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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-03-11

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Bicommunal trade union conference announced
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Michaelides meets Kinkel
  • [04] Austrian peacekeepers to remain in Cyprus
  • [05] Good start, says UN envoy
  • [06] Police consider alleged espionage by Turks, a serious case
  • [07] EU wants T/C in Cyprus team
  • [08] Cyprus' EU entry prospect - catalyst for settlement
  • [09] Benefits greater than concessions, says Hannay

  • 1430:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Bicommunal trade union conference announced

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unions have announced a follow-up to their highly successful 1995 conference to address common concerns on Cyprus' road to European Union accession.

    The All-Cyprus Trade Union Study Conference, set for 17, 18 and 19 March, builds on the January, 1995 All-Cyprus Trade Union Forum, which brought Greek and Turkish Cypriots trade unionists together, voicing their common concerns on labour issues.

    Representatives from Greek Cypriot trade unions, PEO, SEK and PASYDY, along with their Turkish Cypriot counterparts, Dev-Is, Turk-sen and KTAMS, said the subject of the Study Conference is "The effects on working people as a result of Cyprus' future accession to the European Union".

    "These kinds of conferences create a better climate on the island, pave the way for common ground," SEK Deputy General Secretary Dimitris Kittenis told journalists during a bicommunal press conference today at the UN- controlled Ledra Palace Hotel.

    The conference, funded by the European Union, will focus on specific aspects of the accession process, and workshops will be set up for delegates to debate the positive and negative impact of future accession.

    Delegates are expected to issue a joint statement at the end of the conference.

    During the 1995 Trade Union Forum, delegates from both communities issued a joint statement, expressing trade union support for Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    Representatives, however, pointed out that trade unions do not adhere to any particular political stance held either by the government of Cyprus or Turkey.

    "Trade unions act totally independent of any political line," Kittenis said.

    The conference will last for three days and will take place in the free and occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Party leaders and representatives from Greek and Turkish Cypriot political parties, the Ambassadors to Cyprus of the permanent member states of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General's Resident Representative in Cyprus, are expected to attend the opening session.

    EU Ambassador to Cyprus Gilles Anouil will address the opening of the conference.

    Speeches will also be made during the conference by specialists from the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), and the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

    CNA MH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1445:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    77.80 (-0.46)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  87.00 (-0.98)
    Approved Investment Companies          65.98 (-0.69)
    Insurance Companies                    57.55 (+0.19)
    Industrial Companies                   83.27 (+0.06)
    Tourist Industries                     62.82 (+1.08)
    Commercial Companies                   54.37 (+2.31)
    Other Companies                        56.83 (-0.35)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 517765.978
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1500:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Michaelides meets Kinkel

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- Germany insists on a solution to the Cyprus problem before the island's accession to the European Union.

    However, Cyprus believes this position encourages Turkish intransigence.

    The two countries' positions were set out yesterday during a meeting in Bonn between the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Germany, Alecos Michaelides and Klaus Kinkel.

    According to the Athens News Agency (ANA), in a statement issued by the German Foreign Ministry at the end of last night's meeting, it was stressed that without a political settlement of the Cyprus problem, Cyprus' accession to the EU is "impossible".

    According to the statement, Kinkel was quoted as saying that the success of the accession negotiations can only be secured if there is a Cyprus settlement.

    The German Minister said his country does not want and cannot bring into the EU the Cyprus problem or any other unsolved political problem, ANA said.

    Noting that Germany does not question the agreed commencement of Cyprus' accession talks with the EU, six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference, the Minister said Germany, like any other EU country, cannot see any specific date for these talks to end, as long as the Cyprus problem continues.

    On his part, Michaelides described the German position as "negative", noting that "it encourages Turkish intransigence", according to ANA.

    The Cypriot Minister said what the Cyprus government wants is that accession negotiations begin as scheduled and that before this happens, the EU and the big European countries should actively participate in a settlement.

    Referring to the stalemate of the structured dialogue between the EU and Cyprus, following a proposal by Britain, Germany and France for Turkish Cypriot involvement in the accession negotiations, Michaelides described this as an "unfortunate expression, open to many interpretations", ANA said. He expressed the hope that this will be sorted out during the forthcoming informal meeting of the EU Council of Ministers on March 15.

    According to the French News Agency (AFP), Kinkel told Michaelides that Germany agreed that a solution to the division of Cyprus was urgent.

    He also told his Cypriot counterpart that Germany backed UN efforts for the resumption of talks with the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Meanwhile, Germany announced the appointment of a retired diplomat to serve as the country's envoy on Cyprus.

    Michaelides, in The Hague this morning, held a meeting with the President of the EU Council of Ministers, Dutch Foreign Minister Hans Van Mierlo.

    The Cypriot Minister arrives in Athens later today for talks with Foreign Ministry officials, before returning to the island.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Cyprus applied for full EU membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987. CNA/EC/GP/1997

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1510:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Austrian peacekeepers to remain in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The Austrian contingent to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) will maintain its presence in Cyprus and continue with its peacekeeping services on the island, Austrian Defence Minister, Werner Faslabent, said.

    In an interview yesterday with the Athens News Agency (ANA), Faslabent said the Austrian contingent will continue with its services in Cyprus "for the good of peace and international security".

    UNFICYP Spokesman in Cyprus, Waldemar Rokoszewski, told CNA Austria has been part of the peacekeeping force "right from the beginning", and that he has not heard of anything contrary to the Austrian Defence Minister's affirmation.

    Austria is the longest-serving country to UNFICYP, contributing soldiers to the peacekeeping force since 1964. UNFICYP numbers about 1.200 men and women.

    UNFICYP's primary duty is to monitor the buffer zone separating the free areas of the Republic from those occupied by Turkish troops, since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

    CNA MH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1520:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Good start, says UN envoy

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- "We are getting on to a good start", UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel, said today, after a meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, as part of proximity talks aimed to achieve direct negotiations between the two Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    Speaking after an hour-long meeting with the Cypriot President, Feissel said "we are getting on to a good start" and noted that the "purpose of these talks is to open the way to face-to-face negotiations in the coming few months."

    He pointed out that during proximity talks, the UN will "probe the flexibility of each leader to make his contribution towards overcoming the differences that remain in the key issues related to an overall settlement."

    Refraining from giving further details concerning the proximity talks between the UN and President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, Feissel said both agreed not to comment on "the substantive aspects of these talks, be they good, bad or indifferent."

    Stressing that this is a "very important moment", Feissel said the two leaders "have realised that time is marching on" and "Cyprus is approaching a defining moment in its problem and that whether they will succeed or fail in this exercise will be very important for the future of Cyprus."

    Answering questions, the UN official said the current proximity talks will not be "an indefinite process", adding that he will have meetings with President Clerides and Denktash, twice a week.

    On Wednesday and Friday he will be meeting President Clerides and on Tuesday and Thursday with Denktash.

    "What we are embarking now is very intensive discussions with each leader so that we can move to these direct talks between the two sides in the next few months", Feissel said.

    Asked whether common ground has been reached, Feissel refrained from answering, saying that he did not want "to get involved in terminology."

    Commenting on the visit of British special envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, Feissel said, "he is working very much in support to what we are doing."

    Hannay is due to arrive here this afternoon for talks with President Clerides, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Denktash.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1650:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Police consider alleged espionage by Turks, a serious case

    Nicosia, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Chief of Police described as a "very serious case of espionage" last Sunday's arrest and detention of two Turkish nationals and one Turkish Cypriot accused of spying against the Cyprus Republic.

    In an interview with Cyprus radio, Panikos Hadjiloizou said the three suspects' arrest "is a very serious case of espionage; it concerns not only National Guard military positions but also the Republic's existence".

    Hadjiloizou said the police are investigating all aspects of the case but declined comment on press reports alleging the three detainees were also planning to sabotage other important sites of the Republic.

    He pointed out that the Police's next step is to substantiate with unbiased evidence, the documents and information it has in its possession.

    Cyprus police said Turkish national, Nedjip Sari Cicekli, 45, had confessed to spying on National Guard's military positions over the past 18 months for Turkey, for 2.500 Cyprus pounds (5.000 US dollars).

    Cicekli along with another Turkish national Mustafa Omer Konor, 37, married to a Greek Cypriot and Dijan Nejip, 37, a Turkish Cypriot living with a Greek Cypriot, were remanded in custody for eight days last Sunday on suspicion of spying on security and military positions.

    All three had sought refuge from the island's Turkish-occupied northern areas to the government-controlled free areas of the Republic in the early '80s and were living in the southern coastal town of Limassol.

    Police said they found military documents, video tapes with military information, highlighted maps of National Guard army camps and other relevant documents in Cicekli's car and home. Another video camera was also found in Konor's possession.

    In a statement, Cicekli admitted committing espionage and named Turks in the occupied parts who recruited him. He said he used to meet them in the mixed village of Pyla, where he would hand over the documents, receive his payment and further instructions.

    In his statement he is further alleged to have admitted planting a bomb at the offices of the Kurdistan Workers Party in Limassol, on February 10, 1996, which, however, had not exploded.

    Greek and Turkish Cypriots have lived separately since July 1974 when Turkish troops invaded Cyprus and occupied 37 per cent of the island's northern territory, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA AP/EC/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1835:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] EU wants T/C in Cyprus team

    by Maria Myles

    Brussels, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The EU would very much like to see the Turkish Cypriot community join the EU accession process and calls on Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides to start direct negotiations to facilitate this objective.

    "We do not accept that the Turkish Cypriots are excluded from the accession process and we would like them to join this process as both communities must derive benefits from the EU", EU circles close to the Dutch presidency, have told CNA.

    Invited to comment on President Clerides' proposal to the Turkish Cypriots to join the Cyprus Republic's negotiating team with the EU, the same circles indicated that verbal moves are not sufficient and noted that the Cyprus government has to do something "to involve Turkish Cypriots in the accession process".

    Starting direct negotiations and sitting around the table to talk to the Turkish Cypriots would be a move towards this direction, the EU circles, said.

    They also reiterated EU adherence to their commitment to start accession talks with Cyprus, six months after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) "taking account of the results of the Conference", as stated in the March 6, 1995 decision of the EU Council of Ministers.

    "No third party has the right to veto the application for accession to the EU by an independent and sovereign state", the EU circles added, referring to Cyprus' application and noted that the EU avis on the Cypriot application reflects the "legal validity and recognition" by the EU of that application.

    Asked to identify ways that the outcome of the IGC might affect the start of accession talks with Cyprus, the EU representatives could only "speculate" but noted that "financial considerations" may have some kind of influence, not only on the Cypriot application for accession but also on the application of other third countries too.

    "We would like new members joining the EU to be in a position to contribute in economic terms to the Union", the EU circles said.

    Asked to outline the EU position on Turkey's aspirations to join the Union, the EU sources replied "we are open to any European state wanting to join the EU" but pointed out that "there is a lot to be done".

    They indicated that Turkey must improve its human rights record and political considerations and ameliorate its weak economic performance.

    The regime in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus had threatened with union with Turkey if membership negotiations start between the internationally-recognised Cyprus Republic and the EU.

    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 1978.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1915:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Cyprus' EU entry prospect - catalyst for settlement

    by Maria Myles

    Brussels, Mar 11 (CNA) -- The prospect for Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) can serve as a catalyst for a solution of the protracted Cyprus question, EU sources told CNA here today.

    They noted other hot spots around the globe have been or are on the way to solution. The Cyprus problem has been frozen since 1974 and recently tensions have increased.

    "We believe that the prospects of EU accession can serve as a catalyst towards a solution in Cyprus", the sources said.

    They also pointed out that Turkey has to use its influence to make a positive contribution to a settlement, as stated in the 1996 EU Dublin summit conclusions.

    "Creating the right atmosphere to allow for direct negotiations to take place in Cyprus would be a positive move on the part of Turkey towards this goal", the sources said, when asked to outline ways Turkey can contribute towards a settlement.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    Asked to clarify a call by EU External Relations Commissioner Hans Van den Broek to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "to bring his community out of its isolation", the same sources repeated that Denktash's self- styled state is not recognised and this "imposes a lot of restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot community," in various aspects of daily life, such as trade, travel and contact with Greek Cypriots.

    "We hope enough progress is achieved in the peace effort to allow the Turkish Cypriots to come out of this isolation," the sources said.

    Asked to say what would happen if there is not sufficient progress, they said only "let us think positively," noting that other conflicts around the world are being solved.

    On the start of EU-Cyprus accession talks, the sources defined the end of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) as meaning the end of the conference, and not the ratification of the IGC conclusions by the national parliaments of the EU member states.

    Invited to clarify the term "taking account of the IGC conclusions" as used in the March 6, 1995 decision of the EU Council of Ministers, the courses explained that the term means that IGC conclusions should be such as to allow EU integration to continue and enable the process of enlargement to proceed.

    Referring to the next phase of EU enlargement, the sources said the EU Commission is expected to issue its avis (opinion) on the 11 candidate countries after the end of the IGC, probably in July, and then the EU Council of Foreign Ministers will decide how to proceed with the enlargement procedure.

    The sources did not exclude the possibility of Cyprus and countries of Central and Eastern Europe starting accession negotiations at roughly the same time together.

    Speaking to CNA, EU sources reiterated that Turkey needs to "make positive moves on three counts" before it attempts further to bring up the issue of EU enlargement in relation to Turkey.

    Turkey must play a constructive role in efforts for a Cyprus settlement, improve its human rights record and resolve outstanding disputes or problems, namely its differences with Greece in the Aegean.

    The same sources said Turkey must also comply with the June 1993 EU summit concussion in Copenhagen which call for adherence to the terms of the 1964 association agreement between Turkey and EU and the 1970 protocol, which refers to the customs union agreement between Turkey and EU.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2125:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Benefits greater than concessions, says Hannay

    Larnaca, Mar 11 (CNA) -- Britain's envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, expressed the conviction that a Cyprus settlement can be reached and that the benefits for everyone would be far greater than any concessions they would have to make in order to reach a solution.

    Speaking on arrival, this afternoon, for a new round of contacts on the island, Sir David said that since his last visit, nearly three months ago, "developments, have not been all that encouraging."

    He explained that both the announcement of the contract for the purchase by the Cyprus government of Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles and the reaction to it, have not helped the atmosphere.

    The British diplomat noted, however, that these developments although made the task of people like himself a little bit more difficult, "they also made it quite a lot more urgent and important, because they have underlined the risks of not reaching a settlement."

    Referring to his recent visits to Athens and Ankara, Sir David said these were "were reasonably encouraging, since both governments, like the British government, would like to see early face-to-face negotiations for a comprehensive settlement, under the UN aegis."

    "We, the British, believe that this should be possible before the end of the first half of 1997," he said.

    Referring to his talks on the island, Sir David said he will have a series of talks with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and hoped to cover the whole range of subjects that are relevant to a comprehensive settlement.

    Noting that the intensity of preparations for the negotiations "is clearly stepping up now", the British diplomat hoped on this occasion to "get both the leaders and their teams to focus as much as possible, on the details of their own future negotiating approach."

    Sir David said it was encouraging that when British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind was on the island last year, both leaders said they intended to approach these negotiations in a spirit of give and take.

    "But the important thing is that the spirit of give and take is reflected through, at the negotiating table," he noted.

    He said he hoped that "when negotiations start, they will be operating on the basis of very careful and well prepared anticipation."

    He also expressed the hope to "persuade all those involved in Cyprus of the importance of looking at the potential advantages of getting a settlement this year, and working very seriously for a settlement."

    "A settlement can be reached, the benefits for everyone here are far greater than the concessions that they would have to make in order to reach it," he said.

    Sir David also said he is working very closely with the UN and with Feissel and that "what we are talking about is a concerted effort, one single, concerted effort to achieve a comprehensive settlement, not a whole lot of independent initiatives."

    Referring to the ten points for a Cyprus settlement, presented last December by Rifkind during a press conference at the end of his visit to the island, Sir David said they "reflect the views of the British on the direction in which things could move" and that they are part on the basis on which he works on.

    However, he noted "it is clear that there will not be a settlement on the Cyprus problem unless the major outline of the new constitutional arrangement is clear and is agreed, and there is a new constitutional arrangement which will be based on a bizonal, bicommunal federal state."

    He pointed out that "...this is a very crucial moment for Cyprus, the chances of making progress now are better than they have been for a long time and that they are probably better than they will be for a long time. We have to have a serious and determined effort to crack this problem, which has been around for too long," he added.

    Invited to comment on his talks in Britain with Russian Head of the Third Directorate for European Affairs at the Russian Foreign Ministry, Vladimir Tchizhov, Sir David said these were "useful" but Britain is "anxious that Russia can make a useful contribution to the peace process in Cyprus by not increasing the level of armaments in Cyprus."

    Sir David will hold separate meetings with President Clerides and Denktash tomorrow and on Thursday. While on the island, Sir David will attend a lunch hosted by Feissel in his residence, to be attended by political leaders as well.

    The former British ambassador to the UN will also give a lecture at the University of Cyprus on UN reform.

    Before leaving on Friday, he will give a bicommunal press conference.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA TA/EC/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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