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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said here Wednesday that during todays meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in the framework of direct negotiations on the Cyprus question they had a tete a tete meeting, which lasted more than usual. Asked what they discussed during the tete a tete meeting, Christofias said various issues.

    We continued our discussions as usual, the President replied when asked how todays meeting went. Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun described as substantive the discussions Christofias and Talat had today.

    The leaders of the islands two communities have been engaged in talks since September last year with a view to finding a mutually agreed settlement that will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    UN Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun described as substantive the discussions Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had here today on the property issue. The leaders of the two communities on the island met in the framework of direct negotiations aiming at solving the question of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    In statements after their meeting on Wednesday, Zerihoun said the two leaders continued their discussions on the property issue and each one presented his sides reaction and views on what the other side has presented as the principles that should guide the discussions. He also announced that the next meeting will take place on February 12. They had a good round of discussions, a substantive discussion on this issue and they have agreed to continue these discussions next week in the afternoon of the 12th of February, he said.

    Zerihoun noted that the two leaders aides George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami will meet this Friday to continue their own discussions in support of the leaders efforts on a broad range of issues. Zerihoun also announced that the UN SG Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer will arrive on the island on the 12th in the morning and will attend the leaders next meeting.


    The Republic of Cyprus has accepted neither pressure nor any suggestion from foreign governments on the issue of a Cypriot-flagged ship, of Russian interests, which allegedly was carrying arms, Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has said. Speaking here Wednesday, after a meeting with the Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs of Egypt Fatma Al Zahraa, Kyprianou assured that all foreign governments, interested in this issue, have respected fully the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. There has not been any kind of pressure or intervention by foreign governments, as the Media have indicated, he said, and added that all moves made on the matter are within the legitimate contacts Nicosia maintains with foreign governments.

    Asked if the Israeli Foreign Minister has demanded from Cyprus the confiscation of the ships cargo, Kyprianou stressed that no government has indicated to Cyprus what to do, and no government has demanded anything more than to act in accordance with international law and the relevant UNSC resolutions. The Foreign Minister stressed that the issue is sensitive and delicate, pointing out that it is very important to handle the issue in a subtle way. Replying to questions, he said the contents of the report the Republic of Cyprus has submitted to the competent UN Security Council Sanctions Committee is confidential. The government decisions on the issue, as well as the time of its conclusion depend firmly on the UN, Kyprianou said and concluded: depending on the UN reaction, we shall act accordingly.

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that a team of experts from the Republic of Cyprus proceeded with two inspections of the cargo of ship ``Monchegorsk`` on January 29 and February 2. The government submitted a report on the findings of the inspections to the competent UN Security Council Sanctions Committee. The ship remains docked at Limassol port.


    Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic Miroslav Vlcek expressed Wednesday the belief that the position of the EU Czech Presidency will not be in any case neutral concerning issues as the recent statement by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the Nabucco pipeline. We have not given to anyone the chance to use extortions to promote his own interests, Vlcek said after a meeting with Cyprus House President Marios Garoyian who is paying an official visit to Prague, at the invitation of his Czech counterpart. If Turkey has the impression that the issue of Nabucco pipeline will be promoted at the expense of Czech Republics support to Cyprus, this must not happen in any case, the Czech Speaker underlined, responding to a question.

    Vlcek said that he did not think that one can conclude that his country will allow Turkey to use in a blackmailing way the projection of positions on these issues. On his part Garoyian expressed his concerns about the way by which the Turkish side forms its policies, an inexorable, imperialistic, intransigent policy which does not help to the settlement of the Cyprus question on the basis of principles and of the EU values and which is far from the resolutions and the principles of the international law.

    This is why we asked the Czech Republic, as a prominent EU country, to contribute to the direction of exerting pressures on Turkey, so that it will abandon this ineffective and unfruitful policy concerning the Cyprus question, he added. Erdogan said recently that Ankara will re-examine its participation to the project for the planned Nabucco pipeline and the channeling of natural gas, if the Union does not exert pressure on the Republic of Cyprus to give its consent for the opening of the chapter on energy, in the framework of Turkeys EU accession negotiations.

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