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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-10-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Britain to intensify efforts on Cyprus, says Blair
  • [02] Kranidiotis optimistic about Cyprus' EU course
  • [03] UN Special Advisor to propose open-ended talks
  • [04] Cyprus satisfied with Commonwealth support

  • 1750:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Britain to intensify efforts on Cyprus, says Blair

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Edinburgh, Oct 27 (CNA) -- Britain's role in efforts for a Cyprus solution will be intensified, Prime Minister Tony Blair pledged here today.

    The British Premier was speaking at the closing press conference of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

    Asked by CNA to comment on Britain's "special position" in the Cyprus problem as highlighted in the CHOGM communique, Blair said:

    "We will obviously continue to play our part in trying to search for a solution. We want shot very much."

    Blair pointed to the importance of a Cyprus settlement in relation to Cyprus' course for accession to the European Union (EU).

    "It is very important to the accession negotiations of Cyprus with the EU and we will carry on doing whatever we can to bring about a proper settlement and rapprochement," he stressed.

    He added that this is "absolutely essential to all the people of Cyprus for the future."

    Asked whether a British initiative will be launched on Cyprus the Premier replied:

    "It is not a question of some initiative, but it is a question of carrying on the work that we are doing and trying to intensify where we can."

    Blair told the press the summit meeting was one of the "most harmonious for many years" and described it as "immensely successful".

    "It is a great sign of optimism for the future," Blair said.

    On his part, Commonwealth's Secretary-General Chief Emeka Anyaoku described the discussion on economic issues as "particularly constructive" and said the Commonwealth emerged as an organisation "that sticks very seriously to its commitments." CNA MCH/AP


    [02] Kranidiotis optimistic about Cyprus' EU course

    Larnaca, Oct 27 (CNA) -- The Greek Deputy Foreign Minister expressed certainty European Union (EU) accession talks with Cyprus will begin early next year and that Cyprus will become a full member without any preconditions.

    Yiannos Kranidiotis also said any difficulties faced during the accession talks can be overcome with the strategy followed by the governments of Greece and Cyprus.

    "Cyprus' EU course will be smooth, (but) it will not be easy. There will be difficulties and problems which could be tackled within the framework of the correct strategy followed by the governments of Greece and Cyprus for some time," he added.

    Kranidiotis stressed that no EU member-state opposes accession talks with Cyprus and said he expects "unconditional" talks to begin in March or April 1998.

    He said he is optimistic if not completely sure that after the end of the talks "Cyprus will become a full EU member, without conditions and prerequisites".

    "Its course will be much easier if in the meantime the Cyprus problem is solved, but even if it is not solved, due to the Turkish side's intransigence, I believe Cyprus will still become a full member."

    The Greek official noted that, as with all candidate countries, some technical problems might arise during the accession talks which would be solved.

    Cyprus applied for EU membership in July 1990. It signed an association agreement in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    Kranidiotis reiterated Greece's position that the EU should open accession talks with all applicant countries, indicating that Turkey could not be included.

    He pointed out that conditions had been set to upgrade EU relations with Turkey, that were included in the report dubbed "Agenda 2000".

    Replying to questions, Kranidiotis said he was not optimistic there would be a substantive outcome from a meeting between the Greek and Turkish Premiers in Crete next month.

    The Greek Deputy Minister is on a brief visit to Cyprus, to speak tonight at the presentation of a book on the US role in Greece from 1947 to 1967 written by US-based Greek journalist Alexis Papahelas.

    CNA MAN/MA/GP/1997

    [03] UN Special Advisor to propose open-ended talks

    Edinburgh, Oct 27 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary-General's special advisor on the Cyprus problem will visit the island next month to examine whether the two sides are ready for open-ended talks to settle the Cyprus question.

    President Glafcos Clerides, who is taking part in the Commonwealth summit, today revealed that the UN chief had sent letters to him, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the governments of Greece and Turkey on the issue.

    In his letter Kofi Annan said Diego Cordovez will visit Cyprus "to see whether the two sides are willing to start open-ended talks to solve the Cyprus question."

    Cordovez's visit, expected in the second half of November, was also confirmed by the UN Resident Representative, in statements at Larnaca Airport on his return from the US.

    Gustave Feissel said he has not yet seen the letter, as it only arrived on Friday.

    "My understanding is the letter suggests a visit by Mr Cordovez during the second half of November to Cyprus, and also to Greece and Turkey," he said.

    Feissel refrained from replying to a question if President Clerides can at this point commit the Greek Cypriot side to an open-ended dialogue in view of the presidential elections to be held in Cyprus next February.

    The UN Resident Representative said he had some meetings on the Cyprus issue during his stay in New York.

    Asked if he discussed with Annan ways to break the deadlock in efforts for a Cyprus settlement as well as a proposal for talks between the two sides on security issues, Feissel said "we covered a whole range of matters."

    Referring to an American proposal for security talks, the UN official said he intends to be in touch with both sides as soon as possible and "see how we go on".

    "I will see of course what can be done on that (security talks)," he added.

    In September, President Clerides and Denktash had a meeting in Nicosia on security issues.

    However, there appears to be a stalemate in the security talks as the Cyprus government wants all related issues to be discussed, something rejected by Denktash.

    "It would be very good if a modest agreement is reached on security and I think that would send the right kind of message and of course would contain some substance," Feissel said.

    The UN official refrained from commenting on reports that the Turkish army had brought more war machines to the part of Cyprus it occupies since it invaded the island in 1974.

    He said he was not aware of new developments, as he was on leave, but noted "normally UNFICYP (the UN peace-keeping force) is pretty much aware of what is going on."

    Asked to comment on repeated statements by Denktash that he would not carry on with efforts for a Cyprus settlement unless the European Union (EU) put Cyprus' accession talks on hold, Feissel reiterated the UN positions on the issue.

    "It is the expectation of the Security Council and the Secretary- General that both sides will cooperate with the SG in moving this process forward and that is what we expect to see."

    Cyprus' accession talks are expected to begin next Spring, according to an EU decision of March 6, 1995.

    During two-round of talks between the two sides held in summer, the Turkish Cypriot leader refused to negotiate unless the EU withholds accession talks with Cyprus. CNA MCH/MAN/MA/GP/1997


    [04] Cyprus satisfied with Commonwealth support

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Edinburgh, Oct 27 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides is completely satisfied with the reference to Cyprus in the Commonwealth final communique, adopted here today.

    "I am satisfied because it reconfirms UN Security Council resolutions which call for a single sovereignty and state in Cyprus, condemn the bogus state in the occupied areas and demand the withdrawal of foreign troops," Clerides stated.

    The Cypriot President pointed out that with the communique the 54 Commonwealth leaders adopt his proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus and condemn Turkish threats to partially annex the occupied areas.

    Turkey has threatened to partially annex the occupied part of this East Mediterranean island, if the European Union (EU) starts accession talks with Cyprus.

    In 1993, President Clerides proposed to the UN the disband of the National Guard and the delivery of its weapons to UN custody with the simultaneous disband of the Turkish Cypriot armed forces and the withdrawal of the Turkish troops.

    President Clerides agreed with a reference made in the communique to Britain's special role in Cyprus.

    He said Britain is not only a member of the UN Security Council but is also one of the Republic's three guarantors (the others are Greece and Turkey), according to the 1960 agreements by which Cyprus gained independence from colonial rule.

    Replying to questions, President Clerides said he expects Commonwealth involvement in the Cyprus peace efforts if negotiations between the two sides take place.

    Two rounds of Cyprus peace talks took place this summer, which reached a deadlock because of the Turkish side's refusal to negotiate unless the EU withholds its decision to start accession talks with the Republic next Spring.

    Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, has appointed Krishnan Srinivasan as special envoy for Cyprus.

    Srinivasan is Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General for political affairs and former Indian Foreign Minister.

    CNA MCH/MA/GP/1997
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