more realistic to set out a strategy until the year 2003, but at the same time do long-term planning.

    In about two months from today our strategies will be prepared, Rolandis said noting they aim at increasing the number of tourists visiting the island and improving the tourist product.

    Tourism is the island's main source of income, with over two million people visiting Cyprus last year bringing in revenues of 878 million Cyprus pounds (one Cyprus pound trades at about 1,85 US dollars).

    Referring to the marinas, of total capacity of 4500 yachts, Rolandis said he expects the House of Representatives to approve the relevant regulations so that bids for their construction can be opened until the end of the year.

    He also said that the plans for the construction of a third golf course, near the Baths of Aphrodite in the western coastal district of Paphos, have already been approved.

    The two other golf courses are also operating in Paphos. Rolandis said that a proposal for the building of a golf course in the western coastal resort of Ayia Napa will soon be put before the Council of Ministers, while in the next few months decisions will be taken regarding the construction of another two golf courses.

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [06] SPORT: Maccabi 85 - Zalgiris 76

    Nicosia, Aug 31 (CNA) -- Israel's champions Maccabi Tel Aviv beat European champions Zalgiris Kaunas Lithuania 85 - 76 here this afternoon.

    The game for the Caretta Sunball Classic tournament took place at Cyprus capital's indoor stadium "Eleftheria".

    Two other games will follow tonight. European Cup winners Benetton Treviso clash with the second Italian team participating in the tournament, Kinder Bologna, the Euro League runners-up.

    Greece's champions Panathinaikos play against Partizan Belgrade.

    CNA GP/1999

    [07] Cook - Kranidiotis - Cyprus problem

    by Costas Iordanides

    London, Aug 31 (CNA) -- British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has said that his country will work hard to make the Cyprus peace talks succeed.

    Cook had a meeting today in London with Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides who appeared certain that conditions for a new peace effort to settle the Cyprus problem exist.

    The two men discussed a number of issues of mutual interest, including Greco-Turkish relations and Turkey's relations with the European Union.

    Cook said emphasis was given on "how to get greater success in the forthcoming talks on Cyprus", adding he reassured Kranidiotis of Britain's keen interest "because of our historical contacts with Cyprus and because of the very large community of Cypriots living here".

    The UN and key players in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem have undertaken a new initiative to get the stalled peace process going later this year.

    Talks have not been held since the summer of 1997 after preconditions set by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for recognition of the illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    Denktash also demands the talks aim at setting up a "confederation of two states", contrary to UN resolutions stipulating for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    "Britain is taking a keen interest and we will work hard to make these talks succeed in a way that meets the aspirations of all the people of Cyprus to have a single island with a single personality," Cook said.

    On his part, Kranidiotis said conditions for a new effort to settle the Cyprus question exist, in view of the improvement of the climate between Greece and Turkey, Turkey's European Union aspirations, the efforts for peace in the Middle East and the new process for rebuilding the Balkans.

    Cyprus cannot remain the only open wound undermining stability in the region, Kranidiotis said.

    He pointed out that Europe and the international community should undertake a new effort to settle the Cyprus question.

    Later today Kranidiotis was scheduled to meet the British government envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay.

    Tomorrow he leaves for Brussels for meetings on Greco-Turkish relations.

    CNA KI/MA/MCH/1999
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