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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-03-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Satisfactory explanation from Israelis
  • [02] Cyprus trade campaign abroad
  • [03] Cyprus hosts conference on integrative medicine
  • [04] Organised crime non-existent in Cyprus
  • [05] British Labour Party supports Cyprus' EU entry
  • [06] Gala dinner opens Glory of Byzantium exhibition
  • [07] Clerides replies to UN Chief on missing
  • [08] British private detectives to face trial
  • [09] FMs of Britain and Cyprus meet in London

  • 1410:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Satisfactory explanation from Israelis

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- Israel's ambassador to Cyprus Shemi Tzur has given satisfactory explanations regarding a misunderstanding at Larnaca International Airport on Sunday, during an Israeli mock security exercise, and the Cyprus government considers the matter closed.

    This was said here today by Cyprus Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, when asked to comment on the incident.

    "I have personally spoken to the Israeli Ambassador and he gave me satisfactory explanations, and admitted it was a mistake on their part not to inform the Cyprus police", Cassoulides said and added he considers the matter closed.

    The Spokesman said no guns where used during the mock security exercise and pointed out that no foreigners, apart from members of foreign diplomatic missions, have a licence from the Cyprus Police to carry guns.

    Replying to a question, Cassoulides said the Cypriot Authorities had given a special permit to the Israelis so they can assist efforts for the security of Israeli airlines (El AL) flights to Cyprus.

    He explained that "these people are specialists in security issues and act as consultants to our authorities for the security of EL AL flights".

    Cassoulides described their cooperation with the Cyprus security units as "good". He said there is no such an agreement with other countries.

    The mock security exercise had created a turmoil at Larnaca Airport last Sunday, as at the same time some airport employees had gone on unannounced strike.

    In a statement to CNA yesterday, Israeli ambassador Shemi Tzur said there was a "misunderstanding" as the Israelis did not inform the Cyprus police about the exercise.

    This was "wrong and a mistake and we apologise for that", the Israeli ambassador said.

    CNA MCH/MA/GP/1997

    [02] Cyprus trade campaign abroad

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) delegations will visit more than twenty countries in 1997, Vassilis Rologis, the Chamber's President, announced here today.

    Speaking at a press conference, Rologis noted KEVE has decided to undertake a "crusade" in Europe, the US and Canada, in an effort to project Cyprus' image as "a business, commerce, service and investment hub."

    The KEVE chief said in the internal front, KEVE will start a series of meetings with government officials, in a bid to introduce such measures that would boost Cyprus' economy.

    "The economic measures announced by the government and the Central Bank, in addition to KEVE's efforts, will help boost the island's economy", Rologis said.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [03] Cyprus hosts conference on integrative medicine

    Paphos, Mar 4 (CNA) -- An international medical conference on integrative medicine entered a second day here today with the participation of some 130 delegates.

    The "First International Congress of Integrative Medicine" deals with music-therapy, acupuncture, homotherapy, fitotherapy, psychotherapy and naturetheraputist technologies.

    The four-day meeting was opened by Paphos mayor Phedias Sarikas, who said the meeting is particularly interesting as a forum for the exchange of scientific views.

    Russian ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Muratov, and the Chairman of Paphos Medical Association, Andreas Iakovides, also addressed the opening ceremony.

    The "Synthesis of Medicine East-West and Modern Technologies - the way to the 21st century" is the main theme of the meeting.

    It is organised by the International Association of Traditional Medicine in cooperation with nine Russian medical academies, institutes and associations.

    Some 130 doctors and practitioners from Russia, and others from Germany, Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, India and Cyprus are taking part in the conference.

    Apart from exchanging views on medical matters, the perspectives and ways of development on integrative medicine, an exhibition of medical equipment on various fields will be held during the conference.

    The effect of music and dance in treating stress and some internal diseases, will be practised whereas human ecology and problems of valeology as well as ways of protection from negative ecological factors and the ecology of the spirit will be discussed.

    Chairman of the organising committee, Cypriot professor Christos Georgiades, told CNA Tuesday Cyprus would benefit both in the scientific sector and its political problem through awareness of foreign scientists with the protracted Cyprus question.

    CNA MM/AP/GP/1997

    [04] Organised crime non-existent in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- Organised crime in Cyprus is almost non-existent, despite the fact the island is geographically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, a Cypriot MP told a Commonwealth meeting here today.

    Speaking at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's 28th British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference, centre-right Democratic Party MP Katerina Paschalidou said statistics indicate that only 700 serious crimes per 100.000 persons occur each year in Cyprus, compare to 5.000 serious crimes per 100.000 persons occurring each year in Europe.

    The majority of these crimes committed in Cyprus relate to crimes against personal property, while the percentage of crimes solved during the past two years has reached 64 per cent, a figure considered highly satisfactory.

    Paschalidou added that the Turks have also played a major role in the increase in organised crime on the island.

    She explained that due to the Turkish occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory and the lax attitude displayed by the occupation regime, an increase in drug smuggling has occurred, activities which "create a criminal network and illegal profits, expanding into spying".

    The MP said that in 1995, ten per cent of the drugs seized by Cypriot police originated from the occupied areas.

    Paschalidou also referred to a 1989 published report in the Turkish Cypriot daily, "Yeni Duzen", which said that heroin smugglers use the occupied areas as a base for distribution to Europe and the United States.

    Marios Matsakis, an MP of the same party, said the biggest problem faced by Cypriot police is the ease with which drugs from Turkey make their way to the free areas of the island through the occupied part.

    Matsakis said it is exceedingly difficult for Cypriot police to monitor the 180 kilometre-long demarcation line separating the occupied from the free areas of the Republic.

    The main speaker at today's discussion was Senator R.J. Shenton, from the island of Jersey, who stressed that organised crime is a huge, multi- national operation which threatens democracy, the law and citizens.

    He noted that all must contribute to the struggle to crush organised crime and drug trafficking.

    CNA KN/MH/GP/1997

    [05] British Labour Party supports Cyprus' EU entry

    London, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The British Labour Party supports Cyprus' application to join the European Union (EU). It does not consider a Cyprus settlement as a precondition for the island's accession.

    It has also committed itself to have Cyprus in its priorities, if it comes to power, and to back UN efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    The Labour Party's positions were outlined in London today, during a meeting between Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

    Michaelides updated Cook on the current state of discussions between the Cyprus government and the EU, as well as efforts to reach a solution to the protracted Cyprus issue.

    Speaking after the meeting, the Shadow Foreign Secretary said he "assured (Michaelides) that Labours' position remains strongly supportive of the application by Cyprus to join the EU".

    He added he gave the Cypriot Foreign Minister "the commitment that we want to see the application proceed without any Turkish veto on Cyprus over this application".

    Cook said the Labour Party is "anxious to make sure that every possible opportunity is given for Cyprus to join (the EU) as a sovereign island and that a settlement should accompany the accession".

    However, he stressed that "we are very clear that the accession of Cyprus to the EU must not be made dependant on a settlement".

    Describing talks with Cyprus' Foreign Minister as "very valuable", Cook expressed certainty the Labour Party was going to be in government, on May 1, after the general elections in Britain.

    He said he reassured Michaelides that a Labour government "will want to do everything it can to achieve a permanent and a just solution to the Cyprus problem and to end the division of the island."

    Cook said Britain will take the EU presidency in January 1998 and added he has "given a commitment that we will see to put the issue of Cyprus on one of the priorities to a joint action programme of common European policy, and as a leading member of the EU we will be in a position to assure that happens".

    The Shadow Secretary said he has undertaken "that as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, we will back any effort and initiative that is taken by the (UN) Secretary-General to take forward the discussions of the UN on the island."

    He noted that "there are a number of ways Britain can play a part and I will intend to make sure that a Labour government plays a full part."

    Michaelides described the meeting as "very useful and substantive" and said he explained that "for any new effort on the Cyprus issue to have results, it should be coordinated."

    The Foreign Minister said the outcome of efforts to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem depend on coordination between the US, Britain and major EU countries, as well as the EU as a whole.

    Cyprus divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion applied for full EU membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    Present at the Michaelides-Cook meeting were Cyprus' High Commissioner in London Vanias Markides, Andreas Mavroyiannis, Director of the Minister's Office, and Cook's advisor on European Affairs David Clark.

    CNA KT/MA/GP/1997

    [06] Gala dinner opens Glory of Byzantium exhibition

    New York, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York officially opened last night its landmark exhibition, "Glory of Byzantium", showcasing some of the rarest and most exquisite examples of Byzantine art from Greece and Cyprus.

    About 600 dignitaries from the United States, Greece, Cyprus and other countries attended a gala dinner hosted by the museum including the Director of the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Andreas Christofides.

    Christofides attended as the official representative of the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    The Archbishop has lent five priceless icons to the exhibition from the churches of Ayios Nicolaos tis Stegis in the village of Kakopetria, Holy Cross in Pelendri village, the Bishopric of Limassol and the Bishopric of Paphos.

    In his prepared remarks to the guests, Metropolitan Museum Director, Philippe de Montebello, paid special tribute to Cyprus' contribution to the exhibition and to "his Beatitude, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus, who to our regret, could not be with us tonight, but we are pleased to welcome his representative."

    Christofides told reporters on his arrival to the museum that "all of us are pleased and gratified that the art of Byzantium in its uniquely Greek character, is being given due recognition.

    "But it should also remind us that at the same time so much of our past is being preserved for mankind, the desecration of churches in occupied Cyprus continues and priceless religious treasures are being plundered and lost almost daily," Christofides said.

    The CNA Director added that "it is impossible to view the wonders of this exhibition without joy, but also a profoundly saddened heart. That is the message, I think, the Archbishop wished to convey tonight".

    Among dignitaries at the dinner were Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, Greek Minister of Culture, Evangelos Venizelos, Cyprus Ambassador to UNESCO, Dinos Leventis, Cyprus Ambassador to Washington, Andros Nicolaides, Cyprus Ambassador to the United Nations, Nicos Agathocleous, Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church in North America, Spyridon, and others.

    In his address, Vice-Chairman of Citibank, Bill Rhodes, mentioned his participation in archaeological digs in Cyprus and thanked especially the Bishop of Paphos for lending to the exhibition.

    Last night's guests were the first to view the works. The exhibition opens to the public March 11 and runs through June 6.

    CNA JD/MH/GP/1997

    [07] Clerides replies to UN Chief on missing

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides will request the appointment of the third member of an Investigatory Committee on the Missing Persons to allow the process to continue.

    The Cypriot President's request will be included in a reply letter to the UN Secretary-General, Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides announced here today.

    The third member of the Committee, Paul Wurth, of the International Red Cross Society appointed by the UN chief has retired. The Greek Cypriot side is represented in the Committee by Elias Georgiades and the Turkish Cypriot side by Rustem Tatar.

    Cassoulides made clear that the Greek Cypriot side will "in no way accept either summary conclusions or use of the term 'presumed dead'."

    Cassoulides said the relatives of 1619 people listed as missing after the 1974 Turkish invasion disagreed with the government's handling on the issue on two certain points.

    He explained that President Clerides' talking points handed over to UN chief Kofi Annan during their January meeting at the Davos World Economic Forum, did not mention that for the Investigatory Committee to continue its task a third member should be appointed as "this was self explanatory to the President".

    The Spokesman noted this particular point will be "clearly written" in President Clerides' new letter to the UN Secretary-General.

    "The second point is related to the order in which investigations will begin," the Spokesman added.

    Cassoulides said a committee set up by the government and chaired by Education and Culture Minister Claire Angelidou to inform relatives of 126 missing persons considered to be dead, is "inactive".

    The Government Spokesman said the relatives would be informed at a later stage. He did not elaborate.

    CNA MCH/AP/GP/1997

    [08] British private detectives to face trial

    Limassol, Mar 4 (CNA) -- Two British nationals will go on trial before the Assize Court, on June 5, on charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, burglary and theft, and illegal entry with intention to steal.

    The Limassol District Court ordered today the detention of Paul William Whylbroo, 48, and Andrew Michael Flack, 53, until tomorrow, when it will examine a prosecution demand that they remain in custody until their trial.

    During today's court procedure, the defence lawyer asked for his clients' release, under conditions to be decided by the Court.

    Whylbroo and Flack, who claim they are private detectives, insist they are not guilty.

    The two British nationals were arrested on February 16 at Larnaca International Airport, while they were about to leave the country.

    They were arrested for questioning over the theft of about two thousand documents, concerning the contents and mixtures for the production of pharmaceutical products, of leading European firms, from a Limassol-based customs clearing agency, the previous day.

    Meanwhile, Police dropped charges against Greek Cypriot Lefteris Paneras, who was arrested on February 21 in connection with the case.

    Paneras was released last Saturday. A police source told CNA today that after examining his case Monday, the Attorney-General's office decided there was no evidence against the 37-year-old ship inspector, from Limassol.

    CNA PI/MA/GP/1997

    [09] FMs of Britain and Cyprus meet in London

    London, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Britain discussed here this afternoon the urgent need to step up efforts to reach a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    FM Alecos Michaelides and British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind had an hour-long meeting in London today, which the Cypriot Minister described as "very important and constructive".

    Michaelides said their discussion focused on the urgent need to intensify interest in solving the Cyprus problem as well as the need for coordination of efforts to reach a Cyprus solution.

    Cyprus' Foreign Minister explained that the Cyprus government insists that common ground on the fundamental aspects of the problem should be reached between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, before direct negotiations begin, to secure their success.

    Michaelides also said the US and Britain are in direct contact and update each other on their efforts to help move the Cyprus issue forward.

    Referring to recent efforts by France, Britain and Germany, to include Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus' accession talks with the European Union (EU), the Foreign Minister said his British counterpart explained his government's aim is to inform the Turkish Cypriot community on the benefits they will have from EU accession.

    Cyprus' High Commissioner in Britain, Vanias Markides, and the Director of the Minister's office, Andreas Mavroyianis, were present at the meeting.

    Britain's Representative for the Cyprus issue Sir David Hannay, the Director of the Foreign Office Southern European Affairs, Haydon Warren Gash, and other Foreign Office officials were also present at the meeting.

    Earlier today the Cypriot Foreign Minister met Labour Shadow Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook.

    Michaelides is leaving London later tonight, for Paris, where he is scheduled to meet tomorrow with the French Minister for European Affairs, Michel Barnier.

    The Foreign Minister is currently on a tour of six European capitals, to discuss the Cyprus issue and the Republic's bid to join the EU.

    CNA KT/MA/AP/1997

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