|Monday, 18 November 2019|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-10-03
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Greek Premier says solution of Cyprus problem must be sought within UN frameworkGreek Prime Minister Costas Simitis has said the international community must demand from Turkey compliance with international law and the UN resolutions if there is to be progress in the Cyprus problem.
Speaking before his departure from the island at the end of his official 2- day visit on the occasion of Cyprus Independence Day, Simitis said on Wednesday (2 October) that during his talks with President Clerides it was agreed that a solution must be sought within the UN framework .
"We referred to the initiatives which third parties are about to undertake and expressed our readiness to cooperate creatively provided these moves are in accord with the UN resolutions", he added.
Simitis said they discussed at length the strategy the two Governments would follow to find the necessary common ground between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, for productive negotiations to take place. "A fruitless dialogue would have no meaning", he said.
Simitis referred to the opportunities being offered by the prospect of Cyprus' accession to the European Union and said Greece would continue vigorously to promote the question of Cyprus' membership.
The Greek Premier said they had also confirmed the usefulness of the joint defence doctrine between Cyprus and Greece and discussed President Clerides' proposal for the demilitarisation of the island. "We believe the proposal can bring us closer to a solution of the Cyprus problem", he added.
President Clerides, who saw Simitis off at Larnaca airport, confirmed that Cyprus and Greece have a common policy on the Cyprus problem.
"Today's meeting proved beyond doubt that there is mutual understanding and cooperation between the two Governments", he said.
 Greek Prime Minister honoured in CyprusGreek Prime Minister Costas Simitis was made an honorary citizen of Nicosia and received the gold key to the city during his visit to Cyprus. Receiving the key to the divided city, Simitis pledged to work for the opening up of the gates of division and restore Nicosia, "free and unified, to its inhabitants on both sides as the sixteenth capital of the European Union, a beacon of creativity, tolerance and progress".
Simitis was also awarded the highest state honour, the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III by the President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides.
The University of Cyprus bestowed its first ever honorary doctorate on the Greek Prime Minister in recognition of his academic contribution to the disciplines of Economics and Law.
In his acceptance speech, entitled "Greece in today's International System" the Greek Prime Minister analysed the role envisaged for Greece in the region as an outward-looking country, promoting peace, stability and progress in the Mediterranean and the Balkans.
He stressed the importance of a Greece-Cyprus cooperation within a wider Mediterranean policy.
Referring to Turkey's aspirations as a regional power, Simitis said that Turkey also adopts "a policy of questioning the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus. Our basic principle is the safeguarding of our national independence and sovereignty".
He added that Greece has proposed a step-by-step approach for resolving their differences. The Greek Prime Minister underlined that Greco-Turkish relations cannot be normalised unless there is a just, permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.
"The problem of Cyprus is an international problem of invasion and occupation by Turkish troops. The Turkish occupation is destabilising and an anomaly. There cannot be a just and viable solution until the Turkish occupation troops have withdrawn", he said.
 Joint communique issued following the talks of Greek Prime Minister with President CleridesPrime Minister Constantine Simitis visited Cyprus on 1-2 October at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Cyprus Glafcos Clerides.
In the course of his stay, the Prime Minister had meetings with President Clerides and Archbishop Chrysostomos, received the leaders of political parties and attended the military parade organised to commemorate the anniversary of Cyprus independence.
A broad review of the Cyprus problem, in the light of recent developments, was made at the talks between the two Governments and the conclusion was reached that the present phase is very critical and calls for a delicate and careful handling.
In this context, the two sides reaffirmed their adherence to pursuing a peaceful solution to the problem, on the basis of the UN resolutions and the high level of agreements of 1977 and 1979, as well as their support for the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General.
At the same time, the two Governments underlined their support for the initiatives of the international community, which strengthen UN efforts and stressed the need for coordination. In view of these impending initiatives, the two sides planned their future moves.
Moreover, they stressed the readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to start negotiations, following suitable and thorough preparation, so that there may be a substantial convergence of views on the basic principles.
Concerning the Cyprus-EU accession course, they concluded that substantive progress has been achieved, in view of the commencement of accession negotiations six months after the completion of the Intergovernmental Conference and stressed the need for intensifying even further joint efforts so that Cyprus' accession to the European Union may take place in a short period of time.
The importance of the defence cooperation between Greece and Cyprus, in the context of the joint Defence Doctrine, was acknowledged and it was reaffirmed that any further advance in Cyprus by Turkey would constitute a casus belli. The complete demilitarisation of Cyprus would ensure peace and stability on the island and in the region.
Finally, the questions relating to the missing and the enclaved persons were discussed. It was decided to follow these closely and to take up the question of the missing with the UN and press for the appointment of the third member of the Investigatory Committee on Missing Persons, which would facilitate and speed up its task.
The meetings were held in an excellent climate and provided the opportunity to reaffirm the close cooperation existing between Greece and Cyprus is all fields. Within this framework, the two sides committed themselves to holding more frequent contacts, to briefing each other fully and thoroughly and generally to continuing their cooperation at all levels.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/