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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-03-10

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Miller - Arrival
  • [03] Cyprus - Senegal - Apologies
  • [04] Cyprus - World Customs meeting
  • [05] President Clerides - Thomas Miller
  • [06] UN - Security Line Markers

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 10 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         118.00 ( 0.05)
          Traded Value            CYP 3,232,479
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 1,714,842     146.00 ( 0.14)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   136,467      73.17 (-0.22)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    51,726      77.67 ( 0.10)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   250,097     104.36 (-0.79)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   237,898      81.34 ( 0.44)
          Trading Companies       CYP   140,821      51.05 ( 0.83)
          Other Companies         CYP    80,569      88.51 (-0.49)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MCH/1999

    [02] Miller - Arrival

    Larnaca, Mar 10 (CNA) -- US State Department Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller said today there are opportunities for a settlement to the Cyprus problem this year, but also dangers.

    Speaking on his arrival here, for meetings with President, Glafcos Clerides, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, Miller also said that issues pertaining to the process for a Cyprus settlement should not come before the substance, noting that the process to tackle each problem is unique.

    He also reconfirmed that the US, in cooperation with the UN, will continue to work towards a settlement that would create a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus.

    The American diplomat came here from Turkey where he met government officials and also businesspeople "who I think have been very important in the past," as he noted.

    From Cyprus he will fly to Athens where he will meet new Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Papandreou.

    Miller said "there are no breakthroughs at hand. We have been doing a lot of talking in Washington, a lot of talking with allies over the last couple of months. We see some opportunities out there and we also see dangers."

    However, he noted that "the dangers have always been there, whether it's been missiles or Ocalan, threats from one side or another... those are always part of the landscape."

    Miller said "it's very unfortunate and we spend too much time sometimes working on the dangers, but I think we have to be able to have an environment that is conducive to a negotiating process."

    The American diplomat said the only way the problem in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974, could be solved is through an "intensive negotiating process".

    Replying to questions he said "it's immaterial to us whether you have a negotiation with the key players in the room or not, that's another process question."

    The ambassador refrained from replying to a question regarding the kind of negotiations he envisages for Cyprus as "that's a process question".

    "You never let the process drive the substance, the substance is the Cyprus problem," he said adding that the US, in cooperation with the UN and others will "try to come up with a process that is unique to the Cyprus problem."

    He pointed out that "what it takes is a real willingness to come to closure, a real willingness to make compromises, to make sacrifices, to come off of principled positions."

    Miller assured that the US effort will continue, noting that the President, the Secretary of State and other American officials involved "see some opportunities this year... we hope that we can take advantage of these opportunities."

    The American diplomat reiterated his government's support to UN resolutions on Cyprus, when invited to comment on public statements made by the Turkish side that it will not negotiate unless relations between Greeks and Kurds change and the establishment of a confederation on the island is accepted.

    "We have made it abundantly clear many times that we the US and just about everyone in the international community are in favour of a bizonal, bicommunal federal settlement," he stressed.

    Talks to settle the Cyprus question stalled after the Turkish side announced it will not participate unless they aim at the establishment of a "confederation of two states".

    Miller pointed out that other problems considered intractable such as the Middle East, South Africa, Northern Ireland and Bosnia have been settled.

    "Each problem presents different obstacles, challenges and opportunities and what you have to do is come up with a process that is unique to fit that problem as best as possible. We've done a lot of thinking about this," he added.

    Miller pointed out that every time he comes here the one or the other side "raises the bar" making his job even more difficult and added that his goal is "to get that bar lowered"

    "Just because one side says here's my new conditions that doesn't mean that the US or the rest of the international community buys off on these new conditions."

    He also said he would prefer it if concerns were raised behind closed doors.

    Miller refrained from commenting on his future when asked who will take over the Cyprus issue at the State Department if he is appointed ambassador to Bosnia, as press say.

    "Personalities as far as the US, our diplomatic efforts on Cyprus are concerned, are secondary. The American effort, no question about it, will continue as full, as strong as it always has," he added.

    Miller expressed certainty that the issue of Kurdish rebel leader, Abdullah Ocalan, will come up in his talks in Nicosia and Athens, as it did in Ankara.

    "In terms of Ocalan there is no question that the Ocalan matter has caused a great deal of concern and it's a matter that I've obviously discussed a lot in Turkey and I'm sure I will be discussing the rest of my visit," he said.

    Ocalan is held in a prison in Turkey after being abducted in Kenya last month while on his way from the Greek embassy to the airport.

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [03] Cyprus - Senegal - Apologies

    Nicosia, Mar 10 (CNA) -- The government will apologise in writing to two Senegalese who were refused entry into the country earlier this month and will examine whether a disciplinary offence has been committed.

    The government decision was announced today by both Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides and Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides, who said the issue was discussed at today's cabinet meeting.

    The two Senegalese computer experts arrived here on March 1, with valid passports, visas, return airline tickets, an invitation to attend a conference here, travel orders from their Dakar employer and cash.

    Immigration police at Larnaca airport refused them entry and Agdou Hkadre Diop, 25, and El Hadji Malick Sakho, 33, were deported.

    "The cabinet expresses regret about the event and apologises to the two foreign nationals and their country for the trouble they have endured," Stylianides told the press here today.

    He said "apology letters" will be sent to both men and the whole issue will be taken up by the competent bodies to see if a disciplinary offence has been committed.

    Replying to questions, he said the Senegalese government has not made any representations about the matter.

    On his part, the Interior Minister said the cabinet decided to "express regret over this affair, apologise to both experts and see that the matter is looked into for any eventual disciplinary offences."

    CNA MA/MM/MCH/1999

    [04] Cyprus - World Customs meeting

    Nicosia, Mar 10 (CNA) -- Customs and Excise officials from more than 20 countries will gather in Cyprus next week for a meeting of the World Customs Organisation for European countries.

    The meeting, to take place from 15-18 March in the seaside resort of Larnaca, aims to promote cooperation among Customs authorities to avert, examine and combat customs offences and look for practical methods to achieve this.

    Participating countries include Austria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Spain, Croatia, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Finland and the UK, as well as the US and Israel.

    CNA MM/MCH/1999

    [05] President Clerides - Thomas Miller

    Nicosia, Mar 10 (CNA) -- US State Department Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller had a two-hour meeting with President Glafcos Clerides during which procedural issues that would lead to the resumption of talks for a Cyprus settlement was discussed, according to sources.

    The American envoy described the meeting as "very good" and said they discussed a wide range of subjects, without revealing anything on the substance of his talks.

    After his meeting with the President, Miller was to meet Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, while tomorrow he is scheduled to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Asked if anything new has come out of his meetings in Ankara and other countries, Miller said "yes" adding "we've had a lot of interesting conversations but the conversations aren't necessarily complete once you've finished the trip."

    "Things move on from that. Some ideas that develop out of conversations reach fruition, blossom, and some ideas don't, we'll just have to see," he said.

    Replying to questions, Miller referred to tension in the region after the abduction of Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is imprisoned in Turkey since he was kidnaped from Kenya while on his way from the Greek embassy to the airport.

    The American diplomat said his country is doing all it can to reduce tensions and added that the US positions that the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is a terrorist organisation and its leader Ocalan a terrorist are very well known.

    "Let's lower the rhetoric all around, let's just lower the tone and the decibel level all around," he said.

    Asked how Cyprus could contribute to the reduction of tensions on this issue, Miller said that to "the extent that our friends feel the same way I think that's obviously helpful."

    To a question if he also considers Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat who led similar liberation movements as terrorists, he replied "no we don't".

    To a comment that this was the US position in the past he replied "yes we did and that was a very public thing. I have no apologies, we're after peace."

    Kasoulides, Attorney General Alecos Markides, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides and Undesecretary to the President Pantelis Kouros participated in the meeting.

    Miller came here from Turkey and will fly to Athens to meet the new Foreign Minister George Papandreou on Friday.

    According to sources, during his meetings he is trying to ascertain whether the two sides in Cyprus would be willing to unconditionally return to the negotiating table, under UN auspicies and with the involvement of the organisation of the eight most industrialised countries (G8).

    CNA MA/MCH/1999

    [06] UN - Security Line Markers

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Mar 10 (CNA) -- A UN intention to improve the marking of a maritime security line, on the eastern side of the island, has been on the cards for quite some time, and should not have come as a surprise to anyone, UNFICYP spokesperson Sarah Russell has said.

    She also explained that "the UN does not have to consult with the government of Cyprus if we are just improving a safety warning."

    On his part, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides told CNA there are no objections to these kind of measures taken by UNFICYP, but underlined that there is neither a cease-fire line at sea nor a buffer zone.

    Outlining the thinking behind the UN decision to render the markers more visible to warn people to stay clear, Russell said "the announcement to improve the line markings was made in December" and referred to statements UN resident representative Dame Ann Hercus made at a press conference.

    Asked if the government has been formally informed about the improvements, she replied "apparently it has been on the agenda and something that has been planned and talked about for some years now, it will not have come as a surprise."

    Yesterday the UN announced it had improved the "marking of the maritime security line at the eastern side of the island to warn fishermen and pleasure boat operators of a potential danger." It is marked with a danger marker on the coastline and aligned with "danger, stay clear" flags on the cliff top.

    Russell told CNA that in the past month there have been about 100 crossings, the vast majority of them by civilians from the southern, government controlled areas of the Republic, to the northern Turkish occupied part of the island.

    She said there has been no shifting of the line, which the UN regards as an extension of the buffer zone into the sea, but only clearer markers "for the safety of the ships."

    Asked if it was pointed out to the Turkish side that they should not fire at fishermen, she said UNFICYP protests to the Turks if shots are fired and their response depends on the circumstances of the incident.

    UN Secretary-General's report on UNFICYP's operation in Cyprus in December last year notes that in August 1998 "a Turkish Cypriot patrol vessel fired at and hit a Greek Cypriot fishing boats after it had crossed the maritime security lines."

    The UN patrols the 180 kilometre long buffer zone, dividing the island, with a view to maintaining the ceasefire lines and the military status quo.

    The UN considers the maritime security line marking the midpoint between the 3,000 metres seaward extension of the ceasefire line. Over 1200 crossings of the line were registered last year, the UN said in a press release.

    The Government Spokesman said that the markers "are a practical arrangement which have no legal connotations. The government believes there is no cease-fire line nor a buffer zone at sea."

    Stylianides said the government recognises the risk people run at sea, near the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974 and advises people to avoid any actions which could place their safety at risk.

    "In this respect there is no objection to measures taken by UNFICYP in consultation with the Cyprus government," he concluded.

    CNA MM/MA/MCH/1999
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