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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-03-29

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN chief presents Cyprus sides with new revised plan
  • [02] Turkish premier and EU commissioner arrive in Burgenstock
  • [03] Cypriot Ministers attend EU Justice and Home Affairs council meeting
  • [04] UN proposal submission rescheduled
  • [05] Weather forecast for Cyprus
  • [06] UN SG presents revised Annan Plan (1)
  • [07] Greece and Cyprus confirm unity in finding Cyprus settlement
  • [08] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [09] UN chief presents Cyprus revised plan
  • [10] Missing persons relatives want solution to include guarantees
  • [11] UN Secretary General - Opening statement FULL TEXT
  • [12] UN SG presents revised Annan Plan
  • [13] National Council to examine Annanís revised plan
  • [14] EDEK leader attends presentation of revised Annan Plan
  • [15] Secretary General: final push for Cyprus settlement
  • [16] FM reiterates Cyprus' support to One China policy
  • [17] Annan wants reaction by tomorrow on revised Cyprus plan
  • [18] Synod wants solution that respects human rights and freedoms
  • [19] Greek Cypriot side studies UN revised proposal for Cyprus
  • [20] Britain says EU will accommodate terms of a Cyprus settlement
  • [21] Bush calls Greek Premier with regard to Cyprus
  • [22] US President asks Greek Premier for his help in Cyprus efforts
  • [23] Alvaro de Soto Press Conference FULL TEXT
  • [24] Greek side shares concerns of Greek Cypriots, diplomats say
  • [25] Greek Cypriot side not satisfied with new UN plan

  • [01] UN chief presents Cyprus sides with new revised plan

    0740:CYPPRESS:01

    UN chief presents Cyprus sides with new revised plan

    by Athena Arsalidou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The draft new revised Annan plan is expected to be handed over to the sides involved in the Cyprus problem at 11:00 local time (0900 GMT) today.

    CNA has learned that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will give to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides, as well as to Greece and Turkey, his new revised plan, aimed at reunifying the island before its accession to the European Union, 1st May this year.

    Meanwhile, during last night's cocktail hosted by Annan for representatives of the four sides, the UN chief called on the sides concerned to show political will and be ready to negotiate. He reassured them that he would be at their disposal for any help they might need.

    [02] Turkish premier and EU commissioner arrive in Burgenstock

    0745:CYPPRESS:02

    Turkish premier and EU commissioner arrive in Burgenstock

    by Athena Arsalidou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is due to arrive here this afternoon, to participate in the second phase of the UN-led Cyprus talks that take place here.

    EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen is also expected today in Burgenstock. The German Commissioner will be accompanied by a team of experts.

    [03] Cypriot Ministers attend EU Justice and Home Affairs council meeting

    0950:CYPPRESS:03

    Cyriot Ministers attend EU Justice and Home Affairs council meeting

    [04] UN proposal submission rescheduled

    1210:CYPPRESS:04

    UN proposal submission rescheduled

    By Maria Koniotou, Christa Nicolaou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- A UN revised plan on a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus will be handed to the parties involved in the ongoing UN-led talks at 12.30 (swiss time) and not 11.00 as it was originally announced.

    Sources told CNA that the time has changed because the document is still being prepared, since it is a huge and very important document.

    According to the same sources, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will hand his revised plan to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, so called prime minister of the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus and the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Greece and Turkey, Petros Molyviatis and Abdullah Gul.

    The Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis who is also in Burgenstock met this morning with President Papadopoulos and they exchanged views on the talks. Later on he attended a meeting of the Cyprus National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem.

    [05] Weather forecast for Cyprus

    1300:CYPPRESS:05

    Weather forecast for Cyprus

    Nicosia, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The Meteorological Office at Larnaca International Airport has issued the following weather forecast for Cyprus:

    Tuesday and Wednesday: 30/03/2004 to 31/03/2004 -------------------- On Tuesday, the weather will be fine with patchy cloud. The wind will be southwest to northwest light 3 bf and in the afternoon up to moderate 4 bf. The sea will be slight.

    Temperatures will rise to 24/10 Celsius in the inland 24/12 Celsius on the south coast, 22/12 Celsius on the west coast and 19/8 Celsius in the Prodromos area.

    On Wednesday, the weather will be mainly fine with temporary cloud. Temperatures will be similar to those of Tuesday.

    Outlook for Thursday and Friday: 01/4/2004 to 02/4/2004 ------------------------------ The weather will be mainly fine with temporary cloud. The temperatures will increase.

    [06] UN SG presents revised Annan Plan (1)

    1420:CYPPRESS:06

    UN SG presents revised Annan Plan (1)

    By Maria Koniotou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan formally presented here Monday his revised plan to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey.

    The plan includes changes, additions and alterations to his original plan and was drafted during the ongoing enlarged talks here in Burgenstock.

    [07] Greece and Cyprus confirm unity in finding Cyprus settlement

    1430:CYPPRESS:07

    Greece and Cyprus confirm unity in finding Cyprus settlement

    by Christa Nicolaou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- Greek Government Spokesman Thodoros Rousopoulos said Greece is actively present and supports efforts for a Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the meeting Greek Premier Costas Karamanlis had earlier today with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, and Karamanli's presence later on at a meeting of Cyprus' National Council, Rousopoulos said unity between the two sides was confirmed.

    He said the Greek Premier had told the Cypriot leaders that he shared their desire to find a solution based on UN decisions and in line with the acquis communautaire.

    [08] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    
    
    
    1440:CYPPRESS:08
    Cyprus Stock Exchange Nicosia, Mar 29 (CNA) - The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows: CSE General Index 86,71 ( 0,28) Traded Value CYP 496.117 FTSE/CYSE 20 CYP 316.009 375,98 ( 0,25) FTSE Med 100 6.176,31 ( 1,08) Sectoral Indices Banks CYP 166.310 109,14 ( 0,62) Approved Investment Companies CYP 14.978 74,12 (-0,23) Insurance Companies CYP 2.708 17,00 ( 1,43) Manufacturing Companies CYP 3.491 56,41 (-0,70) Tourism Companies CYP 14.337 56,90 (-1,73) Trading Companies CYP 113.183 23,97 ( 0,55) Building and Cement Companies CYP 2.161 71,63 ( 0,07) …nformation Technology Companies CYP 3.458 2,97 (-1,66) Financial Services Companies CYP 7.374 10,10 ( 2,33) Fish Culture Companies CYP 0 10,63 (-1,12) Hotels CYP 9.701 34,51 ( 0,20) Other Companies CYP 147.039 69,97 (-0,47) * The third column presents the percentage variation of

    [09] UN chief presents Cyprus revised plan

    1455 CYPPRESS:09

    UN chief presents Cyprus revised plan

    By Athena Arsalidou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has handed over to the four parties involved in the Cyprus problem, his "proposed revised plan", here in Burgenstock, where the Cyprus talks are currently taking place.

    UN Secretary General's Special Advisor for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto said that Annan had told the four sides, namely the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey, that the UN handed over to them only one copy of the plan, since "it was only finalised less than an hour ago", and was not possible to make more copies.

    [10] Missing persons relatives want solution to include guarantees

    1500:CYPPRESS:10

    Missing persons relatives want solution to include guarantees

    Nicosia, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The Pancyprian Organisation of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons decided that it would not support a final solution of the Cyprus problem, which will not include specific guarantees that whatever is written concerning the problem of the missing persons in the final agreement will actually be implemented.

    The Organisation's Central Committee met on March 27 and ''studied the relationship of the situation concerning the problem of the missing persons in Cyprus, to the concerted efforts, at all levels, to achieve progress towards the final solution of the Cyprus problem,'' a press release issued today reads.

    [11] UN Secretary General - Opening statement FULL TEXT

    1540:CYPPRESS:11

    UN Secretary General - Opening statement FULL TEXT

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) - Following is the full text of the UN Secretary General's opening statement at the meeting with the delegations of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey in Buergenstock:

    "Excellencies,

    We are gathered in this magnificent location in accordance with the agreement reached last 13 February in New York. There is a sense of destiny today.

    You are here to give a final push to the effort to solve the Cyprus problem, once and for all, on the basis of the plan I put forward on 26 February 2003.

    On 16 March I invited the Cyprus leaders to come here to continue the talks which began in Cyprus last 19 February.

    In my letter of invitation, I said that the leaders ''should be in a position to make final commitments there and then''.

    Excellencies,

    ''There and then'' has become ''here and now''.

    I welcome Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Cypriot leader.

    I welcome Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat and Mr. Serdar Denktash, who have been given full powers on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots.

    I also welcome the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey, Mr. Petros Molyviatis and Mr. Abdullah Gul, who came here at the beginning of the week, at my invitation, to lend their collaboration in a concentrated effort to agree on a final text.

    I am also heartened that Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has arrived in Burgenstock and that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will join later today.

    Their presence here is a token of the importance - regional and wider - of the search for a settlement.

    Here, we have all the key players together.

    The entrenched policies of decades have already begun to give way. As the snowfall subsided, the fog lifted, and the sun appeared at Burgenstock, the ice broke. I only wish that we had been able to bring this about earlier, when there was more time to spare. But now that we still have this opportunity, we cannot let it pass.

    Excellencies,

    You will each be receiving a sizeable draft text: the proposed Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem. It represents a considered attempt to incorporate into my plan of 26 February 2003 as many as possible of the improvements sought by the parties, without upsetting its overall balance.

    There is nothing pre-cooked about this revision. On the contrary, it has been worked on up until the last minute. It has been constantly refined and adapted following our consultations with all concerned.

    We have tried to be helpful to each side in a manner compatible with the interests of the other. Inevitably, it has not been possible to accommodate all proposals for amendment. The result, as it must be, is an overall compromise.

    I am giving you this text to get your reactions as quickly as possible.

    I know you will wish to examine this draft with care.

    I will be available in the course of the day, as will my Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto and his team, to provide clarifications as necessary.

    I would appreciate formed reactions no later than tomorrow morning. We will evaluate those reactions and see whether further adjustments are necessary to finalise the text, in contact with all of you, by Wednesday 31 March.

    The changes we have made to the plan are highlighted in the text.

    The proposed Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus Problem, includes: - The Foundation Agreement, - The Constitutions of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot constituent states, - The Treaty on matters related to the new state of affairs in Cyprus, - The Draft Act of Adaptation of the terms of accession of the United Cyprus Republic to the European Union, - The matters to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council for decision, and - The measures to be taken during April 2004.

    But there is something else before you today also - a part of the Foundation Agreement which is, I believe, unprecedented in the history of United Nations peacemaking. You can see it right here before you.

    These are the completed proposed federal laws of the United Cyprus Republic - 131 of them, running to 9,000 pages, as well as the list of 1,134 treaties that will bind the United Cyprus Republic.

    These documents are the best possible rebuttal of claims that the United Nations and other ''foreign powers'' are trying to impose a settlement on the Cypriots. They are the result of the Herculean efforts of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, working intensely and in unison for the reunification of their country. I salute them.

    What we have witnessed are Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots pooling their great talent in search of common ends, while respecting each other's identities.

    Nor could the United Nations have assisted the Cypriots to come this far without the help of experts from many institutions and Governments. They came from the European Commission, the European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Deutsche Bundesbank, as well as the Governments of Canada, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. I thank them all. They worked happily and hard, as part of the team headed by my Special Adviser.

    In conclusion, allow me to address a few words directly to each of the parties:

    Mr. Papadopoulos, the primary concern you have voiced has been to render the plan more functional and therefore more viable. I believe that this revised plan is significantly improved on this score, particularly in relation to the workings of the federal government, the updated transitional arrangements, the changes to the property scheme, the adjustments to ensure the financial soundness of the plan, and, of course, the completed laws and treaties.

    You also sought assurances that the gains envisaged in the plan for the Greek Cypriots in terms of territory and troop reductions would be guaranteed. You will find that these concerns have been addressed.

    Mr. Talat and Mr. Denktash, your overarching theme has been the need to strengthen bizonality. You have used this term in more than a geographical sense. For you, it covers the preservation of the security and identity of the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and the safety and dignity of its people. You will find the text has significantly improved in this regard, particularly if you examine the provisions on property, residency, and voting for the Federal Senate.

    You have also sought assurances that people who have to relocate will be properly catered for, that the protections envisaged in the plan for the Turkish Cypriots will be legally secure, and that Turkey would be able to maintain a moderate military presence even after her accession to the European Union. You will find these concerns addressed in the revised plan.

    Allow me to end by assuring you that the United Nations is committed to doing everything possible to help the Cypriots to reunite their country. We have been working hard to prepare for a settlement, working with international donors and getting ready to take on new peacekeeping responsibilities.

    But meanwhile let us first focus on the text that is before us. The bottom line for each of you separately, and both together, is this: Is this revised plan better than the one on the basis of which you agreed to negotiate? Does the package of improvements meet your core concerns? Can it reassure your people and give them the courage to seize the chance of peace? Does it respect the other side's core interests?

    I believe it does. I believe this is a win-win proposal.

    I believe that, from the unique vantage point of this gathering, you should be able to see the future of a Cyprus working for all its people. For their sake, and for the sake of the generations that will follow, I hope you will act on that vision with the leadership your people deserve.

    [12] UN SG presents revised Annan Plan

    1600:CYPPRESS:12

    UN SG presents revised Annan Plan

    By Maria Koniotou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan formally presented here Monday his revised plan to the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey.

    The plan includes changes, additions and alterations to his original plan and was drafted during the ongoing enlarged talks here in Burgenstock.

    The UN Secretary-General welcomed the four delegations at the entrance of the Speisessel room at the Grand Hotel.

    Composition of delegations announced by the UN:

    UN -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Sir Kieran Prendergast, Alvaro de Soto, Elizabeth Lindenmayer, Joachim Hutter, Didier Pfirter, Lisa Jones, Robert Dann, Frank Hoffmeister and Jeremy Farrall.

    G/C side -------- Tassos Papadopoulos, Glafcos Clerides, Demetris Christofias, Nicos Anastasiades, Nicos Cleanthous, Giorgos Vassiliou and Tasos Tzionis.

    T/C side -------- Mehmet Ali Talat, Serdar Denktash, Ergun Olgun, Osman Ertug, Kudrei Ozersay, Sulen Karabacak, Gulfern Verzioglu and Yonca Senygit.

    Greece ------ Petros Molyviatis, Foreign Minister, Yiannis Valinakis, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, George Yenimatas, Secretary-General of Diplomatic Cabinet of Foreign Minister, Konstantinos Rallis, Director of Diplomatic Cabinet of Foreign Minister, Konstantinos Tritaris, Director Aid to Cyprus Department FM, Christos Panagopoulos, Ambassador in Cyprus, Stylianos Panagopoulos, General FM, Giorgios Koumoutsakos, Spokesman of Foreign Ministry.

    Turkey ------

    [13] National Council to examine Annanís revised plan

    1620:CYPPRESS:13

    National Council to examine Annans revised plan

    by Maria Koniotou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The revised plan of the UN Secretary-General, is under consideration by the Greek Cypriot side, both on political and technical levels.

    The text which is made up of 204 pages, is being examined by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and the members of the negotiating team. Copies have been given to political party leaders as well as to the members of the technical committees who are in Burgenstock.

    [14] EDEK leader attends presentation of revised Annan Plan

    1635:CYPPRESS:14

    EDEK leader attends presentation of revised Annan Plan

    by Maria Koniotou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said leader of Cyprus' Social Democrats Movement EDEK Yiannakis Omirou was also present during the presentation of the revised Annan Plan to the four parties involved in the Cyprus problem.

    [15] Secretary General: final push for Cyprus settlement

    1645:CYPPRESS:15

    Secretary General: final push for Cyprus settlement

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides to give him their reaction no later than tomorrow morning on a revised proposed comprehensive settlement, he has presented them.

    He also said the UN would evaluate these reactions, adjust the draft text and finalise the lengthy proposal by March 31, and stressed that this opportunity for a settlement could not be allowed to pass.

    Addressing the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, Annan told them that the plan was significantly improved in meeting their core concerns.

    The Secretary General said he believed that the proposed text is better than a previous draft, the package of improvements met the parties' concerns, reassured the people of Cyprus and respected each other's interests.

    Kofi Annan said the plan is an overall compromise and dismissed remarks that the UN and others are trying to impose a settlement on the Cypriots.

    ''You are here to give a final push to the effort to solve the Cyprus problem, once and for all, on the basis of the plan I put forward on 26 Fenriuary 2003,'' he said in his opening statement at the meeting with the delegation of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot, Greece and Turkey in Burgenstock.

    Welcoming all delegations to the meeting, he said ''the entrenched positions of decades have already begun to give way. I only wish that we had been able to bring this about earlier, but now that we still have this opportunity, we cannot let it pass.''

    Annan said the proposed comprehensive settlement represented a considered attempt to incorporate into the plan previous plan as many as possible of the improvements sought by the parties, without upsetting its overall balance.

    ''We have tried to be helpful to each side in a manner compatible with the interests of the other. Inevitably it has not been possible to accommodate all proposals for amendment. The result, as it must be, is an overall compromise,'' Annan said.

    He asked the leaders to give him their ''formed reactions no later than tomorrow morning.''

    ''We will evaluate those reactions and see whether further adjustments are necessary to finalise the text, in contact with all of you, by Wednesday 31 March,'' he added.

    The Secretary General referred to the contents of the draft and pointed out that the leaders also have before them a part of the Foundation Agreement which he described as ''unprecedented in the history of the UN peacekeeping.''

    ''These documents are the best possible rebuttal of claims that the UN and other 'foreign powers' are trying to impose a settlement on the Cypriots. They are the result of the Herculean efforts of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, working intensely and in unison for the reunification of their country. I salute them,'' Annan said.

    Annan also paid tribute to experts from various governments and organisations.

    Addressing himself to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos, he said the revised plan ''is significantly improved on this score, particularly in relation to the workings of the federal government, the updated transitional arrangements, the changes to the property scheme, the adjustments to ensure the financial soundness of the plan, and of course the completed laws and treaties.''

    Concerns relating to territory and troop reductions were also guaranteed.

    Turning to the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community, Annan said the text had significantly improved on the preservation of the security and the identity of the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and the safety and dignity of its people as well as the provisions of property, residency and voting for the federal senate.

    He also told Turkish Cypriot representatives that the plan met their concerns on relocation, securing legally the protections for the Turkish Cypriots and on the maintainance of a moderate military presence even after her accession to the European Union.

    ''I believe this is a win-win proposal,'' he told them, and invited the two sides to ask themselves if the draft text before them met their core interests.

    [16] FM reiterates Cyprus' support to One China policy

    1650:CYPPRESS:16

    FM reiterates Cyprus' support to One China policy

    Nicosia, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterates Cyprus' firm opposition to any efforts aimed at splitting China and affirms its unwavering support for the One China policy.

    According to an official statement the Foreign Ministry "follows with anxiety and concern the developments in Taiwan following the so-called presidential elections", noting that ''we consider that the events now unfolding in Taiwan might undermine the climate of peace and stability in the area''.

    [17] Annan wants reaction by tomorrow on revised Cyprus plan

    1750:CYPPRESS:17

    Annan wants reaction by tomorrow on revised Cyprus plan

    by Maria Koniotou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto said today that the sides will have to give to the UN an overall reaction by tomorrow morning on the new proposed revision of the UN Secretary General's plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem handed over today by the Secretary General to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey.

    At a press conference he gave here after the plan was handed over to the parties, de Soto made it clear that on March 31 there will be a text in one form or another that will go to the referenda next month. The Peruvian diplomat refrained to give details on the substance of the changes and additions brought to Annan's plan.

    He noted that, ''having heard the reactions of all concerned, the Secretary General will make an evaluation and see whether it is possible and necessary to work out further adjustments to the plan, in close consultation, I would call it a form of negotiation, with the parties with a view to coming to conclusions on the 31st of March which is the last day of these meetings.''

    De Soto also noted the fact that the Secretary General ''has made himself, myself and my team available to the parties, should they need clarifications in the course of today''.

    He also pointed out the fact that addressing the parties during the meeting the Secretary General said to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos that this revised plan is significantly improved as regards functionality that is a major concern for the Greek Cypriot side and to Turkish Cypriot representatives Mehmet Ali Talat and Serdar Denktash that the revised text has significantly improved as regards the strengthening of bizonality, an issue of priority for the Turkish Cypriot side.

    De Soto said the essence of the Secretary General's statement ''is that he is presenting to the sides, as the result of the process of the negotiations and consultations that have taken place on the basis of the plan that he presented on 26 February 2003, a proposed revision of the plan that was handed over to the leaders of each of the four participants in the meeting.''

    The Peruvian diplomat said the UN was able to distribute one copy per delegation, as they had no time to reproduce more copies because the text ''was only finalised a very short time ago.''

    He also noted that in the course of the meeting, the Secretary General at one point actually pointed to a table on which there were nine thousand pages of draft laws.

    ''These laws are the work of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots working intensively in unison as the Secretary General points out in his speech for the course of the reunification of Cyprus. They will be part of the package that will be submitted to the referendum. Of course, people will be concentrating to the plan itself, which contains many components which are enumerated in the Secretary General's speech,'' he said.

    He added that ''the structure remains essentially the same, it is the foundation agreement and a number of attachments and annexes'' and that ''the list is contained in the Secretary General's speech.''

    Stressing that this is a proposal and not a take it or leave it final text that will go to referendum, de Soto said the Secretary General has given the participants time to examine the paper ''in which naturally changes with respect to the 26 February 2003 plan are highlighted quite clearly, additions, omissions, changes.''

    ''He has made himself, myself and my team available to the parties, should they need clarifications in the course of today. And he has asked them in any case to be ready to come back to him with a formed reaction, overall reaction by tomorrow morning. Having heard the reactions of all concerned, the Secretary General will make an evaluation and see whether this is possible and necessary to work out further adjustments to the plan, in close consultation, I would call it a form of negotiation, with the parties with a view to coming to conclusions on the 31st of March which is the last day of these meetings,'' he added.

    Replying to a question, de Soto said ''the question of what sort of document would formalise at the end of these talks is before the parties, it is under consideration.''

    Asked if this will be the final text the Secretary General will ask the parties to send to referenda if the parties do not agree to any further improvement, de Soto said ''he doesn't have to ask because they have already agreed to do that, on the 31st there will be a text in one form or another that will go to a referendum.''

    Invited to say if the UN wants the parties to sign the final text on Wednesday, de Soto said ''the form in which the text will materialise, including whether or not there will be a signature or not, is something which is under consideration with the parties.''

    Asked if all the blanks that existed in the previous version are now filled in, de Soto said he was not sure about some of the laws. ''I think there may be one or two which should be easy to fill in the next couple of days,'' he added.

    On a comment that the New York agreement of February 13th does not provide for any signatures, de Soto said ''the agreement in New York is essentially procedural.''

    ''Not everything is in the New York agreement. It just says the steps that are going to be taken. It doesn't pronounce on questions such as how the procedure is set in motion or anything like that. So let's leave that open for now,'' he said.

    Asked whether the final text will have the same political weight, signed or not, de Soto said he did not think that that would make any difference at all.

    Answering another question, he said ''we will be available for clarifications, questions in the course of today, the Secretary General is expecting reactions on the package which of course is a compromise tomorrow morning at the latest, in the light of that we will evaluate what the procedure will be.''

    Asked how the EU is involved in the process here, he noted the fact that Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen has been invited and is arriving here today ''in order to lend a hand.''

    To a question if the issue of legal security addresses the issue of derogations from the acquis communautaire, he said he did not want to elaborate on this. However, asked if this concerns the protections provided by the European Union, he said ''yes, it has a meaning in that context.''

    Invited to say why there is still the need for the presence of Verheugen here since the draft is completed, he said ''the European Union Commissioner for Enlargement will be here in order to help bring about a settlement which will result in a reunited Cyprus that accedes to the EU on the 1st of May.''

    ''The EU will have to take certain steps, even at the level of the European Council, in order to accommodate that settlement, in order to accept its context. So, it's important that when we reach the stage of finalisation of the text that goes to the referendum someone of the authoritative level of Mr. Verheugen should be here and he has kindly agreed to come here,'' he said

    Asked what will happen if Greece and Turkey don't agree on the security issues, he expressed hope that they will agree.

    Invited to say if Verheugen will consult with him to ensure that the plan complies with the acquis, the UN diplomat said ''we heard time and again the EU saying that they are prepared to accommodate the settlement on Cyprus provided that it is in consistence with the principles on which the EU was founded''.

    ''And we have of course over the years, in preparing with the Cypriots the earlier plan as well as this one, been in very close touch with the European Commission, so we feel fairly confident in that regard'', he said.

    Answering another question, he said ''the decisions on the procedures to be followed will be decided upon after evaluating the reactions that we have had'', noting that ''variable geometry, different techniques are possible, we will see.''

    As regard the format at today's meeting of the four parties with the Secretary General, to hand them the revised text, de Soto said ''everyone was comfortable with it.''

    Asked who will be responsible for the island of Cyprus after the 21st of April, de Soto assured ''there will not be a vacuum in the leadership of Cyprus on the 21st of April.''

    [18] Synod wants solution that respects human rights and freedoms

    1810:CYPPRESS:18

    Synod wants solution that respects human rights and freedoms

    Nicosia, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The Holy Synod, the Cyprus Church highest authority, has said that it would not endorse any solution on Cyprus unless it respects human rights and fundamental freedoms for all legal residents of the island.

    The Bishop of Paphos Chrysostomos, acting head of the Synod, stressed that this was not the final word of the Church on the proposed solution, as church leaders will wait to hear from Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos before they take their final decision.

    [19] Greek Cypriot side studies UN revised proposal for Cyprus

    1845:CYPPRESS:19

    Greek Cypriot side studies UN revised proposal for Cyprus

    by Maria Koniotou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) -- The Greek Cypriot side is currently examining the revised UN plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, which it received here this morning, Cypriot Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides has said, noting that no comments will be made for the moment on the substance of the revised text.

    Chrysostomides said the revised text is a numerous-paged document and has includes changes, compared to the previous one.

    ''The Secretary General's plan has been delivered to the parties today. It's a multi-paged document. It is being studied because there are numerous changes, small or lengthy, and no comments on the substance can be made unless the whole plan is studied really in depth by our side,'' he noted.

    [20] Britain says EU will accommodate terms of a Cyprus settlement

    1915:CYPPRESS:20

    Britain says EU will accommodate terms of a Cyprus settlement

    by Kyriacos Tsioupras

    London, Mar 29 (CNA) The UK is working to support the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission in Cyprus and, along with the other members of the European Union, has declared its readiness to accommodate the terms of a Cyprus settlement, in line with the principles upon which the EU is founded, British Minister for Europe Dennis MacShane said.

    [21] Bush calls Greek Premier with regard to Cyprus

    1930:CYPPRESS:21

    Bush calls Greek Premier with regard to Cyprus

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Mar 29 (CNA) -- US President George Bush had a telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis in a bid to intensify Washington's efforts towards a political settlement in Cyprus.

    The telephone call was in a very warm climate and in a spirit of cooperation to help seize the opportunity available for a solution that would allow a reunited Cyprus to join the European Union on May 1.

    [22] US President asks Greek Premier for his help in Cyprus efforts

    2045:CYPPRESS:22

    US President asks Greek Premier for his help in Cyprus efforts

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) US President George Bush has asked Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to ''help in efforts for a Cyprus settlement''.

    According to Greek Government Spokesman Theodoros Rousopoulos, Bush made the appeal during a telephone conversation with Karamanlis who is attending the enlarged talks on Cyprus in Switzerland.

    Rousopoulos said the conversation was held in a ''good climate'' and Karamanlis told Bush that the Greek side is in Burgenstock ''to assist'' but that the 48-hour deadline given to the parties to reply is very tight. However he stressed the Greek side's ''good will''.

    Karamanlis met European Commissioner on Enlargement Gunter Verheugen with whom he examined compatibility issues regarding the acquis communautaire and EU principles.

    Verheugen promised to examine issues that are not compatible with the acquis, as raised by Karamanlis.

    Earlier, Karamanlis met UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to whom he pointed out the tight deadline given to the parties.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash was reported to be examining the revised Annan Plan given today to the parties by Annan, with his advisers in the occupied areas and in coordination with the Turkish Cypriot delegation in Switzerland.

    [23] Alvaro de Soto Press Conference FULL TEXT

    2120:CYPPRESS:23

    Alvaro de Soto Press Conference FULL TEXT

    United Nations, Mar 29 (CNA) - The full text of the press conference given by the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto today at Burgenstock is as follows:

    AdS: Good day everyone, I've just come from a brief meeting held by the Secretary-General with the leadership of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots and with the Foreign Ministers of Greece and Turkey. At that meeting, the Secretary-General delivered a brief statement, it was the only statement. You will, I think, have copies of it shortly, within the next half hour. The statement is largely self explanatory; the essence of it is that he is presenting to the sides as the result of the process of negotiations and consultations that have taken place on the basis of the plan that he presented on 26 February 2003, a proposed revision of the plan. That was handed over to the leaders of each of the four participants in the meeting. Just on an anecdotal point, we were only able to distribute one copy per delegation of the proposed revision. The reason for this is that we still simply have not had time to reproduce more copies. And the reason for that is that it was only finalized a very short time ago, possibly less that an hour ago, which gives you an idea of the intensity of the work that has gone into this.

    Now, in the course of the meeting, and in his statement, you will see that the Secretary-General at one point actually points to a table that was over to his right, and to the rear on which were nine thousand pages of draft laws. These laws are the work of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots working intensely, in unison, as the Secretary-General points out in his speech, for the cause of the reunification of Cyprus. They would be part of the package that would be submitted to referendum. But of course people will be concentrating on the plan itself, which contains many components which are enumerated in the Secretary-General's speech, and you will see that soon. The structure remains essentially the same. It is the foundation agreement and a number of attachments and annexes. The list is contained in the Secretary-General's speech.

    It is perhaps also worthwhile to mention to you a few words that the Secretary-General addressed to each of the parties directly, and perhaps I will mention them. Looking at Mr. Papadopoulos, he said ''the primary concern you have voiced has been to render the plan more functional and therefore more viable. I believe this revised plan is significantly improved on this score, particularly in relation to the workings on the federal government, the updated transitional arrangements, the changes to the property schemes, the adjustments to ensure the financial soundness of the plan, and of course the completed laws and treaties. You also sought assurances that the gains envisaged in the plan for the Greek Cypriots in terms of territory and troop reductions would be guaranteed. You will find that these concerns have been addressed''. He then turned to Mr. Talat and Mr. Denktash and said to them ''Your overarching theme has been the need to strengthen bi-zonality. You have used this term in more than a geographical sense. For you it covers the preservation of the security and identity of the Turkish Cypriot constituent State and the safety and dignity of its people. You will find the text has significantly improved in this regard, particularly if you examine the provisions on property, residency, and voting for the federal Senat. You have also sought assurances that people who have to relocate will be properly catered for, that the protection envisaged in the plan for the Turkish Cypriots will be legally secure and that Turkey would be able to maintain a moderate military presence even after her accession to the European Union. You will find these concerns addressed in the revised plan.

    The Secretary-General then asked some questions. He said, ''let us focus on the text that is before us. The bottom line for each of you separately and both together is, is this revised plan better than the one on the basis of which you agreed to negotiate? Does the package of improvements meet your core concerns? Can it reassure your people and give them the courage to seize the chance of peace? Does it respect the other side's core interests? I believe it does. I believe it is a win-win proposal''.

    Now, let me make clear that it is indeed a proposal. This is not a take-it or leave-it final text that will go to referendum. The Secretary-General has given the participants time to examine the paper in which naturally changes with respect to the 26th February 2003 plan are highlighted quite clearly, additions, omissions, changes. He has made himself, myself, and my team available to the parties should they need clarifications in the course of today. (I hope that it will leave some of my sleepless and unshowered colleagues the time for a nap and a shower.) And he has asked them, in any case, to be ready to come back to him with a formed reaction, overall reaction, by tomorrow morning. Having heard the reactions of all concerned, the Secretary-General will make an evaluation and see whether it is possible and necessary to work out further adjustments to the plan in close consultation. I would call it a form of negotiation with the parties with a view to coming to conclusions on the 31st of March, which is the last day of these meetings.

    That is all that I have to say by the way of introductory remarks. If you have any questions that I can answer?

    Question: When do you expect for Greece and Turkey to sign this plan?

    Alvaro de Soto: Well, the question of what sort of documents would formalize the end of these talks is before the parties, it's under consideration. So, I can't really predict what the outcome of that is going to be.

    Question: Can you tell us approximately when it will be?

    AdS: On the 31st of March. I should probably make clear so as not to disappoint anyone, so as not to formant illusions that I am not going to answer questions about the substance of the Secretary-General's proposal. I am sure you will understand.

    Question: Are we to understand that after the 31st of March, the two parties will not agree to any further improvement? This will be the final text that the Secretary-General will ask the parties to send to the referendum?

    AdS: He doesn't have to ask because they have already agreed to do that. On the 31st there will be a text, in one form or another, that will go to a referendum.

    Question: Are we going to be able to see the plan soon [laughter]?

    AdS: We will not make it available. That is a cryptic and diplomatic answer to you question.

    Question: You want them to sign on Wednesday the final text or to acknowledge that [inaudible]?

    AdS: Well, the form in which the text will materialize includes whether or not there will be a signature or something that is under consideration with the parties, as I had said to your colleague.

    Question: Without giving any details, is there a new map in this final plan?

    AdS: I have a hunch that you will learn soon enough.

    Question: We saw today in the morning that ? [inaudible] ? demonstrations. Do you have any comment on this?

    AdS: No

    Question: [inaudible question about the EU proposal]

    AdS: I will not answer questions on substance.

    Question: ? [inaudible] until the 31st, Mr. de Soto?

    AdS: What procedure? I think I outlined that. We will be available for clarifications, questions in the course of today. The Secretary-General is expecting reactions on the package, which of course is a compromise, tomorrow morning, at the latest, and in light of that, we will evaluate what the procedure will be.

    Question: What kind of [inaudible] was the European Union's involvement?

    AdS: With the agreement of all the parties, Commissioner Verheugen, the European Commissioner for enlargement, has been invited and he will be in Burgenstock in order to lend a hand.

    Question: When?

    AdS: He will arrive today.

    Question: When will the Secretary-General address the Turkish side? Apparently, he said something on the protection [inaudible]. Do we understand that he will be addressing the?.

    AdS: Well, legal security means legal security. I'd rather not elaborate.

    Question: This concerns the European Union, protections provided by the European Union.

    AdS: Yes, it has a meaning in that context, of course.

    Question: The agreement in New York does not include any signatures.

    AdS: Well, the agreement in New York is essentially procedural and I'll leave it at that. Not everything is in the New York agreement. It just says the steps that are going to be taken. It doesn't pronounce on questions such as how the procedure is set in motion or anything like that. So, let's just leave that open for now.

    Question: [inaudible] procedure and the signature. If the final text is not signed, will it have the same weight, political weight as if it was signed?

    AdS: No, I don't think that that would make any difference at all. If we go further down this track, I am going to demand that my lawyer be next to me, it is not the type of question I like to field.

    Question: Because the draft is completed today, why is the presence of the EU Commissioner still needed?

    AdS: The European Union Commissioner for enlargement will be here in order to help us bring about a settlement which will result in a reunited Cyprus that access to the European Union on the 1st of May. And the European Union will have to take certain steps, event at the level of the European Council, in order to accommodate that settlement, in order to accept its contents. So, it's important that when we reach the stage of finalization of the text that goes to the referendum, someone of the authoritative level of Mr. Verheugen should be here, and he has kindly agreed to come here.

    Question: What if Greece and Turkey do not agree about the security issue?

    AdS: I hope that they will agree. I don't want to get in the hypothesis. I don't answer ''what if'' questions or ''if not''. Hopefully they will agree.

    Question: Will Mr. Verheugen consult with you to ensure that it complies with the [inaudible], or will the plan be presented to him after you have finished the [inaudible]

    AdS: I should probably let Mr. Verheugen answer this. We have time and again heard the European Union say that they are prepared to accommodate a settlement on Cyprus provided that it is consistent with the principles on which the European Union was founded. And, we have, of course, over the years in preparing with the Cypriots the earlier plan as well as this one been in very close touch with the European Commission. So, we feel fairly confident in this regard.

    Question: Are you scheduling bilateral, trilateral meetings? When are you scheduling your next meeting with all of them?

    AdS: We have not scheduled anything yet. The decisions on the procedure to be followed, as I told your colleague Mr. Gilson will be decided upon after evaluating the reactions we have had. Variable geometry, different techniques are possible, we will see.

    Question: Will they sit around the same table? with the Secretary-General?

    AdS: If your colleagues from the visual media will cooperate with you, I am sure you will see from the pictures that actually the format was one table, centrally located, with the Secretary-General sitting at it. To his right, a table with the Greek Cypriot leadership, to his left, one with the Turkish Cypriot leadership, another table with the Greek delegation and another table with the Turkish delegation, that's the format, everyone was comfortable with it.

    Question: Who will be in charge in Cyprus after the 21st of April, after the referendum?

    AdS: Your question is a very tricky one, and if I fall into the trap I would be revealing the contents of the plan.

    Question: It's a matter of stability; I would like to know who will be in charge of Cyprus.

    AdS: I can assure you that there will not be a vacuum in the leadership of Cyprus on the 21st. [interruption] No, for the reasons I explained. That is in the plan that has been presented today in confidence to the delegations. We do not negotiate in public, with all due respect.

    Question: Do you foresee any possibility that either or both parties will refuse to take the text to the referendum?

    AdS: Well, the answer to your first question is no, and therefore the second question is eliminated, is it not?

    Question: Are we to assume that all the blanks that existed, the previous versions of the plan are now [inaudible]?

    AdS: That's a difficult question for me to answer because I am not sure about some of the laws. But let me look into it and I'll get back to you. I think that there may be one or two but which should be easy to fill in the next couple of days.

    Question: And in the area of security?

    AdS: There aren't any blanks in that area. I hope I'm not wrong about that one.

    Question: [inaudible]

    AdS:? The good will document?

    Question: [inaudible]

    AdS: Ah, you're trying to get me to answer a question about a paper that I may or may not have floated with the two sides, but I wont!

    Question: the signature

    AdS: [interruption] My goodness, there is really a great interest in the signature issue, isn't it. It will be clarified in due course, two days or so.

    Question: The size of the plan?

    AdS: It's not much bigger than the previous plans. It literally was just turned out of the computer and copy machine. I actually have not got my hot little hands on it yet. Any more questions?

    Question: Is Mr. Verheugen going to be staying until the end of the talks?

    AdS: Yes, I hope so. He may be in and out for other engagements but that's the understanding.

    Question: [inaudible] referendum?

    AdS: I really don't want to make any forecasts, that would be very unwise of me and it would lower me in your esteem.

    Question: Can you tell us something about the climate now that the sun is out?

    [24] Greek side shares concerns of Greek Cypriots, diplomats say

    2125:CYPPRESS:24

    Greek side shares concerns of Greek Cypriots, diplomats say

    by Christa Nicolaou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) The Greek side shares the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side over the revised Annan Plan, presented here Monday to the four sides at the enlarged talks for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    The fourth plan is being examined by the working groups of the Greek side, which are in Switzerland for the talks.

    Diplomatic sources said ''the Greek side shares the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side and admits that there are many problematic elements in the new Annan Plan''.

    The concern is centered on the elements, which are incompatible in issues such as movement of persons, capital and property, as well as the issues of guarantees and security, which Greece is negotiating with Turkey.

    Despite the three rounds of negotiations that have taken place, the parties have not managed to come to some kind of agreement. The diplomatic sources point out that there is still enough work to be done by the committees.

    [25] Greek Cypriot side not satisfied with new UN plan

    2135:CYPPRESS:25

    Greek Cypriot side not satisfied with new UN plan

    by Athena Arsalidou

    Burgenstock, Mar 29 (CNA) - The new revised Annan plan, aiming at reunifying Cyprus before it accedes to the EU on May 1st, does not satisfy the Greek Cypriot side, since its main provisions do not seem to have changed, in comparison with the previous plan, presented to the parties on 26 February 2003.

    According to diplomatic sources, the plan satisfies the Turkish Cypriot side in its demands for bizonality, ethnic division, settlers, properties, security and permanent derogations.

    ''UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his Special Adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto have given the impression that the plan is a product of negotiation. The UN have filled in the gaps that had to be filled in'', the same sources said, adding that no substantial work has been made here, since the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot delegations arrived in Burgenstock.

    The National Council, top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question, convened at 1900 local time (2000 Cyprus time). The meeting is expected to last well into the early hours.

    Meanwhile, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen arrived at the Swiss resort of Burgenstock this afternoon for the final phase of the Cyprus talks.

    The main text, comprising around 200 pages, was handed by the UN Secretary General to the four parties today, in print form as well as on diskettes. The remaining 9,000 pages, that include laws and treaties, have been handed out only on diskettes.

    According to diplomatic sources, the new plan foresees that the number of 35,000 Turkish soldiers currently on the island is reduced to 6,000 by 2011. The same number is foreseen for Greece. Moreover the number should be further reduced by 2018, to 3,000 soldiers for each side.

    However the plan allows Greek and Turkish contingents to be stationed permanently on the island (950 Greeks and 650 Turks), even after Turkey's accession to the EU, in contrast to the previous Annan plan, that provided for all troops to be withdrawn upon Turkey's accession. This provision would be revised every five years.

    Only when the GDP per capita of the Turkish Cypriots has reached 85% of the Greek Cypriots' those provisions of the plan that are not in compliance with EU laws and regulations should be ceased.

    The land map of the new revised plan, that indicates the territories of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot constituent states, has not changed much. The only alteration regards the British Bases and the territory they return to the federal state.

    ''More territory is returned from the British Base of Akrotiri, but is taken back from the Dhekelia Base'', sources said.

    One of the main demands by the Greek Cypriot side has been to ensure that the new state is functional.

    ''The new plan does not guarantee full functionality, so that the new state could function smoothly within the EU'', the sources said.

    Regarding the 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees that were driven out of their houses and properties during the Turkish invasion in 1974, the new plan provides for a decrease of the number that is allowed to return.

    The previous plan that was presented to the parties in February 2003 allowed Greek Cypriots to return, provided that they do not exceed 21% of the population in the Turkish Cypriot constituent state.

    According to the new plan, this figure has been reduced to 18% and it ''strengthens the Turkish demand for ethnic homogeneity,'' the sources said.

    Regarding the issue of Turkish settlers, brought illegally to the occupied areas of Cyprus after the Turkish invasion, the new plan's provisions basically allow all settlers to stay.

    On the seats at the Senate, the new plan provides for 24 senators from each constituent state, who should be elected on the basis of their ethnic background.

    ''The Greek Cypriot side wished for a multicultural society, without the ethnic division'', the sources said.

    The new plan also provides for those Greek Cypriots that have filed applications to the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey to withdraw them.

    This provision will be ensured also by a letter send to the ECHR by the co-presidents of Cyprus, saying that for any loss of property, the federal state is to be responsible. ''This is an unjustified intervention to juristic principles'', the sources said.

    The executive power is to be executed by the Presidential Council. According to the new plan, for the first five years there should be a co-presidency of one Greek Cypriot and one Turkish Cypriot, who will change posts every ten months.

    During the second five-year period, a President and a Vice President should be elected and exercise their executive power, each every 20 months. The first President to be elected should hail from the Greek Cypriot community.

    According to the plan, there would be areas of territorial adjustment to be returned to the Greek Cypriot constituent state. The Greek Cypriot side raised the issue that upon entry into force of the new state of affairs, those areas should be under the UN administration.


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