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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Israelis - Embassy - Police
  • [02] Raptakis - Greek-American Coalition

  • 1220:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Israelis - Embassy - Police

    Nicosia, Nov 8 (CNA) -- As two Israelis, held in connection with a case of espionage against the Cyprus Republic's National Guard (army) were taken to Nicosia Central Prisons, the Israeli Embassy in the capital said its two nationals have denied the allegations against them.

    At the same time, Israeli Foreign Minister, Ariel Sharon said the whole issue "must be dealt with quietly. This is not an issue to be handled through the media."

    Udi Argov 37 and Ig'al Damari, 49, appeared before Larnaca District Court yesterday in connection with a case of espionage against the National Guard between November 6 - 7 in the southern coastal village of Zygi.

    The suspects were arrested after a police stakeout of the apartment they had leased in Zygi, a military area.

    The issue is also being investigated by Israeli officials. According to Reuters, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman said they "are clarifying the issue and will respond accordingly, when details are confirmed."

    An Israeli Embassy press release issued yesterday afternoon said it reported the details to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, adding that "to the best of our knowledge, the two Israelis have denied the allegations against them."

    It further said it contacted, on their behalf a Cypriot lawyer "within the framework of consular treatment of Israeli citizens."

    Larnaca Police sources told CNA that an Israeli Embassy official visited the suspects yesterday.

    Investigations have extended to the Central Prisons where the two were transferred earlier today.

    Meanwhile, Cyprus' Ambassador to Israel, Evripides Evriviades, told Reuters that Cyprus is investigating "all possibilities", including the chance "that maybe these people were spying for Turkey."

    The two Israelis had visited Cyprus between October 15-22 during the time when the National Guard staged its annual exercise code-named "Nikiforos".

    The arrest of the two Israelis comes less than a week after Israeli President, Ezer Weizman paid an official three day visit at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart, Glafcos Clerides.

    CNA EC/AA/1998

    [02] Raptakis - Greek-American Coalition

    Nicosia, Nov 8 (CNA) -- A new Greek-American coalition was founded in the US, aiming to lobby Congress on issues of concern to Greece and Cyprus.

    State Senator, Leonidas Raptakis, who founded the "Greek - American Coalition of New England", said it will hold its first inaugural meeting on December 2 in Boston.

    Raptakis said he decided to launch the organisation after speaking with former Massachusetts Governor and Presidential candidate, Mike Dukakis, as well as Connecticut State Representative, Demetrios Giannaros and New Hampshire State Representative, William Tsiros.

    "By bringing this group of government officials together, we can take advantage of their contacts with their state's congressional delegation to speak with a strong voice on a range of issues affecting Greece and Cyprus, " Raptakis said.

    Among the issues which will interest the coalition are, working to find a peaceful settlement to the Turkish occupation of Cyprus' northern third, supporting accession of Cyprus to the European Union, promoting the demilitarisation of Cyprus and pushing human rights issues.

    Raptakis said if the coalition is successful "we would like to foster the creation of similar groups in other regions of the country."

    In addition to Dukakis and the State Representatives who have already joined the coalition, members include Rhode Island State Representative, Myrna George, Massachusetts State Senator, Steven Panagiotakas, Representatives Ted Speliotis and Paul Demakis, Connecticut State Representatives Demetrios Giannaros, Kostas Diamantis, John Geragosian and Susan Bysiewicz, Connecticut's Secretary of State-elect.

    CNA EC/AA/1998
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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