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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-05-18

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cypriot politician in Socialist International meeting
  • [02] Overflights not discussed, says President
  • [03] US embassy against obstacles in telephone contacts
  • [04] NAM to discuss Cyprus question

  • 0900:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cypriot politician in Socialist International meeting

    Nicosia, May 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Socialist EDEK party president Vassos Lyssarides has flown to Oslo to participate in a Socialist International meeting, beginning today.

    The meeting will discuss issues such as democracy and human rights, the upgrading of humanitarian action and the promotion of initiatives for peace.

    It will also examine reports prepared by special groups on peace, security and disarmament, as well as the Middle East, the Mediterranean and central and eastern Europe.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1030:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Overflights not discussed, says President

    Nicosia, May 18 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has said that no proposal regarding flights of military aircraft over Cyprus have been made, stressing that he is not prepared to discuss this issue.

    In statements Sunday, the President said "the issue of overflights has not been discussed. We refuse to discuss any issue concerning overflights."

    The issue came up after strong reaction to a Cyprus government decision to deploy the surface-to-air defence missile system S-300 later this year.

    The government has repeatedly said it would consider not deploying the defence missiles if there is substantive progress in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem or if demilitarisation of the island is agreed.

    Replying to a question, Clerides also said there are no reassurances that the Turkish side will change its attitude towards efforts to settle the Cyprus problem if Turkey achieves improvement of its relations with the European Union, in the upcoming Cardiff summit.

    "Turkey has said it is not prepared to make any moves," he said.

    Ankara has reacted strongly to the EU Luxembourg summit decisions, in December, which set preconditions for the further improvement of its relations with the Union.

    The EU had asked Turkey to iron out relations with Greece, back efforts for a settlement in Cyprus, settle the Kurdish issue and improve its human rights record.

    At the same time, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said he will not participate in Cyprus peace talks, unless his illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus is recognised and Cyprus withdraws its application for EU accession.

    EU talks with Cyprus opened in Brussels in March and Clerides reassured the process is continuing as scheduled.

    The President pointed out he is cautious of Turkish statements regarding these issues, noting they are part of the Turkish side's strategy or tactics.

    Cyprus has been divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory in 1974. UN-led efforts to settle the problem have so far failed due to the Turkish side's negative stance.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1230:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] US embassy against obstacles in telephone contacts

    Nicosia, May 18 (CNA) --The US embassy in Nicosia believes "that nothing should be done to discourage the use of the telephone lines" installed earlier this month to facilitate contacts between the island's two communities.

    "A heavy usage of the telephone lines shows that people want to use these lines," a US embassy spokesman told CNA today.

    He was asked if American ambassador Kenneth Brill discussed with Rauf Denktash, in their meeting last week, the Turkish Cypriot leader's decision to impose "international rates" on Turkish Cypriots using the lines.

    Twenty direct access phone lines between the occupied north and the government-controlled areas of the Republic were inaugurated beginning of May, by US presidential emissary, Richard Holbrooke.

    The US paid 80 thousand dollars for the installation of the lines, which handled about 20 thousand calls a day, in the first five days the direct phone link began.

    Until their installment there were only three operator-assisted lines, that were unable to cope with the demand.

    It is expected that the new lines would increase calls from 107 to 750 thousand per year.

    The regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974, is against contacts between the two sides and banned most meetings between Greek and Turkish Cypriots since last December.

    Its decision to impose "international rates" is believed to be part of its moves to achieve recognition.

    The illegal state in the occupied areas, unilaterally declared in 1983, is recognised only by Turkey.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1340:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] NAM to discuss Cyprus question

    Nicosia, May 18 (CNA) -- The Cyprus problem is expected to be among issues to be discussed at the Non-Aligned Movement ministerial meeting, to take place in Cartagena, Colombia.

    Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, is already in Colombia to participate in the two-day meeting, beginning tomorrow.

    The Non-Aligned Movement will also discuss the Middle East peace process, sanctions against Cuba, Iraq and Libya and the problem between Iraq and Kuwait.

    The financial crisis faced by member-states will be top of the agenda.

    Meanwhile, the NAM senior officials meeting was scheduled to get underway in Cartagena, today.

    NAM was established in 1961 and today has 113 members.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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