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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-08-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Cyprus - Greece - Communique
  • [03] European Left - Meeting
  • [04] US senator - Cyprus problem
  • [05] Simitis - Clerides - statements
  • [06] Israeli President - Cyprus - tourism
  • [07] US government - Cyprus problem

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Aug 27 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
       CSE General Index                          90.01 ( 0.69)
       Traded Value            CYP 2,243,140
       Sectural Indices
       Banks                   CYP    969,473    105.44 ( 0.38)
       Approved Investment
       Companies               CYP   248,768      59.86 (-0.42)
       Insurance Companies     CYP   119,936      61.16 (-0.10)
       Manufacturing Companies CYP   179,751      86.14 ( 2.10)
       Tourism Companies       CYP    45,426      72.74 ( 0.99)
       Trading Companies       CYP    44,083      45.24 ( 0.98)
       Other Companies         CYP   132,812      77.53 ( 2.89)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA EC/1998

    [02] Cyprus - Greece - Communique

    Athens, Aug 27 (CNA) -- As Cyprus and Greece decided today on a series of moves relating to the Cyprus question, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides declared his readiness to listen to other ideas which would contribute to peace and gradual reduction of armaments leading to demilitarisation.

    The Greek government stressed its commitment to defend Cyprus militarily in case of a threat and both governments pointed out that the government of Cyprus has the fundamental right to defend itself.

    In a joint communique, issued after talks in the Greek capital today, Cyprus and Greece called on the international community to "continue its efforts for the resumption of the intercommunal dialogue and the start of talks to restrict armaments and promote the demilitarisation of Cyprus."

    "President Clerides informed Prime Minister Costas Simitis that he is willing to listen to other ideas which would contribute towards the consolidation of peace through a gradual reduction of armaments with a view to demilitarisation," the communique said.

    The Greek government, it added, supports the positions of the government of Cyprus and will back every effort in this direction.

    It also pointed out that Greece and Cyprus "insist that the defence of the integrity of Cyprus is a fundamental right of its government and an obligation of Greece."

    The Greek government makes it clear to every direction that "the joint defence pact is a commitment Greece has undertaken, governed by the decision to defend Cyprus militarily in case of a threat."

    Referring to critical remarks following Turkey's reaction to the future deployment of the Russian S300 missiles, the two governments state their desire to avoid tension and confrontation.

    "Our only concern is to defend Cyprus against the continually increasing provocations from Ankara and the massive upgrading of its military equipment in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus," the communique noted.

    The missile system, expected to be deployed in Cyprus, is generally considered to be a defensive weapon and "aims exclusively to provide Cyprus with air defence," it said.

    The missiles, the communique stressed, "constitute a threat only to those who dare attack."

    "The system is not a means to an end. Both countries aim to consolidate peace and security in the region, defend the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and safeguard international law," it added.

    Cyprus and Greece said they would have no objection, in principle, to the establishment of a guaranteed no-fly zone, provided this is part of the UN framework and a process leading to gradual disarmament.

    "Unfortunately, the Turkish side, following once again its intransigent policy, shows no interest in promoting this idea," they added in their communique.

    The communique said the two governments agreed on how to handle in the international arena issues relating to the Cyprus question.

    They also agreed on the moves they will make in the near future. Both sides "insist that Cyprus' accession to the European Union will be a catalyst in efforts to solve the political problem, it will bring the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities closer together and create conditions for a just and lasting settlement to the benefit of all the people of Cyprus."

    They also reiterated the view that the Cyprus problem should be solved on the basis of UN resolutions and added "if the world community wishes to consolidate peace and security in our region, it must undertake initiatives and exert its influence on Turkey."

    CNA KI/MM/EC/1998

    [03] European Left - Meeting

    Larnaca, Aug 27 (CNA) -- Political leaders in Cyprus today stressed that the Cyprus problem is at a dangerous point, and called on the deputies of the Unified European Left of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to push for the implementation of UN resolutions on Cyprus.

    The statements were made at the opening ceremony of a two day meeting of the Unified European Left, held in the eastern coastal town of Larnaca.

    Acting President and President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, warned that Cyprus "is in danger."

    "We have reached the point where we are denied the right to defend ourselves. We see the US President describing the issue of the missing a result of intercommunal strife and telling us that the 1974 Turkish invasion was a conflict," he said.

    Kyprianou thanked the Unified European Left for their "sincere and consistent support" to the just struggle of the people of Cyprus.

    Stressing that the solution to the Cyprus problem should be based on UN decisions, Kyprianou pointed to US responsibilities for the 1974 coup staged here by the junta ruling Greece at the time and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, something, he said, they have already admitted to.

    "However they do not tell us how to restore justice," he remarked. Finance Minister, who is now Acting Foreign Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou stressed that despite the "serious setbacks" in the peace effort, the government "remains firmly committed to a peaceful solution through a process that will lead to the lessening of tensions, the progressive reduction of armed forces and armaments and finally to a fully demilitarised Cyprus."

    The minister pointed out it is impossible to shift the responsibility for the situation in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus from Turkey, in the light of a recent European Court ruling which found Ankara guilty of human rights violations.

    "The ruling should silence once and for all those who speak of the situation in Cyprus as a mere conflict, instead of acknowledging, as the judges in Strasbourg did, that it is a clear and indisputable case of invasion and continuing occupation," he added.

    Referring to Cyprus' effort to join the European Union, he said EU involvement in the future of Cyprus is expected to have a "positive effect" on the peace effort.

    Cyprus' accession, he remarked, will offer security to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and help restore trust between them.

    The General Secretary of the main opposition leftwing AKEL party, Demetris Christofias, called on the powers of the Left to join forces to counteract the US show of strength, as displayed in the recent missile strikes in the Sudan and Afghanistan.

    The Cyprus problem, he said, has never been at a worse situation than the present one and added "we are faced with a real danger of seeing Cyprus divided for ever."

    He called on the foreign participants to show "increased solidarity and support for the implementation of UN resolutions on Cyprus and respect of human rights."

    He chastised the US and the European Union for tolerating Turkish intransigence because of the increasingly important role Turkey plays for the US.

    Christofias stressed the Cyprus question must be resolved "through peaceful means" and explained that the key to a Cyprus settlement lies in Ankara.

    CNA MAN/MM/EC/1998

    [04] US senator - Cyprus problem

    Nicosia, Aug 27 (CNA) -- A US senator has described all who oppose Cyprus' accession to the European Union as "short-sighted" and expressed the hope that the US government will not give up its commitment to back a settlement in Cyprus.

    Addressing some 50 leading overseas Cypriots, who gathered in Nicosia to discuss the Cyprus problem, Senator Jack Reed, Democrat from the Rhode Island, criticised the US government's policy here and underlined the need for a settlement.

    "We have to work to ensure that the future sees an island that is not only demilitarised but also unified and independent and without the interference of outside forces," he said.

    Earlier today Reed met US ambassador Kenneth Brill and UN Chief of Mission Dame Ann Hercus and visited the demarcation line dividing the island since Turkish troops invaded in 1974 occupying 37 per cent of its territory.

    He was also received by Acting President, House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou.

    Tomorrow he will fly to Athens where he will meet US ambassador Nicholas Burns and Greece's Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos to "continue my discussions about the US role in Cyprus and this part of the world".

    "I appreciate the great potential that there is in this island and the frustration of that potential because of the enforced division of this island," Reed told delegates from the US, Britain, South Africa, Australia and European countries.

    The Senator noted the opportunities ahead for Cyprus, especially with regard its European Union prospect and said "unfortunately there is opposition by some to the accession of Cyprus to the EU."

    "I think that opposition is short-sighted as it would benefit all of the world," he said.

    Reed expressed concern because a lot has being said in the US about the Cyprus government's decision to purchase the S300 surface-to-air missiles and the Turkish Forces provocation, such as illegal overflights.

    "All of these are troubling situations in the sense of taking us away from what I believe is the fundamental issue which is using our energy to develop a way to bring together all of the citizens of this island in a unified, independent country," he said.

    Reed criticised Turkish Cypriots who are not interested in a dialogue and expressed frustration because the US government has not kept with its pre-election commitment to use its good offices to bring justice to Cyprus.

    "We are frustrated because that hasn't taken place. We are also frustrated when we hear comments from senior people in our government dismissing the invasion of Cyprus as some kind of conflict and not recognising, as I do, that in 1974 there was an invasion of this country by the Turkish government," he said.

    He expressed the hope that US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke and the US government will not give up their commitment to help settle the Cyprus problem.

    "What we have to do is not only to press upon all of the leaders of our country, but also in the world, that from the American perspective peace and justice in Cyprus is important to us and it should be important to all free people around the world," Reed said.

    The US senator added that "if we do commit ourselves to this goal and we do work together then I'm optimistic" and reaffirmed that Congress is committed in helping the peace effort.

    "We have to work together. Ultimately peace and justice will be resolved at the local level... but with the help and support of the US," he said.

    British Labour Party MP Tony Wright and Conservative Party MPs David Amess and Nick Hawkins were present at the overseas Cypriots' afternoon session.

    The delegates were scheduled to discuss future strategy and approve a number of resolutions.

    CNA MA/GP/1998

    [05] Simitis - Clerides - statements

    Athens, Aug 27 (CNA) -- No decisions were taken regarding the postponement of the S300 Russian anti-aircraft missile system during today's meeting between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Prime Minister, Costas Simitis.

    At the same time, the two countries stressed that the Cyprus problem is a question of invasion and occupation of part of Cyprus, therefore its political settlement comes first.

    Speaking after the two-hour meeting, President Clerides said he was "completely satisfied" with the cooperation he had with Simitis and welcomed the statement that Greece would defend Cyprus militarily in case of a threat.

    A joint communique was issued at the end of the talks between delegations from both sides. (See earlier CNA story)

    The emphasis of the talks and the communique was placed on the political aspect of the Cyprus problem.

    Simitis remarked that "because lately there have been various discussions on one aspect or the other (of the Cyprus problem), for instance the armaments issue, some forget the cause of the problem and how it emerged".

    The Greek Premier pointed out that the "core of the issue... is the illegal occupation of part of Cyprus' territory and that this illegal occupation must cease".

    He added the "protection of the integrity of Cyprus is a fundamental right of the Cyprus government and an obligation of Greece".

    The Greek Premier said the "Cyprus government has the right to take all measures which are necessary to defend the integrity of the island, and no one can question this or ask from Cyprus to abandon actions which it considers necessary".

    Referring to the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece, Simitis said "it is not confined to defence planning... it is Greece's commitment and the guideline is our decision to militarily defend Cyprus in case of a threat".

    Both Clerides and Simitis stressed that "no decision has been taken to postpone the deployment of the S300" anti-aircraft missile system, expected later this year.

    Simitis said the "S300 are not an end in itself, they serve Cyprus' defence and are part of a wider framework to secure peace in the region".

    "They (the S300) are not the main issue of the Cyprus problem and those who want to make it appear as the main problem, are being led to the wrong direction", the Greek Premier said.

    He added "the problem is the solution of the Cyprus problem and finding the way to overcome the instability and the current deadlock".

    Simitis further said that both Cyprus and Greece do not want tension which would lead to confrontation.

    He said all the European Union countries and the US should show special interest and act in such a way to achieve reduction of armaments and the island's demilitarisation.

    This, he said, "will be the first decisive step to achieving peace in the region."

    Simitis referred to the establishment of a proposed no-fly zone over Cyprus with international guaranties, provided it is within the UN framework and is part of a process which will lead to gradual disarmament.

    "Such solution would protect Cyprus, providing some security, on the one hand, and would show all involved parties that they have the will to make progress, on the other", Simitis remarked.

    The Greek Premier said unfortunately the Turkish side rejected the proposal, remaining firmly intransigent.

    "The Greek government heard President Clerides who is willing to listen to other ideas which would contribute to peace and gradual reduction of armaments leading to demilitarisation", he said.

    "Our aim remains the solution, the demilitarisation, and solve, at last, this problem. That is why we will back every effort made by Clerides... and we will work for its success," Simitis added.

    On his part, Clerides said that the basic pursuit "is through peaceful means to find a just, viable and workable solution to the Cyprus problem", noting that "we are ready to resume the dialogue on the substance of the Cyprus problem..."

    Clerides said that what is needed is a discussion on issues which create tension, such as armaments, within a framework leading to the island's gradual demilitarisation.

    Regarding Cyprus' accession talks with the European Union, Simitis believed that negotiations should start during the current Austrian Presidency of the EU on issues which have been completed.

    Simitis said Cyprus' accession to the EU would constitute the key for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory. The island opened accession talks with the EU last March.

    The Simitis-Clerides meeting was also attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence of the two countries.

    President Clerides was due to leave this afternoon for Zurich on his way to Durban, South Africa, to attend the Non-Aligned Summit.

    CNA KI/EC/GP/1998

    [06] Israeli President - Cyprus - tourism

    Nicosia, Aug 27 (CNA) -- The Israeli President Ezer Weizman will visit Cyprus later this year, Shemi Tzur, the Israeli Ambassador to Cyprus, announced today.

    Tzur was speaking to the press after a meeting with Cyprus' Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis.

    Asked whether the Israeli President is planning to visit Cyprus soon, Tzur replied positively, adding the visit will take place "before the end of the year".

    Responding to a question about the agenda of the talks Weizman will hold with President Glafcos Clerides, Tzur pointed out "they will talk about upgrading relations" between the two countries.

    "This will be one of the most important visits Cyprus has seen in the last few years", the Israeli Ambassador noted.

    Asked whether President Clerides will reciprocate the visit, Tzur said "our President has already invited" the Cypriot President to visit Israel.

    "You know that they are close friends and they are both Royal Air Force veterans", Tzur remarked, expressing his confidence President Clerides will respond positively to the invitation.

    The Israeli Ambassador declined to reveal the exact date of Weizman's visit to the island.

    Referring to the number of Israelis who choose Cyprus as a tourist destination, he said "it is going very, very well" adding that in October and November, due to jewish holidays "you will see more Israeli tourists".

    Rolandis said this year more holidaymakers from Israel are expected to visit Cyprus, compared to 1997.

    According to official statistics, 40.000 Israelis visited Cyprus in 1996, while the respective number for 1990 was only 8.400.

    The two men also discussed bilateral cooperation in the field of hi- technology.

    CNA GG/GP/1998

    [07] US government - Cyprus problem

    Nicosia, Aug 27 (CNA) -- An assistant to US President Bill Clinton today assured that the settlement of the Cyprus problem remains a priority for the American government.

    In a message to participants in the conference of overseas Cypriots, Deputy Assistant to the US President, James Steinberg, underlined that a commitment by all is necessary for a Cyprus settlement.

    "As much as we want a solution we can't force one... we can't make promises if there will be a settlement...," he said, according to a conference press release.

    However, Steinberg added that "I can assure you that the Cyprus problem remains a priority for President Clinton. He is very focused on it, is very knowledgeable and puts in an enormous amount of time".

    The American President's deputy assistant said Clinton "is personally engaged in a search for a solution and that's why he has engaged top diplomats such as Presidential Emissary Richard Holbrooke and US ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill".

    He stressed that "a commitment is needed by all of us to achieve and negotiate a solution... we will make every effort and urge you to use your own efforts towards this end".

    Steinberg added that "we are open to ideas and suggestion from you". In his message to the conference, the US official expressed disappointment "that the division of Cyprus remains unresolved" and said "we share your frustration that negotiations are not going forward".

    Noting that "there is no self-evident formula for a solution", he reminded that the "US has worked very hard, especially this year and we have learned the hard way that there is no magical solution".

    Earlier this year Holbrooke visited Cyprus in a bid to break the deadlock in the peace process, but stumbled on demands by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for recognition of his illegal regime in the areas of the Republic occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    Denktash also said he would not return to the negotiating table unless Cyprus withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    CNA MA/EC/1997
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