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

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Brill reconfirms US positions on Cyprus
  • [02] Cyprus satisfaction with WEU declaration
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Cyprus can become a bridge for Europe, says Ierodiaconou
  • [05] Turkish rejection "missed opportunity", says British official

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Brill reconfirms US positions on Cyprus

    Nicosia, May 13 (CNA) -- US ambassador in Nicosia, Kenneth Brill, today stated that the Turkish side is to blame for the failure of the latest effort by a top American official to resume negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem.

    He also made it clear that the US only recognises the government of the Republic of Cyprus and that there are two communities on the island, which participate in peace talks.

    Brill met today with House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, and informed him on the visit here by US presidential emissary Richard Holbrooke and the American diplomatic effort to settle the Cyprus problem.

    Holbrooke, who was appointed last year, was in Cyprus beginning of this month in a bid to get the two sides back to the negotiating table.

    He stumbled on conditions set by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, for recognition of his illegal regime in the Turkish occupied areas and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application to join the European Union, if he is to attend talks.

    "There is reason why his (Holbrooke's) effort was not fruitful on this round and it was the Turkish side. The message was not received clearly here although the language was very direct," Brill said.

    He added "there is a Turkish Cypriot community, there is no question about that, and there is a Greek Cypriot community. There is also a Republic of Cyprus, there is the government we deal with and have relations with."

    Asked if the US acknowledges that President Clerides represents both communities and represent the Greek Cypriot community only during intercommunal talks, Brill said that "in the intercommunal talks there are two sides."

    "But it is also clear that the US has relations with the government of Cyprus and does all of its official business on Cyprus with the government of Cyprus," he added.

    The Cyprus government had expressed disappointment with the presidential emissary, because during a press conference before his departure Holbrooke did not put the blame squarely on the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Commenting on Brill's positions, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides welcomed any statements which reconfirm recognition of the internationally recognised government of the Republic.

    He also said the government welcomes any statements that international efforts in Cyprus are aimed at reaching a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

    Referring to his meeting with the House President, Brill said they had a "very useful discussion" and noted he had the chance to respond to Kyprianou's question so that he understands that the US is aiming at achieving a bizonal, bicommunal settlement.

    On his part Kyprianou expressed satisfaction with the meeting, but pointed out that some of the statements made by Holbrooke have remained unclarified.

    He also said "the US government has no concrete proposal for a settlement to the Cyprus problem, but Holbrooke aims at investigating the possibilities."

    "I told the US ambassador that without US involvement, within the framework of the Secretary-General's initiative, the Cyprus problem cannot be solved, because only the US, in cooperation with Europe can make Turkey feel the need to abandon its intransigent and expansionist policy," he added.

    Kyprianou said he was reassured that the US acts within the framework of the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission and Security Council resolutions.

    The House President expressed the view that "there will be a next step, even though there is no progress at the time, especially after the European Union Cardiff meeting," to be held in June.

    CNA GG/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1530:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus satisfaction with WEU declaration

    Nicosia, May 13 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has expressed satisfaction with the position expressed in the Western European Union declaration, at the Rhodes Summit, in regards to Cyprus' application for associate partnership status.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, told the press today, the new text is an improvement compared to previous ones because it "links Cyprus' political dialogue with the WEU with progress in Cyprus-European Union accession talks".

    Since Cyprus-EU membership talks will gradually lead to accession, Stylianides said, "this simultaneously means a gradual strengthening of Cyprus-WEU relations".

    WEU Foreign and Defence Ministers meeting on the Greek island of Rhodes this week expressed satisfaction with the beginning of a dialogue with Cyprus.

    They also stressed the need to expand relations with third countries in an effort to strengthen cooperation in security issues.

    Commenting on the Turkish position that there exists a separate state in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974 (written on the WEU declaration), the Cypriot Spokesman pointed out that no other country backed this position.

    "We believe that European countries do not agree with Turkey's position", he added.

    Stylianides said the government was considering its next step concerning the WEU. He added consultations would be held with the Greek government over the issue.

    Cyprus applied for associate partnership status to the WEU last March.

    CNA MCH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1640:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Apr 13 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    87,37 (-1,12)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                 102,81 (-0,71)
    Approved Investment Companies          64,15 ( 0,03)
    Insurance Companies                    63,38 (-1,71)
    Industrial Companies                   75,95 (-1,40)
    Tourist Industries                     65,77 (-4,13)
    Commercial Companies                   49,11 (-3,44)
    Other Companies                        73,12 (-0,75)
    
    Trading Volume                         1.766.289,48
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1650:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus can become a bridge for Europe, says Ierodiaconou

    Nicosia, May 13 (CNA) -- "Cyprus' geographical position and highly developed telecommunications, banking and other services systems drive us to develop our seaports and airports to be used as a bridge of Europe, to and from the Middle and Far East," Communications and Works Minister, Leontios Ierodiaconou, has said.

    Speaking at the International Euro-Asian Conference on Transport, taking place in St. Petersburg May 12-13, he stressed "we are now sharing the ideas of unification, democracy, respect of differences, free movement, cost differences, cost effectiveness, safety and protection of the environment."

    "We have the ambition to create a place of sharing and abolish all dividing elements. A place for the next generation to enjoy prosperity and peace," Ierodiaconou added.

    He said that the Limassol port, in the southern coast of Cyprus, can receive mother vessels "thus saving them sailing time and serving the idea of short sea shipping in the Mediterranean."

    As for the port in the south-eastern coastal town of Larnaca, Ierodiaconou said there are plans for its development into a specialized port for passengers and tourists, with the extension of its marina.

    He also said that the designs for the development of the islands' two airports are ready, so that they can serve up to eight million passengers in the first phase and 12 million in the final phase.

    "Our airports can be used not only as hubs for people but also for the transportation of goods. taking advantage of the Cargo Space of Charter flyers and by developing specialized cargo facilities," Ierodiaconou told the conference.

    He expressed confidence that "this contribution will be to the benefit of all our countries and is in line with the needs of Europe and the abilities of Cyprus."

    CNA KN/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1920:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Turkish rejection "missed opportunity", says British official

    Nicosia, May 13 (CNA) -- British Minister of State at the Foreign Office, Doug Henderson, described as "a missed opportunity" the Turkish Cypriot rejection to participate in Cyprus' team negotiating European Union accession.

    Addressing a conference of the Association for Cypriot, Greek and Turkish Affairs, held in London yesterday, Henderson stressed Cyprus' bid to join the EU could facilitate efforts to settle the Cyprus problem but "also has the potential to become another point of discord."

    Speaking on the subject "The future of Cyprus: permanent division or bizonal federation within the EU" read for him by his Parliamentary Secretary, Dennis McShane, the British official supported Cyprus' right to join the EU.

    Referring to the rejection of Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for Turkish Cypriot participation in the EU accession negotiations, he said it could have been discussed, explored and fleshed out by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    "It is difficult to see this (rejection) as anything other than a missed opportunity," he said.

    The British official said that "by rejecting the opportunity to participate in this process, they (Turkish Cypriots) have also rejected the chance to affect the outcome."

    However, he said "the offer remains on the table" and expressed hope the Turkish Cypriots will take it up "before too long". Membership talks got underway in March.

    Henderson added that the view expressed, mainly by the Turkish side, that Cyprus' EU application is illegal "enjoys no support amongst the 15 member-states, the Commission and Council legal services."

    "The objective we are all working towards is the accession of a re- united Cyprus into the EU," he told participants, underlining that "the search for a settlement is, therefore, more important than ever."

    He pointed out that EU accession is a way of "securing Cyprus' future for the new millennium".

    Henderson outlined his views on why there is a stalemate in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem, including the "lack of determination" on the part of those most closely involved.

    Noting the progress achieved in other disputes, such as those in Northern Ireland and the Middle East, he urged for cooperation of the two sides in Cyprus with the UN efforts.

    "What is forgotten in the division on Cyprus is that there is considerable agreement by both sides on the structural objective, that is that there should be the creation of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus," he said.

    Henderson pointed out that the parties in Cyprus and the international community agree that it is "through the establishment of such a federation that the issues of sovereignty and political equality should be resolved."

    Pointing out that such issues "lie at the heart of the concerns of each community", he said they "must be dealt with in a manner acceptable to both."

    "It is not for the UN, the guarantor powers or for any other coalition of interested parties to impose a solution on Cyprus. It must come from within," the British official noted.

    He said that any solution must be approved by referendum, but added that "agreement on the outline of a new federal constitution will not resolve every problem".

    Henderson noted that there is "lack of confidence" between the two sides in Cyprus, which undermines efforts to reach an agreement, and said this issue should be addressed.

    He also referred to other thorny issues, such as territorial adjustments, the fate of refugees and security arrangements.

    The British official said "it has long been recognised that some adjustment to the current line of demarcation between the north and the south will be required."

    He speculated that the final outcome "will not be very far removed" from a UN proposal put forward in 1992, by which Greek Cypriots were allocated about 72 per cent territory and the Turkish Cypriots around 28 per cent.

    Regarding the return of the refugees, both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, he said "it is hard to imagine any possible adjustment which could deal with all cases" and added that some compensation mechanisms should be established.

    Stressing that the present situation provides only "short term security", he said there is a "full blown arms race" in Cyprus.

    "Both sides seem to recognise that a much smaller military presence would be required in a federal republic," Henderson said, adding "but there the positions of the two sides seem to diverge".

    He said the Turkish Cypriot side insists on maintaining security guarantees contained in the 1960 treaties and the retention of a significant number of Turkish troops, whereas for the Greek Cypriot side the removal of these troops and an international military presence are as a firm requirement.

    The British official said that whether reconciliation of these approaches can be achieved "is something that can only be discovered at the negotiating table".

    The 1960 agreements by which Cyprus became an independent state, provide for guarantees from Britain, Greece and Turkey.

    Henderson stressed the need for the two sides to sit down and begin to look at the problems and possible solutions, if progress is to be achieved.

    "Unless the UN process is resumed, we must face the serious consequences of failure," Henderson warned.

    He explained this would mean the continuation of the armed confrontation of the island, the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, demographic change and emigration.

    The British minister said that if the situation remains as it is, it would constitute a "complicating factor" for Turkey's relationship with the EU and "unwelcoming implications for the UN".

    The conference was held at the London School of Economics, and part of it was presided by Britain's and EU envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay. Greek and Turkish Cypriots attended the conference, as well as two Cypriot politicians, Greek Cypriot Michalis Papapetrou and Turkish Cypriot Mehmet Ali Talat.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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