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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-05-13

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] US support federation says Albright
  • [02] Cypriot diplomat tapped for Commonwealth assignment
  • [03] Cypriot FM meets French counterpart
  • [04] Turkish demands "ridiculous", says US Congressman
  • [05] Turkish nuclear reactor threatens region

  • 0915:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US support federation says Albright

    Washington, May 13 (CNA) -- The US support a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus, US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright has stated.

    Replying to a question by Turkish journalist, during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Albright said:

    "We are for a federation, bizonal, bicommunal. That is our position and we believe that is the best approach to trying to resolve the long-running Cyprus dispute."

    Asked whether she still plans to visit Turkey at the end of the month, Albright said, "we do not usually announce my travel plans that far in advance.

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1998

    [02] Cypriot diplomat tapped for Commonwealth assignment

    New York, May 13 (CNA) -- A veteran Cypriot diplomat, Andrew J. Jacovides, will be part of the 9-member Commonwealth Observer Group appointed to observe forthcoming parliamentary elections later this month in Lesotho, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, announced in London.

    Elections for the 80-member Assembly in Lesotho will take place May 23.

    Jacovides, who leaves today for the region, said "I look forward to participating in this challenging task and in contributing what I can to furthering the Commonwealth's goals of ensuring good governance, democracy and the rule of law among its member states".

    Lesotho, a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy, achieved independence in 1996.

    CNA JD/GP/1998

    [03] Cypriot FM meets French counterpart

    Nicosia, May 13 (CNA) -- The participation of Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus' accession talks with the European Union is desirable but is not a precondition, French Foreign Minister, Hubert Vedrine has stressed.

    Speaking after a meeting in Paris yesterday with his Cypriot counterpart, Ioannis Kasoulides, Vedrine also pointed out that his country firmly supports a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He expressed support for the resumption of bicommunal talks and a solution based on UN resolutions for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Vedrine said that even though France understands the arguments put forward by the government of Cyprus, concerning the purchase of S-300 anti- aircraft missiles, it believes that it would better, for the present, not to be deployed on the island.

    Kasoulides stressed that the aim of the Cyprus government is the resumption of bicommunal talks in the framework of UN resolutions.

    He also reminded the press, replying to a question by a Turkish journalist, of President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the inclusion of Turkish Cypriots in the Republic's team negotiating Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    This proposal has been described by the EU and the European Commission as very generous and courageous, the Foreign Minister added.

    Kasoulides left from Paris yesterday afternoon for Argentina, where he is expected to meet with President Carlos Menem, the Argentine Defence Minister and members of the Senate. He will also meet with members of the Greek community in the country.

    On May 17, Kasoulides will fly to Colombia to participate in the Foreign Ministers' Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement and will then fly to Washington for meetings, following the recent trip of US Presidential Emissary, Richard Holbrooke, to Cyprus.

    Holbrooke's trip, aiming at a resumption of bicommunal talks, ended in deadlock, as a result of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash's unacceptable demands for recognition of his puppet regime.

    The illegal entity unilaterally declared in 1983, in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974. It is recognised only by Turkey.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998

    [04] Turkish demands "ridiculous", says US Congressman

    Nicosia, May 13 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot demands for recognition of the illegal entity in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus are "ridiculous and unacceptable", New Jersey Democrat Congressman, Frank Pallone, told the US House of Representatives.

    Pallone also called for a change in US diplomacy and policy in regards to the Cyprus problem, pointing out that efforts should focus on Ankara rather than the Turkish Cypriots.

    Pointing out that recent efforts by US Presidential Emissary, Richard Holbrooke to "breath life into the moribund Cypriot peace talks", Pallone says they were "scuttled by the Turks before it had even the slightest chance of producing a breakthrough."

    Pallone said that demands for recognition of the puppet regime in the Turkish-occupied areas as well as for the withdrawal of Cyprus' application for accession to the European Union "are as ridiculous as they are unacceptable".

    Stressing that any settlement in Cyprus should be consistent with UN resolutions, the Democrat Congressman pointed out that none of them "even hint at bestowing an iota of legitimacy on the self-declared 'Turkish republic of northern Cyprus'".

    "What they do say is that any solution to the Cyprus problem must include a bizonal, bicommunal, sovereign federation with a single federal government and a single international identity," he added.

    He pointed out that "the key to progress in Cyprus lies not with (Turkish Cypriot leader) Rauf Denktash and the Turkish Cypriots, but in Ankara, particularly in light of the linkage by the Turkish side of Cyprus' accession to the EU to peace talks".

    US fears that the European Council Luxembourg decision, last December, for the start of accession talks with Cyprus on March 31 and not including Turkey in applicant countries to begin membership negotiations, would prompt Turkey to take an even harder line on Cyprus proved right, Pallone added.

    "I think that these developments, coupled with the Administration's knowledge that Ankara is calling the shots for the Turkish Cypriots, necessitate a swift change in US diplomacy and policy", Pallone said.

    He added "while I would like to commend Ambassador Holbrooke for his public rebuke of the Turkish side's new conditions, I believe it is time to stop focusing public and private efforts on the Turkish Cypriots and intensify American efforts to move the peace process forward on Ankara, and more importantly, on the Turkish military."

    Pallone said the US should in "forceful and unequivocal terms convey to Ankara that there will be direct consequences in US-Turkey relations if Ankara does not prevail upon the Turkish Cypriots to retract the two new conditions and allow Cyprus peace talks to move forward".

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998

    [05] Turkish nuclear reactor threatens region

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Toronto, May 12 (CNA) -- Cyprus could suffer catastrophically if a major accident were to happen at the proposed Turkish nuclear reactor at Akkuyu Bay, southern Turkey, a computer modeling study says.

    The study released yesterday by Greenpeace predicts how contamination would ravage Turkey and impact Cyprus as well as the entire Middle East region if there were an accident at the proposed nuclear power plant in Akkuyu.

    "The sitting of nuclear power reactors (in Turkey) is a potential hazard for the entire region, not just Turkey," the report says.

    "It should be noted that at all times during the year, a release of radioactive gas (due to an accident) is highly likely to impact countries other than Turkey."

    Turkey plans to build 10 nuclear reactors by the year 2020. The Turkish government is due to announce later this year which consortium has won the tender to build two nuclear reactors at Akkuyu Bay, on the southeast Mediterranean coast.

    Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd (AECL) and Siemens of Germany are two leading companies involved in consortia bidding for the project.

    The study goes on to say that year round, prevailing winds coming from Turkey travel to countries as far away as the Persian Gulf and noted that "countries of the Middle East are nearly always at substantial risk whereas Western Europe always has a much lower risk".

    Cyprus is situated just 80 kilometres south of the Turkish coast where Akkuyu Bay lies.

    Melda Keskin, energy campaigner of Greenpeace Mediterranean in Turkey, said that Turkey should learn from the Chernobyl disaster, which killed thousands and devastated huge swaths of the Ukranian countryside.

    "The proposed nuclear reactor at Akkuyu would mean living with the threat that the next 'Chernobyl' could happen within Turkey's borders. The proposed site for the plant is located between the tourist resort of Antalya and Mersin.

    Agriculture, fishing and the most popular of Turkey's Mediterranean tourist spots would all be severely affected by an accident.

    The report also says: "Regional environmental security considerations need to be taken into account when siting nuclear power reactors in Turkey and the Middle East."

    Greenpeace called on the Turkish government to abandon its nuclear programme and rather invest in cleaner, safer and cheaper alternatives, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

    Opposition to the construction has been growing within Turkey and abroad.

    Turkish environmentalists in conjunction with Greenpeace, as well as Akkuyu Bay area residents have been vociferous in their opposition.

    The study was commissioned by Greenpeace and written by the Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies (CRES) at the Australian National University in Canberra.

    The modeling was done using the university's supercomputer and metrological data compiled by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting in Reading, England. CNA/MH/GP/1998

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