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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President Clerides expects serious developments in 1998
  • [02] Occupation regime suspends bicommunal meetings

  • 1400:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] President Clerides expects serious developments in 1998

    Nicosia, Dec 28 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides said that serious developments are expected to take place in Cyprus in the new year, which will determine the island's future.

    Speaking in Larnaca today, Clerides described the new efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, expected to begin immediately after February's presidential elections, as the "most important" ever.

    "The new initiative to settle the Cyprus problem is expected to culminate immediately after the presidential elections. It is an initiative which has been described as the most important in the history of the Cyprus problem," he said.

    Clerides, who has announced his candidature in the upcoming elections, noted that these developments are the result of his government's "dynamic, daring and responsible" policy.

    "During the same period talks for Cyprus' accession to the European Union will begin," he said and added that this was achieved mainly through his government's close and productive cooperation with the government of Greece.

    Referring to the joint defence pact, decided between the governments of Cyprus and Greece in November 1993, President Clerides said it "reinforces our security and negotiating capabilities".

    "It is obvious that in the coming months we will face very important developments. The future of Cyprus will be determined from the way we handle these developments," he said.

    Describing these developments "difficult and complex", Clerides warned "we do not have the luxury to experiment and make mistakes because we will then have to pay a high price."

    President Clerides called for unity between all political forces and the people of Cyprus and expressed optimism that with his government's policy the island will restore its freedom and justice.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

    International efforts, led by the UN to solve the problem have stepped up in the last year.

    CNA MA/EC/1997

    [02] Occupation regime suspends bicommunal meetings

    Nicosia, Dec 28 (CNA) -- The Turkish occupation regime in the north of Cyprus has decided to suspend bicommunal activities.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot press, so called "foreign minister", Taner Etkin, said all bicommunal activities are suspended as from yesterday, December 27.

    He claimed the decision was taken to allow the Turkish Cypriot side time to review the Luxembourg European Council decision which included Cyprus in the countries due to start accession negotiations with the European Union (EU) and excluded Turkey.

    Etkin clarified that the activities which will be affected are those organised by embassies, and especially the US Embassy, between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot trade unionists, business people, women's organisations, students and professors.

    The illegal regime's so called "state minister", Serdar Denktash, said that only those gatherings organised at the Ledra Palace hotel in the UN controlled buffer zone were suspended.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, speaking on Turkish television last night, claimed that from now on negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem will be held between "two equal states" and not the two communities on the island.

    Negotiations to settle the Cyprus question have been held by the leaders of the two communities.

    Both Denktash and Ankara have stepped up efforts to achieve recognition of the puppet regime unilaterally declared in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic in 1983.

    The pseudostate is only recognised by Turkey and in various resolutions the UN has called on member states not to recognise or in any way facilitate it.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader is also refusing to participate in UN sponsored negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, unless the EU withholds its decision to start accession negotiations with Cyprus in spring 1998.

    His insistence led to the failure of two rounds of direct talks held this summer in Troutbeck, USA, and Glion, Switzerland.

    Cyprus applied for EU membership in July 1990 and accession negotiations are scheduled to begin in spring 1998.

    Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides yesterday stated that no negotiations had taken place during the summer peace talks because Denktash was waiting for the outcome of Cyprus' course to the EU.

    Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 percent of the island and UN efforts to solve the problem have so far failed.

    Direct talks to settle the Cyprus problem are expected to resume in March, immediately after the presidential elections to be held in the Republic.

    CNA EC/MA/1997
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