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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-11

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus economy recovers
  • [02] Cordovez on Cyprus peace talks
  • [03] UN requests complete blackout in peace talks
  • [04] First day of negotiations ends

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus economy recovers

    Nicosia, Aug 11 (CNA) -- The island's economy is showing a "relative recovery", and if unforeseen political developments do not intervene, it will have better results in 1997 than in 1996, Finance Minister, Christodoulos Cristodoulou said today.

    Speaking to the press after a meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, the General Manager of the Cyprus Development Bank, and government officials, Christodoulou noted that despite its "healthy base", Cyprus' economy should turn away from its traditional aims and seek the development in new promising sectors, such as education, health, business consultancy, and new industrial products.

    Referring to the 1996 growth rate, he said despite the political events of August, a 2 per cent rate is expected.

    As for the 1997 growth rate, Christodoulou said it would be around 3 per cent.

    Commenting on speculation in the local press concerning the liberalisation of the island's financial system, he pointed out that it would proceed as scheduled, saying it would take place before Cyprus' accession negotiations with the European Union start. The liberalisation would be concluded by March 1998, he added.

    Christodoulou said Cyprus should become an education and health centre, "which is a feasible aim, given its scientific potential."

    Unemployment rate in 1997 will be around 3,3 to 3,4 per cent, while inflation is expected to be around 3,5 per cent.

    Referring to the island's public debt, he noted that it is expected to be around 54 per cent of GDP, while the limit set by the Maastricht Treaty is set to 60 per cent.

    Cyprus' tourism also is recovering, and indications are that there would be a better performance in the next three to four months than that in the same period of 1996, Chistodoulou said.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cordovez on Cyprus peace talks By Maria Myles

    Montreux Aug 11 (CNA) -- The UN will not enter an immediate discussion of the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem at this round of negotiations, but instead suggests an incremental process with a discussion of a revised UN non-paper.

    In statements before a working lunch with which a second round of UN- sponsored talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, began, the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor, Diego Cordovez, said he expects both leaders to cooperate for a settlement.

    The Cyprus peace talks resumed Monday with a working-lunch hosted by Cordovez at the Hotel Righi Vaudois, in the tranquil mountain resort Glion- sur-Montreux, Switzerland.

    The first round was held in Troutbeck, New York, between 9-12 July, and was opened by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan.

    Cordovez said the UN wants to change the procedure of the talks so that it will be different from the method used until today. "We are trying to institute a process that is different," he said, noting that in the past the leaders came to the talks with the idea that they would solve all the problems.

    He also clarified that the non-paper which he handed to the two leaders during the first round of discussions was not a settlement to the 23-year- old Cyprus problem.

    "The paper I gave them is not the solution. These are simply some guidelines to be taken to account when we do what we have suggested to them. The difference is we are having what I call an incremental process. That is to say, they will meet from time to time and each time take it from where they left it and proceed forward," the UN official said.

    To a question that the Greek Cypriot side believes the basic issues should be agreed on first, Cordovez said that "this is what they have been trying to do for 23 years and failed."

    What he suggests now is to go "into a process of discussing and negotiating on the actual document, on the actual legal text, and in the process of doing that they will start settling all these problems. And in settling all these problems there will be real negotiations."

    Cordovez further explained that the leaders would be able to choose the aspects of the Cyprus problem they want to discuss each time they meet and "try to bridge the differences between them and go on to the next aspect."

    He added that with this process the leaders of the two communities will not start their next meeting from zero, as in the past.

    Asked if the two leaders will start trading off on all aspects of the Cyprus problem, Cordovez said "not on all the aspects, on certain aspects," but did not specify which, noting it is up to the leaders to decide.

    Invited to say what he would consider a success in this specific round of talks, Cordovez replied he expects all "to continue to work with a sense that we are involved in a process", noting "you cannot solve the Cyprus problem in four days."

    Asked what he expects from the two leaders during this round of negotiations, Cordovez said "I expect them to cooperate with me and particularly with themselves. It is in their interest."

    The UN envoy described a meeting he had earlier today with Britain's Special Representative on Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, in Geneva, as "excellent".

    The lunch will break off this afternoon for a photo opportunity at the hotel Righi Vaudois.

    From then on there will be no other media access at the site of the five-day negotiations as the UN have insisted on a blackout.

    Cordovez will hold a press briefing at the end of the talks, on August 16, at the Palais de Nations. CNA MM/MCH/EC/MA/1997

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1915:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] UN requests complete blackout in peace talks By Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 11 (CNA) -- The UN has asked the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides not to make any public statements about the course of the direct negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, which got underway in Glion, Switzerland, Monday, with a working lunch Diego Cordovez hosted for the two community leaders.

    "We have accepted the request of the UN to treat these negotiations as confidential and not as a subject of making public statements," President Glafcos Clerides told the press during a photo opportunity session at the Righi Vaudois hotel in the mountain resort of Glion.

    He also said the request came this morning in writing and noted the negotiations are not in camera and "there will be no statements after every session."

    Turning to the press, Clerides said "I want them to hear it so they do not keep asking questions."

    In his brief remarks during the session, Cordovez, the UN Secretary- General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem, told the media representatives "you have to understand one thing, that a negotiation is a very dynamic thing."

    A negotiation, he added, "changes constantly and if you make statements to the press you introduce an element of rigidity which does not help."

    Cordovez noted that "at the end you will know everything."

    Present around the negotiating table were Alecos Markides, Attorney- General, and Pantelis Kouros, Undersecretary to the President, as Clerides' advisors.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, is attending the second round of negotiations on the Cyprus problem, flanked by his advisors Necatin Munir Ertegun and Ergun Olgun.

    The UN was represented by Cordovez, its resident representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, and Raymond Sommereyns, Senior Advisor to Cordovez.

    Following the brief comments to the media President Clerides and Denktash shook hands in the presence of Cordovez.

    The first round of UN-sponsored negotiations on the Cyprus issue were held in Troutbeck, near New York, July 9-12.

    CNA MM/MA/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2300:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] First day of negotiations ends By Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 11 (CNA) -- The first day of face-to-face negotiations between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, for a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem, has ended and President Clerides has already informed political leaders on its outcome.

    However after his meeting with the political leaders at "Montreux Palace", President Clerides refused to answer any questions on the talks, respecting a written UN request that no public statements should be made about the course of the negotiations.

    After a working lunch hosted for the leaders of the two communities by the UN Secretary-General's special advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, followed by a photo opportunity, the President said that they had "accepted the request of the UN to treat these negotiations as confidential."

    Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Sotos Zakhaios, and the President's two advisors in the talks, Attorney General Alecos Markides and Permanent Undersecretary to the President, Pantelis Kouros, were also present at the meeting with the political leaders.

    According to well informed sources, "procedural issues" were discussed at today's meeting and the two sides outlined their positions on the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus question.

    The same sources have also said that the two sides' advisors were not present during today's meetings with the UN envoy.

    A good climate prevailed during the talks, the same sources said, noting that it is too early to make any assessments.

    The second round of the five-day Cyprus peace talks are held at the "Righi Vaudois" hotel in Glion-sur-Montreux, and are chaired by Cordovez.

    The first round of the UN-sponsored direct talks were held in Troutbeck, near New York between July 9-12.

    CNA MM/MA/EC/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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