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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-03-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Turkish violations - Representations
  • [02] Cyprus - Israel - Desalination
  • [03] Spokesman - National Council
  • [04] Spokesman - US - EU envoys
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [06] President Clerides - Highway
  • [07] UNFICYP - Women - Hercus
  • [08] Spokesman - Missing - Hercus

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Turkish violations - Representations

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- Cyprus has strongly protested fresh violations of its air space by Turkey and said it expects that country to comply with UN resolutions calling for respect of the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN Sotos Zachkeos said two Turkish RF-4 military aircraft entered Nicosia FIR (Flight Information Region) and violated the national airspace on February 25.

    "On behalf of my government, I wish to strongly protest these new provocative acts by Turkey, which constitute a further reminder of that country's offensive disregard of international law," the letter said.

    It pointed out that the present violations occurred after the adoption of Security Council resolutions 1217 and 1218 which call on all states to respect Cyprus' sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    "My government expects that the Turkish side will show compliance with the provisions of these resolutions," the Ambassador said, pointing out that such provocative actions "are not conducive to reducing tension and run counter to the initiative of the Secretary-General" with a view to reduce tensions and promote progress towards a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus.

    "The continuing overflights by the Turkish air force as well as the presence of the Turkish military occupation forces on the island constitute the underlying causes of tension in Cyprus," the letter concluded.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1999

    [02] Cyprus - Israel - Desalination

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The government and an Israeli joint venture signed here today a contract for the construction and operation of a desalination plant, at an estimated cost of nearly 20 million pounds, which will supply Nicosia and Larnaca districts with 13,14 m. cubic metres of water annually (one Cyprus pound is trading at 1,8 US dollars).

    Work for the plant, to be located near Larnaca airport on the south east coast, is expected to be completed in 80 weeks.

    "The new desalination plant will ease a great deal the water problem in Cyprus, in particular the supply of water to households," Deputy Director of the Department of Water, Christos Markoulis said at the signing ceremony.

    The government, he added, hopes to avoid altogether cuts in the water supply to households by the year 2000. These have been in force for the past few years.

    Fending off criticism from local authorities about the location of the plant, Markoulis said "the first thing the joint venture will do is to prepare an environmental study" and expressed the hope that its conclusions will not give any cause for adverse reaction.

    David Waxman, Director of one of the two Israeli firms of the venture, IDE, said he was pleased and assured that water will be supplied as agreed.

    He said the joint venture came to Cyprus to offer expertise and know- how, and "will cooperate with a lot of people."

    Waxman expressed the hope that this project will ease the water shortage problem Cyprus is suffering from in the past few years.

    The Israeli joint venture, made up of the companies IDE - OCEANA, undertakes all the costs for the provision and installation of electronic and mechanical equipment, and all necessary construction to complete the project.

    The contract, which is a BOOT contract (built, own, operate and transfer), stipulates that the contractor has to operate the plant at his own expense for a period up to ten years and sell the desalinated water to the government at 42,2 cent (about one US dollar) per cubic metre.

    The plant will automatically become the property of the government of Cyprus after ten years, but the contract also provides for the possibility to buy the plant before the ten year period is over.

    This unit is the second such on the island and is part of government planning to ease the water problem.

    CNA MM/GG/1999

    [03] Spokesman - National Council

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus question, will meet on March 11 to discuss Cyprus' possible recourse to the UN General Assembly, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides has said.

    "The initial decision by the Council to make a recourse to the UN General Assembly is subject to some new given data," Stylianides told his daily press briefing today.

    The spokesman refrained from disclosing anything about the new information and whether this reduces or increases the chance for a recourse.

    "It would be improper and inappropriate if the government were to take a stand before it informs the party leaders at the National Council meeting on the matter," Stylianides pointed out.

    The government, he added, will outline its views at Thursday's meeting.

    The Council, made up of the parliamentary parties, had decided in principle to take the Cyprus question before the UN Assembly but stressed it would review this decision nearer the time before taking a final decision, depending on developments.

    CNA MM/GG/1999

    [04] Spokesman - US - EU envoys

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- A US Cyprus envoy, due to visit the island in the near future, will not be bringing any invitation to talks, according to Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides.

    The spokesman also said there was little cause for serious optimism. "US State Department Coordinator Thomas Miller will be here to exchange views and move on to sound things out. He is not bringing any invitation to any meetings," Stylianides told the press.

    He noted that the outcome of Miller's discussions will determine whether there will be "some significant development or not."

    "The government will hold discussions with Miller, will exchange views and hear him out as well as outline its own views and opinions on the issues Miller will raise," the spokesman said.

    However, he stressed that "there are no indications for serious optimism," adding that unfortunately, because of the case of the PKK leader, Abdullah Ocalan, Turkey has put forward a new alibi to its intransigent stance."

    He pointed out that a possible come back to power in Turkey by Bulent Ecevit, who ordered his troops into Cyprus in 1974, is not an encouraging prospect, taking into account his long standing belief that the Cyprus question was solved in 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern part.

    Replying to questions, he said the government wishes to have the international community, including the American and European players, engaged in the peace effort.

    Invited to comment on reports that Germany is undertaking an initiative on Cyprus, Stylianides said the government has no formal information on the matter.

    "We welcome a major involvement on the part of the EU in the peace process, especially by the German EU presidency which plays a significant role in developments in Europe," the spokesman added.

    The EU, he noted, has often said that its moves on Cyprus would be in the framework of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General.

    Germany's special Cyprus envoy and the EU presidency envoy Detlev Graf zu Rantzau arrives on the island Sunday on a five-day visit.

    CNA MM/GG/1999

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         118.73  (-0.28)
          Traded Value            CYP 4,207,226
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,034,574     146.56 ( 0.22)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   159,680      73.69 (-0.63)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   168,923      78.45 ( 0.37)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   309,388     105.67 (-0.76)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   212,093      81.67 ( 0.18)
          Trading Companies       CYP   111,530      51.85 (-1.20)
          Other Companies         CYP   158,701      89.64 (-0.71)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA MM/1999

    [06] President Clerides - Highway

    Larnaca, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The Dhekelia - Famagusta highway, currently under construction at an estimated cost of 40 million Cyprus pounds, will be completed at the end of next year (one Cyprus pound is trading at 1,8 US dollars).

    President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, who visited today roadworks for the project, said work is progressing according to schedule.

    According to the Department of Public Works, the four-lane 42- kilometre long highway will be in use at the end of next year.

    The highway is expected to ease traffic towards the eastern seaside resorts of Ayia Napa and Protaras, which attract thousands of holidaymakers around the year, especially during summer time.

    The two resorts are located a few kilometres from Famagusta, on the eastern coast, occupied by Turkish troops since 1974.

    CNA MAN/GG/MM/1999

    [07] UNFICYP - Women - Hercus

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) --UN resident representative, Dame Ann Hercus, said that the "International Women's Day gives us the chance to celebrate the fact that, over the years, more and more women have come to work for UNFICYP."

    Dame Ann was referring to the occasion of an event organised by the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) this Saturday to celebrate International Women's Day (March 8).

    "We now have 145 women working for UNFICYP - that's just under 10 per cent of all personnel", said Dame Ann.

    Those women are to be found throughout the organisation. They serve in the military, working as clerks, doctors, nurses, stewards, personnel officers, switchboard operators, computer programmers, logistics experts.

    In addition, UNFICYP's spokesperson, civil and political affairs officers, civil engineer, civilian personnel officer, and personal assistants are all women.

    A further 64 locally-recruited women work in support services and administration.

    Women work at all levels in UNFICYP, including as Chief of Mission. Dame Ann Hercus is the only woman ever to head a UN peacekeeping mission in which the military is involved.

    On Saturday, peacekeeping women will demonstrate some of the skills they learn on military training, as well as passing on information on women's healthcare issues and providing first aid demonstrations.

    Police women will be there with their civilian colleagues, providing information and answering questions about UNFICYP and the United Nations in general.

    Representatives from a number of embassies will run information booths. There will be two art exhibitions and a concert. Also on the programme are workshops on working with the media run by the American Center in Cyprus.

    CNA DG/MM/1999

    [08] Spokesman - Missing - Hercus

    Nicosia, Mar 4 (CNA) -- The government considers the Turkish side responsible for the lack of progress towards the resolution of the humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus.

    "The responsibility for the absence of progress on the issue of the missing lies with the Turkish side which has reneged on the agreement of July 31 1997 and does not come forth, in good faith, to this humanitarian dialogue," Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said here today.

    He also pointed out that the government believes that everybody should recognise that this responsibility lies with the Turkish side.

    The spokesman's remarks came in the wake of comments by UN resident representative Dame Ann Hercus to the local network Antenna TV, who said the UN has done a great deal towards the resolution of the issue of the missing but stopped short of accepting any blame for the failure of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) to yield any results.

    "The fact that the Committee has not managed to make much progress because of, I suppose in the final analysis, differences between the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot members of that committee about how to proceed, is I think, you must say with honesty, a description of the larger issues of Cyprus, where we have difficulty in getting agreement on a lot of issues between the north and the south," Hercus told the private TV station in an interview.

    The spokesman said full responsibility lies with the Turkish side because "on this issue, as on the Cyprus question, it maintains an equally intransigent position and unfortunately it reneges on promises and agreements, which it has signed."

    He said the Greek Cypriot side will carry on with a policy to move on with this humanitarian issue.

    The CMP, made up of three members, was set up in the early 1980s with a view to take cases of missing persons lodged with it and attempt to find out what has happened to those persons.

    The UN contributes an international diplomat to the CMP and the two communities of Cyprus have one representative each to the Committee.

    The July 31 agreement provides for the exchange of information about the location of graves and the return of remains of those found to have been killed.

    CNA MM/GG/1999
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