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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-05

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Solution in Cyprus would benefit regional peace, says Kasoulides
  • [02] FM warns against recognition of illegal regime
  • [03] No deadlock, absence of progress, government says
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Cypriot Canadians meet Foreign Minister
  • [06] Peres stresses need for dialogue
  • [07] Cyprus, Israel set for hi-tech cooperation
  • [08] Flexibility needed for Cyprus settlement
  • [09] Cyprus to host European meeting on social matters

  • 1510:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Solution in Cyprus would benefit regional peace, says Kasoulides

    Paphos, May 5 (CNA) -- A united Cyprus would benefit peace and stability in the Middle East and have a positive effect on the peoples and nations of the region, Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides stressed, here, today.

    Addressing the Conference of the "Young Leaders Network" of the Peres Centre for Peace, Kasoulides said Cyprus has emerged as a bridge particularly between the Middle East and Europe and said that with its European Union accession the Republic will enhance this important role even further.

    He also reaffirmed the government's commitment to the peace process in the Middle East and its readiness to "contribute actively to its successful outcome."

    Around 60 young people from Egypt, Jordan, the Palestinian territories and Israel are attending the Conference that began Sunday with meetings among delegates and ends Wednesday.

    Kasoulides said that recognising the urgent necessity of taking practical steps to address economic development in the area, the Cyprus government "has set up a special programme of economic and technical assistance to the Palestinian people."

    Congratulating those who initiated and organised the Conference, the Foreign Minister noted their desire "to create a common vision for the future of the Middle East."

    "This vision is not only shared by us, but it receives also utmost importance on our part. It is also reflected in the participation of former President George Vassiliou and my predecessor, Alecos Michaelides, in the International Board of Governors of the Peres Centre for Peace," he said.

    Kasoulides described Shimon Peres as "one of the great statesmen of our times with rare political courage and unwavering dedication to the peace process... who shaped the history of Israel and the future of the Middle East."

    "Peres was also one of the first leaders in the Middle East, who equally recognised that the search for peace and stability in our region does not end with a comprehensive settlement of the Middle East problem, but with the solution of the Cyprus problem as well," he added.

    He also stressed that a united Cyprus would "benefit all the people of Cyprus and peace and stability in our volatile region", pointing out that it would also affect "positively the course of the peoples and the nations in the Middle East."

    The Foreign Minister pointed to the advanced technical infrastructure and skilled human resources Cyprus has to offer, adding that in this way it is "in a unique position to become a meeting point for the peoples and cultures and a bridge for cooperation between the nations of the region."

    The Peres Centre for Peace was founded two years ago and its mission is to advance Arab-Israeli cooperation by creating a wide-range of projects in the fields of economics, education and social development.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [02] FM warns against recognition of illegal regime

    Paphos, May 5 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, today warned of the repercussions recognition of the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus would have, not only on the island but also in Turkey and the region.

    Replying to press questions on the sidelines of a meeting held in this western coastal town under the umbrella of the "Peres Centre for Peace", Kasoulides also said efforts for a settlement here will continue.

    "All of us, the international community and especially the Americans and the European Union must realise that we need peace in Cyprus because the status quo is unacceptable," the Foreign Minister said.

    He added that "the recognition of the illegal regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, as demanded by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, would not be a solution but would signal worse woes for Cyprus, Turkey and the region."

    Denktash's demand for recognition of his self-styled regime in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974 has led to a stalemate in efforts for a settlement in Cyprus.

    A weekend of intensive but separate talks US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, held with the two sides failed to bring about the breakthrough needed to enable peace talks to resume.

    At a press conference before his departure yesterday Holbrooke said the preconditions set by the Turkish side for recognition of the illegal regime and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application to join the EU do not allow talks to start.

    Kasoulides said he believes the American emissary has told Denktash that he cannot be seeking recognition of his regime, and added that the illegal regime is not going to be recognised.

    "During these meetings (with Holbrooke) our side never accepted anything that would violate international law or UN resolutions and we were not asked to do so," he added.

    The Foreign Minister said Denktash's demand for recognition was not discussed despite the fact that the Turkish Cypriot leader insisted on it throughout the three days of talks.

    He also explained that President Glafcos Clerides was not satisfied with Holbrooke's statements at yesterday's press conference, because the US emissary had said he would be far more critical of the Turkish side's stance.

    Asked if the US initiative on Cyprus has fallen through, Kasoulides said: "No. I believe it is too early to say it is the end of the road."

    "It is obvious that the Turkish side was more intransigent than ever, but this does not mean that our efforts stop here," he said, adding that one cannot reach the conclusion that the Cyprus problem can never be resolved.

    CNA MCH/MA/MM/1998

    [03] No deadlock, absence of progress, government says

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- The government does not believe there is a complete deadlock in efforts to find a settlement in Cyprus but "lack of progress."

    The government also called on the international community to turn its attention to Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who are intransigent, in a bid to move forward.

    Furthermore, it reiterated its firm position that it is ready to accept any initiative in the framework of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General aiming at a bicommunal, bizonal federation on the basis of UN resolutions.

    Christos Stylianides, Government Spokesman, aired these views at his daily press briefing earlier today and expressed hope "the international community will understand that Denktash and Turkey bear exclusive responsibility for the lack of progress."

    The government, he said, considers the US has a leading role to play in international developments.

    His comments come only a day after US presidential emissary Richard Holbrooke failed in his attempt to resume the intercommunal dialogue, after three days of shuttling between the two sides.

    Holbrooke told a press conference here Monday Denktash's demand for recognition of his self-styled regime and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application to the European Union hampered his efforts.

    "The government is studying the situation as this has developed," Stylianides told his briefing, noting that the National Council will meet Friday to be briefed by President Glafcos Clerides on developments and exchange views.

    "The Council will define the positions of the Cypriot political leadership on the basis of current developments," he added.

    He said the President "during his consultations with Holbrooke discussed everything and sought explanation about everything."

    "Talks covered the entire range of issues pertaining the Cyprus question," Stylianides said.

    Asked if today's meeting between the President and top UN envoy in Cyprus Gustave Feissel aimed at conveying the message the UN should now take over the peace effort, the Spokesman said "we are always under the UN auspices."

    He pointed out that Holbrooke had "made it clear that his initiative was under the UN umbrella and UN Secretary-General was fully and duly informed."

    CNA MK/MM/MA/1998

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    89,20 (-3,59)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                 103,58 (-3,68)
    Approved Investment Companies          65,16 (-2,83)
    Insurance Companies                    65,68 (-2,88)
    Industrial Companies                   78,83 (-3,70)
    Tourist Industries                     71,98 (-4,50)
    Commercial Companies                   52,62 (-3,66)
    Other Companies                        75,42 (-2,88)
    Trading Volume                             1.793.571.69
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1998

    [05] Cypriot Canadians meet Foreign Minister

    Toronto, May 5 (CNA) -- Canada's Foreign Minister met with Greek and Cypriot Diaspora leaders in Ottawa Monday to discuss the long-standing Cyprus problem and efforts to resolve it, as well as Canada's bid to sell nuclear technology to Turkey.

    "The feeling that we got from Lloyd Axworthy is that Canada is willing to step in and assist in every way possible to make sure the region is stable. I think that he understood our concerns and listened to them with great interest", Toronto MP Jim Karygiannis told CNA.

    The demilitarisation of Cyprus and other issues of concern regarding this divided island were taken up at the meeting.

    Penelope Soteriou, member of the Solidarity Committee, said the delegation used a proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus, submitted by President Glafcos Clerides, to address a number of issues arising from security concerns shared by both communities on the island.

    "I said the Greek Cypriots are very sensitive to the Turkish Cypriots' security concerns and the very fact that President Clerides made the demilitarisation proposal is proof of how safety for everyone can be guaranteed", she said.

    President of the Solidarity Committee, Antonis Rodolakis stressed that the Minister told the delegates that he "absolutely agreed with this analysis".

    Soteriou explained to Axworthy that the controversial Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, purchased by the Cyprus government two years ago, would not be deployed on the island if the demilitarization proposal was accepted by the Turkish side.

    Turkey has repeatedly threatened to launch air strikes to take the missiles out if they are deployed later this year.

    The Committee president explained the missiles are a defensive rather than an offensive weapon and that the numerical superiority enjoyed by the Turkish occupation forces over the Cyprus National Guard make invalid any contention that deployment of the missiles would shift the balance of power on the island.

    The latter half of the meeting was taken up by a discussion on Canada's bid to sell nuclear technology to Turkey. Canada is vying with the French- Gernman company Framatone and a Japanese-American consortium to sell two nuclear reactors to Turkey. The deal is slated to be finalized early next year.

    "The minister gave no indication that the Canadian government would pull out of its bid to sell nuclear reactors to Turkey", Rodolakis said.

    According to Rodolakis, the Foreign Minister pointed out that Canada imposes stringent regulations on the use of fission by-products and the use of nuclear power for peaceful purposes and indicated it would be better that a sale to Turkey be accompanied by such strict rules.

    The Minister, always according to delegation members, stressed Canada's excellent reputation for putting safety and human rights ahead of anything else.

    Armenian National Federation representative Aris Badikian, also present at the meeting, told the Foreign Minister that the introduction of nuclear technology to Turkey could potentially destabilize the region by sparking an arms race, since other countries may hasten to acquire nuclear technology to keep up with Turkey and Israel, which is known to have nuclear weapons.

    "The Minister understood clearly that we're not happy with this", Karygiannis said.

    Karygiannis said that he will ask for a meeting with Prime Minister Jean Chretien on the issue of the nuclear reactor sale bid.

    Apart from Karygiannis and Rodolakis, present at the meeting were Hellenic Canadian Congress President Nicos Panos, Congress executive members Sotiris Antypas and George Pitsikoulis, Solidarity Committee member Penelope Sotiriou, PSEKA Canada President Constantinos Sophocleous, Ontario Hellenic Federation representative George Pigadas and AHEPA Canada representative Nicholas Pantieris.

    Toronto MP John Cannis and Montreal MP Eleni Bakopanos were joined by Parliamentary Secretary to the Foreign Minister Ted McWhinney at the meeting.

    CNA MH/MM/1998

    [06] Peres stresses need for dialogue

    Paphos, May 5 (CNA) -- "It is better to agree to meet and hear out our disagreements than not to agree to meet", former Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told young Egyptian, Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli leaders, meeting, here, today.

    Speaking at the Conference of the "Young Leaders Network", organised by the Peres Centre for Peace, the Israeli diplomat stressed that in a changing world the Middle East should also change otherwise it would run the danger of being left behind.

    "The young generation should not follow the footsteps of their predecessors, not because their fathers were worse than the children or their parents but because the world has changed," he told the some 60 delegates.

    Peres added "there is no longer an objective need for war", pointing out that "every country and every people can reach a new height of economic development and a new degree of freedom and different relations can develop among nations."

    "We cannot change the past, but we can change the future," Peres said, calling for the transformation of the borders between countries into "meeting places."

    "Let us understand that we are entitled to be different. Democracy is co-existence without coercion but in agreement to disagree," he stressed.

    Underlining the importance of education, the former Israeli Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize laureate said that today science and technology are the sources of wealth and strength.

    "The real measurement is no longer the size or the wealth of the land but the standard of education of the people," he added.

    Commenting on the Middle East problem, Peres expressed support for the creation of a Palestinian state, next to the existing Jewish state, pointing out that a bi-national state would be an almost unattainable alternative.

    He also pointed to the need for the economic development of the Palestinians, stressing that if great economic differences remain then the problem will turn from a political to an economic one.

    "We need two states but one economy," he said, adding that what is need as far as the Israeli-Palestinian problem is concerned is "political separateness" and "economic integration".

    Pointing out that many difficult conflicts of our time have been solved, while others are in the process of being solved, Peres said he could see no reason why a solution to the Cyprus problem could not also be reached.

    "In the Middle East we had many mediators before we had peace. Peace cannot be imported from outside," Peres said.

    Noting Cyprus' "very impressive economic development", he said that "if Cyprus gets rid of the conflict there will be greater gains both for Greek and Turkish Cypriots".

    Speaking to the press after the Conference, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, who also addressed the session, said he was impressed by Peres' speech, pointing out that his remarks could be seen from a Cyprus perspective.

    "This, however, does not mean the Cyprus question has any similarity with the Middle East issue or any other political problem," he added.

    Kasoulides also pointed out that problems relating to national conflicts, as for example those of South Africa, Ireland and the Middle East have been solved or are in the process of being solved. "Therefore why should the Cyprus problem not be solved," he wondered.

    A declaration of cooperation for the future of the Middle East will be formulated by the Conference tomorrow, closing day of the Conference, and it will be translated into ongoing projects of cooperation.

    The Peres Centre for peace was founded two years ago and its mission is to advance Arab-Israeli cooperation by creating a wide range of projects in the fields of economics, education and social development.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [07] Cyprus, Israel set for hi-tech cooperation

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus' location, its manpower and economic and financial activity, especially in the offshore sector, are attractive factors for Israel to push for improved cooperation in many fields, especially hi-tech, Michael Eitan, Israeli Minister of Science, has said.

    Speaking to CNA during his one-day visit to the island, Eitan said Cyprus could serve as a centre for Israeli firms and added that partnerships can be established to use the potential of the island's manpower.

    Noting the remarkable progress Cyprus has made in recent years, Eitan said the island's growing offshore industry is an additional advantage to encourage Israelis to invest.

    "Israel needs to expand and Cyprus is offered as a possible venue," he added.

    The Minister, who left Monday night, said "a basic precondition for increased cooperation is to involve the private sector", noting also that the public sector should contribute by establishing the right environment.

    "Cyprus can help with technical know-how," he told CNA and remarked on the shortage of skilled professionals in the technology industry, which Cyprus could supply.

    The Israeli Minister, who was accompanied by Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus Shemi Tzur, had a working dinner last night with Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis to exchange views on cooperation on hi- tech matters.

    The meeting is a follow-up of last month's talks President Glafcos Clerides had with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Israel, during which both leaders expressed their desire for cooperation in this field.

    Eitan and Rolandis agreed to exchange visits in order to promote cooperation.

    Israel has a very advanced industry with 30 billion dollars worth of exports, seven of which concern hi-tech goods.

    Cypriot exports of industrial products reach 300 million pounds (about 600 m. dollars).

    CNA MM/MA/1998

    [08] Flexibility needed for Cyprus settlement

    London, May 5 (CNA) -- Britain has welcomed efforts for a solution of the protracted Cyprus question and called for flexibility from both sides.

    "We welcome the efforts of all those working for a settlement in Cyprus, " a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman told CNA.

    The spokesman also said "we encourage both sides to be flexible and to work towards a speedy resumption of the UN-led talks."

    The comments were made in the wake of a failed attempt by the US to resume the stalled peace process, after three days of intensive but inconclusive consultations Richard Holbrooke had with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Holbrooke told a press conference before leaving that Denktash's demands for the withdrawal of Cyprus' application for accession to the European Union and for recognition of his self-styled regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus did not allow the resumption of the talks.

    CNA KT/MM/MA/1998

    [09] Cyprus to host European meeting on social matters

    Nicosia, May 5 (CNA) -- Some 50 deputies from member-states of the Council of Europe will gather here later this week to discuss social, health and family affairs.

    The Committee of Social Affairs, Health and Family Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe will meet in the southern town of Larnaca from 7-9 May at the invitation of the House of Representatives.

    Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Andreas Mousioutas and Health Minister Christos Solomis will address the meeting, which will look into how states implement their commitment regarding social rights and non- traditional medicines.

    The Committee will visit Nicosia on 8 May to meet the Cypriot House Committee of Labour and Social Insurance and meet the town's mayor Lellos Demetriades.

    Committee members will visit the demarcation line dividing Cyprus since Turkish troops invaded in 1974 and tour Nicosia.

    CNA MM/MA/1998
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