|Sunday, 23 February 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-06-06
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 headlinesTurkish troops appear to be bolstering their presence along the ceasefire line, as the Defence Minister assures the situation is being monitored closely,
Commerce Minister Yiorgos Lillikas said the EU did not apply to get its own experts to inspect Turkish Cypriot agricultural products,
Lord Hannay says Rauf Denktash is stuck in the past,
AND Hamas said it was breaking off talks with Palestinian PM Mahmood Abbas on ending attacks on Israelis.
 KoullisMeanwhile, Defence Minister Koulis Mavronicolas said Turkish forces are trying to consolidate their hold on Strovilia by taking advantage of the fact that no National Guard troops posted there.
He said the most provocative actions are taking place in the Aegean as Turkish forces are conducting exercises involving a mock invasion and occupation of a rocky islets.
Regarding Africa's reports on Turkish troop movements in the occupied north, Mr. Mavronicolas said the situation is being monitored closely.
 LouroudjinaAfter Strovilia, Turkish troops appear to be bolstering their presence in occupied Louroudjina and Pergamos.
Turkish Cypriot opposition daily Africa reports that guard posts in the two villages will be now manned by Turkish soldiers, replacing Turkish Cypriot security personnel.
According to Africa, more Turkish tanks were offloaded from ships at Famagusta port.
The newspaper also notes that strange happenings are taking place along the ceasefire line in recent days which don't make it in the news.
It reports that communications at Turkish guardposts was mysteriously cut in the early hours Wednesday for two hours.
 LillikasCommerce Minister Yiorgos Lillikas said the European Union has not put in a request to appoint its own experts to inspect Turkish Cypriot agricultural products for export to EU countries.
Speaking to CyBC, Mr. Lillikas said this issue, as with many others, is on the negotiating table and are being discussed on a technical level.
He said the decision that will be taken is political in nature and the government will not accept anything that casts into doubt the Republic's sovereign rights, lead to indirect recognition of the occupation regime, or serve Rauf Denktash's policy of freezing the current status quo.
 OmirouSocialist Kisos leader Yiannakis Omirou said it would be inconceivable to accept even backhanded recognition of the occupation regime through EU support measures for Turkish Cypriots.
Speaking at a party district conference in Larnaca, Mr. Omirou said the message must be sent out loud and clear to Brussels and beyond that any measures propping up Turkish Cypriots should adhere to legal principles and respect the Republic's sovereign rights.
 HannayLord David Hannay said Rauf Denktash remains stuck in the past.
In his first interview since stepping down as Britain's Cyprus envoy, Lord Hannay said Rauf Denktash likes to delve into history, but his version of events stops well short of the present.
Lord Hannay said Turkey itself wishes to join the European Union and asked if the northern part of Cyprus will stay out of the EU because an old man, as he said, doesn't wish it.
Explaining his reasons for quitting, Lord Hannay said he felt that his work wasn't usefull after settlement talks collapsed at The Hague.
He stressed, however, that the decision not to replace him doesn't mean that London's interest in solving the Cyprus issue is downgraded.
Lord Hannay said all this this means is a diplomatic shift in how Britain will be involved in settlement efforts.
 AmbassadorUS Ambassador Michael Klosson said the partial lifting of travel restrictions has shattered the myth that Greek and Turkish Cypriots must be kept apart for the sake of peace.
He stressed, however, that the measure is no replacement for a comprehensive Cyprus settlement.
Speaking at a gathering of American university graduates, Mr. Klosson said the US administration's top priority is to achieve a just and lasting Cyprus solution based on the UN blueprint.
 DenktashRauf Denktash branded Turkish Cypriots backing a settlement as slaves to their Greek Cypriot compatriots.
Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam reports that Rauf Denktash became incensed over an opinion piece in left-wing Yeni Duzen which holds him responsible for the 100 million dollars Greek Cypriots are demanding as compensation not being able to enjoy their property in the occupied north.
 PapadopoulosPresident Tassos Papadopoulos wants to change the mindset of the civil service.
Speaking before today's Cabinet meeting, Mr. Papadopoulos pledged that merit will reign supreme in government.
He said the government and its employees must serve the public, not opress them.
The President said his government will stick to a policy that sends a message of social justice and of striving to improve living standards.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet is hard at work trying to fulfil pledges made in the president's campaign platform.
Top of the agenda today are issues concerning the Interior Ministry. Other sessions will cover all other ministries until July 14.
 mideastThe militant Islamic group Hamas said it was breaking off talks with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas on ending its attacks on Israelis.
A Hamas spokesman said Mr. Abbas made unacceptable commitments at Wednesday's U.S.-led summit with Israel in Aqaba, Jordan.
Abbas called at the landmark gathering, which he attended with U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, for an end to the Palestinian armed struggle for statehood.
Hamas made the statement made a day after Israel killed two of its gunmen in a raid in the West Bank city of Tulkarm.
 EUOfficials drafting a European Union constitution have clinched a deal on institutional reforms in a diplomatic breakthrough just two weeks before EU leaders meet for a summit in Greece.
The deal is said to include a long-term president of the European Council, an issue that has proved particularly divisive.
Large countries have pushed for this post, but its powers would be strictly limited, reflecting the concerns of small nations and the executive European Commission that the new president should not upset the EU's delicate balance of power.
The deal also envisages a slimmed-down Commission of 15 full members and an outer ring of deputy commissioners without voting rights, operating on a principle of rotation to ensure equality among all 25 current and future member states.
Valery Giscard d'Estaing, who heads the Convention on the Future of Europe, was trying to sell the agreement to the EU and national lawmakers and officials who make up his 105-member forum today.
 CongoAn advance party of French troops arrived to a warm welcome from residents in Congo's Bunia town in the first deployment of a 1,400-strong rapid reaction force to stop bloodshed among rival militias.
The United Nations says about 500 civilians have been massacred in inter-ethnic fighting in and around Bunia in the northeastern Ituri region in the past two weeks and 50,000 have been killed since 1999.
A U.N. mission of around 700 personnel is already in the region, but its mandate is limited and militias allied to the Hema and Lendu tribes have killed hundreds and ransacked Bunia despite their presence.
Militiamen from both sides, often drugged or drunk, have also raped and looted and forced thousands of civilians from their homes.
 chechnyaA suspected gas explosion ripped through an apartment block in the Chechen capital Grozny killing at least 10 people.
The blast occurred a day after a woman suicide bomber ambushed a bus carrying Russian air force pilots near separatist Chechnya, killing herself and at least 17 others.
But government officials said initial investigations suggested today's explosion, which caused part of the five-storey block to collapse, was not a deliberate attack.
The blast came at a sensitive time as Russia's parliament is expected to give final approval to a partial amnesty for rebel Chechen fighters designed to improve prospects for a Kremlin peace plan.
 medalsCyprus tops the medal count at the Games of European small states being held at Veletta, Malta.
Cyprus has so far garnered 19 gold, 16 silver and 18 bronce medals.
Yesterday's tally included five gold in track and one in swimming.
Cypriot athletes are going for gold today in shooting and swimming events.
Second in the medal standings is Iceland with 17 gold, 19 silver and 15 bronze, with Luxemburg trailing in third.
 weatherPartly cloudy this afternoon with light to moderate, northeasterly to southeasterly winds, force 3 to 5, with slight to moderate seas.
It will feel like summertime as temperatures will reach 33 degrees inland, 31 on the coasts and 23 in the highest mountains.
Some scattered clouds tonight with light to moderate, northwesterly to northeasterly winds, force 2 to 3 and slight to moderate seas.
Temperatures will drop to 21 degrees inland, the southern and eastern coasts, 18 on the western coast and 14 in the highest mountains.
A reminder, as always, that the fire hazard is great in all forest areas.