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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Famagusta - Petition
  • [02] Russians - Foreign Ministry
  • [03] Kyprianou - Belgrade mission
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Council of Europe - Cypriot deputies
  • [06] House President - Belgrade
  • [07] Britain - Turkish threats - Varosha
  • [08] Kyprianou - Milosevic
  • [09] Geneva - Greek ambassador - Human rights in Cyprus
  • [10] US embassy - Kyprianou mission
  • [11] House President - Statements - Humanitarian mission
  • [12] Russian Deputy Foreign Minister - Arrival

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Famagusta - Petition

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- The people of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta expressed their "anger and anxiety" over provocative threats by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash to settle refugees from Kosovo in the fenced area of the town.

    The position was underlined in a petition given today by the Famagusta Municipality to the Embassies of the Permanent Members of the Security Council and Resident Representative of UN, Dame Ann Hercus.

    In the petition it is noted that "these threats prove that neither Turkey nor Denktash respect the Security Council's resolutions about Cyprus."

    "We strongly believe that in view of all these international resolutions the town should have been returned to its people long ago", the municipality said.

    "We urgently appeal to you to take practical measures to help us defend the town of Famagusta against this new and very obvious threat", the petition added.

    The Famagusta Municipality also appealed to the UN and the Permanent members of Security Council to put into force their decisions and resolutions about Cyprus "because tomorrow it might be too late."

    Denktash provocatively declared that Kosovo refugees can be housed temporarily in the fenced area of Famagusta.

    The eastern coastal town of Famagusta, once a thriving tourist resort, today remains a desolated "ghost town" and Turkish troops in the occupied areas prevent the return of its Greek Cypriot legitimate inhabitants.

    Security Council resolution 550 of 1984 "considers attempts to settle any part" of the town by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN".

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

    CNA RM/EC/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1455:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Russians - Foreign Ministry

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- Russian Envoy for Cyprus, Vladimir Tchizov, who is on an official visit to Cyprus, reiterated today his country's commitment to finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after a meeting with Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, Tchizov said that he previously visited Athens and Ankara, and had contacts in Moscow with US Special Coordinator Thomas Miller.

    He also said that on his return to Moscow, he will meet the European Union German presidency representative, Detlev Graf zu Rantzau and British representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay.

    Tchizov said that he discussed various issues regarding the Cyprus problem, adding that everyone works depending on his country's position, they exchange views and discuss the possibility of undertaking coordinated action.

    The Russian diplomat said this is taking place "in the context of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the G8 and the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe as well as on a bilateral basis".

    Asked if developments in the Balkans affect efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, Tchizov said they do.

    He explained that they prove once more that "international disputes cannot be solved with the use of force".

    Responding to questions about the proposal Russia put forward last year on the demilitarisation of the island, the Russian official said that it contained measures to promote the procedure, adding that he discusses the issue during all his meetings.

    He also commented on the initiative undertaken by the President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, secure the release of the three American soldiers captured by Yugoslav forces.

    Noting that the expedition is a "very difficult one", the Russian diplomat wished Kyprianou success in his mission.

    Tchizov, who is accompanied by Alexander Shcherbakov, Acting Director of the Division for Greece and Cyprus of the Third European Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will cross to the Turkish-occupied north of the island this afternoon to meet Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash.

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

    CNA RG/EC/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1545:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Kyprianou - Belgrade mission

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- House President Spyros Kyprianou is on his way to Athens airport to leave for Belgrade with a view to secure the release of the three American soldiers, captured by the Yugoslav security forces.

    Kyprianou was given the green light from Belgrade earlier this afternoon after lengthy consultations.

    "I believe that the atmosphere (in Belgrade) will be very friendly and very constructive. Emphasis will be given to humanitarian issues," he said before leaving for the airport.

    The Greek army C-130 cargo plane which will take Kyprianou to Belgrade will return to Greece before sunset.

    At this stage it is not clear whether Kyprianou will stay on in Belgrade or return to the Greek capital.

    CNA MM/MA/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1710:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Apr 8 CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                        119.97 ( 0.37)
    
          Traded Value            CYP 5,172,502
    
          Sectural Indices
    
          Banks                   CYP 3,088,623     151.88 ( 0.64)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP    95,500      72.61 (-0.82)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    47,410      76.28 (-0.87)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   235,544      95.33 (-0.41)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   279,666      84.17 ( 0.49)
          Trading Companies       CYP   192,653      50.41 (-0.53)
          Other Companies         CYP    94,866      84.93 ( 0.39)
    
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1820:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Council of Europe - Cypriot deputies

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriot MPs and their colleagues from the Council of Europe (CoE) today discussed ways by which the House of Representatives could contribute towards the Republic's accession to the European Union (EU).

    The chairman and members of the House Foreign and European Affairs Committee and a delegation from the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly Socialist Group visiting the island also discussed the Cyprus question.

    Speaking after the meeting, CoE rapporteur for the Cyprus problem Andras Barsoni said "we are much more keen than before to act on behalf of the CoE to solve the problem of the people of Cyprus who are not responsible for those political mistakes which were made some decades ago and the consequences which came from those mistakes."

    However, he underlined that "the admission of Cyprus to the EU cannot be held hostage by another country through its efforts to freeze the problem, as it is now."

    Since December 1997 when the European Union reconfirmed it would open accession talks with Cyprus the Turkish side has been refusing to participate in peace talks.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said he would only take part in negotiations if the application for EU accession is withdrawn and the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since it invaded the country in 1974 gains international recognition.

    His demands have been rejected by both the Cyprus government and the UN.

    Replying to questions, Barsoni said that "membership is in the fundamental interest of both communities and there are other examples in the history of the EU, such as Germany, a founding member of the EU, which was split in two."

    The MP said that the 15 EU member states "will make the necessary decision" if the Cyprus problem is not solved when the Republic concludes its accession talks.

    Barsoni also said that a settlement in Cyprus should provide for a bizonal, bicommunal federation and safeguard the security of all its citizens.

    House Committee chairman Tasos Papadopoulos said the Cyprus problem should be settled as soon as possible adding that "we want Europe to take a more active role in the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    CNA FZ/MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1830:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] House President - Belgrade

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou has arrived in Belgrade in a bid to achieve the release of three American soldiers captured by Yugoslav forces.

    Kyprianou arrived in a Greek army C-130 transport plane, which is scheduled to remain in Belgrade for 90 minutes, until sunset. A Greek doctor and nurse were aboard the plane.

    According to CNA sources, if the House President manages to secure the release of the three American soldiers, he will bring them back to Cyprus today on board the C-130.

    If Kyprianou does not complete his mission today and decides to stay on in Belgrade, the C-130 will return to Greece.

    The House President is expected to meet with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milocevic, but it is yet unclear when the meeting will take place.

    White House sources have said that there will be "clear skies" in Yugoslavia until 19.00 hours (Yugoslav time).

    CNA MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1900:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Britain - Turkish threats - Varosha

    London, Apr 8 (CNA) -- The British government has said that any moves by the Turkish Cypriot side to illegally settle Varosha (Famagusta) would harm prospects for a settlement in Cyprus.

    Invited to comment on threats by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to bring refugees from Kosovo to illegally settle in Varosha, a Foreign Office spokesman referred to UN Security Council resolution 414.

    He said this resolution "made clear its concern that any moves by the Turkish Cypriot side to settle Varosha would harm the prospects for a settlement."

    "This remains the position today and we strongly endorse it and call on those concerned to act responsibly," he added.

    Resolution 414 calls upon the parties concerned to refrain from "all unilateral actions anywhere in Cyprus that may affect adversely the prospects for a just and peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem."

    Varosha, the new city of Famagusta, was a thriving tourist resort before the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    UN resolution 550 approved in 1984 "considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible."

    Cyprus has protested to the UN General Secretariat Denktash's threats and the government appears satisfied with the results.

    CNA KT/MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1940:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Kyprianou - Milosevic

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou will remain in Belgrade overnight and is scheduled to meet Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic tomorrow morning to discuss the release of three American soldiers.

    Director of Kyprianou's office, Marios Karoyan, told CNA by phone from Belgrade that tonight the House President will attend an official dinner held in his honour by his Yugoslav counterpart.

    Karoyan said that it has not yet been clarified when the House President will leave Belgrade as this depends on developments.

    He also dismissed press reports that the Yugoslav President is not aware of Kyprianou's mission.

    Meanwhile a spokesman for the Greek Air Force in Athens told CNA that the C-130 was due to leave Belgrade as soon as the sun sets "for security reasons".

    He added that another plane "will be at Kyprianou's disposal when he asks for it."

    The US soldiers, Andrew Ramirez, Christopher Stone and Steven Gonzales were captured on March 31 by Serbian security forces.

    CNA AA/MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1950:CYPPRESS:09

    [09] Geneva - Greek ambassador - Human rights in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- Head of the Greek permanent mission to Geneva, Dimitris Karaitidis, said that human rights in Cyprus continue to be violated by Turkey since it invaded the island in 1974 and none of some 200 thousand Greek Cypriots, who were forced to flee their homes, has returned.

    In his speech at the 55th session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, released today, Karaitidis also said that the rights of some 500 people who remained in the occupied areas are violated, while Turkey continues to change the demographic character and destroy the cultural heritage in the island's northern occupied part.

    The ambassador also called on the international community to demonstrate determination for a solution and not to avoid hard choices by merely calling on all sides concerned to find a settlement.

    He also noted that Turkey has not complied with a European Court of Human Rights decision ordering it to pay compensation to a Greek Cypriot for not allowing her access to her property in Turkish occupied Cyprus.

    The Court judgment, of December 1996, ruled that Loizidou remains the legal owner of her property in the occupied northern district of Kyrenia.

    "After 24 years of human rights violation in Cyprus, the prospect of a solution to the problems caused by the Turkish invasion, seems further away than ever," the ambassador said.

    He added that this is "due to preconditions the Turkish Cypriots are attempting to bring to the table. This is a fact which was pointed out by the UN Security Council President on August 1997."

    Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, is refusing to participate in peace talks unless his illegal regime, unilaterally declared in the occupied areas in 1983, is recognised and the Republic withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    Cyprus opened accession talks with the EU last year. Karaitidis said that "the international community should not try to avoid hard choices by merely calling on all sides concerned to find a solution" because in the case of Cyprus one side accepts UN resolutions while the other does not.

    "The international community should demonstrate its determination so that a just and viable solution can be found based on the international rule of law as expressed in the UN decisions," he concluded.

    CNA MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2145:CYPPRESS:10

    [10] US embassy - Kyprianou mission

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- The US embassy in Nicosia has "contingency planning" to handle the possible release and transport to Cyprus of three American soldiers, held in Yugoslavia.

    House of Representative President Spyros Kyprianou flew to Belgrade today where he will meet President Slobodan Milosevic tomorrow morning to discuss the release of the three soldiers, captured on March 31 by Serbian security forces.

    Invited to comment on reports that an American C-9 military transport aircraft is on stand-by to come to Cyprus and transport the three servicemen out of the country, US embassy spokeswoman in Nicosia Judith Baroody said "the embassy is doing contingency planning for the arrival of the servicemen, should they come to Larnaca."

    "And it's simply a matter of the contingency planning that an aircraft would be involved to take the servicemen back for treatment and to the appropriate facilities," she added.

    She said the US embassy in Nicosia is doing its planning as it would normally do and as any embassy would do.

    Contacted by phone, a US embassy official in Athens refrained from confirming that a C-9 is on stand-by in Greece and referred any queries about Kyprianou's mission to the State Department.

    Asked how optimistic she is about the mission, Baroody said: "I can't characterise the mission in any way" and recalled statements made yesterday by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

    Albright had described Kyprianou's mission as "useful" and said "arrangements have been made for him to go."

    "It is essential that Milosevic turn them over without any condition because they should not be in this position where they are being used by Milosevic against their will," the US Secretary said.

    She added she "would like to see them home, they are very brave Americans and it's important for them to be here (US)."

    Asked if the soldiers would be flown out of the country immediately, should they be brought to Cyprus, Baroody said "I would think so", but refrained from disclosing where they might be taken.

    Invited to comment on Kyprianou's request to the US for a halt to NATO's bombing while he was on his mission, Baroody quoted statements made yesterday by the Pentagon spokesman who said that "we have total control of the operation and if it is necessary to have an aircraft fly into an area or out of an area at any time that could be arranged."

    CNA MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2215:CYPPRESS:11

    [11] House President - Statements - Humanitarian mission

    Nicosia, Apr 8 (CNA) -- House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou told CNA that he will remain in Belgrade until he exhausts all efforts for the release of three American soldiers, captured by Serbian forces end of last month.

    In a telephone conversation with CNA from Belgrade tonight, Kyprianou said the outcome of his humanitarian mission "depends on developments."

    He described the climate during his meetings with Yugoslav officials on arrival in Belgrade earlier today as "very friendly" and said he expects his talks to be "constructive", adding that "the climate is such that leaves room for optimism."

    "Without optimism, nobody can achieve anything," he remarked. Replying to questions, he said "whether NATO's bombing stops or not, I will stay on until I exhaust this effort of mine," Kyprianou said, noting however that "if the bombing stopped, my mission would be a lot easier."

    Invited to comment on reports that Belgrade is in complete ignorance of his mission, the House President underlined that Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic knew that his mission "concerned humanitarian issues" and had said Kyprianou "would be welcomed for talks."

    The House President, who has been provided with security during his stay by the Yugoslav government, described his meeting with Milosevic "very important".

    However, he said he has not yet been informed on the exact time the meeting will take place.

    If Kyprianou manages to secure the release of American soldiers Andrew Ramirez, Christopher Stone and Steven Gonzales, captured on March 31, he is expected to bring them back to Cyprus and hand them over to the US.

    Tonight the House President was scheduled to attend a dinner held in his honour by his counterparts of the Yugoslav Parliament and Senate.

    Aides to President Milosevic were also expected to attend.

    CNA AA/MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2250:CYPPRESS:12

    [12] Russian Deputy Foreign Minister - Arrival

    Larnaca, Apr 8 (CNA) -- Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Avdeev has called for more "intensive efforts" towards a settlement to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Speaking on arrival here for a brief visit during which he will call on President Glafcos Clerides, the Russian official said he will discuss the Cyprus issue, bilateral cooperation and the Yugoslav crisis.

    He also expressed respect for Cyprus' effort to achieve cooperation and security in the eastern Mediterranean region.

    Avdeev welcomed efforts by Cyprus House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou to secure the release of three American soldiers, captured by Serbian forces on March 31.

    The Russian official said he will discuss the possibility of Moscow's further involvement in efforts for a settlement in Cyprus during his talks with President Clerides and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides tomorrow morning.

    "We support more intensive efforts in this direction," he said, speaking through an interpreter, adding that this issue will be discussed in the light of the Cyprus Republic's proposals.

    Avdeev said "we will coordinate our steps", noting that Moscow's positions on the Cyprus question "are well known" and "there have been no radical changes".

    "We will discuss the situation today in relation to efforts for a Cyprus solution and I am sure that our talks will be carried out in an atmosphere of complete understanding," he said.

    He described relations between the two countries as "traditionally very friendly".

    The Russian official said his country "deeply respects Cyprus' role and efforts to establish cooperation and security in the eastern Mediterranean region."

    Welcoming Avdeev, Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Alecos Shiambos referred to the close and friendly ties between the two countries. He expressed gratitude for Russia's "consistent and continuous solidarity" with Cyprus' efforts "to achieve the country's unity".

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

    Avdeev welcomed the House President's efforts to achieve the release of the three American soldiers.

    Kyprianou flew to Belgrade today and is expected to meet Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic tomorrow.

    "We welcome any effort which aims at creating a climate of trust, the reduction of hostilities and the establishment of a climate for peace and political settlement to the Kosovo problem," Avdeev said.

    CNA GG/MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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