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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-08-15

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Second round of talks ends in deadlock
  • [02] UN is determined to continue Cyprus peace process
  • [03] Pilgrims return from Apostolos Andreas deeply moved
  • [04] No negotiating or progress due to Denktash, says Clerides
  • [05] Denktash attacks EU

  • 2000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Second round of talks ends in deadlock

    by Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The second round of UN-sponsored Cyprus talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash ended here today in deadlock.

    In a press conference this afternoon UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor for the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, who chaired both rounds of talks between the leaders of the two Cypriot communities said "they had useful discussion even when we faced difficulties here in Glion."

    He added, however, that the Secretary-General "intends to continue his good offices mission" on Cyprus and said he does not entirely share the view that "we are back to where we were when we started."

    Earlier, President Clerides told a press conference "at the end of this week we are exactly where we were when we came here," last Monday.

    Also speaking at a press conference earlier this afternoon, Denktash said the five-day talks, which took place at the Righi Vaudois hotel in Glion-sur-Montreux, ended in deadlock.

    Denktash accused the European Union of having thrown a "bomb" into the peace process by deciding to open accession negotiations next year with the internationally-recognised government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said talks on Cyprus' bid for EU membership must be cancelled for UN mediation to continue.

    In his statements President Clerides rejected the condition and said "not only do I have no intention to delay the process but if there is any interference in the process I will not be negotiating."

    Cordovez said he will submit his conclusions on this round of talks to the Security Council next Wednesday.

    A first round of direct talks (the first between the two leaders since October 1994), was held between July 9 and 12 at the secluded Troutbeck rural retreat, north of New York.

    Before attending the Glion talks the two leaders had two meetings in Cyprus, at the residence of UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, situated in the UN-controlled Nicosia airport area, and discussed humanitarian issues. (More later)

    CNA MM/AP/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2030:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] UN is determined to continue Cyprus peace process

    by Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 15 (CNA) -- The UN is determined to continue the process of negotiations it has initiated with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides in spite of the fact that no concrete outcome has emerged from the second round of UN led-talks, which ended at lunch time in Glion.

    UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, described the discussions as "very useful" even though "we faced difficulties in Glion".

    He noted the two community leaders "remain committed to achieving a settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation", but stopped short of admitting that the week-long discussions effectively ended in failure.

    Speaking at a press conference here today, Cordovez announced he accepted an invitation from the two sides to visit Cyprus but no specific time has been fixed for the visit.

    Asked by CNA if he shares the view that we are back to where we were, (as President Glafcos Clerides said in his remarks earlier today), Cordovez replied "yes, but not entirely" and qualified his view saying "I do not think this week has been wasted."

    Invited to say if this round of talks was the "defining moment", as he said in Troutbeck, near New York, where the first round took place in July, the UN official told CNA "you know, it has not been a defining moment because there was a controversy which has nothing to do with the talks."

    "I will proceed on the basis of a sustained process of negotiations on the basis of a discussion on actual text," Cordovez said, adding the Secretary-General "intends to continue his good offices."

    Talks, he explained, "will continue on the basis that we have envisaged, namely on the basis of the legal instruments that will comprise a settlement."

    He said he would present a report to the UN Security Council, probably on Wednesday, which would include his conclusions on this round of talks.

    Asked why an agreement was not possible, he replied "you know very well the position one of the leaders took in these negotiations but I will not go into that," an indirect, albeit clear reference to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's stand on the EU process.

    He also reiterated his "regret" about the leak of the working paper he had handed to the two leaders.

    The UN official said Clerides indicated the working paper was "acceptable to him provided the other side also agreed but you know what the position of the other side was."

    "The two leaders agreed to meet again on humanitarian questions," he said and noted with pleasure that the personal relationship between Clerides and Denktash and between them "and myself is useful to me" and the peace process.

    "I do not believe that on many issues they are as far as they believe they are," he said on a more optimistic note.

    Cordovez refrained diligently from commenting on the controversy Denktash had created during the talks over the EU factor.

    Fully backed by Turkey, Denktash has strongly objected to a decision by the European Union to start accession talks with the Cyprus Republic next year. Turkey is not a member of the 15-nation EU.

    The UN official said "other matters were discussed" and criticised heavily the leak of a UN working paper he gave the two community leaders earlier this week saying it created "difficulties."

    Invited to list the steps that have been agreed during this round of talks, Cordovez noted it "is extremely difficult to say" and explained that if the leaders start negotiating on the basis of texts before them, "then they will start identifying the differences and be solved in the proper context of the negotiations."

    "At the end there will be a package deal or package agreement, set out at different talks," he said.

    Cordovez welcomed the "enormous interest by a number of countries" and described the envoys as "a source of strength and information."

    He said he will meet US Presidential Emissary on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke in New York next week. He was in touch with him during this past week on the phone.

    Replying to questions, he said the idea of having another round of talks in September was abandoned.

    Cordovez also said he did not know Denktash had said he was not going to sign any documents in Glion.

    CNA MM/EC/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2150:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Pilgrims return from Apostolos Andreas deeply moved

    Nicosia, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Hundreds of Greek Cypriots who visited the Turkish- occupied monastery of Apostolos Andreas on the eastern tip of the island returned to the free areas this evening expressing deep emotions as well as disappointment for the poor condition of churches in the areas under Turkish occupation since 1974.

    The mass of the Assumption of Virgin Mary was officiated by Abbot of Kykko Monastery, Nikiforos, and attended by more than 650 pilgrims of all ages, as well as enclaved Greek Cypriots living in the occupied north.

    Speaking to the press at the Ledra Palace check point in Nicosia, the pilgrims, many of whom come from the Turkish-occupied areas, said they were deeply moved to see their villages after 23 years but described the condition of the monastery as well as that of other churches in the Turkish-occupied north as miserable.

    They noted, however, the warm welcome they received from Turkish Cypriots, who offered them flowers and olive branches expressing their deep desire for re-unification of the island.

    "The Turkish Cypriots wish for re-unification of Cyprus. They offered us olive branches and flowers and were asking about their own villages in the south", a Greek Cypriot pilgrim said, while others stressed the need for rapprochement and more bicommunal contacts.

    Noting that pilgrims had to keep to a very strict schedule and timetable, during the visit, Abbot Nikiforos expressed satisfaction, adding "our visit relieved our enclaved brothers".

    He also said he was saddened by the condition of Greek Orthodox holy places in the occupied areas and expressed anger at the tolerance shown by the big powers towards Turkey, which has been violating human rights and every rule of law in Cyprus for 23 years.

    CNA RM/MCH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2300:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] No negotiating or progress due to Denktash, says Clerides

    by Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 15 (CNA) -- There was no negotiating and no progress towards a Cyprus settlement, during a week-long round of UN-led talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, because of unacceptable Turkish Cypriot demands calling for the suspension by the European Union (EU) of its plans to start accession negotiations with Cyprus.

    This is the overall picture as it emerges from statements President Glafcos Clerides made at a press conference today at the Montreux Palace hotel.

    "At the end of the week, we are exactly where we were when we came here", the President said, noting that "unfortunately we did not negotiate."

    He said Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "discovered now that he could not negotiate while our application was pending before the EU unless either we withdrew our application or the EU decided not to proceed with our application."

    Asked if he thought it might be better to delay the start of accession talks, an issue which Denktash introduced to the UN talks and effectively blocked them, President Clerides was very clear: "Not only I have no intention to delay the EU process but I must firmly state that if there is any interference with that process, I will not be negotiating."

    Replying to questions, the Cypriot President said Denktash rejected his proposal for a joint declaration to "solve the Cyprus problem through negotiations and not by the use of force."

    President Clerides also suggested to meet Denktash to discuss "reduction of military forces and equipment, limitation or prohibition to importation of armaments to Cyprus, unmanning posts which are of close proximity and could cause friction as well as the issue of demilitarisation of the island."

    President Clerides said Denktash "rejected my proposal". The question of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles purchased by Cyprus could have been discussed in this context, he pointed out.

    Commenting on Denktash's statement that he rejected a proposed draft for a UN declaration (meant to have been issued at the end of this round of talks), President Clerides explained he had expressed "disagreement with the document".

    "If the document was read by Diego Cordovez (Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Cyprus problem), I would criticise him because that document did not give a fair picture of why we have failed."

    He said there were at least ten different drafts of the statement Cordovez wanted to make and half of them were rejected by Denktash and the other half by himself.

    Asked what he would do next, Clerides said he would "wait and see what the UN Security Council will decide to do", before taking any action.

    Referring to the non-paper Cordovez gave the two sides, he said he had given his consent to it, but Denktash did not and the working paper "is there but it is a non-paper".

    "I think we could have accepted the papers if there was good will and had we agreed on them we would have taken a good step forward", the President pointed out.

    Invited to say whether intercommunal dialogue should continue after the Glion failure, he reiterated his position that the solution to the Cyprus problem should emerge from peaceful dialogue.

    "As long as we believe that a settlement should be reached by agreement, then there is no way of getting there but through negotiations", President Clerides said.

    He noted, however, that "in order for the negotiations to be effective the UN Security Council should frankly speak and say who is responsible for not making any progress and should be prepared to take appropriate action."

    Asked to say whether this current round of talks is a case when the Security Council should take action, the President replied, "I did not refer to any particular time, my comment was general" and pointed out "the effectiveness of the negotiations will depend on the determination of the Security Council and the role it will play."

    Replying to questions, President Clerides said, "I don't expect Cordovez to put a full report to the Security Council", telling them exactly what has happened.

    Asked if there is any link between the failure of the Glion talks and the Cyprus problem, on the one hand, and Greco-Turkish disputes, on the other, Clerides stressed, they are "two separate issues and should not be placed in the same basket."

    Asked whether he would stand for re-election, President Clerides said he has not made up his mind yet, because, as he noted, "we are passing through a delicate period" and he does not want any action he may or may not take to be attributed to the fact he would be running for the presidency again.

    CNA MM/MCH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2330:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Denktash attacks EU

    by Maria Myles

    Montreux, Aug 15 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has launched an unprecedented attack against the European Union (EU), claiming its decision to start accession talks with the government of the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus has derailed the UN process for a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question.

    Denktash has also warned the EU that it would contribute to the final division of the island if it proceeds with Cyprus' accession course and accepts the Republic as a member.

    Expressing support for the continuation of the UN peace process, Denktash went on to criticise the various envoys of third countries, interested in the Cyprus problem, for interfering with the peace process.

    "The EU threw a bombshell during the Troutbeck talks", Denktash told a press conference held at the Hotel Intercontinental Plaza, today, where the Turkish delegation is staying.

    Denktash was referring to the first round of talks held in Troutbeck, near New York, last month.

    He also warned that if the EU insists on its decision to start accession talks and accepts Cyprus in its ranks that would lead to a "final division".

    "We object to the EU position, we do not accept it and we look upon Europe to give due regard to what Cyprus is", he said, effectively urging the EU to recognise his self-styled regime as a legal entity.

    On the role of other envoys, (US, British, EU and others), Denktash unleashed another attack and said "we do not want other countries which have their own interests in Cyprus and are trying to serve those interests to get more and more involved and make life difficult for the representative of the UN."

    He said he does not like "all this interruption by more and more coordinators" as this, he claimed, wastes time and interferes with the work of the UN.

    Commenting on the content of the talks, which ended in Glion, he said the first two days were taken up by "a global review of the Cyprus problem which was very useful so we can understand where the two communities stand."

    He acknowledged that his friendship with President Clerides has not been affected, saying "he (Clerides) has defended his case sternly and with ability and I hope he will admit I did the same."

    Replying to questions, Denktash said the timetable for the EU is December when the Union is expected to ratify its "Agenda 2000" programme.

    He also expressed the hope that others (third interested parties) prevent the arrival of the Russian missiles purchased by the Cyprus government to the island, adding, "I hope they do not leave it to Turkey to prevent it."

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

    Denktash said he did not agree to prepare documents on aspects of the Cyprus problem and said he was "taken by surprise" when the Advisor to the UN Secretary-General, Diego Cordovez, presented his non-paper as he had been told this eventuality would not emerge.

    CNA MM/MCH/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA END
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