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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-10

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] International Merchandising Centre officially opens
  • [02] US Spokesman on overflights
  • [03] Cyprus - Aegean high priority for Clinton

  • 1130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] International Merchandising Centre officially opens

    Nicosia, May 10 (CNA) -- Trade, Industry and Tourism Minister, Kyriakos Christofi, stressed yesterday the island's first-ever duty-free international shopping complex has a significant role to play in promoting and securing Cyprus as a regional business and trade centre.

    Addressing a large crowd of local, regional and international business people during the official opening ceremony of the International Merchandising Centre (IMC), Christofi said the Centre constitutes "one of the largest and most dynamic projects ever undertaken by the private sector in Cyprus".

    He noted that the IMC's uniqueness and importance "lies in the fact that it is the first of its kind in the whole of the Middle East and North Africa".

    The Trade Minister added that the government's goal is to make Cyprus "an essential junction of economic development and communication" with countries in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

    Christofi assured the government fully supports the private sector's initiatives "and will contribute in its own way so that the private sector will succeed in its goals and ambitions".

    Hundreds of business people from as far away as Russia and Asia attended last night's inauguration ceremony at the five-storey, 22,000 square-metre Centre.

    Built at a cost of 30 million US dollars, the IMC allows manufacturers, exporters and suppliers from the US, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East to permanently exhibit their products to an international market and to store them in the Centre's 25,000 square-metre storage facility.

    This accords consumers the ease of one-stop, duty-free shopping without any delay in receiving purchased goods.

    The IMC highlights smaller size, high-priced items such as sporting goods, electronics, clothing, jewelry and houseware.

    The Centre also contains a 1,000 square-metre Conference Centre complete will all modern facilities for public relations and marketing purposes.

    CNA MH/MM/1997

    [02] US Spokesman on overflights

    Washington, May 10 (CNA) -- The US has welcomed a decision by the government of the Republic of Cyprus not to invite Greek aircraft to overfly Cyprus during military manoeuvres.

    The US has also said it does not believe that cancellation of a purchase of Russian missiles by the Cyprus government is the "most important next step" in the Cyprus peace effort.

    "The US welcomes the decision of the government of Cyprus not to invite Greek aircraft to overfly Cyprus during the Toxotis-Vergina exercise and the information that no other such overflights are planned at this time," Burns said at Friday's meeting.

    He also welcomed "the information from the government of Turkey that Turkey has no plans to overfly Cyprus as long as Greek aircraft do not overfly the island."

    These separate actions, Burns said, "contribute to a better atmosphere for the efforts currently underway under the auspices of the United Nations aimed at a solution of the Cyprus problem".

    In his remarks, Burns accentuated two points, first that "these are individual actions by the governments of Cyprus and by Turkey and by the government of Greece on the question of overflights. They were brought about because these governments decided to take these actions themselves, unilaterally."

    He noted the US had been pushing for this type of unilateral action on the part of the parties to the Cyprus conflict to make progress.

    "That is important because for a long time now - and specifically dating back to last summer when then US Ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, made a trip to the Eastern Mediterranean - she has been pushing for this type of unilateral action on the part of the parties to the Cyprus conflict to make progress, to try to instill some confidence in the negotiating progress," he added.

    "This is a significant step forward," he said and expressed the hope that it "will improve the climate for the negotiations that we hope will come this year to help resolve the Cyprus problem."

    Replying to questions, Burns said the US " has a commitment from our Secretary of State on down, to work with all of these governments to further progress in Cyprus. We will remain committed to working with all of these governments and the UN for progress. We will continue to work quietly for further progress".

    Asked by if the next step from the U.S. point of view is the cancellation of the purchase (by the Cyprus government) of Russian missiles, he said, "the next step, we think, should be continuing efforts by all these governments to reduce the tensions that clearly exist in the Eastern Mediterranean."

    There are, he added, "many possible ways for confidence to be built, many possible initiatives that can be taken."

    "I don't want to say that the particular initiative that you talked about is the most important next step. It is clearly an issue where the US has an important interest, where we've made our views open and clear. We don't support the acquisition of this air defense system. That's been clear for many, many months now; and our position hasn't changed," he added.

    The decision by the government of Cyprus to buy surface-to-air missiles from Russia, announced earlier this year, has caused concern among many circles. Turkey has threatened to carry out a preemptive strike against Cyprus if the missiles are deployed.

    CNA DA/MA/1997

    [03] Cyprus - Aegean high priority for Clinton

    Washington, May 10 (CNA) -- Settlement of the Cyprus question and stability in the Aegean are high priorities for U.S. President, Bill Clinton.

    This is the overall conclusion that emerges from a letter the American President wrote to Congressman Ed Whitfield on April 30th asking Clinton to proceed with the sale of the three Perry-class frigates to Turkey.

    "Enhancing stability in the Aegean and advancing a settlement on Cyprus are therefore major objectives of U.S. policy and we intend to take significant steps in this direction," Clinton said in his letter.

    He also noted that "events in the region have generated renewed tensions between these two important allies (Greece- Turkey). It was only through our efforts that a conflict between Greece and Turkey was avoided in January 1996".

    "More recently, there have been renewed tensions resulting from plans by Cyprus to purchase Russian air defense missile system. The situation in the region remains unsettled," Clinton added. CNA/DA/MM

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