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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-09

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Ministry of Justice - Israelis - Espionage
  • [02] Israelis - Spying
  • [03] Themistocleous - UNFCCC COP-4
  • [04] Clerides - S300 - Statement
  • [05] Israelis - Remand order
  • [06] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [07] Stylianides - Netanyahu - Koshis - Israelis - Espionage
  • [08] Tourists - Increase

  • 0810:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Ministry of Justice - Israelis - Espionage

    Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- Nothing has been established so far that would connect the actions of the two Israelis in custody in connection with a case of espionage, with the government of Israel.

    In an official press release, the island's Ministry of Justice and Public Order "wishes to clarify that it has not been established in the course of the inquiries, regarding the case of spying, for which two Israelis are in custody, that their actions, presently under investigation, are connected in any way with the government of Israel."

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

    According to the Israeli Embassy in Nicosia, the two Israelis have denied the allegations against them.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [02] Israelis - Spying

    Nicosia, Nov 7 (CNA) -- Two Israelis will appear before Larnaca District Court today, in connection with a case of espionage against the Cyprus Republic's National Guard.

    A Police Spokesman told CNA here Saturday that Udi Hargov, 27, and Igal Damary, 49, were arrested in the early hours in the southern coastal village of Zygi.

    Police found photographic lenses, tapes and wireless equipment. According to sources, the frequency of the wireless equipment was adjusted with that of the Police.

    CNA AA/EC/1998

    [03] Themistocleous - UNFCCC COP-4

    Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- Cyprus Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Costas Themistocleous, flew to Buenos Aires to participate in the Fourth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

    During the meeting, decisions will be taken to allow the ratification and the start of the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol, an international climate change treaty which sets legally binding targets for industrialised countries to cut their emission of global warming gases over the next 15 years.

    Cyprus has already decided to sign the Protocol and to support the positions of the EU on issues which will be discussed at the Buenos Aires meeting.

    A European Commission official will visit Cyprus at the end of November, at the invitation of Themistocleous, to discuss the measures Cyprus will take to reduce the emission of global warming gases.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [04] Clerides - S300 - Statement

    Nicosia, Nov 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus President, Glafcos Clerides stressed here Saturday there will not be any delay in the deployment of the Russian-made S300 anti-aircraft missile system.

    He stated that the National Council is not examining a further postponement of the deployment of the missiles.

    The President made the statement, following a reference in the regular report from the European Commission on Progress towards Accession that the missiles' deployment has been delayed until spring 1999, and local press reports that the missiles will be deployed on the Greek island of Crete, instead of Cyprus.

    The Commission report said "In January 1997, the government of the Republic of Cyprus placed an order for the purchase of Russian S300 SAM missiles. The delivery of these missiles has been delayed on a number of occasions, most recently until spring 1999..."

    An official statement issued in Nicosia today says because of press reports about the surface-to-air missiles, President Clerides "reiterates once again that a public debate on the missiles issue is not in the best interests of Cyprus."

    The President clarifies that reports about a postponement (of the deployment of the missiles) "are completely unfounded".

    He stresses that as it has been repeatedly said, the decision to postpone the deployment of the missiles was taken by the National Council (the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem), and "only with a new decision of the National Council can this change."

    The Cyprus President emphasises that "he has not raised at the National Council any issue for a new postponement of the arrival of the missiles," the statement concludes.

    Cyprus ordered the S300 surface-to-air missiles in January 1997, in a bid to bolster the Republic's defence capability in case of a new Turkish offensive.

    The US, Britain and other countries have objected to the planned deployment of the missiles while Turkey has threatened to destroy them.

    The Cyprus government has said the missiles will be deployed unless there is substantial progress in the peace effort for a comprehensive solution or steps leading to the island's demilitarisation.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the immediate withdrawal of its occupation troops from the island.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [05] Israelis - Remand order

    Larnaca, Nov 7 (CNA) -- Two Israelis were remanded in custody for eight days today for alleged espionage against the Cyprus Republic's National Guard (army).

    Police sergeant Kyriakos Kyriakou told Larnaca District Court Saturday that police were investigating a case of espionage against the National Guard between November 6-7 in the southern coastal village of Zygi.

    Udi Hargov, 27, and Igal Damary, 49, arrived on the island yesterday and were staying at a hotel complex in the area.

    Kyriakou said policemen were watching the two Israelis after a tip off. Hargov was allegedly seen yesterday moving suspiciously near an army camp at Zygi area.

    The court heard that while policemen were searching the Israelis' apartment, acting on a court warrant, one of the suspects switched off one of the two scanners which was in operation at the time and attached to a cassette player.

    Police found that the cassette contained conversations of the police wireless, the police offer told the court.

    Police also seized tourist maps, containing marked locations. Kyriakou told the court the two Israelis had visited Cyprus between October 15-22, when the National Guard staged its annual exercise code- named "Nikiforos".

    Meanwhile, Justice and Public Order Minister, Nicos Koshis, said authorities were also investigating the possibility that the two Israelis were acting at the orders of the Israeli government.

    According to Cyprus radio CyBC, Koshis said police discovered documents in the Israelis' possession.

    He indicated that the discovery of the documents does not mean they were spying at the orders of their government.

    However, he said the possibility is being investigated. The arrest of the two Israelis comes less than a week after Israeli President, Ezer Weizman, paid an three-day state visit to Cyprus, at the invitation of President Glafcos Clerides.

    CNA MAN/AA/EC/GP/1998


    [06] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                          88.97 (-1.07)
          Traded Value            CYP 1,139,902
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP   551,408     102.06 (-1.03)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP    35,779      60.47 (-0.67)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    43,236      68.41 (-0.65)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   186,439      86.71 (-0.52)
          Tourism Companies       CYP    47,829      68.75 (-1.59)
          Trading Companies       CYP    88,971      43.36 (-0.44)
          Other Companies         CYP   118,323      81.08 (-3.49)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MM/1998

    [07] Stylianides - Netanyahu - Koshis - Israelis - Espionage

    Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government does not wish to make any statements regarding the two Israelis arrested on Saturday on suspicion of spying in Cyprus.

    Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, told reporters here Monday that police investigations were continuing "and making statements at a time when a legal procedure is underway, is not a responsible thing to do."

    Stylianides was also invited to comment on a statement made earlier by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was quoted as vowing to bring home the two Israelis.

    The Spokesman said the Cyprus government cannot make a comment on something which it has not been officially informed of.

    In an interview on Israeli television, Netanyahu did not deny the two Israelis worked for the Mossad intelligence service, according to Reuters.

    He said "every Israeli citizen is important to us. We will look into this and will certainly bring them home".

    Netanyahu said that he has heard the things that the Cypriot government said about the incident. "I think it's one of those things that the less one talks about, the better," he added.

    In Cyprus, Justice and Public Order Minister, Nicos Koshis, said that in Cyprus "there is justice, and everyone can express their views, there is no problem with that".

    Speaking in Paphos, said no one has approached his ministry asking for the release of the two Israelis. "Investigations are under way, we have found some high technology equipment, and therefore the law will take its course. If they are guilty, they will appear before justice... no one is above the law," he pointed out.

    Cyprus Defence Minister, Yiannakis Omirou told a local radio that "naturally, this (incident) is something that worries us, especially taking into account the (military) agreement between Turkey and Israel..."

    The minister, however, said he did not want to jump into conclusions. Meanwhile, speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, the Permanent Secretary of the island's Foreign Ministry, Alecos Shambos, said "whenever there is a case of arrest (of a foreign national) every country is justified in requesting information," he said.

    "The two governments are in contact, through diplomatic channels", Shambos added, but declined to be specific, noting that when police investigations are over, there will be official statements on the issue.

    Attorney General Alecos Markides urged the Cyprus police to complete investigations into the matter the soonest possible.

    Meanwhile, political party leaders described the incident as very serious.

    Socialist EDEK leader, Vassos Lyssarides, said the issue was discussed during his meeting today with President Clerides.

    "I had warned of the dangers for Cyprus from the (military) agreement between Turkey and Israel," Lyssarides said.

    The Socialist leader said he believes the alleged espionage was being carried out for Israel and Turkey.

    Left wing AKEL party described the statements made by Netanyahu as "cynical, provocative and unacceptable."

    A press release issued by AKEL said that whether the two Israelis are spies or not, the "Cyprus government should investigate the incident right through the end and for no reason should there be negligence over an issue which is affecting the sovereignty of the Cyprus Republic."

    Udi Argov, 37 and Ig'al Damari, 49, appeared before Larnaca District Court on Saturday after a police stakeout between November 6-7 in the southern coastal village of Zygi.

    Police said they found sophisticated listening devices and radio scanners, tuned into police radio frequencies.

    The Israeli Embassy in Nicosia, the two Israelis have denied the allegations against them.

    CNA EC/GP/1998

    [08] Tourists - Increase

    Nicosia, Nov 9 (CNA) -- The number of tourists who arrived in Cyprus in September 1998 reached 270 thousand, having recorded an increase of 11,4 per cent compared to their number in the same month last year.

    According to the official Department of Statistics and Research, 77,1 per cent of those tourists came from the European Union member-states.

    Specifically 51 per cent came from the United Kingdom, 7,2 per cent from Germany, 5,3 per cent from Sweden and 5,3 per cent from Russia and 4,8 from Switzerland.

    More than two million holidaymakers visited the island in 1997, while revenues from tourism reached 843 million Cyprus pounds, which represents around 20 per cent of the Republic's GDP (one Cyprus pound is trading at two US dollars).

    According to the official Cyprus Tourism Organisation, this year the number of holidaymakers is expected to increase by 8 per cent compared to that of 1997.

    CNA GG/GP/1998
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