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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-01-23

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] USA: Progress on Cyprus depends on the parties
  • [02] President Clerides receives British shadow Foreign Secretary
  • [03] British Labour Party hopes for solution in 1997
  • [04] Labour assurances to Cyprus

  • 0945:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] USA: Progress on Cyprus depends on the parties

    Washington, Jan 23 (CNA) -- US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns has stressed that progress on Cyprus and stability in Eastern Mediterranean depends on the parties involved.

    He described as ''successful'' the recent mission to the region of Carey Cavanaugh, Director of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department.

    ''We think he had a successful mission, because we think we've identified some ways to try to defuse tensions and to create more cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean,'' the Spokesman said.

    But, ultimately, he added, ''this is up to (Cyprus) President (Glafcos) Clerides and up to the Turkish and Greek leadership to decide if there is going to be a new era where progress is made on the Cyprus question, where steps are taken, we hope, to agree to a moratorium on flights over Cyprus, where steps are taken and agreed to under the rubric of the United Nations to limit the conflict along the 'boundary' lines, and where we hope that in general the hot rhetoric of the last couple of weeks can subside.''

    On the issue of the Russian surface-to-air missiles purchased by Cyprus and their connection to the military balance, Burns said the purchase of the missiles ''is not a good idea not because it affects the military balance but because it affects the politics and symbolism.''

    He repeated the US position that the Turkish government ought not to resort to the threat of violence against Cyprus because of the decision regarding the missiles.

    The US official said the decision of President Clerides not to deploy the system for the next 16 months is a very good decision which provides some time for this problem to be worked out.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA DA/GP/1997

    [02] President Clerides receives British shadow Foreign Secretary

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- British Shadow Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, has assured Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides that a Labour government would be willing to assist in any way it can in finding a settlement to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after an hour-long meeting with President Clerides Thursday Morning, Cook expressed support for Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) and described accession negotiations as an opportunity to solve the Cyprus issue.

    Cook said he discussed the prospect for a settlement of the Cyprus problem with the Cypriot President and was ''very interested'' to hear what President Clerides had to say.

    ''I assured him a Labour government would be very willing to assist in any way we can to ensure that we do find a settlement that is fair and provides confidence to both communities,'' he added.

    Asked to clarify how the Labour Party intends to push the Cyprus question higher up in the international agenda, as he stated on arrival yesterday, Cook noted ''Britain will be President of the EU in the first half of 1998.''

    This is the period in which negotiation for Union enlargement will commence and accession talks with Cyprus are expected to begin.

    ''The Labour Party is very anxious that Cyprus should become a member and we believe it is a high priority as a candidate for membership,'' he added.

    The Shadow Foreign Secretary noted those discussions ''plainly give us the opportunity to see if we can find some solution that would resolve the dispute within the island, and give both Europe and Cyprus greater confidence of this membership.''

    Present at the Presidential Palace meeting were Pantelis Kouros, Under- Secretary to the President, and British High Commissioner in Nicosia, David Madden.

    After meeting President Clerides, Cook went on to the Foreign Ministry for a meeting with Minister Alecos Michaelides.

    He will also be meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Greek and Turkish Cypriot political party leaders.

    CNA MM/MA/GP/1997

    [03] British Labour Party hopes for solution in 1997

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- Britain's Shadow Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, expressed hope that 1997 will see a solution of the protracted Cyprus question, which has been so elusive in the past.

    Speaking after meeting here today House President Spyros Kyprianou, Cook said ''I very much hope that this year we will be able to achieve a solution, which has evaded us so far.''

    Noting that he now had a better understanding of the many difficulties on the road to a solution, Cook reiterated his position that a Labour government would be ''very anxious to give priority to try and find a solution along side the accession of Cyprus to the European Union.''

    He said he had a very friendly and useful meeting and now has a ''very full understanding of the background to the situation in Cyprus.''

    In his remarks, Kyprianou said he was pleased with the discussions he had with Cook and said he may be in London to continue his talks there.

    Cook suggested Kyprianou visits Britain after the general elections, due before May this year, to receive him in his capacity as ''Foreign Secretary''.

    CNA KN/MM/GP/1997

    [04] Labour assurances to Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- The Cyprus problem and Cyprus' accession prospects to the European Union were the focus of a meeting here between Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and British Shadow Foreign Secretary Robin Cook.

    Speaking afterwards, Cook said he reassured the FM of Labour's desire to push forward Cyprus' accession course as speedily as possible, when Britain assumes the EU presidency in January 1998.

    ''We discussed issues around the accession of Cyprus to the EU and I assured him, as a Labour government, president of the EU, we want to make sure that every possible speed is going to Cyprus accession,'' he said.

    Describing his talks as ''very full, friendly, useful and lengthy,'' Cook said he explored the problems that exist and the solutions available.

    ''I have assured him that Labour is determined and will continue to show close interest in trying to raise the priority of finding a solution to the Cyprus question,'' he told the press.

    In his remarks, Michaelides said he underlined the need to exploit the period between now and the start of membership talks, due to begin in January 1998 when Britain will take the chair of the rotating EU presidency.

    ''We need to have proper planning and coordination among those who wish to help. This effort should begin with such moves and with such a speed to make it effective,'' the Minister said.

    He said if the Cyprus problem is not settled by the start of accession talks, ''efforts during these talks must be intensified to reach a solution when they are concluded.''

    ''It would be wrong if Cyprus were to be punished, if the Turkish side refuses to cooperate in efforts for a solution,'' he added.

    Replying to questions, Michaelides said Cook wanted to hear the government's views and be better informed about how Cyprus' sees Britain's role.

    Britain together with Greece and Turkey were the guarantors of Cyprus' independence under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Cyprus Republic.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1997

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