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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-05-16

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Bicommunal concert can benefit Cyprus
  • [03] Government expects show of real interest
  • [04] US Congressman introduces resolution on Cyprus
  • [05] No preconditions from France on EU accession talks
  • [06] Leaders ready to talk, says UN top official

  • 1630:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, May 16 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.75 (-0.34)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  85.90 (-0.20)
    Approved Investment Companies          65.54 (-1.12)
    Insurance Companies                    59.35 (-0.77)
    Industrial Companies                   80.81 (-0.06)
    Tourist Industries                     61.40 (+0.87)
    Commercial Companies                   50.87 (-3.27)
    Other Companies                        55.99 (-0.48)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 615727.214
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Bicommunal concert can benefit Cyprus

    Nicosia, May 16 (CNA) -- The government reiterated today its support for a UN-sponsored pop concert by Greek and Turkish popular singers and urged both Greek and Turkish Cypriots opposing the event to respect the right of those who want to attend.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, told his daily briefing Friday "we support this concert as we believe in it."

    "We respect the views of all those opposing or reacting to it, either in the Greek or the Turkish Cypriot community, but at the same time we urge them to respect other people's views," he said.

    Christofides said opponents of the concert have the democratic right to call on people not to attend Monday's event, but noted "it wouldn't be democratic to act in a manner which would prevent the rest, who wish to attend, from doing so."

    The concert, by Greek pop star Sakis Rouvas and Turkish popular singer Burat Kut, will take place in the UN-controlled buffer zone, in Nicosia, and some 6.000 tickets (3,000 to each side) are being distributed free of charge to Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    The concert has attracted media attention from both sides of the divide on this Eastern Mediterranean island and abroad, but it has also come under criticism from various quarters on both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    The spokesman called on both sides undertake their responsibilities and "evaluate the significance and the benefit Cyprus would gain of this first youth meeting after decades."

    Christofides also said the government "will take all necessary measures to ensure that citizens wishing to attend will do so in safety."

    The UN and others have been trying to promote bicommunal meetings to encourage Greek and Turkish Cypriots to get together and exchange views and experiences, in a bid to push for rapprochement between the two communities, forcibly separated since Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern part, in 1974.

    CNA AP/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1730:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Government expects show of real interest

    Nicosia, May 16 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government expects that all countries, which have recently declared their intention to help current UN efforts towards a Cyprus solution, will show their actual interest, when direct talks are convened between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, probably in late June.

    It also reiterated that face-to-face talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash should be appropriately prepared by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, to ensure they yield results.

    Speaking at his daily briefing Friday, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said "for the first time ever" so many countries have simultaneously shown their interest in a Cyprus solution by appointing their own special representatives.

    "We expect the countries, which have declared their intention to help the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission, and especially the Security Council five permanent members, to show in practical terms their real interest during direct talks," he said. Christofides pointed out that "wishful thinking" has failed for decades to bring about a settlement and added "something more decisive is needed."

    Asked to clarify the term "real interest", the Spokesman said "this might be interventions, pressure on Turkey, Denktash and other parties, to get replies to six or seven key questions on Cyprus, pending for years."

    He said neither the UN Secretary-General nor President Clerides wish to engage in another round of talks, which would fail.

    The UN chief, he said, "takes the responsibility to issue invitations (to the two sides for direct talks) as well as his own share of responsibility in a possible failure."

    However, Christofides made it clear that both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides will also be responsible for an eventual failure, if talks collapse.

    "If Annan makes every possible effort and gives his best for the success of the talks, and if our side goes to the talks with the best intentions and the Turkish Cypriot side is intransigent, then I wonder if we can really blame the UN Secretary-General," the Spokesman added.

    CNA AP/MM/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1940:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] US Congressman introduces resolution on Cyprus

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, May 16 (CNA) -- The Chairman of the US House International Relations Committee, Representative Benjamin Gilman of New York, introduced a concurrent resolution to the House floor yesterday evening, which calls for a US initiative seeking a just and peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The resolution is cosponsored by Representatives Lee Hamilton of Indiana, Mike Bilirakis of Florida, John Porter of Illinois, Carolyn Maloney of New York and Eliot Engel of New York.

    The resolution which has a bipartisan support, says "the Republic of Cyprus has been divided and occupied by foreign forces since 1974 in violation of United Nations Resolutions".

    It says "the international community, the Congress, and the United States administrations have called for an end to the status quo on Cyprus, considering that it perpetuates an unacceptable violation of international law and fundamental human rights affecting all the people of Cyprus and undermines significant United States interest in the Eastern Mediterranean region".

    It adds that "there are internationally acceptable means to resolve the situation in Cyprus, including the demilitarisation of Cyprus and the establishment of a multinational force to ensure the security of both communities in Cyprus".

    The resolution emphasises that "a peaceful, just, and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem would greatly benefit the security, and the political, economic, and social well-being of all Cypriots, as well as contribute to improve relations between Greece and Turkey".

    It believes that "a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem would also strengthen peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and serve important interests of the United States".

    On the issue of Cyprus' accession to the European Union, the resolution says "the prospect of the accession by Cyprus to the European Union, which the United States has actively supported, could serve as a catalyst for a solution to the Cyprus problem".

    It urges the Congress to reaffirm "its view that the status quo on Cyprus is unacceptable and detrimental to the interests of the United States in the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond".

    It "considers lasting peace and stability on Cyprus could be best secured by a process of complete demilitarisation leading to the withdrawal of all occupation forces, the cessation of foreign arms transfers to Cyprus, and providing for alternative internationally acceptable and effective security arrangements as negotiated by the parties".

    The resolution welcomes and supports the commitment by President Bill Clinton to give increased attention to Cyprus and make the search for a solution a priority of United States foreign policy.

    It encourages President Clinton "to launch an early substantive initiative, in close coordination with the United Nations, the European Union, and interested governments to promote a speedy resolution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of international law, the provisions of relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, democratic principles, including respect for human rights, and in accordance with the norms and requirements for accession to the European Union".

    At the same time it calls upon the parties to lend their full support and cooperation to such an initiative and requests the US President to report actions taken to give effect to the objectives set forth in paragraph 4th in the bimonthly report on Cyprus transmitted to the Congress.

    A senior staff member of the US House International Relations Committee told CNA that the intention of the resolution is to draw attention to the Cyprus problem and to push the US administration to strengthen its efforts for a solution in Cyprus.

    The same official said that the Congress is not satisfied with the efforts of the US government last year and this resolution seeks to push the administration to make the Cyprus problem one of the highest US foreign policy priorities.

    The UN has launched a new initiative to try to reunite this island under a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory. CNA/DA/GP/1997

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2030:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] No preconditions from France on EU accession talks

    Nicosia, May 16 (CNA) -- The French government has never set a precondition that no Cyprus accession talks with the European Union (EU) will begin unless the Turkish Cypriots participate in these negotiations.

    This was categorically stated here today by Cyprus Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, who was commenting on an interview of French ambassador to Cyprus, Henry Jacolin, with local daily "O Phileleftheros".

    In his remarks, Jacolin did not rule out that France might veto the start of Cyprus' accession talks with the EU, if the Turkish Cypriot side were not represented in the Cypriot negotiating delegation.

    The French ambassador also revealed that his country is working out some ideas so that a Cyprus solution should comply with the aquis communautaire, a point the Spokesman agreed with.

    "We appreciate the interest France has shown in a Cyprus solution," the Spokesman said and added the government would not ask from the French ambassador any clarifications.

    Christofides noted that French Deputy Foreign Minister in Charge of European Affairs, Claude Martin, who deals with the Cyprus problem, "has never set a condition that accession talks cannot begin unless the Turkish Cypriots participate in Cyprus' negotiating team".

    He pointed out that all countries, with the exception of Turkey, recognise the Republic of Cyprus and its government as the island's legitimate representative.

    "The fact that the government of Cyprus is recognised by the UN and all countries in the world as the only legitimate representative, only this government can represent Cyprus in the accession talks," he added.

    At the same time, Christofides noted "Cyprus' accession to the EU should benefit all Cypriots," as outlined in an EU Council decision of March 6, 1995.

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

    Cyprus is scheduled to start membership negotiations six months after the Intergovernmental Conference, in accordance to the March 1995 EU decision.

    CNA AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2100:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Leaders ready to talk, says UN top official

    Nicosia, May 16 (CNA) -- UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast, announced here today the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities are "willing" to go to direct talks "to resume a process aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question."

    He told a press conference, at the end of two days of talks on the island, that no preconditions were laid down for this process by either leader, who are likely to meet first in "a secluded venue" near New York and continue talks in Europe, probably Geneva.

    Sir Kieran called on the two communities to "show flexibility and willingness to compromise" to help reach a settlement and pledged the UN would do "its very best" to promote a comprehensive settlement.

    Key players in the Cyprus problem, including the European Union, Greece, Turkey and Britain (the three guarantor powers of Cyprus' independence and territorial integrity) as well the US will "be in the wings" for consultations, if need be, Sir Kieran said.

    "I found my contacts with the two leaders to be both valuable and informative," he said, noting he was in a better position to report back to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan late next week.

    Annan will have to take a firm decision at the end of the month, he explained, but pointed out that "the Secretary-General himself has made no secret that he would like to see direct talks resume by the middle of this year."

    He said the aim of renewed direct talks is "a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem and we at the UN will do our very best to promote such an outcome but ultimately success depends on the willingness of the two sides to show flexibility and willingness to compromise."

    He stressed the talks relate to "a process and not a one off event" and are likely to start in "late June, early July."

    Asked if he would suggest to Annan to send invitations to President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the UN official replied "I think it is fairly clear in which way the river is flowing."

    He added the two leaders said they were "willing to accept Annan's invitation...", adding they wanted a settlement. The talks would show the extent of "the flexibility and the willingness to compromise" of each side, the UN official said.

    Asked if the UN considered that now it was closer to progress, he replied "if we did not think there was a chance of progress, we would not issue an invitation."

    Invited to pinpoint the starting point of the renewed talks, Sir Kieran did not think the two leaders would start talks "at the point which they left them off back in 1992 (when talks were last held in New York)."

    The basis of the direct talks, he explained, "must be acceptable to both sides, or there will not be a solution."

    "The direct talks should be with the two communities and the UN as a mediator or they could be with the two community leaders, and nobody present, or a mix of both," he said, and noted that "key players will need to be present in the wings."

    He said Annan's special advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez would be able to devote "his full attention" to Cyprus after June 16 due to other engagements.

    Referring to the modalities of the talks, he said the UN mediator would not want to dictate the "precise line up" and added "our objective is to create a setting and conditions in which they could have relaxed, direct talks in which they can express their deepest concerns to one another in the hope of having some measure of mutual understanding."

    The first round of direct talks, he explained, would be "near New York, the next in Europe, near Geneva, and then probably back to New York for the third round."

    Sir Kieran refrained from disclosing the exact venue of the talks and restricted himself in saying "there are occasions when it is better to put people into a more relaxed and secluded location where they can talk, without having to answer to the press after the end of every single session."

    He added the two leaders "will have a thorough discussion on all the outstanding issues."

    Referring to the key players that would be at hand during direct talks, Sir Kieran said "it would be reasonable to assume that the EU envoy would be there."

    Commenting on the "number and range of countries" who have appointed a special Cyprus envoy, he said "this is an indication of the interest which the international community has in a solution of this long standing problem."

    Sir Kieran leaves Sunday for Athens where he will dine with Greece's Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and then fly on to Ankara for meetings on Tuesday with Turkish government officials.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA END
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