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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-07-22

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cypriot and Syrian Foreign Ministers meet
  • [02] Turkish objectives fail to produce desired outcome
  • [03] Cyprus to draft out response to Turkish threats
  • [04] Most EU members approve of accession choices

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cypriot and Syrian Foreign Ministers meet

    Nicosia, Jul 22 (CNA) -- The Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Syria, Ioannis Kasoulides and Faruk Al Sharaa, had a two-hour meeting yesterday in Damascus and discussed further cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.

    According to an official press release, issued here today, the two Ministers discussed ways to further develop trade transactions and promote economic cooperation between Cyprus and Syria.

    Kasoulides and Al Sharaa also discussed the Cyprus question, the Middle East issue, bilateral relations and other international issues of mutual interest.

    The Cypriot Foreign Minister, who started a three-day official visit to this neighbouring country yesterday at the invitation of his Syrian counterpart, will also be received by President Hafez Al Assad.

    During his stay in Syria, Kasoulides will also meet with the Minister of Interior Muhammad Harba, the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch Ignatios, the President of the Cyprus-Syrian Friendship Association, as well as with leading businessmen.

    The Foreign Minister will return to Cyprus on Thursday, July 24.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [02] Turkish objectives fail to produce desired outcome

    Nicosia, Jul 22 (CNA) -- The government believes Turkish intentions to force the Greek Cypriot side to walk out of the UN-led negotiations on a Cyprus settlement have not yielded the desired effect.

    The government also considers that Ankara should be consistent in its policies, and stop threatening Cyprus on one hand, and claim it is working to improve its ties with Greece on the other.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said today that "the composed way with which Cyprus and Greece handled recent Turkish provocations rendered their (Turkish) objectives untenable."

    During his daily press briefing, the Spokesman outlined the main objectives of a joint declaration signed, Sunday, between Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, for the partial integration of the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.

    The Spokesman said "the Turkish side initially wanted to walk out of the negotiations, which began in New York earlier this month and are scheduled to continue in Switzerland in August, after the European Union (EU) reaffirmed, last week, that accession talks will begin with Cyprus next year."

    However, he noted, the Turkish side finally decided to issue the declaration, which is in no way different to previous agreements, signed between Ankara and the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime.

    The said declaration, the Spokesman explained "also aimed at making the Greek Cypriot side nervous and forcing us to walk out of the talks or threaten to do so in the hope that UN Security Council members would work behind the scenes to persuade the EU to suspend or freeze Turkish measures announced in the declaration and the Republic's accession course."

    Christofides said the joint declaration reflects existing relations between Turkey and the pseudostate, set up in 1983 and recognised only by Ankara.

    The declaration outlines a series of steps towards partial economic and financial integration, and promotes partnerships in the fields of security, defence and foreign policy.

    Christofides also called on Ankara to be consistent in its views, if it wants to become part of Europe and improve its relations with Greece.

    He noted that only a day after Turkish Premier, Mesut Yilmaz, had asked his Greek counterpart, Costas Simitis, to assist his country achieve its European goals, Turkey's Deputy Premier issued the declaration with Denktash.

    "Yilmaz and Ecevit are both members of the same government and one would expect an attitude which complies with European values and principles, " Christofides noted.

    Christofides stressed the government believes in Greco-Turkish friendship provided that Ankara accepts the two nations will coexist in this part of the world.

    CNA EC/MA/MM/1997

    [03] Cyprus to draft out response to Turkish threats

    Nicosia, Jul 22 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides will outline his views to party leaders on a joint declaration, signed by Turkey and the self- styled Turkish Cypriot regime in the occupied areas of the Republic, which threatens to annex the occupied part of the island to Turkey.

    Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said today the government "is considering all means at its disposal to tackle this issue" and added "we need to examine and assess the outcome and the repercussions of every move which will be taken."

    He said President Clerides will raise this issue at Thursday's meeting of the National Council (top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem).

    Ankara and the illegal regime, set up in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic, in 1983, signed a joint declaration last Sunday, outlining a proposed series of steps towards partial integration in the economic and financial fields, and promoting a partnership in security, defence and foreign policy.

    "President Clerides will put forward his conclusions and political view to the National Council, he will refer to the means available to tackle the issue and make a proposal on the matter," the Spokesman said.

    He noted the joint declaration "needs to be examined because it is very serious and unacceptable and goes beyond all bounds of legality."

    "The government," he added, "intends to make representations to the UN, other international organisations as well as Cyprus' guarantor powers."

    Greece, Britain and Turkey guaranteed Cyprus' independence and territorial integrity when the island gained its independence from British colonial rule, in 1960.

    The Spokesman said the declaration "contradicts all principles governing relations between UN member-states and the 1960 treaties which established the Cyprus Republic."

    Christofides did not rule out the possibility of a recourse to the UN Security Council, noting "this is one of the means in our disposal, whose importance and consequences will be analysed in all detail at the National Council meeting."

    He also said "developments will be examined together with the Greek government" and pointed out that "what is important is to make the best of the current procedure the UN has instigated."

    CNA EC/MA/MM/1997

    [04] Most EU members approve of accession choices

    Brussels, Jul 22 (CNA) -- The majority of European Union members agree with the European Commission's recommendation that the EU begins accession talks with Cyprus and five other East European candidate countries.

    This is the overall conclusion, derived from today's initial positions on the matter, expressed by EU foreign ministers, during a presentation of "Agenda 2000" to the ministers by European Commission President, Jacques Santer.

    According to EU sources, 11 out of the 15 EU member countries fully agreed with the Commission's choice of countries, while Greece, Italy, Denmark and Sweden expressed the view that accession negotiations should start simultaneously with all 11 applicant countries and should evolve according to each applicant country's level of preparation for accession.

    According to Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, only Cyprus out of the 11 candidates has an established market system, thus meeting accession criteria.

    Pangalos added that other applicants need support and as a result, Greece believes that accession talks should begin simultaneously with all applicants.

    The Commission's announcement on further developing relations between the EU and Turkey was not touched upon at today's meeting, which was limited only to the positions of the 15 EU member countries on "Agenda 2000".

    Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, who participated in a brief meeting of Western European Union foreign ministers, met on the sidelines of the meeting with EU Commissioner Hans Van Den Broek to whom Cem presented a Turkish memo.

    Speaking to Turkish journalists, Cem said Ankara asked from the EU equal treatment with other applicants in the framework of EU expansion.

    Turkey's reference to equal treatment means inclusion into the 11- member group of countries, who have applied to join the EU.

    Ankara, Cem said, also asked that an EU financial aid package, earmarked for Turkey and so far blocked by Greece, be released to Turkey.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister added that Ankara will await an answer from Brussels on these matters and others and will act accordingly.

    CNA NB/MH/MM/1997
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