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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-02-23

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Monday, 23/02/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus calls for spirit of friendship and co-operation in UN-sponsored talks
  • [02] US congressman: Cyprus question is a problem of external aggression
  • [03] Tourism vital to Cyprus economy


[01] Cyprus calls for spirit of friendship and co-operation in UN-sponsored talks

Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash are intensifying their efforts towards the recognition of the illegal entity unilaterally declared in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides said last Friday (20.2.98).

The Spokesman pointed out that statements made recently by Turkish officials and Denktash are contrary to the spirit of friendship which should prevail during bicommunal talks for a Cyprus settlement.

"Turkey and Denktash, in absolute harmony, are intensifying their efforts towards the pseudostate's recognition and are preparing a long-term plan to achieve their goal," he said.

The Spokesman reiterated that the international community recognises only the Republic of Cyprus and its legitimate government. He also stressed there is only one sovereignty in Cyprus and that there will be one sovereignty in a future bicommunal and bizonal federation.

Mr Christofides pointed out that a spirit of friendship, co-operation, mutual respect, sincerity, good faith, goodwill and decisiveness should prevail during UN-sponsored bicommunal talks for a Cyprus solution.

[02] US congressman: Cyprus question is a problem of external aggression

The Cyprus issue is not a question of two communities not being able to live together, but a problem of Turkey's occupation of part of the island, US congressman Donald Payne (D-New Jersey) said.

Addressing a luncheon organised by the "Mediterranean Quarterly" magazine on 20.2.98, the Democrat congressman criticised the US administration for being satisfied with "protracted management rather than a fair solution to the problem".

"I firmly believe that the Cyprus problem does not reflect any inherent animosity between two communities or their inability to live side by side in peace and dignity," he said.

Congressman Payne pointed out the Cyprus question is an issue of external aggression and described it as "a problem of occupation of the territory of a sovereign state by Turkey and the latter's determination to alter a country's demography by illegal settlements and de facto annexation of its northern part."

He added that the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of Cyprus' territory "represents over two decades of unanswered questions, human rights violations and cultural destruction."

The Democrat congressman said the American President's initiative last year to appoint Richard Holbrooke as his special emissary for Cyprus was applauded by all, but his "sporadic visits to Cyprus has caused many of us to question his efforts and commitment to forging peace."

Moreover, he said that since Holbrooke's appointment "Turkey has escalated tensions in the region, they continue their war against the Kurds, pursues a revisionist agenda on the Aegean and reportedly uses the territory of Cyprus as a firing range during military exercises."

"The question some of us in Congress have is why does it take so long for the world community and the US to come to grips with a problem which has the potential to be far more explosive than Bosnia," Payne said.

He stressed that "irrespective as to who occupies the White House, it seems as though we are always satisfied with protracted management rather than a fair solution of the problem. I just can't buy this is the best we can do."

Payne, who is a member of the Congress Committee on International Relations and the Human Rights Sub-committee, pointed out that "unlike Bosnia and Kuwait the use of appropriate tools to compel compliance by an intruder of a state's sovereignty was never entertained for Cyprus."

He expressed the view that the US administration should "properly define" the Cyprus problem as aggression on Turkey's part and therefore the occupation army should be subject to international law.

[03] Tourism vital to Cyprus economy

Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Michalakis Michaelides, described tourism as one of the most important sectors of the island's economy.

Speaking at a seminar entitled "Cyprus Tourism in the 21st Century - Regaining Competitiveness", Michaelides said on 20.2.98: "It is estimated that 2.100.00 tourists visited Cyprus in 1997, yielding an income of around 830 million Cyprus pounds".

He pointed out that "the contribution of tourism to the Gross Domestic Product is approximately 20 per cent while about 12,5 percent of the working population is employed directly in the tourism industry".

Stressing "how vital tourism is to the economy of Cyprus", the Minister emphasised the need for hard work "in order to meet the challenges of intense competition and new developments in the tourist world".

Michaelides said that in order to ensure the competitiveness of the tourist industry in the long run, the Government, in co-operation with the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, implements a tourism policy which aims at the diversification and enrichment of the tourist product. Agrotourism, conference tourism, cultural and athletic tourism as well as the creation of golf courses and marinas were examples the Minister cited in this diversification effort.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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