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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-05-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Canadian envoy "cautiously encouraged"
  • [02] Spokesman on overflights
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Current peace effort "most important bid" for solution
  • [05] Turkish threats "provocative", says Spokesman
  • [06] Council of Europe meeting on Greek language
  • [07] Russian document on Cyprus problem on "negotiating table"

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Canadian envoy "cautiously encouraged"

    Nicosia, May 12 (CNA) -- The Canadian Foreign Minister's Special Representative on Cyprus, Michael Bell, said he is "cautiously encouraged" that a solution to the Cyprus problem can be found, and that Canada is willing to contribute all it can towards that end.

    "If there's anything that I can do, or Canada can do, to contribute to (efforts towards a solution), we would be very happy to do so...I am cautiously encouraged that we will work things out," Bell said after an hour-long meeting with Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides.

    "I'm here really on a fact-finding mission this time. I've had a very interesting conversation with the Minister," Bell added.

    The Canadian Special Representative noted that the United Nations initiative on Cyprus "is the most important one" and that Canada continues to back it fully. "We will work in close contact with (the United Nations)...and again I can only underline that we will support fully their efforts," he added.

    Bell said he will talk with UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast, after the latter's visit to Cyprus, which starts on Wednesday.

    Asked how his visit here relates to initiatives launched by other countries on the Cyprus problem, Bell said Canada, as part of heightened international interest shown over Cyprus in recent months, "wishes to see the Cyprus problem resolved".

    "I think all of us are agreed that the UN is the proper place to put those efforts for a prosperous result, and we all support that effort," Bell said.

    The Canadian envoy, however, clarified his appointment by Canadian Foreign Minister, Lloyd Axworthy, had nothing to do with UN efforts for a Cyprus solution, but that Canada remains steadfast in its support of those UN efforts.

    "My appointment was by my Minister with an effort to discover exactly what the situation was here, and how we can best contribute to it," he said.

    Bell was appointed by Axworthy on April 17 of this year.

    The Canadian envoy added that although it is too early to determine how his country can contribute to efforts to a Cyprus solution, he will be writing a report on what he has learned during his visit here and in other European capitals, which he will submit to the Canadian Foreign Minister on his return to Canada.

    "I will be visiting Athens, Ankara, Brussels, London, Bonn and The Hague, and it will be the result of all those conversations that will determine if there is anything we can do during the process of negotiations or after the process when we hope to see an agreement," Bell said.

    Bell leaves Cyprus Thursday morning.

    CNA MH/MM/1997

    [02] Spokesman on overflights

    Nicosia, May 12 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, has welcomed the fact that in the past few weeks Turkish military aircraft have not violated Cyprus' air space.

    "We welcome this development," Christofides told his daily press briefing today.

    Asked if there is an informal moratorium on flights by Greek and Turkish military airplanes over the island, the Spokesman said this is an issue on which the government took a unilateral decision.

    The decision related to a temporary ban on overflights by Greek military aircraft during army manoeuvres, while the UN-led proximity talks are taking place.

    "If the Turkish government decides to follow the same tactic as well, in a bid to display and create an atmosphere of good will, this is a matter that concerns that government," he added.

    "The government considered it right to establish this kind of climate during the talks and to make this (good will) gesture," he added.

    This, he pointed out, is "a specific halt for a specific period." We are not talking about a halt of overflights in general or a permanent halt, he added.

    Christofides said it was up to the government to decide whether to extend this period.

    The government's decision on overflights, announced last month, was welcomed by many foreign governments, including Britain, the US and China as well as the UN.

    CNA MCH/MA/MM/1997

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, May 12 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    77.29 (-0.57)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  86.08 (-0.65)
    Approved Investment Companies          68.00 (-1.89)
    Insurance Companies                    58.58 (-0.20)
    Industrial Companies                   83.66 (+0.20)
    Tourist Industries                     62.08 (-1.02)
    Commercial Companies                   51.70 (-1.05)
    Other Companies                        56.11 (-0.58)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 564901.645
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1997

    [04] Current peace effort "most important bid" for solution

    Nicosia, May 12 (CNA) -- The on-going effort for a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem is considered by party leaders as the most important in recent years and the Cyprus government will make every effort to achieve progress towards a solution.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, stressed today that all political leaders also agree that it would be "extremely difficult" to turn down an invitation by the UN Secretary-General for direct negotiations to solve the Cyprus issue.

    "We would pay a hefty price if we reject an invitation by the UN chief, " the Spokesman said.

    It would be "frivolous" to say that differences between the Greek and Turkish sides cannot be overcome, the Spokesman said.

    He added the Greek Cypriot side "will continue with the UN-led proximity talks, aiming at achieving progress, in good will."

    The Spokesman stressed that none of the party leaders who participate in the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus issue, have rejected participation in the proximity talks or in direct negotiations, if Kofi Annan extends an invitation to President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    "The overall assessment among party leaders is that it may be the most important recent UN initiative for a solution to the Cyprus question," Christofides said, adding that every stage of negotiations must be well prepared.

    UN resident representative, Gustave Feissel, has been holding separate meetings with President Clerides and Denktash, in a bid to prepare the ground for direct negotiations between the two sides for a solution to the 23 year-old Cyprus question.

    CNA MCH/MA/MM/1997

    [05] Turkish threats "provocative", says Spokesman

    Nicosia, May 12 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said threats made by a Turkish General against Cyprus do not contribute towards efforts to achieve a good climate on the island.

    Christofides described statements made by General Cevik Bir, second in command in the Turkish military, as "provocative" and "unacceptable".

    The Turkish General paid an illegal visit to the Turkish occupied part of the Republic last week, where he reiterated threats that Ankara will use force if Russian-made S-300 anti-aircraft missiles are deployed in Cyprus.

    He also said Turkey will never allow the Greek Cypriots to gain military superiority on the island and argued that Turkey reinforces its troops to safeguard "peace" in the region.

    "The Turkish General's statements are contradict and undermine efforts to establish a climate of good will, in a very damaging manner," Christofides said.

    CNA MCH/MA/MM/1997

    [06] Council of Europe meeting on Greek language

    Nicosia, May 12 (CNA) -- Cyprus is hosting a Council of Europe seminar, called "The Fifth Course of the Teaching of the Ancient Greek Language and Civilisation", organised by the Pedagogical Institute and the Secondary Education Division of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

    This is the fifth such seminar to be held in Cyprus and the participation comprises persons from England, France, Greece, Northern Ireland, Latvia, Holland, Spain, Estonia and Cyprus. Also participating is a representative of the federation of national literature teachers' unions, "Euroclassica".

    The seminar, which is incorporated into the bursaries' scheme for teachers of the Council of Europe, refers to everyday life in ancient Greece, in the framework of the city-state, as well as the role of women, education, hospitality, religious life, punishments and penalties.

    Participants will attempt to compare issues and aspects of ancient Greece and modern times. Finally, the tuition of the subject at Cypriot and foreign analytical programmes will be mentioned.

    Main speakers at the seminar will be the professor and researcher of Bristol University, Dr. Martin Forrest, professor Dr. Athanasios Rizakis of the National Research Foundation of Greece, professor of University of Ioannina, Dr. Soteria Demetriadou-Constantinidou, professor of Asian history at the University Aix-en-Provence, Dr. Sophie Collin-Bouffier, chief archaeological official, Dr. Maria Xadjicosti and Director of the Cyprus Centre of the International Institute of Theatre, Dr. Nicos Shafkalis.

    CNA RG/MM/1997

    [07] Russian document on Cyprus problem on "negotiating table"

    Nicosia, May 12 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said today a Russian document on the Cyprus problem, presented to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council last month, is on the negotiating table, but does not take precedence over other documents already there.

    "This issue is connected to and combined with the different initiatives which are in progress at this time...What takes precedence is the way all these initiatives can best be coordinated so that results are produced," Christofides said.

    The Government Spokesman noted that the government welcomes all the initiatives on the Cyprus problem, "particularly those originating from the United Nations and the permanent members of the UN Security Council".

    The Russian document is a draft of basic principles for a settlement to the Cyprus problem containing seven points. One of the principles states a settlement "shall be based on a bi-communal bi-zonal federation" ensuring the independence and territorial integrity of a the state "with a single sovereignty, singly international legal personality and a single citizenship".

    The Cyprus government, Christofides pointed out, described the Russian document as "an excellent source to draw ideas from", and added that the document "is on the negotiating table and will be used," but "does not take precedence over other documents".

    He stressed that the basic document for reference now on the negotiating table is the UN Secretary-General's letter dated 27 January, 1997, which sets out the main documents on which negotiations are to be conducted.

    The letter notes that these include UN resolutions on Cyprus, two high- level agreements between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides on the establishment of a bicommunal, bizonal federal Cyprus, a UN set of ideas on the fundamental principles for a solution and other papers discussed at various times during the peace effort.

    Christofides also said the Cyprus government has not been informed by the Russian government on its next moves, especially in the light of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin and his Foreign Minister in Moscow later this week.

    CNA MCH/MH/MM/1997
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