|Tuesday, 13 April 2021|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-12-03
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
FRIDAY 3 DECEMBER 1999
 HEADLINESProximity talks begin in New York this afternoon with separate meetings between the UN Secretary General and the two sides,
UN negotiator Alvaro De Soto said he is confident the proximity talks will set the solution process on the right path,
The UN Security Council welcomed the start of proximity talks, while President Clinton sent a personal message to the UN Secretary General on the talks,
Rauf Denktash is not giving the slightest hint he will budge on his entrenched positions,
Reports from New York say the US officials are determined to move the talks beyond mere superficialities,
Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions express their wish that the proximity talks will lead to a federal solution,
Greece will not back Turkey's EU candidacy if it's views on Cyprus are not taken into consideration,
And 27 million pounds have been earmarked by the Interior minister for construction works along the demarcation line.
 PROXIMITY BEGINProximity talks on the Cyprus issue begin this afternoon under a dark cloud brought on by new remarks coming from Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash.
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will hold separate meetings with President Clerides and Mr. Denktash.
Mr. Annan will meet with President Clerides at five o'clock local time, and with Rauf Denktash at 6:45 local time.
 TALKS BEGINThe new UN Secretary-General's special representative for Cyprus, Alvaro De Soto said he is confident that the direction solution efforts are heading in will be made clear at the proximity talks.
He also said that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called on the two sides to remain in New York until the 15th of December.
Mr. De Soto added that proximity talks are not only procedural, but that they will deal with issues of substance and admonished the stream of statements made by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
The UN official said that Mr. Annan expects all governments which expressed an interest in the Cyprus issue to help either with advice, or any other diplomatic measure.
 SECURITY COUNCILThe UN Security Council welcomed the start of the proximity talks, reiterating once again that the status quo on Cyprus is unacceptable.
In a written statement, Council Chairman Sir Jamie Greenstock notes the body's interest in the Cyprus problem and underscores the fact that the Security Council had called for such talks last June to be held in the autumn without any conditions and based on United Nations resolutions.
 CLINTON TALKSUS President Bill Clinton has made his mark on the start of the proximity talks with a personal message to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
Diplomatic sources within the United Nations describe President Clinton's message as defining for the outcome of the talks and consider that it will add impetus to plans for direct talks next January or February.
 DENKTASH TALKSDisregarding a UN plea to refrain from statements, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash held a press conference a few hours prior to the start of the proximity talks to reiterate his immutable positions on the Cyprus problem.
He said he is not contravening the moratorium on statements, but rather that he is referring to the past and is explaining the problem, which, as he said, President Clinton does not know.
Rauf Denktash added that he would submit proposals on confederation at the talks and that he would challenge President Clerides' internationally recognized standing as President of the Republic of Cyprus, representing the entire island.
Attempting to justify his refusal to meet face-to-face with President Clerides, Mr. Denktash said the President is his good friend, but that such meetings give the wrong impression - when others see the two laugh at an anecdote, they get the idea that a solution is at hand.
 TERRITORY TALKSCyBC's New York correspondent reported that US officials are stressing that the talks will be of substance and will not be held to mere superficialities.
Of particular note is the issue of territory, where they say restitution for lost property is of major significance.
According to the report, a restitution account upwards of 1 BILLION dollars is already on the negotiating table.
Regarding the constitutional aspects of the problem, the US officials say that they will pursue a set of principles that will govern the constitution and that a panel of constitutional experts will be formed under the leadership of a mutually acceptable personality.
 TURKISH CYPRIOTSSeven Turkish Cypriot Trade unions comprising the Trade Union Forum have expressed the wish that proximity talks in New York will lead to a federal solution of the Cyprus problem.
The Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Duzen reports that the trade unions have called on both sides to pursue a peace that the two communities on the island long for.
The Trade Union Forum also condemned the occupation regime for impeding bicommunal contacts.
 SIMITIS VETOGreece will not give its approval to Turkey's EU candidacy if Athens' views on the Cyprus issue and the conditions framing Turkey's bid to gain candidate status are not taken into consideration.
This was made clear by Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis in a meeting yesterday with European Council President and Finnish Prime Minister Pavo Lipponen.
Mr. Simitis said Greece demands clear posititions and does not want to come up against any foot dragging over Cyprus' EU accession course.
The Greek prime minister added that his government does not want to engage in retaliatory acts with other European Union member countries over these issues.
 LIPONEN TALKSOn his part, the Finnish prime Minister said that no one can block Cyprus' accession to the European Union.
He said everyone agrees that Cyprus' accession course is a matter between Cyprus and the European Union.
He did note however, that a solution to the Cyprus problem would help expedite the accession process.
With regard to Turkey, Mr. Liponen said a historic opportunity is now at hand to settle the issue of the country's accession candidacy.
He added that Greek concerns are completely grounded in fact and that they deserve acknowledgement.
 EXCHANGE CLOSEDTrading at the Cyprus stock exchange has been suspended for three days.
In a marathon meeting yesterday, the exchange's board of directors decided to shut the exchange down from Monday to Wednesday of next week, due to the installation of a new transaction system.
 EXCHANGE TODAYMeanwhile, the exchange posted a slight increase in both volume and the general price index, despite the board of directors' decision.
Volume surpassed 33 million pounds, while the index closed at 837 points, compared to 833 points posted yesterday.
Five thousand transactions took place, while only one brokerage firm was left off the floor.
 HOUSE COMMUNITIESInterior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou announced expenditures reaching 27 million pounds for infrastructure works aimed at revitalizing areas along the demarcation line.
Speaking today before the House Committee for the Revitalization of the Green Line, Mr. Christodoulou said that 14 million pounds will be reserved for infrastructure projects, a second sum will go for housing construction and a third for boosting industry.
The minister assured committee members that he would personally oversee construction, so that the timetable is strictly adhered to.
He also asked that he report to the committee in six months' time on the plan's progress.
 WEATHERA slight high pressure system is affecting the region.
This afternoon will be mainly fine with some cloudy periods mainly in the upper atmosphere.
Winds will be mainly northwesterly to southwesterly light, 3 beaufort, and at times 4 beaufort.
The sea will be slight to moderate in windward areas.
Tomorrow will be mainly fine with some high cloud.
Winds will be northerly light, 2 to 3 beaufort with slight seas.
The temperature will drop to 8 degrees inland and the eastern coast, 10 degrees on the western coast and 4 degrees over the mountainous areas.