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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-03-24

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Illegal immigrants - Departure - Interior Minister
  • [02] Cyprus - Tuberculosis
  • [03] Remand - Blast
  • [04] Landmine explosion - Death
  • [05] Cyprus - Lebanon - Illegal Immigrants
  • [06] Cyprus - Yugoslavia

  • 1130:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Illegal immigrants - Departure - Interior Minister

    Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- The 89 illegal immigrants who arrived in Cyprus earlier this month from Lebanon are heading back to this country.

    Interior Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou told CNA here Wednesday that the whole issue has been resolved following consultations with the relevant authorities in Lebanon.

    He said already the illegal immigrants, who were on board a cruise liner in Larnaca after arriving in Cyprus on a small boat, are on their way to Lebanon on the same cruiser.

    Christodoulou said the issue was resolved within the framework of an agreement between the two countries that provides for the return of illegal passengers back to Lebanon if it is proved they left that country.

    No incidents or reaction were reported during the immigrants' departure this morning, the minister added.

    The 89 immigrants came from Sierra Leone, Somalia Palestine, Egypt, Syria and Iraq.

    Cypriot policemen accompany the illegal immigrants aboard the cruiser, Larnaca Police Officer Demetris Georgiades told CNA. A police launch also accompany the vessel.

    Georgiades warned that thousands of illegal immigrants were in Tripoli, Lebanon, waiting for the means to leave the country seeking a better future in other countries.

    CNA EC/GP/1999

    [02] Cyprus - Tuberculosis

    Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- Tuberculosis is not a common phenomenon in Cyprus but we must not relax, Health Minister Christos Solomis said in a message on the occasion of today's World Tuberculosis Day.

    He said that 45 people with tuberculosis were detected in 1998, of which 22 were foreigners, compared to 47 incidents in 1997 of which 15 were foreigners.

    Solomis attributed the low numbers to "the effective measures taken for both prevention and treatment of the disease as well as the high standard of living in Cyprus."

    However, the Health Ministry points out that the disease is not constrained by national boundaries due to population movement.

    Tuberculosis kills more adolescents and adults than any other infectious disease, causing two million deaths each year, and kills more than 100 thousand children each year around the world.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [03] Remand - Blast

    Limassol, Mar 24 (CNA) -- A district court today remanded in custody for eight days a suspect in a case concerning the killing of Cyprus' chief game warden yesterday in Limassol.

    Police told the court that there is evidence that a person who matched the description of Charalambos Panagi Spirou, 25, from Lapithos, arrested yesterday, was seen on a bike outside the house of Savvas Savva, 52, head of the Game and Fauna Service of the Interior Ministry,

    The same person followed Savva as he drove his children to school and then went on to Makarios Avenue, site of the scene where Savvas' car exploded, fatally injuring him.

    Police said there was also evidence that in two circumstances the suspect is alleged to have approached unsuccessfully persons to obtain explosive material.

    In addition, the suspect was allegedly reported to have vowed to avenge game wardens for the killing of his cousin, Marinos Spyrou last year.

    Police said they found evidence at the suspect's house which could have been used in making the explosive device which killed Savva. CNA SC/MK/EC/GP/1999


    [04] Landmine explosion - Death

    Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- A Cyprus National Guard officer, was killed here Wednesday after an explosion during a landmine disposal operation at Potamia village, southeast of Nicosia.

    Sergeant Major Stelios Mashinis, 32, from the Nicosia suburb of Aglantza, was killed when a landmine he was trying to dispose exploded.

    Defence Minister, Yiannakis Chrysostomis, who visited the scene, ordered an investigation into the incident, a ministry statement said.

    Both Chrysostomis and National Guard Commander Lieutenant-General Demetrios Demou, said the method used for disposing landmines is the one used internationally, Cyprus Radio quoted them as saying.

    CNA EC/GP/1999

    [05] Cyprus - Lebanon - Illegal Immigrants

    Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has expressed satisfaction with a decision by Lebanon to take back 89 illegal immigrants, who had left the country by boat and ended up on Cyprus' shores last Thursday.

    The government described the decision as implementation of a bilateral agreement on matters relating to illegal immigrants and practical application of good neighbourly relations.

    "Cyprus as well as the European Union are particularly sensitive to the issue of illegal immigrants and the EU believes non-member states should help safeguard its borders from illegal immigrants," Government Spokesman Costas Serezis said here today.

    A Foreign Ministry statement, which the spokesman read out at his daily press briefing, said "the Foreign Ministry wishes to express its satisfaction to the government of Lebanon for its decision to accept 89 illegal immigrants, who had left Tripoli, Lebanon heading for Cyprus."

    The decision of the friendly Lebanese government, which has always backed firmly the just cause of Cyprus, "is one more practical proof of the close and friendly ties between the two countries," it said.

    The people of Cyprus, the statement added, played host to many Lebanese citizens during the crisis in Lebanon.

    "The Foreign Ministry considers that the decision is not only actual implementation of the agreement made by former Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides during his visit to Lebanon but also practical application of the principle of good neighbourliness, which the two countries have traditionally enjoyed," the statement said.

    It noted that the implementation of the agreement does not only deter illegal immigrants from coming to Cyprus but prevents illegal immigrants from gathering on Lebanese shores.

    After their arrival, the 89 immigrants were taken on board a cruiser and given humanitarian aid while consultations were taking place between the two countries to sort out the problem.

    The cruiser sailed this morning for Lebanon taking back the illegal immigrants.

    CNA MA/MM/GP/1999

    [06] Cyprus - Yugoslavia

    Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government was monitoring developments in Yugoslavia and was in contact with the Republic's embassy in Belgrade, Government Spokesman Costas Serezis said here today.

    Commenting on the imminent NATO air strikes against Yugoslavia, he said "the government is monitoring developments in Kosovo and does not believe that air strikes will bring about a solution."

    He said "Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides is in constant touch with our ambassador to Belgrade, Takis Skarparis, who is in turn, in touch with Cypriot nationals staying in Yugoslavia."

    Serezis said Cypriots would be advised to leave Yugoslavia.

    CNA MA/MM/GP/1999
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