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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-03-05

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Party leaders ready to assist solution effort
  • [02] UN calls for restraint in public statements
  • [03] Court releases on bail suspects of deadly dogfights
  • [04] UN "big five" to discuss Cyprus in fortnight
  • [05] Central Bank of Cyprus on money laundering

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Party leaders ready to assist solution effort

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political party leaders decided to facilitate direct contact between them, a move welcomed by the UN as a "step in the right direction."

    The decision was announced today after a meeting of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot party leaders at the Ledra Palace hotel, in the UN controlled buffer zone.

    The event, organised by the Slovak Embassy, was attended for the first time by UN Secretary-General's deputy special representative for Cyprus, Gustave Feissel.

    A joint statement read by Feissel afterwards said "the political party leaders underlined the importance they attached to the efforts under the auspices of the S.G. of the U.N. to pave the way for the urgent convening of direct negotiations between the two communities on an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem."

    Furthermore, political party leaders "agreed to make every effort to facilitate direct contacts and telephone communications between themselves", the statement said.

    If added that they also agreed to co-sponsor in mid 1997 a bicommunal concert by renown Greek and Turkish composers, Mikis Theodorakis and Zulgi Livaneli.

    Feissel described such meetings as "absolutely helpful in the UN efforts for a settlement" and said the parties, which represent the totality of the island, have a "very important role to play in helping, promoting and facilitating the effort to bring about an overall settlement".

    Feissel called for more regular meetings of this kind and said they were "a step in the right direction".

    Party leaders agreed to meet in a month's time.

    The UN envoy noted that although there were some differences of views, "the important thing is they are determined to overcome their differences and facilitate the work of the two leaders who have to negotiate the settlement."

    They also recognise they have an important part to play in making the job of the two community leaders (President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash) easier, Feissel added.

    All Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot parties attended the event, apart from the T/C National Unity part of Dervis Eroglu.

    CNA EC/MM/1996

    [02] UN calls for restraint in public statements

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- The UN has urged political leaders from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to exercise restraint in making public statements about progress in the Cyprus talks.

    "This is a period when it's best to say less about the good news, the bad news or no news," UN Secretary-General's deputy representative, Gustave Feissel, said here today after a meeting of Greek and Turkish Cypriot parties.

    He noted that a "certain period of quiet is needed now so that we can do the work which hopefully will result in the direct meeting between the two leaders (President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash)."

    He urged all "to work very seriously and part of the seriousness that we expect from the two sides is that they do not make statements in public about how the situation is, what they think and so on."

    Asked if there are any developments in the UN-sponsored military dialogue between the National Guard and the Turkish occupation troops, Feissel replied "there are no developments from one day to the next".

    Meetings, he added, continue on a regular basis with the two military sides. "Let's hope things will move forward", Feissel said.

    The UN envoy said no specific date for a meeting between Denktash and UN chief Kofi Annan has been set, but this is expected to take place within the month in New York.

    CNA EC/MM/1996

    [03] Court releases on bail suspects of deadly dogfights

    Larnaca, Mar 5 (CNA) -- Four Greek Cypriots were charged today by the police with organising vicious dogfights during the past three years for betting purposes and were released on bail.

    Spyros Theodorou, 46, from Larnaca, Charalambos Charalambous, 23, from Ayia Napa, Stavros Neocleous, 21, from Paralimni and Fanos Efthymiou, 21, from Frenaros, appeared before the Larnaca District Court and were accused of ill-treating animals by organising dog fights during which the dogs were injured, in violation of the 1994 animal welfare law.

    Police say they have evidence against all four suspects, released on 1.000 pound bail each (about 2.000 US dollars).

    None of the suspects has entered a plea and defence lawyers requested more time.

    Judge Antonis Liatsos adjourned proceedings until 12 March.

    He said this was a "particularly significant case" as it had attracted a lot of media publicity at home and abroad.

    The four suspects are believed to have organised, from January 1995 and March 1997, deadly dogfights in Famagusta district (on the eastern part of the island) between pit bull terriers and Alsatian dogs, for betting purposes.

    Television pictures, broadcast last week on a private network, showed scenes from one of the fights and caused a storm of protests from animal welfare groups.

    CNA TA/AP/MM/1997

    [04] UN "big five" to discuss Cyprus in fortnight

    Larnaca, Mar 5 (CNA) -- A Russian proposed meeting of the representatives of the UN Security Council five permanent members will take place in New York in two weeks' time, in a bid to coordinate efforts on initiatives for a Cyprus solution, Russian ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Muratov, said here Wednesday.

    Speaking after a meeting earlier today with Larnaca Mayor George Lykourgos, Muratov reiterated that all initiatives should be within the framework of UN resolutions on Cyprus.

    The Russian diplomat said any initiative should be presented as one proposal to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, noting that no one but them has the right to find a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    He also called on the "big give" to go to the New York meeting with specific ways on how to reach a settlement.

    Asked to outline his country's proposal, the Russian ambassador replied "we have repeatedly said what our proposals are." Russia has backed the convening of an international conference on Cyprus and has often underlined the need for coordination and cooperation among all the parties involved in the Cyprus peace effort.

    Muratov said so far contacts on Cyprus have not come to any conclusion as discussion were not persistent or serious.

    CNA TA/AP/MM/1997

    [05] Central Bank of Cyprus on money laundering

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- "The concern expressed by the US State Department is of very general nature and does not refer to any specific money laundering cases involving Cyprus," a statement issued by the Central Bank of Cyprus has said.

    A US report on international narcotics control strategy considers Cyprus "a high risk area for money laundering" and claims the island is "a receiver and conduit for funds generated by an array of crimes, in particular funds controlled by Russian mafia."

    The Central Bank statement said "it is important to state that rating Cyprus as a high priority country does not imply, according to the report, lack of adequate legislation or other administrative measures or/and insufficient efforts to prevent money laundering activities."

    "These are preconditions which, it is accepted, are met in Cyprus," the statement noted.

    The Central Bank of Cyprus pointed out that 20 other countries placed in the same category as Cyprus, including the USA itself, the UK, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, which have developed economies and are international financial centres, "are naturally more likely to be used for money laundering activities."

    Having studied the report, the statement said, the general conclusion to be drawn is that "there is a coordinated and continuous effort in Cyprus to tackle this serious international problem."

    The Central Bank statement lists the many positive elements in the State Department's report on Cyprus.

    These indicate, the statement added, that "in spite of the general concern expressed, the Cypriot authorities are aware of the dangers and take all the necessary measures for facing any undesirable situations."

    The US report refers to a 1996 law which made Cyprus the first country in the Middle East to introduce comprehensive legislation to combat money laundering, to the recently established laundering investigations unit and the government's continuous efforts to prevent the off-shore sector from being used for money laundering activities as positive moves.

    The Central Bank said, in its statement, it is working on new guidelines which will be issued shortly to all banks on customer identification requirements, keeping of records, staff training and internal auditing procedures.

    "With the implementation of these guidelines, Cyprus will be in the front line of countries applying effective measures for the combatting of money laundering," the statement concluded.

    CNA AP/MM/1997
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