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Athens News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-08-10

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr>

NEWS IN ENGLISH

Athens, Greece, 10/08/1997 (ANA)


MAIN HEADLINES

  • Cyprus President to participate in UN talks `with an open mind`
  • Athens `97 world athletics championships
  • Yugoslav FM in Athens on Monday
  • Incident at Evros border
  • Stadium restriction unrelated to Stockholm bomb
  • IAAF president praises Athens' public
  • OTE to launch mobile phone system in September
  • Weather
  • Foreign Exchange

NEWS IN DETAIL

Cyprus President to participate in UN talks `with an open mind`

Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides said despite the latest spate of Turkish provocations, he would go to UN-sponsored talks in Switzerland "with an open mind and desire to be constructive" with the aim of finding a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

In an exclusive interview with the Athens News Agency, Mr. Clerides stressed that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had for the last two years insisted that he wanted to meet with him to discuss a Cyprus settlement, knowing that the European Union would begin negotiations for the accession of the island republic six months after the end of the inter- governmental conference.

The second round of UN-sponsored talks between Mr. Clerides and Mr. Denktash begin in Montreux, Switzerland on Monday. They are scheduled to continue until August 16.

Just five days before the talks were due to begin however, Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot illegal regime in the occupied north of the island -- recognised only by Turkey -- signed an agreement providing for their partial integration. Both Nicosia and Athens have strongly attacked the accord, as have the European Union and the United States. Mr. Clerides described it as an attempt to provoke the Greek Cypriot side into not attending the talks. Greece accused Turkey of undermining the peace talks, thereby "revealing its true face".

"Mr. Denktash's reaction at the present time causes me some concern, however. I hope it does not indicate an effort to find pretexts for concealing his and Turkey's lack of political will for a settlement of the Cyprus problem," the Cypriot President said.

Replying to questions on initiatives undertaken by Washington, Mr. Clerides said the US, as the country which exercises the greatest influence on Turkey, was expected to play "an extremely important role in persuading Ankara to contribute to efforts to find a solution". Mr. Clerides added that the UN Security Council, "in particular its five permanent members and of course Russia" also had an important part to play.

"The same is true for the EU, since the Cyprus problem is already a European one from the moment that Cyprus is a candidate for accession and also given that EU member states such as Britain and Greece are directly involved in the problem. In addition, Turkey has a customs union agreement with the EU and is seeking to become a full member," Mr. Clerides told the ANA.

Greece, Turkey and Britain were the three guarantor powers of Cyprus' independence under the 1960 treaty of establishment of the Cyprus Republic.

Mr. Clerides also said it was "premature" to consider procedures like the one used at Dayton (to solve the Bosnian crisis) or Camp David (to restore relations between Egypt and Israel), to solve the Cyprus problem. Asked whether the upcoming talks would affect Cyprus' efforts to secure EU membership, Mr. Clerides replied:

"First of all, we Cypriots want a settlement of the Cyprus problem, the reunification of our country and reconciliation among all Cypriots, if possible before our accession to the EU. We are well aware that a successful outcome to efforts for a solution would facilitate our European course. However, the issue of Cyprus' accession to the EU is independent of a settlement to the Cyprus problem."

Athens `97 world athletics championships

The 6th World Athletics Championships end in Athens this evening with events at the Olympic Stadium. Last night saw Niki Xanthou win the silver medal for Greece in the long jump with 6.94m. The gold medal was won by Lyudmila Galinka with 7.05m, and the bronze by Italy's Fiona May, with 6.91m.

Spain's Abel Anton won the men's marathon gold medal this morning. His compatriot and reigning champion, Martin Fiz won the silver and Australian Steve Moneghetti took the bronze.

Anton, the 10,000 metres European champion, finished the 42 kilometre ancient course from Marathon to Athens in two hours 13 minutes and 16 seconds, just five seconds ahead of Fiz. Moneghetti clocked two hours 14 minutes and 16 seconds.

World Championships: Sunday's schedule

0805 Men's marathon (start) 1015 Men's marathon (finish) 1730 Men's pole vault final 1800 Women's high jump final 1800 Men's discus final 1900 Women's 100 metre hurdles semifinal 1925 Men's 5,000 metres final 1955 Men's 4x100 metres relay final 2015 Women's 4x400 metres relay final 2035 Women's 100 metres hurdles final 2050 Men's 4x400 metres relay final

Yugoslav FM in Athens on Monday

Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's Foreign Minister Milan Milutinovic will pay a working visit to Athens on August 11 to 13. Mr. Milutinovic's visit comes out after an invitation by his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos.

Incident at Evros border

Turkish soliders on the opposite side of the Evros River, near the Greek- Turkish borders, opened fire against Greek amateur fishermen while the latter were trying to bring in a body they discovered floating in the water, local police announced today.

They said the incident occurrred Thursday afternoon as 65-year-old Paschalis Efthymiadis and 60-year-old Stavros Aspiotis from Lavara village in Evros were fishing on the banks of the Evros River.

The two pensioners told police they had spotted a body floating on the river a short distance from where they were fishing and were trying to bring it to shore when the Turkish soldiers and inhabitants across the river started threatening them and shot at them three times.

The two men panicked and gave up their attempts, rushing off to report the incident to the local police.

The body, police said, belonged to an unidentified man, possibly an illegal immigrant.

Stadium restriction unrelated to Stockholm bomb

Sports Undersecretary Andreas Fouras, chairman of the Athens '97 organising committee, today denied press reports that entry to the Panathenian Stadium in central Athens was prohibited to spectators for the termination of the women's marathon for security reasons after yesterday's bombing of Stockholm's Olympic Stadium

Fouras said Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos had called on sports fans to greet the marathon runners outside the Stadium, together with the Athens Municipal Band, "in order to highlight the stadium entrance and place emphasis on the the termination of the marathon in this historic venue".

The Panathenian Stadium was the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.

"I categorically deny that there were an rumours or intimations related to security matters," Fouras said.

He added that the Municpality of Athens had been assigned the greeting of the Marathon runners at the Panathenian Stadium by decision of the Athens ''97 organising committee.

Stockholm, Athens, Rome, Buenos Aires and Cape Town were shortlisted in March as candidates for hosting the 2004 Olympic Games, the final decision for which will be taken September 5.

IAAF president praises Athens' public

International Amateur Athletics Federation president, Italy's Primo Nebiolo, in an interview in Sunday's "To Vima", denied he ever even considered exploiting the current 6th world athletics championships in Athens to either promote or undermine the Greek capital's candidacy for the 2004 Olympiad. Rome is considered Athens' main rival for the 2004 Games.

Nebiolo said that statements he had made Monday referring to a low turnout on the first two days of the championships had been "misunderstood".

He explained that in reponse to a journalists question regarding the first two days, he had said:

"Perhaps the championships had not been promoted enough, but we mustn't forget that it was the weekend....let's wait and see over the next few days. I hope there will be more people."

The IAAF president said in today's interview that Athens had proved to be an ideal city to host the 6th World Athletics Championshps, chiefly due to the "wonderful people that had filled the stadium".

OTE to launch mobile phone system in September

OTE, the Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation, will present its first mobile phone network at the International Fair of Thessaloniki on September 5 and 6.

OTE will do a trial run of the new mobile phones by giving a selected number to subscribers in the greater Thessaloniki area, from Michaniona to Kalochori.

The company also expects to give a trial run of its mobile phone network in Athens, and to cover 60 per cent of Greece by the end of the year.

The network is being developed jointly with Norway's Telenor.

WEATHER

Unsettled over Macedonia and Thrace and the islands of the northern and eastern Aegean, with cloud, local showers and sporadic thunderstorms. Mostly fair throughout the rest of the country. Winds northerly, light to moderate, becoming strong in the southern Aegean. Athens fair with some cloud expected towards the evening. Similar weather in Thessaloniki with possibility of rain showers later in the day.

FOREIGN EXCHANGE

Friday's closing rates - buying US dlr. 291.672 Pound sterling 457.085 Cyprus pd 531.501 French franc 46.273 Swiss franc 190.671 German mark 156.060 Italian lira (100) 15.991 Yen (100) 247.505 Canadian dlr. 210.068 Australian dlr. 213.318 Irish Punt 415.749 Belgian franc 7.557 Finnish mark 52.153 Dutch guilder 138.508 Danish kr. 40.947 Swedish kr. 36.269 Norwegian kr. 37.970 Austrian sch. 22.203 Spanish peseta 1.850 Port. Escudo 1.544

(Y.B.)


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