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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-03-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] T/C pilgrims - Visit
  • [02] President Clerides - Genscher
  • [03] Kasoulides - Yugoslavia
  • [04] UN Secretary General - Report
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [06] Foreign Minister - Turkey's role
  • [07] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 1010:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] T/C pilgrims - Visit

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriots pilgrims crossed today into the government-controlled areas of the Cyprus Republic to visit the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca and celebrate the Kurban Bayram.

    The 1227 Turkish Cypriots, in their majority women and children, travelled to Larnaca in 23 buses and are expected to return to the Turkish- occupied part of the island at around 1500 local time (1200 GMT).

    Hala Sultan Tekke situated on the Larnaca salt lake, near the International Airport, on the island's southern coast, is considered as one of the holiest Islamic shrines.

    It was built in memory of Prophet Mohammed's aunt, Umm Haram, who was killed on the spot after accidentally falling off her mule during one of the frequent Arab raids against Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, some 1209 Greek Cypriots are expected to visit the Turkish- occupied monastery of Apostle Andreas on the northern tip of the island for the Easter celebrations on Monday, April 12.

    CNA MCH/GP/1999

    [02] President Clerides - Genscher

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Former Foreign Minister and Deputy Chancellor of Germany, Hans Dietrich Genscher, said here today that Cyprus should join the European Union as soon as possible, pointing out that it is well- prepared for membership.

    In a short statement after meeting President, Glafcos Clerides, Genscher said views were exchanged on the situation in Cyprus and its course of accession to the EU.

    "I expressed our hope that a peaceful solution will be possible and in particular that Cyprus will become a member of the EU as soon as possible because Cyprus is well-prepared for full membership", he remarked.

    Later today the former Deputy Chancellor will meet Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides and chief negotiator in Cyprus' talks for accession to the EU, George Vassiliou.

    Genscher is visiting Cyprus as a guest of the Cyprus Popular Bank to give a lecture this evening on "The role of Europe in a Changing World".

    He leaves the island on April 2.

    CNA MCH/GP/1999

    [03] Kasoulides - Yugoslavia

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, expressed today the hope that efforts to end NATO bombings against Yugoslavia will be successful.

    Kasoulides expressed concern over the increasing number of refugees, pointing out that it could cause instability in neighbouring countries.

    Asked whether government concern over the consequences the situation in Yugoslavia in the wider region has increased, the Foreign Minister wondered "who could be happy for the use of force, the deaths of civilians and for innocent citizens becoming refugees".

    The phenomenon of such a big number of refugees is "a factor which could cause instability in neighbouring countries," he pointed out.

    The Cypriot minister expressed the hope that "diplomatic efforts for a political solution to the problem will soon be fruitful".

    CNA MA/MCH/GP/1999

    [04] UN Secretary General - Report

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General is encouraged by the constructive manner with which President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash are engaging in talks with his resident representative here.

    In his six-page report to the Commission on Human Rights on the "Question of human rights in Cyprus" Kofi Annan says the living conditions of Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the Turkish-occupied part of the Republic have improved.

    Commenting on the Secretary-General's observations on the enclaved, Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, pointed out today that Annan criticised the violations of human rights and "does not attempt to appease the responsibility of the occupation regime on the issue of human rights".

    The report refers to the 1998 activities of the Secretary-General's good offices' mission, the UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and the Committee on Missing Persons.

    Annan reminds of a resolution calling for the full restoration of all human rights, in particular to the refugees, and considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha (Famagusta) by people other than its inhabitants as illegal.

    He calls for "the immediate cessation of such activities". Recently Denktash threatened to settle Varosha, which is one of the few areas in the territories occupied by Turkey since 1974 which is not illegally inhabited.

    Referring to efforts by his envoys for the resumption of direct talks in the year under review, the UN chief says President Clerides "reiterated his readiness" to participate on the basis of Security Council resolutions.

    Annan says Denktash asked for a new approach based on the "acknowledgement of the existence of two fully functioning democratic states on the island" but the Security Council reiterated "its strong support for my mission on the basis of its relevant resolutions."

    UN resolutions call for talks between the leaders of the two communities for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Commenting on the living conditions of Greek Cypriot and Maronites enclaved in the Turkish-occupied areas of the island, Annan says "they do not differ significantly from those of Turkish Cypriots living in the same area" and that since the humanitarian review conducted by UNFICYP in 1995 "a number of incremental improvements have occurred".

    He notes, however, that "the age limit of 16 remains in effect for Greek Cypriot boys" as well as the fact that "travel within the northern part of Cyprus remains restricted for Greek Cypriots, as does access to sites of religious significance to them".

    Reference is also made to "entry and exit fees" imposed by the occupation regime, pointing out that they have "significantly reduced the number of Greek Cypriots and Maronites visiting their relatives in the northern part of Cyprus" and to restrictions barring the enclaved from bequeathing their property to their heirs who do not reside in the Turkish- occupied areas.

    In his report Annan points that the Turkish position in regards to the humanitarian issue of missing persons "deviates from the 31 July 1997 agreement, which calls on the two sides to work out arrangements for the exhumation and identification of the remains located in the graves on which information was exchanged on 23 January 1998.

    Annan notes that the Greek Cypriot side "has since decided to begin exhumation and identification of the remains located in graves in the area under its control".

    The UN Chief also refers to the fact that there has been no Turkish Cypriot participation in bicommunal events in the past year, after a ban placed by their leadership following an European Union confirmation to start accession talks with Cyprus.

    CNA MA/MCH/GP/1999

    [05] President Clerides - Bulgarian parliamentarians

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Jordan Sokolov, President of the Bulgarian National Assembly, expressed here today his country's consistent support to Cyprus and the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for a Cyprus settlement.

    Sokolov, head of a Bulgarian parliamentary delegation, visiting the island, met today with President Glafcos Clerides, with whom they discussed bilateral relations and the two countries' course for accession to the European Union.

    Speaking after the meeting, Sokolov described it as "interesting and pleasant" and stressed the willingness to further enhance traditionally close, friendly and cordial relations between the two countries.

    He said he conveyed to President Clerides the best wishes of his President and that Clerides said he was looking forward to meeting his Bulgarian counterpart.

    Earlier today, the Bulgarian parliamentarians visited Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades, who guided them to the cease-fire line in the divided capital.

    This afternoon, the delegation will visit Dherynia, the eastern end of the cease-fire line, overlooking the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta.

    They will be received by Famagusta Mayor Andreas Pougiouros. They leave Cyprus tonight.

    CNA FZ/MCH/GP/1999

    [06] Foreign Minister - Turkey's role

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides today questioned whether Turkey's role in the region can be permanent and outlined a number of factors which countries backing Ankara should take into consideration.

    Opening a one-day conference held in Nicosia on "Turkey in the post- cold war era", Kasoulides wondered whether "any policy considering Turkey as an unquestionable regional power is a conscious naivety or wishful thinking."

    "There is no doubt that Turkey is a country which is significant to western and European strategic interests. But there is a wide range of question marks making at the moment this significance more fragile and ambiguous than ever and most certainly not permanent in the long-term perspective," the minister said.

    Referring to Ankara's attempts to promote a model of secular state, the Foreign Minister wondered "what would happen if secularism lost ground in Turkey itself and the supporters of Islamic fundamentalism took the upper hand."

    He also asked "what would be the real importance of Turkey in relation to the transit routes of the Caspian oil through Turkish territories if it was revealed that such an economic venture was not cost effective."

    The Cypriot Minister referred to latest information indicating that oil in the Caspian sea "is not the amount that it was initially thought."

    He said "what would be Turkey's real importance for the Turkic speaking countries if they realised that their ties are limited only to a cultural level having nothing more to gain from it."

    Kasoulides said "there's no doubt that traditional ties with Russia appear to supersede any other considerations" and expressed certainty that Moscow "would not hesitate to create them serious domestic problems if it understood that its influence there is undermined."

    Referring to the Iran perspective, he said it "should be placed in its proper context" and asked "what would be the impact on Turkey if the powers supporting President Khatami prevailed in Iran leading the country out of its present isolationism and searching closer cooperation with the West."

    The Foreign Minister referred to Turkey's defiance towards the European Union (EU) "regarding the treatment of minorities and the respect of true democratic rule and human rights."

    He asked if this is not due "to her arrogance acquired by her sudden regional strength and her knowledge that she is geopolitically important."

    "Turkish foreign policy, however, constantly attempts to cover its domestic instability by creating external tensions. This is the practice it followed in the Case of Cyprus, in the Aegean, with Syria and Armenia," he added.

    Kasoulides said such practices "will unavoidably lead to a series of problems in the application of the common foreign and security policy in the region and will pave the way for new obstacles to the new security architecture."

    He expressed the view that these factors should be taken into consideration in the formulation of foreign policy towards Ankara and noted that Turkey's geo-strategic assets can only be fully utilised if she finally acquires inherent stability.

    "We feel that Turkey would augment its significance if it addressed those issues which prevent her from moving forward in her relations with the EU and in settling its differences with its neighbouring countries," Kasoulides added.

    The Foreign Minister said "contributing to a fair and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem would be an important step in the right direction."

    In his speech to a number of ambassadors, Foreign Ministry officials, academics and others who attended the conference Kasoulides also outlined Ankara's foreign policy towards Cyprus.

    He said Turkey's interest in the region also makes her have a political interest in Cyprus which is clearly reflected in Ankara's intransigence in efforts for a settlement here.

    Kasoulides said Ankara is trying to legalise the existing status quo created after the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory which is unacceptable to the international community and is trying to prevent Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    "Turkey appears to strive to prevent any progress in whatever field and it is obvious that it does not desire a just and viable solution for Cyprus to the extent that this solution would provide Cyprus a single sovereignty, international personality and citizenship as provided by UN resolutions," he added.

    Concluding his reference to Cyprus, Kasoulides underlined that "since no pressure is put on Turkey by the international community, it will continue its intransigent and rigid policy not only towards Cyprus but also towards other issues of regional importance nourishing its aspirations for becoming a regional power and increasing instability in the region."

    The Turkish Cypriot side, backed by Ankara, has been refusing to participate in UN-led peace negotiations unless the illegal regime in the occupied areas is recognised, a condition rejected by the government, the UN and the international community as a whole.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [07] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 30 CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         119.47 (-0.36)
          Traded Value            CYP 4,887,798
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,939,273     150.68 (-0.38)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   155,940      72.89 (-1.19)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    81,511      76.71 (-0.01)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   166,839      96.14 (-0.29)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   300,952      84.11 ( 0.08)
          Trading Companies       CYP   168,994      51.39 (-0.70)
          Other Companies         CYP   183,992      85.80 (-0.51)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA EC/1999
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