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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-16

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Clerides to form cross-party government
  • [02] Party leaders call for unity
  • [03] Feissel congratulates Clerides on his re-election
  • [04] EU Commission President congratulates Clerides

  • 0035:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides to form cross-party government

    Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- President-elect Glafcos Clerides tonight reiterated his pre-election pledge to form a government of national unity comprising all political parties.

    Speaking after he was formally declared President of the Republic for a second five-year term, by Chief Returning Officer Thanos Michael, Clerides stressed the need for unity.

    Hundreds of people carrying Cypriot and Greek flags and banners with the slogan "Europe - Security - Solution" flooded Eleftheria athletics centre, in Nicosia, where the announcement was made.

    Cabinet members, party leaders who had supported his bid for re- election, senior members of the ruling Democratic Rally party and rebel Democratic Party MP Alexis Galanos, who contested the first round of elections as an independent, were at the sports centre.

    Thanking all who contributed to his re-election, Clerides stressed "the elections are over and now, all of us together, united, will give the battle to save Cyprus."

    "For me there are no winners or losers... we will form a government of national unity," he said, adding he will also invite the main opposition left-wing AKEL party to participate.

    Clerides pledged to work for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops occupying part of Cyprus since they invaded in 1974, the reunification of the island and the return of the refugees to their homes.

    "To achieve all this we need maximum unity and we will work for this goal, looking ahead to the future with national pride," he added.

    The President-elect said he will continue with the joint defence pact agreed with the Greek government in November 1993, our close cooperation with Athens and the Republic's European Union course.

    "In a telephone conversation I had with Greek Premier Costas Simitis, we both repeated that we will continue to cooperate along the same lines for the national interest of Cyprus," Clerides said.

    He pledged to work towards a just, viable and workable solution to the Cyprus problem and said that if there is unity "we will never be defeated".

    "United, we shall never be defeated. We will not allow division but we will move ahead united," he said, calling on his supporters to celebrate their victory in an orderly manner and dignity.

    CNA MA/MM/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1000:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Party leaders call for unity

    Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- Party leaders, following Glafcos Clerides' re- election to the presidency, have underlined the need for unity and consensus to meet the difficult times that lie ahead.

    Most political parties said they would participate in a government of national unity Clerides has pledged to form.

    Demetris Christofias, General Secretary of the opposition leftwing AKEL party, stopped short of accepting a call to participate in the government and stressed his party's role as the opposition.

    Clerides won the election with 50,82 per cent against his opponent, former Foreign Minister George Iacovou, who received 49,18 per cent.

    Nicos Anastasiades, leader of the ruling Democratic Rally party, which backed Clerides, said the election result "shows that people have trust in the proposal for unity and a new course which would secure our membership to the European Union, make the best use of the keen international interest in Cyprus and enhance cooperation with Greece."

    In a conciliatory gesture of friendship towards AKEL, Anastasiades said "we owe respect and friendship to those who backed Iacovou. Whatever was said until yesterday belongs to the past."

    Christofias said his party would remain in the opposition camp and stressed "we really feel that we are the moral winners of this contest."

    "AKEL is a responsible party and believes it would be wrong to participate in a government led by a man who promised five years ago to govern with principles and gave us a party state, and who pledged to promote a solution of the Cyprus question on the basis of principles and we are now in a very difficult situation," Christofias said.

    Spyros Kyprianou, leader of the centre-right Democratic Party and House President, said "the people's choice is respected" but criticised what he called "absolutely unacceptable" methods applied which "dealt a blow to democratic values".

    Kyprianou, who sided with AKEL to back Iacovou, also stressed that "we have lost a battle but the struggle for a just settlement in Cyprus is not lost."

    Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides said he would undertake to persuade all the parties to participate in a national unity government.

    "Today there is a contract of honour based on the proposals we gave to the two candidates and I shall try, if possible, to achieve our goal for an all party government," he added.

    Former Cyprus President and leader of United Democrats party George Vassiliou said "the election result is a victory for Cyprus and we should all help to deal with the difficult days ahead."

    Vassiliou stood as an independent candidate in the first ballot, expressed support for Clerides in the second round.

    MP Alexis Galanos, who broke ranks with the Democratic Party to stand as a candidate and then supported Clerides, called on Kyprianou to make such moves that would help unity in the party.

    Nicos Rolandis, head of the Liberal party who backed Clerides in the second round, said "Cyprus needs consensus and cooperation to walk down the difficult road that lies ahead."

    Nicos Koutsou, leader of the New Horizons party, which also supported Clerides in the second round, said "the people of Cyprus have to turn a new page", pointing out that the close outcome of the elections calls for "historic decisions".

    "If we do not seize this opportunity for unity, we would be making a fatal mistake," Koutsou added.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1415:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Feissel congratulates Clerides on his re-election

    Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, congratulated today, President Glafcos Clerides on his re-election.

    Speaking to the press after an hour-long meeting with President Clerides, Feissel stressed that "now that the elections are over we have to get into high gear and I am sure this is what is going to happen".

    He refrained, however, from giving further details either about the meeting or about the next step in efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    "The specifics are something that is not useful to discuss in public", Feissel told the press.

    Asked when Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General Diego Cordovez will visit Cyprus, Feissel said "no date has been fixed".

    CNA KN/MCH/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1420:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] EU Commission President congratulates Clerides

    Nicosia, Feb 16 (CNA) -- European Commission President, Jacques Santer, today said he is looking forward to a further consolidation of Cyprus - European Union (EU) relations, following Glafcos Clerides' re-election to the presidency.

    At the same time, he expresses the hope that efforts to solve the Cyprus problem will yield results.

    In a message to President Clerides, Santer extends "most sincere congratulations" both on behalf of himself and the European Commission.

    "I look forward to a further consolidation of the relations between the EU and Cyprus during your second term in office," he adds.

    The European Commission President expresses the hope that "efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem will yield results in the nearest possible future".

    UN-led efforts to solve the Cyprus problem are expected to begin in March.

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

    The Republic is due to begin accession negotiations with the EU in March.

    CNA NB/EC/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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