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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-03-14

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Cassoulides: Controversy over talks nature "philosophical"
  • [03] EU informal meeting important for Cyprus
  • [04] EU Commissioner arrives for visit
  • [05] Hannay rounds up talks
  • [06] Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists associations meet
  • [07] British MPs table motion on Cyprus missing
  • [08] Russian Duma President to visit Cyprus
  • [09] Cyprus, Indian Defence Ministers meet
  • [10] Talks on Cyprus "very constructive", says EU source
  • [11] Cyprus issue remains difficult, US official says
  • [12] National Council agrees on proximity talks

  • 1450:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    78.06 (0)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.28 (+0.03)
    Approved Investment Companies          65.77 (+0.70)
    Insurance Companies                    59.04 (+2.27)
    Industrial Companies                   83.34 (-0.22)
    Tourist Industries                     62.09 (-2.34)
    Commercial Companies                   53.67 (-0.61)
    Other Companies                        57.19 (-1.11)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 859959.020
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1997

    [02] Cassoulides: Controversy over talks nature "philosophical"

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides expressed the hope that face-to-face negotiations, between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will start the soonest possible.

    Speaking at his daily press briefing Thursday, Cassoulides described controversy over the definition of ongoing talks between the two sides in Cyprus, under the aegis of UN resident representative, Gustave Feissel, as a "philosophical conversation".

    Feissel started last Monday a new intensive round of indirect (proximity) talks between President Clerides and Denktash, in a bid to find common ground that will allow face-to-face negotiations to commence.

    Britain's envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, currently on a four-day discussions visit in Cyprus, told the press Wednesday the UN-led talks are an "intensified preparatory process", noting he had heard the phrase "proximity talks" from the Cyprus press.

    The Spokesman declined to comment on the talks, reminding an agreement to avoid public statements.

    He added the National Council, the Republic's top advisory body to the government on the Cyprus issue, "will be informed on the talks during its meeting tomorrow."

    Cassoulides pointed out it's the responsibility of the UN Secretary- General, Kofi Annan, to convene face-to-face talks.

    "The two sides will be held responsible according to their positive or negative stance to such an invitation," he noted.

    CNA AP/MA/1997

    [03] EU informal meeting important for Cyprus By Maria Myles

    Brussels, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The European Union (EU) Council informal meeting this weekend, in the Dutch town of Apeldoorn, is considered to be an important gathering of EU Foreign Ministers as far as Cyprus is concerned, even though no decisions are taken at this kind of meeting, known among EU circles as "Qymnich type" after the name of the town where the first such meeting took place.

    "The Apeldoorn meeting will focus on EU - Turkey relations, but will also deal with EU - Cyprus relations as well as EU enlargement," EU sources have told CNA here.

    Turkish Cypriot involvement in Cyprus' EU accession talks will also be touched upon by the 15 FMs during their deliberations, and as the same sources noted, "there may be some movement on this issue at Apeldoorn".

    The EU sources also expressed the view that the Cyprus question, EU - Turkish relations and Greco - Turkish ties are interlinked. They pointed out that, given that these issues influence one another in some way, it would be preferable to see some movement to help all three questions to "move together and facilitate each other".

    Replying to questions, the EU sources said that progress towards a solution in Cyprus may, probably, be a move in that direction.

    If there is progress in Cyprus (towards a solution), the sources added, it might help Greece to "moderate its stance on the blockage of EU funds to Turkey".

    As things stand at the moment, these funds are blocked, first by a Greek veto on their release, but also by a resolution adopted by the European Parliament last year.

    The sources also said that most EU member states "feel they do not fulfill their obligations to Turkey" in relation to the customs union agreement.

    As long as the Greco - Turkish dispute in the Aegean is pending, the funds to Turkey are blocked, the sources said.

    "Linked to this is the Cyprus question, which complicates the situation", they added.

    CNA MM/MA/1997

    [04] EU Commissioner arrives for visit

    Larnaca, Mar 13 (CNA) -- The European Union (EU) will in no way recognise the Turkish Cypriot self-styled "state" in Cyprus' northern Turkish occupied areas, illegally declared in November 1983 and recognised only by Turkey.

    The assurance was given this afternoon by EU Commissioner, responsible for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME's), Energy and Tourism, Christos Papoutsis, on his arrival for a three-day official visit to the island, at the invitation of the Cyprus government.

    On the contrary, he added, the EU will proceed with firm and substantive steps which will lead Cyprus towards joining the Union.

    Papoutsis said he was here to discuss developments and possibilities of further EU-Cyprus cooperation in areas of his responsibility.

    During his stay, the EU Commissioner will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and House President Spyros Kyprianou and will meet the Primate of Cyprus' Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    He will also meet Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Kyriacos Christofi, with whom he will discuss, inter alia, the prospect of Cyprus' accession to the EU and its preparations for the accession negotiations, particularly in the fields of SME's, energy and tourism.

    With Christofi, Papoutsis noted, we will discuss all matters relating to Cyprus' potential to participate in EU projects.

    Asked if there is a possibility for the EU to recognise the pseudostate, Papoutsis assured no such possibility exists.

    "The EU is committed to inform all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus of their benefits from joining the Union. This, of course, in no way implies indirect recognition, as the international community has never recognised (the pseudostate) all these years," he added.

    The EU Commissioner also noted Cyprus' membership was already underway and reiterated an EU decision, of March 1995, that accession talks will start six months after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    During his stay, Papoutsis will also meet with political party leaders, the President and the Executive Committee of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), as well as the Presidency of the Cyprus Cooperative Confederation.

    Before his departure, the EU Commissioner will give a lecture Saturday morning at the CCCI on "Community Support to SME's, Means: Experiences and results", and will hold a press conference.

    CNA TA/AP/MA/1997

    [05] Hannay rounds up talks

    Nicosia, Mar 13 (CNA) -- Britain's envoy on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, continued his contacts on the island today with meetings he had with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Sir David's meeting with Clerides took place aboard the President's yacht "Kate II" which sailed from Larnaca to Limassol's old harbour. Later, the two men had a working lunch at a hotel of this southern coastal town.

    Both Clerides and Sir David declined comment on the substance of their talks. Sir David, who was accompanied by Britain's High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, returned to Nicosia by car.

    Britain's former Permanent Representative to the UN crossed to the Turkish-occupied areas, later today, for a second meeting with Denktash.

    Hannay rounds up his contacts today and before departing for Brussels tomorrow for talks with European Union officials on Cyprus, he will give a bicommunal press conference.

    Yesterday, Sir David described the current phase of the Cyprus problem as an "intensified preparatory process".

    He also expressed the hope that direct negotiations between President Clerides and Rauf Denktash will start within the first half of this year.

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

    CNA EC/AP/1997

    [06] Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists associations meet

    Nicosia Mar 13 (CNA) -- Delegations of the Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) and the Trade Union of Turkish Cypriot Journalists (Basin-Sen) met today for the first time since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of part of Cyprus, and discussed ways in which they can help efforts to reach a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The meeting was organized with the help of the UN Secretary General's Resident Representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the UN controlled buffer zone, in Nicosia.

    The UCJ president, Andreas Kannaouros, expressed satisfaction with the meeting and declared "readiness and determination to work towards eliminating distrust and mistrust between our communities and to restore and strengthen confidence and friendship between them."

    Kannaouros added they discussed "ways and means to contribute towards the restoration and effective safeguarding and respect of human rights, freedoms and security for all Cypriots, as the only definite and effective way to defuse tension and return to normality, in a peaceful common homeland."

    On his part, the president of Basin - Sen, Housein Gouven, expressed "happiness" to participate in the meeting and told CNA that "Greek and Turkish Cypriots can work together in helping politicians' efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem."

    According to a UCJ statement, the two organisations agreed this is the first of a series of meetings, with which they will try to find solutions to journalists professional problems.

    Their aim is "to promote common interests and raise the standards of journalism, to the benefit of their mission which is to serve the society and the people".

    UCJ proposed to organised a joint event to honour the memory of Turkish Cypriot journalist, Kutlu Andali, who was assassinated last July in the Turkish occupied area. The organisation notes Andali was assassinated "for his ideals and his courageous fight for an independent, demilitarised and united Cyprus".

    The next meeting is expected take place within the next few weeks at UCJ's office in Nicosia.

    CNA AZK/MA/1997

    [07] British MPs table motion on Cyprus missing

    London, Mar 14 (CNA) -- British MP's have tabled a bipartisan motion in the House of Commons calling on the British government to demand that Turkey provides all information relating to the fate of 1619 persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

    In their motion tabled Thursday in the House of Commons, a total of 22 Labour and Conservative MPs expressed concern on the plight of the missing, many of whom are women, children and elderly people, "especially following evidence which shows that many of the missing persons are alive long after the cessation of hostilities".

    The motion noted an October 1993 European Commission report which found that "Greek Cypriots who are still missing were unlawfully deprived of their liberty in Turkish custody" and that the Turkish government had violated Article 5 of the Convention of Human Rights.

    It also deplored the "scandalous" statement by occupation regime leader, Rauf Denktash, that the missing persons should simply be considered dead without any details given.

    The motion further urged the world community to "press Turkey to co- operate with the United Nations and international organisations to end the present impasse in the negotiations for a peaceful, just and lasting solution for all Cypriots".

    The motion was tabled on the occasion of the recent visit to Britain by 80 Greek Cypriot women, mostly relatives of the missing, who undertook an enlightened campaign in the streets of London on the missing.

    Labour MPs Alan Meale, Eric Clarke, Edward O'Hara and Barbara Roche, along with Concervative MPs Ian Twinn and John Marshall tabled the motion, which was supported by 16 of their colleagues.

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

    CNA KT/MH/AP/1997

    [08] Russian Duma President to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Chairman of the Russian Federation's State Duma, (450-seat Lower Chamber), Gennadi Seleznev, will visit Cyprus late this month at the invitation of the Cyprus House of Representatives.

    Seleznev, who will head a bipartisan Duma delegation, will meet with President of the Republic, Glafcos Clerides, the President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, and will hold separate meetings with political party leaders.

    Seleznev and Kyprianou will also sign a cooperation protocol between the two Parliaments on a bilateral and international level.

    The Russian Duma Chairman will visit the island between March 28 and 29.

    CNA MH/AP/1997

    [09] Cyprus, Indian Defence Ministers meet

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Defence Minister Costas Eliades had a meeting yesterday in India with his Indian counterpart Mulayam Singh Yadav.

    According to an official press release issued here today, Eliades and Mulayam referred to the close bonds between Cyprus and India and agreed on a closer cooperation between their ministries.

    Earlier Thursday, Eliades laid a wreath at the Unknown Soldier's Monument, outside the Indian Defence Ministry.

    Cyprus National Guard Commander Nicolaos Vorvolakos accompanies Eliades.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [10] Talks on Cyprus "very constructive", says EU source

    Brussels, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Talks between European Union (EU) External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, and envoys from the UN, the US, the EU and Britain on Cyprus, were very constructive, a spokeswoman for Van den Broek told CNA Friday. "The meetings were very constructive, very open and very cooperative, and we all hope the assistance of these organisations together, can help to find a solution for the two communities, " the spokeswoman said.

    The objective of the talks was to make sure the EU, the UN and the US are "working closely together to help the two communities to find a long term solution," she added.

    Van den Broek held a joint meeting here today with the UN Secretary- General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, the Representative of the EU presidency on Cyprus, Kester Heaslip, Britain's envoy, Sir David Hannay, and a separate meeting with the Director of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department, Carey Cavanaugh.

    "All exchanged ideas and views to see how they could ensure that what they are doing is mutually reinforcing and it is important that all three are working closely together to make sure they have the same message," the spokeswoman added.

    She noted the commitment given by the EU that Cyprus-EU accession talks would begin six months after the conclusion of the Inter-Governmental Conference, (IGC), "would provide special impetus to make a special effort to start working towards a solution".

    The spokeswoman reiterated that all parties involved remain hopeful, "but the responsibility lies, of course, primarily with Cyprus itself," she noted.

    The hope was also expressed during the meetings that both Greece and Turkey will play a constructive role because "their leadership is needed to push (the Cyprus issue) forward."

    The spokeswoman added that face-to-face talks between the two sides on the island can start as soon as possible.

    "In the meantime, both parties try to be very constructive and hopeful in trying to bring about an atmosphere in which these talks could be successful," she added.

    Van den Broek's spokeswoman also said the EU strongly supports the efforts by UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, to move the two sides closer to direct negotiations.

    "The sign that there are talks in Cyprus all the time with both sides, we think is very constructive. Any kind of communication, or dialogue, or exchange of views should contribute to trying to solve the matter," she said.

    She affirmed that the EU does and will continue to play an active role in efforts towards a solution in Cyprus, "and from the messages we got today, this was very much appreciated by all parties concerned," she added.

    The EU Commissioner's spokesperson also noted the Cyprus issue would be a main topic of discussing at the informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers, taking place in the Dutch town of Apeldoorn this weekend.

    Meanwhile, in exclusive statements to CNA, Gustave Feissel affirmed the UN "got the full backing of all those present at the meeting to move on with peace efforts," and that "there is a desire by all to be helpful."

    "Everybody recognises the need to move ahead with direct talks," Feissel added.

    Feissel added he will arrive back to Cyprus on Sunday afternoon.

    CNA MM/MH/AP/1997

    [11] Cyprus issue remains difficult, US official says

    Brussels, Mar 14 (CNA) -- The US still finds the Cyprus issue difficult to solve, despite assurances it remains committed to efforts in finding a solution, Director of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department, Carey Cavanaugh said here today.

    "I feel it is still a difficult situation in Cyprus and I am still committed to trying to find ways to advance the situation there. The US is committed to that, but I find the situation difficult," Cavanaugh told CNA in an exclusive interview Friday.

    The US official met today with European Union (EU) External Affairs Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, during which they discussed the Cyprus problem, future EU-US plans on the issue, the Greco-Turkish relations and Turkey's prospects for EU accession.

    Cavanaugh expressed his reservations as to whether the UN has the full backing of the EU regarding efforts for a solution in Cyprus.

    The EU's full support was expressed to CNA by a spokesperson for Van den Broek and UN Resident Representative to Cyprus Gustave Feissel, after a joint meeting earlier today between the EU Commissioner, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Han Sung Joo, the Representative of the EU presidency on Cyprus, Kester Heaslip, and British envoy on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay.

    "I don't know if I would word it exactly that way, but we clearly support the UN in its efforts and all the rest of the international community in their efforts," Cavanaugh said.

    However, the US official held back from saying his country supports exactly what the UN is pushing for in Cyprus.

    "I am not saying we have come out and formally said we are supporting what the UN is doing, but we are supporting what everybody is doing to find a solution," Cavanaugh stressed.

    He added he has not been advised on what the UN is doing right now, but said different officials involved on Cyprus have brought with them different approaches to the issue.

    "I think it is important to find a solution to the Cyprus problem and as different people see prospects to do things, we should do those," the US official said.

    Cavanaugh expressed the view that everyone involved with the Cyprus problem is indeed moving towards a solution, but coming in with different ideas on how to handle the matter.

    "I think it is a very complex problem, so what we have now is, as I said, a number of activities to work on that issue. Then, you get different people visiting the island with different assessments," he said.

    CNA MM/MH/AP/1997

    [12] National Council agrees on proximity talks

    Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- National Council members agreed that the Greek Cypriot side should proceed with the UN-sponsored proximity talks which started last Monday.

    This was the conclusion of today's marathon session of the Council, chaired by President Glafcos Clerides.

    Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told reporters at the end of the meeting Friday evening "that there is no disagreement on whether the proximity talks should take place."

    Cassoulides said President Clerides, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Attorney General Alecos Markides, briefed the members of the National Council on their recent contacts and talks on Cyprus.

    In statements, the political leaders said the Greek Cypriot side should go ahead with the proximity talks but some expressed skepticism regarding the conditions under which President Clerides will proceed with face-to- face negotiations with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    They all agreed that there are no signs of a change in the Turkish side's intransigence.

    Yiannakis Matsis, who attended the meeting despite his resignation last Wednesday from the leadership of his right-wing ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) party, said it was early days to foresee what will be the outcome of the proximity talks.

    He said we should await for the final outcome of the talks, after examining each side's positions.

    However, asked if the UN Secretary-General calls for a direct meeting between President Clerides and Denktash before common ground is reached, he said then it would be very difficult for the Greek Cypriot side to refuse.

    Main opposition left-wing AKEL party leader, Demetris Christofias, said the Greek Cypriot side is in a"very difficult" position and revealed he had told President Clerides that he did not want "to be in his shoes."

    AKEL leader reminded that pressure is exerted regarding the island's EU accession course, the continued statements that there cannot be accession before a Cyprus settlement and efforts to involve the Turkish Cypriots in the accession talks.

    He expressed the hope that proximity talks will lead to a substantive dialogue with direct negotiations.

    Democratic Party (DIKO) President, Spyros Kyprianou, revealed that Britain and other European countries have conveyed to President Clerides and Foreign Minister Michaelides "vague promises accompanied by preconditions" regarding Turkey's relations with the EU.

    He said the preconditions have to do with the upgrading of Turkey's relations with the EU.

    Socialist party EDEK leader, Vasos Lyssarides expressed concern that now is the time to implement decisions before final initiatives on Cyprus begin, so that the Greek Cypriot side will be able to handle the situation more favourably.

    He further said there is no doubt that pressure will be exerted on the Greek Cypriot side.

    United Democrats leader, former President of the Republic George Vassiliou, said the Greek Cypriot side's decision to enter direct negotiations after common ground is reached does not seem viable at the moment.

    He described the current situation on the Cyprus problem as "difficult and unpleasant" noting that there are increased chances of negative developments.

    Vassiliou proposed that our side should insist for the negotiations to be based on UN resolutions and the Ghali Set of Ideas and avoid any other package deal which will certainly have negative effects.

    The National Council is the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem. It is made up of the five parliamentary parties.

    President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had two meetings in Nicosia in October 1994, which reached a deadlock due to the Turkish side's insistence on separate sovereignty. The two men have not met since.

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

    CNA EC/AP/1997

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