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

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Spokesman on proposed regional military exercises
  • [03] FM to be briefed on Greco-Turkish talks
  • [04] Spokesman on visit of Russian deputies
  • [05] Israeli-US-Turkish military manoeuvres
  • [06] New Cyprus banknotes
  • [07] German envoy rounds up familiarisation visit

  • 1615:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, May 05 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    78.06 (-0.08)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.13 (-0.08)
    Approved Investment Companies          70.24 (-0.14)
    Insurance Companies                    59.15 (-0.42)
    Industrial Companies                   84.20 (+0.44)
    Tourist Industries                     62.04 (+0.32)
    Commercial Companies                   51.83 (-1.43)
    Other Companies                        55.66 (-0.13)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 417830.256
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1997

    [02] Spokesman on proposed regional military exercises

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- The government has called on Israel and the US to abide by international law and order and ensure they duly inform the authorities of the Republic about any plans to conduct joint military manoeuvres with Turkey over Cyprus' air space or within Nicosia FIR (Flight Information Region).

    The government has also called on Turkey to stop violating the Republic's air space as a good will measure to help the UN peace effort, and said Israel and the US have a moral obligation to ensure that Turkey conforms with international agreements.

    "We expect friendly countries, which, through the exercise of their own sovereign rights, have elected to conduct military exercises with Turkey, that they will comply with all that international law and agreements demand, " Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said here today.

    Commenting on reports that Turkey, which occupies nearly 40 per cent of Cyprus' territory since 1974, the US and Israel intend to carry out military exercises in the region, he said the government expects to be informed about any military manoeuvres to take place within Nicosia FIR.

    Turkey and Israel have often conducted joint exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean since they signed a defence cooperation accord last year.

    "If a friendly country like Israel decides in exercising its sovereign rights to conduct joint military manoeuvres with Turkey, we expect Israel to inform the competent authorities of the Republic about these plans," Christofides told his daily briefing.

    Turkey, he added, has chosen to behave in a "provocative manner and not publicise anything" in contravention of international law.

    "The US and Israel will have to make representations to Turkey so that Cyprus' air space is not violated and the authorities of the Republic are duly informed about military manoeuvres," the Spokesman noted.

    He stressed that should a party to such exercises choose not to inform the relevant bodies, the others have a "moral obligation" to point out to their partner that such exercises cannot be conducted in this manner, or they risk being involved in encouraging that partner to violate international norms and practices.

    Asked if Turkey's joint exercises with Israel are provocative, Christofides replied "they are provocative when one takes into account the number and their frequency and when the authorities of the Republic are not duly informed about them."

    Replying to questions, the Spokesman said Israel has assured the government that its defence cooperation agreement with Turkey does not affect in any way the country's friendly ties with Cyprus.

    "If there are further developments, more upgrading, the matter will concern all the countries in this region," he said.

    Christofides noted the government always protests to the UN and other world fora Turkish violations of its air space and Nicosia FIR and added "we expect that even now, Turkey will at last stop these violations in a bid to facilitate efforts to find a solution in Cyprus."

    CNA MM/AP/1997

    [03] FM to be briefed on Greco-Turkish talks

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- The Greek government will brief officially the government of Cyprus on its relations with Turkey later this week.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, told his daily briefing Monday that Foreign Minister, Ioannis Cassoulides, will visit Athens on his return from Strasbourg, France, where he flew yesterday to attend a Council of Europe (CoE) Foreign Ministers' meeting.

    Asked to comment on reported positive moves by Turkey towards Greece, Christofides said the Foreign Minister will visit Athens to be brought up to date with the latest developments in Greco-Turkish ties.

    "The Foreign Minister will be informed about the outcome of talks between Greece and Turkey," Christofides said.

    Greek and Turkish high-ranking officials have met in the past few weeks to discuss existing problems between their countries, and decided to set up a committee of experts to try and iron out some procedural matters relating to these issues. Last week Greek Foreign Minister and his Turkish counterpart met in Turkey on the sidelines of a conference in Constantinople (Istanbul).

    Cassoulides was due to attend the CoE Foreign Ministers' 100th meeting ahead of the Council's second summit, to be held in Strasbourg on October 10 and 11, 1997.

    A meeting the Minister was scheduled to have on Sunday with Carey Cavanaugh, Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department, did not materialise because Cavanaugh's flight to Paris was cancelled because of a technical fault, an official statement said here today.

    "New arrangements will be made for a meeting at a later date," the official statement added.

    CNA AP/MM/1997

    [04] Spokesman on visit of Russian deputies

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- Russia has officially assured the Cyprus government it will take appropriate action against any Russian deputy, if it is proven the deputy had talks with the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish- occupied Cyprus, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, has said.

    Christofides said the government has been assured by Russian ambassador to Cyprus, Georgi Muratov, his country "will take all appropriate action" if it establishes that Russian deputies have visited the self-styled regime.

    Recent press reports said eight MPs from the Duma are currently visiting the occupied part of Cyprus, a visit described as "illegal" by Muratov.

    "We share (with the Russian embassy) the common view that their visit is a private one and has no official capacity. The deputies do not represent anybody and their visit is illegal," Christofides said.

    The Spokesman expressed "satisfaction" with the "Russian government's official positive support to Cyprus and its legitimate government," noting "this is what really counts."

    Christofides also said the Russian embassy has questioned the validity of the press reports about the visit and is looking into the matter.

    Relations between Cyprus and Russia were given a boost last March, when President of the Russian Duma, Gennadi Seleznev, visited Cyprus and signed a cooperation protocol with his Cypriot counterpart, Spyros Kyprianou.

    In October 1996, the Russian Duma unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the island's demilitarisation and stressing the need to safeguard the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. It also stipulated that the presence of Turkish troops on the island prevents a Cyprus solution.

    CNA AP/MM/1997

    [05] Israeli-US-Turkish military manoeuvres

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- A spokesman for the Israeli embassy here told CNA today that the embassy has no official information about any joint Israeli- US-Turkish military manoeuvres, said to take place later this month.

    "I have also seen the press reports (about the exercises). We do not have anything official yet, so we have to wait until we have something official about it," the spokesman said.

    Recent press reports said the joint exercises will be conducted in the vicinity of the Eastern Mediterranean and suggested that participating aircraft will fly within Cyprus' air space and Nicosia FIR (Flight Information Region).

    The spokesman emphasised again that "in our defence agreement with Turkey there is nothing against Cyprus or Greece, nothing about a third country, especially Cyprus and Greece."

    Israel, he pointed out, "will not let this happen, this is our commitment to the Cypriot government."

    Commenting on legitimate concerns raised by the frequency of military manoeuvres and Turkey's repeated violations of Cyprus' air space, the spokesman replied "I can only speak on behalf of Israel and Israeli plans, I cannot speak and I cannot relate to violations by the Turkish air force."

    "Israel does not violate Nicosia FIR," he added.

    The Israeli official refrained from commenting on a call by Cyprus Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides to Israel and the US to inform the Cyprus government about any plans to use Cyprus' air space and to point out to Turkey it should do likewise.

    CNA MM/GP/1997

    [06] New Cyprus banknotes

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) --New 10, 5 and one-pound banknotes will be put into circulation in Cyprus as from tomorrow, while a new 20-pound banknote will be in use at the end of the year.

    Speaking at a press conference on the new banknotes, Central Bank of Cyprus Governor, Afxentis Afxentiou, said the issue of new banknotes was necessary in order to "upgrade their security features," since "for security reasons, a change of banknotes every less than 15 years, is considered useful."

    The genuineness of the new banknotes can be checked by two new features. The colour of the map of Cyprus they all feature, changes from colour to colour, depending on the angle of viewing, while a strong silver security thread, appears as a continuous line, on which the letters KTK (Central Bank of Cyprus), can be seen.

    They are decorated with representations, taken from the island's history and tradition, as well from its folk art, flora and fauna, while their size is slightly smaller than that of the existing ones.

    Asked whether Cyprus banknotes can be exchanged worldwide, Afxentiou said "yes, except for certain countries with which Cyprus, has only negligible commercial relations."

    Special tangible features already used on the existing 20-pound banknotes, will help the blind identify the new notes.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [07] German envoy rounds up familiarisation visit

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- Detlev Graf zu Rantzau, special envoy of Germany on Cyprus, said here today that the feeling which seems to prevail is that time for a Cyprus solution is approaching or is running out.

    Rantzau, who rounded up a familiarisation visit to the island, was speaking during a bicommunal press conference at the Ledra Palace Hotel, situated in the UN-controlled buffer zone.

    Stressing that he has "not come here with any mandate" on the part of his government "to give any advice to anybody", the German official went on to explain the reason why his country appointed him to the position of Special Envoy for the Cyprus question.

    He said Germany, as a member of the European Union (EU) and NATO, "should manifest renewed engagement in trying to help to find a solution to the problem by appointing a special envoy for the Cyprus question."

    He explained when the Cyprus problem "exploded on to the world my country deeply regretted the partition because we knew from our own experience, we lived at that time in a divided country, how many and what kind of problems such a situation bears with it".

    "We do not see ourselves as in the role of an independent mediator, but what we shall be trying to do is to try and support anything and everything that the United Nations are doing, in the way of looking for a solution to the conflict," Rantzau said.

    The German diplomat referred to his contacts with the UN Secretary- General, Kofi Annan, and other UN officials on Cyprus, as well as to his visit to Washington and meetings with officials of the State Department and the National Security Council.

    Rantzau also exchanged views with British and French diplomats and the EU External Affairs Commissioner, Hans van den Broek.

    He said "all of these want to put their efforts together," noting there is a promise on the part of the EU that "after the application by the Republic of Cyprus, now probably some time early in next Spring the so called accession negotiations between the Republic of Cyprus and the EU will begin."

    Stressing that he is familiar with the Cyprus problem, as he was a was political Minister in Germany's native delegation, in July-August 1974, when the Turkish invasion occurred, Rantzau said: "I got the impression or the feeling that given all the differences, the feeling seems to prevail that the time is approaching or is running out for a solution".

    He said the general atmosphere of the discussion he held with Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, was that he is "very well aware of the necessity to tackle the problem".

    However, he stressed that he does not think that anybody had a substantial change of mind with regard to certain issues.

    Rantzau emphasised that there are two alternatives concerning the talks, either that these will lead to a solution or the continuation of the status quo in the north.

    Referring to his meeting with the UN Chief, the German diplomat said Annan told him that by the beginning of June he will extend an invitation to both President Clerides and Denktash for face-to-face talks in his presence.

    He said that although such an invitation has not yet been issued, he feels confident that it will be there "in due time".

    Rantzau noted that "whatever the differences in opinion are, the only way to come to a solution is to start discussing the issue".

    He expressed "hope" that over the forthcoming direct talks, these will be met with success.

    The German official acknowledged that it would "be ideal if a breakthrough would be reached here before the (EU-Cyprus) negotiations start".

    Asked if Germany would be willing to participate in the multinational force to be stationed after a settlement, Rantzau said since there is no decision for an eventual international force, he did not want to speculate.

    To a question if Germany would veto the Cyprus accession to join the EU, should there not be a Cyprus settlement before that, Rantzau said he did not think in all honesty that anybody in his government has considered that possibility.

    In Cyprus, the German diplomat was received by President Clerides, and held meetings with the Foreign Minister, the President of the House of Representatives and political party leaders.

    He also crossed to the northern Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus where he met Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash.

    CNA KN/EC/AP/1997
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