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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-16

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EU process catalyst for solution, says US
  • [02] UN underlines primary goal for settlement
  • [03] Attorney General will not stand for presidency
  • [04] Consensus not served by my candidacy, says Markides

  • 1015:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] EU process catalyst for solution, says US

    Washington, Dec 16 (CNA) -- The US believes that accession negotiations between Cyprus and the European Union could serve as a catalyst for the resolution of the Cyprus question.

    It also notes that Turkey, which it describes as "part of Europe", should have the prospects for eventual EU membership.

    "The EU accession process offers positive incentives for a Cyprus solution. The process can be a catalyst if all sides are willing to approach the issue with a constructive spirit, and offers itself as a catalyst for resolution of the issues that are dividing the communities on the island," Jim Foley, US State Department spokesman, said here Monday.

    Expressing support for Turkey's full possible participation in European institutions, Foley said Turkey's place "is in Europe" and said the US administration has been working towards achieving this goal.

    Foley backed the EU summit statement that favours Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks and reaffirmed US support for the UN efforts to find a Cyprus solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Commenting on statements by Turkey's Premier Mesut Yilmaz threatening to stop political ties with Europe, Foley said "this may have been a setback in recent days but we believe that over time Turkey ought to have a strong and open perspective on membership in the EU and we hope that progress can be achieved on this road."

    "We do not want to draw definite conclusions from what happened last week," he added.

    The EU summit invited Cyprus along with five former Soviet bloc countries to begin accession talks but failed to include Turkey in the list of candidate countries for accession.

    Turkey was however invited to a European Conference in March next year, an invitation the Turkish government has turned down, threatening to cut its political dialogue with the Union.

    Foley refrained from commenting on statements that the EU is a Christian club and said "as far as the US is concerned, it stands for racial tolerance and diversity."

    The spokesman also avoided comment on the view of Luxembourg's premier that Turkey engages in an unacceptable level of torture of prisoners but referred instead to the State Department's human rights report which notes torture phenomena in Turkish prisons.

    CNA DA/MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1130:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] UN underlines primary goal for settlement

    Nicosia, Dec 16 (CNA) -- UN resident representative, Gustave Feissel, has reiterated his adherence to the primary objective to solve the Cyprus question and called on everybody to stay cool until after the presidential elections in Cyprus, scheduled for February 1998.

    His comments came following Saturday's decision by the European Union to invite Cyprus for accession talks and leave Turkey outside the list of candidate countries, a move which sparked fierce reaction from Turkey and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Rauf Denktash.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, the UN top envoy in Cyprus said he reviewed current developments relating to Cyprus, in the wake of the EU decision.

    He said Denktash is "upset" by the decision but pointed out that "we have to keep our eye on the ball, that is to solve the Cyprus problem."

    This would be in the interest of everybody, he noted, because anything to the contrary would be "bad news for everybody and I would say nothing has happened which changes that conclusion."

    Denktash had said the "dialogue is dead" and said he wants nothing to do with anybody who recongises the government of the Republic of Cyprus as the legal administration on the island.

    Asked how the UN could bring Denktash back to the negotiating table, Feissel said it would serve no "useful purpose to analyse what everybody is saying and it is best to keep cool and see what happens."

    "We are going through an intermission until February's elections (presidential) and until then nothing is going to happen," he said.

    Commenting on a letter Denktash has sent to UN special envoy Diego Cordovez, about a week ago, Feissel said he does not ask for international recognition.

    "It is not that kind of letter, he expresses some views and recapitulates some things he discussed when Cordovez was here," he explained.

    Replying to questions, Feissel said the UN hopes the Turkish Cypriot side will provide information on the location of graves of Greek Cypriot missing persons by the end of the year.

    "Denktash indicated he will provide the information about locations of graves of where Greek Cypriot missing persons may be buried, they (Turkish Cypriot side) have been working at it, it has taken them a little bit longer than they had expected," he added.

    "I think very soon this will be finished, hopefully before the end of the year, and that will be a positive development for the families and overall the Cyprus question," Feissel said.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1210:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Attorney General will not stand for presidency

    Nicosia, Dec 16 (CNA) -- Attorney General Alecos Markides announced here today he will not be a presidential candidate in February's elections, ending weeks of speculation about his proposed candidacy.

    Markides was tipped as the favourite candidate of centre-right Democratic Party of Spyros Kyprianou, until recently a coalition partner in President Glafcos Clerides' government. More later

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1330:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Consensus not served by my candidacy, says Markides

    Nicosia, Dec 16 (CNA) -- Attorney General Alecos Markides said he decided not to run for the presidency because this would have caused a split in the political arena and would have only added one more name on the list of presidential hopefuls.

    Announcing his decision, Markides said his conscience is clear and that it was not possible to achieve consensus and unity through his own candidacy.

    "I believe under the circumstances, I have come to the conclusion and continue to be of the opinion that it is not possible to have either consensus or unity through my candidacy in the forthcoming presidential elections," Markides said.

    "It is clear that as things have developed, what we will simply have had is one more presidential candidate, who would probably serve as a point of division among the political leadership," he added.

    This, he stressed, was not the object of the exercise, noting that "in fact, the purpose was exactly the opposite."

    Markides was the man proposed by the Democratic Party of Spyros Kyprianou, who called on other parties to back him as well. They refused to do so, but instead many opted for their own candidates.

    President Glafcos Clerides said he would seek reelection.

    "I believe there are objective difficulties which, should I have decided to run in February's elections, they would have turned the race for the presidency into a bitter argument and would not have achieved consensus or unity," Markides told awaiting press.

    Replying to questions, the government's top legal advisor said he never stopped being the President's confidant, despite differences of opinion.

    "Perhaps I was one of the few persons who made these differences public, but in any case, my friendly ties with the President are not affected," he reassured the press.

    Asked if he will support any candidate, he said his vote, like everybody else's is secret.

    "My conscience is clear, I did not say a bad word about anybody," he added.

    Markides was until his appointment to the post of Attorney General the second in command in the ruling Democratic Rally party, led now by Nicos Anastasiades, which will back President Clerides in the forthcoming elections.

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