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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-05-18

Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <>


_TUESDAY 18/5/99_

  • [01] HEADLINES
  • [09] WEATHER

  • [01] HEADLINES

    --- Two people apparently attempted a bomb attack on the Cyprus embassy in Tehran.

    --- Diplomatic moves to defuse the Kosovo crisis gathered pace today.

    --- NATO air raids on Yugoslavia increased overnight with clearing weather.

    --- In Israel, Ehud Barak scored a stunning election triumph that was hailed around the world.


    --- Turkish Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit said today that he still hoped to form a coalition government with hardline nationalists.


    Iranian police have arrested two people for apparently attempting a bomb attack on the Cyprus embassy in Tehran.

    Officials said a guard outside the embassy building was attacked on Sunday night, but the attackers fled when police were alerted by the ambassador's wife, leaving behind a box of explosives.

    Unidentified persons had repeatedly threatened Ambassador Giorgos Virides that they would blow up the embassy if they did not receive the amount of 300 thousand dollars.

    Officials denied any link between the incident and the presence of House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, who was arriving in Tehran at the time.


    Greek Minister of Macedonia and Thrace, Ioannis Mangriotis, who is visiting Cyprus, was received at noon by President Glafcos Clerides.

    During their meeting, they discussed the island's European Union accession course, the developments in the Balkans and the consequences of the Yugoslavia war on Greece and Cyprus.

    Speaking after the meeting, Mr Mangriotis said that cooperation between the two countries over the past few years has been developing in the economic sector, and as regards culture, education and art.

    He also said that the aim of his visit to Cyprus is to expand this cooperation even more.


    Minister of the Interior, Christodoulos Christodoulou, said today that the procedure of listing all shelters for the Civil Defence, would be completed by the end of May.

    Mr Christodoulou told reporters that a research indicated that many shelters listed four years ago are not suitable today.

    Speaking after a meeting on Civil Defence matters, Mr Christodoulou said that new sites have been found to create shelters, adding that this week three more drills will be carried out in schools.


    Diplomatic moves to defuse the Kosovo crisis gathered pace today after NATO air raids on Yugoslavia increased overnight with clearing weather.

    Italy's Prime Minister Massimo D'Alema said he and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder had agreed that the UN Security Council should draft a resolution based on a plan by the Group of Eight countries.

    The G8 -- the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, Canada, Italy and France together with Russia -- have agreed to demand a Serbian pullout from Kosovo and deployment of an international peace force, but Moscow has rejected Western demands to give NATO a leading role.

    US President Bill Clinton has come under increasing pressure to send in ground forces as the air war has dragged on for two months, and military analysts have said that air power alone will not be enough.

    In London, British Defence Secretary George Robertson insisted that Britain was not an isolated hawk in NATO and said sending troops into Kosovo was always part of the endgame.

    He repeated Britain's position that troops would not be used for an invasion of the Serbian province.

    A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said senior diplomats from the G8 would meet in Bonn tomorrow to discuss ways of ending the conflict.

    Meanwhile US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott arrived in Helsinki for talks with Russia's Balkans envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin and Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, who is representing the European Union.

    In a move that might help to ease tensions, two Serb prisoners of war captured in April by ethnic Albanian guerrillas and later held by the United States were returned to Yugoslavia at a border crossing in Hungary today.

    The release followed the freeing on May 2 of three US soldiers captured on March 31 on the Kosovo-Macedonia border.

    In Beijing, China demanded an immediate halt to the bombing.

    In overnight air raids, NATO cut part of Yugoslavia's main motorway and bombed towns from the far north to south, stepping up the tempo of air strikes as they entered their 56th day.


    United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, insisted today that the UN Security Council be the sole arbiter of whether to use force to settle conflicts, saying anarchy would otherwise ensue.

    But he said it could only do so if its members forged a common stance.

    Mr Annan's comments reflected doubts voiced by several countries and by international lawyers about the legality of NATO's air campaign against Yugoslavia, which did not have explicit Security Council authority.

    Mr Annan told legal experts at a centenary celebration of the first Hague peace conference that unless the Security Council was restored to its pre-eminent position as the sole source of legitimacy on the use of force, then anarchy would ensue.

    Yugoslavia has challenged the legality of NATO's military action in lawsuits against 10 of the Western allies before the International Court of Justice in the Hague, saying it violates the UN Charter.

    Mr Annan said he was encouraged by fellow speakers at the celebration who called for international law to be updated, saying some of the proposed tools could make his and colleagues' work much easier.


    Israeli soldier-politician Ehud Barak promised today to secure Middle East peace through strength after scoring a stunning election triumph that was hailed around the world.

    But rejoicing among Arab nations at the demise of right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was tempered by warnings that Mr Barak's policies remain largely unknown.

    Mr Barak, a 57-year-old former army chief, told a huge crowd in Tel Aviv as he celebrated his crushing victory that he would work for peace with the Palestinians and would withdraw Israeli troops from south Lebanon within the next year.

    But his simultaneous pledge not to return to boundaries existing before the 1967 Middle East war left unclear his intentions toward Syria, which demands a full withdrawal from the Golan Heights, occupied in that war.

    He reiterated that he would retain Israeli control over all of Jerusalem, keep large blocs of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and ensure that a Palestinian entity would be demilitarised.


    Turkish Prime Minister-designate Bulent Ecevit said today that he still hoped to form a coalition government with hardline nationalists, despite a row that has stalled talks between the two parties.

    Mr Ecevit told reporters that his primary preference was to form a government with the Nationalist Action Party.

    A proposed alliance between leftist Ecevit and Devlet Bahceli's Nationalist Action Party hit the rocks at the weekend with Mr Ecevit's influential wife, Rahsan, voicing doubts over the nationalists' violent past and Mr Bahceli demanding an apology.

    Turkey's turbulent financial markets, longing for political stability, had hoped that Mr Ecevit and Mr Bahceli, leaders of parliament's two biggest parties, might be able to put the memories of violent 1970s streets battles behind them and form a strong coalition.

    Turkey has been plagued by political instability in recent years with four governments in power since the end of 1995.

    [09] WEATHER

    Tomorrow will be mainly fine with a few local clouds.

    Winds will be northeasterly to southeasterly, moderate, three to four beaufort, and the sea will be slight, to moderate in windward areas.

    The temperature will reach 31 degrees inland, 25 on the coast, and 23 over the mountains.

    The fire hazard is high in all forest areas.

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