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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kasoulides - Speech - Rotary Conference
  • [02] Hotel Association - Annual General Meeting
  • [03] Left-wing AKEL - Yugoslavia - Congratulatory message
  • [04] Singapore - New Cyprus High Commissioner

  • 1700:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Kasoulides - Speech - Rotary Conference

    Nicosia, Apr 27 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said that Cyprus cannot accept any kind of a solution to its national problem that would suggest a permanent division.

    He further noted that the Cyprus problem has reached an impasse because efforts have run afoul of the Turkish intransigence.

    In a speech at the 63rd Rotary International District Conference in the southern coastal town of Limassol, Kasoulides referred to peace in Cyprus in relation to the Middle East.

    He said that "despite the fact that war and the Middle East have become synonymous, this does not mean that the Holy Land shall be a prisoner of Armageddon."

    Kasoulides said Cyprus, "geographically located in the Eastern Mediterranean, has had a long history of attachment to the Middle East."

    The island, he said, has witnessed its commercial, cultural, economic and political ties with the region flourish and prosper considerably.

    Referring to the invasion and occupation of Cyprus' northern third by Turkish troops in 1974, Kasoulides said "Turkey has proved to be the main stumbling block in all the efforts to achieve a comprehensive, just and viable solution to our problem."

    He made an analogy between Cyprus and Kuwait, noting that both countries were invaded by their neighbours but "whereas in the case of Kuwait the international community responded promptly and decisively... such was not the case with Cyprus".

    "One cannot resist the temptation to raise his voice loudly and clearly, against the double standards that are glaringly apparent between the two cases," he added.

    Stressing that the case of Kuwait is "ample proof of what the international community can accomplish when it desires to do so", Kasoulides said that the Cyprus problem has "reached an impasse, for all the efforts have run afoul of the Turkish intransigence."

    The minister also referred to situation in Kosovo noting that it "may eventually lead to the establishment of a pernicious precedent for countries whose population is not homogeneous in terms of ethnic and religious composition."

    "States that are plagued by conflicts along such lines are most vulnerable and almost condemned to live under the nightmare of partition, which involves geographic separation and the exchange of populations," he added.

    Kasoulides said that in those cases "where partition seemed to be the most attractive prospect, it later proved to be a recipe for disaster" and cited the Indian subcontinent, Palestine and Ireland as examples.

    Noting that in the Middle East process Israel eventually recognised it could secure peace by giving up land which it had been occupying and that the Palestinians realised that their aspirations could be achieved by recognising Israel's right to exist, he said the framework of the negotiations that followed was based on solid foundations and not hollow promises.

    Kasoulides proposed that the peace process "should be a two-way street", emphasising that Cyprus' concessions "have come to naught" because of Turkey's intransigence which is "tantamount to subterfuge".

    Furthermore, the minister said that another aspect that we have to deal with is the danger of having the Cyprus problem "pushed into the background under the pretext of assigning priorities to more pressing issues of bigger magnitude worldwide".

    The Minister said Cyprus will not "bow to the inevitable...or give in to military force" and offered hope by referring to the island's application to join the European Union which "can prove beneficial to all the Cypriots...and act as a catalyst in speeding things up and bringing Turkey to the negotiating table."

    "By receiving its proper attention, which is long overdue, our problem can be solved as promptly and as justly for everybody," Kasoulides said and emphasised that we must be optimistic and insist on a solution that "ensures peace with justice, security and the well being of all the citizens in Cyprus.

    Anything less, he added, "may being disaster, a risk Cyprus cannot afford to take now or in the future".

    CNA EC/MA/1999

    [02] Hotel Association - Annual General Meeting

    Nicosia, Apr 27 (CNA) -- Tourist arrivals rose by 13,5 per cent during the first three months of 1999 while revenue from the 2.2 million tourists who visited the island in 1998 reached 880 million pounds (one US dollar trades at around two CYP).

    The statements were made by Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis in his address at the annual general meeting of the Cyprus Hotel Association.

    The minister said 1998 was a good year for Cyprus tourism because arrivals showed an increase of 6,5 per cent and added that 1999 is expected to be "an equally good year".

    Rolandis said the Council of Ministers will soon be invited to decide on various measures to upgrade the tourism product, including measures to increase the flow of tourists during off-peak periods.

    "Tourism is the most vital sector of the Cyprus economy," Rolandis said, and warned that its development should be fully guarded.

    Referring to the Kosovo crisis, Rolandis said that it has not affected Cyprus tourism.

    The President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou assured that the legislature and himself are "ready to do whatever possible to strengthen the tourism sector to the benefit of the economy of the island and the people."

    In his address, Finance Minister Takis Clerides emphasised the significance of a long term strategic plan for tourism and welcomed the plan's aims.

    The President of the Cyprus Hotel Association, Avgerinos Nikitas said the increase in tourist arrivals in 1998 "coupled with the restrained optimism for the continuation of this positive 'picture' in the current year, reinforce the superficial view that things are under control."

    Nikitas said "the stagnation observed in the rate of bookings made in recent weeks, justifiably raises concern of what is to come."

    He outlined the most important problems which the tourism industry faces, namely the erosion of the competitiveness of the tourist product and the low productivity levels characterising the hotel and tourist industry.

    Nikitas said the cost of living in Cyprus is increasing at a higher rate than the corresponding rates in the countries where the tourists come from.

    He called for radical change in the mentality, with collective decision-making and joint responsibility at all levels on the basis of a national approach to tourism and emphasised that a new approach is also imperative for solving the problems of the island's national carrier, Cyprus Airways.

    CNA GG/EC/MA/1999

    [03] Left-wing AKEL - Yugoslavia - Congratulatory message

    Nicosia, Apr 27 (CNA) -- Left-wing AKEL General-Secretary Dimitris Christofias has expressed the wish for "a quick end of the barbarous NATO aggression" against Yugoslavia.

    In a congratulatory message to Slobodan Milosevic on the occasion of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's national day, Christofias expresses support to the "resumption of a political dialogue under the auspices of the UN, with the participation of Russia."

    He said "the solution should provide for the granting of autonomy to Kosovo and safeguard the human and political rights of its inhabitants" while at the same time it "should recognize and safeguard the sovereignty, territorial integrity and the inviolability of the frontiers of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia."

    The main Cypriot opposition party says it considers "the struggle of the Yugoslav people as a struggle of humanity as a whole."

    It also recalls a meeting of 17 left-wing European parties it had organised in Cyprus earlier this month, that condemned "NATO aggression, demanded its immediate ending and expressed solidarity with the people of Yugoslavia."

    CNA DG/MA/EC/1999

    [04] Singapore - New Cyprus High Commissioner

    Nicosia, Apr 27 (CNA) -- Singapore President Ong Teng Cheong reiterated his country's support in efforts to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The Singapore President made the statement while receiving the credentials of Cyprus' new High Commissioner to the country, Rea Giordamli.

    Cheong expressed Singapore's solidarity to Cyprus's efforts to find a just and viable solution to the problem and expressed the wish that the island will be reunited to the benefit of its population.

    The close cooperation between the two countries, within the framework of the Commonwealth and the Non-Aligned Movement, as well as the friendly relations were pointed out at the meeting.

    The Singapore President and the Cypriot diplomat also stressed the need to further expand relations especially in the trade and financial sectors, while Giordamli informed Cheong about the latest developments in Cyprus and the island's accession course with the European Union.

    Giordamli also met Singapore Minister of Law and Foreign Affairs, Professor Shanmugam Jayakumar, with whom she exchanged views on the current situation in Cyprus, international relations and ways to promote bilateral relations.

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

    CNA EC/MA/1999
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