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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-11-27

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>

News Update



  • [01] Cyprus' harmonisation with EU proceeding satisfactorily
  • [02] Cyprus' EU application not affected by Malta's decision to withdraw
  • [03] UNFICYP expects agreements on military dialogue soon
  • [04] Cyprus government calls on Turkey to contribute to a solution
  • [05] Seven mayors elected unopposed

[01] Cyprus's harmonisation with EU proceeding satisfactorily

The 10th session of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee ended in Brussels yesterday, having examined issues concerning the application of EU legislation in the fields of banking, taxation and shipping, as well as the issue of Cyprus's prospective contribution to the EU and the Intergovernmental Conference.

During the meeting members of the European Parliament and the House of Representatives exchanged views with Commissioner Hans van den Broek, with the representative of the Irish Presidency-in-office, Mr Kester Heaslip, special representative on Cyprus, and with Cyprus' Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides.

Mr van den Broek said that relations between the EU and Cyprus have developed in many fields and the search for a solution to the Cyprus problem has intensified. He said that following Malta's decision not to pursue its application for membership the structured dialogue will proceed with Cyprus alone.

He also referred to the violent incidents which took place last summer, saying that the EU deeply regretted the senseless loss of human life and added that it is ready to contribute to efforts to reduce tensions further and to reach a political settlement.

"It is my hope and belief that the perspective of EU membership can contribute to this goal", he added.

Foreign Minister Mr Michaelides outlined the sectors in which significant legislative efforts had been made and said that harmonisation of Cyprus legislation, policies and institutions with the acquis communautaire is progressing steadily.

"Our aim is to complete 70 to 80 per cent of the harmonisation process by the time negotiations commence and most of the remaining during the negotiation process", he added.

Referring to the political situation in Cyprus, the Minister said : "Some wish to see a solution of the Cyprus problem before accession. We go one step further. Why not before we start accession negotiations".

He said that, while our dream is to see Cyprus joining the EU, our agony, deep concern and strong wish is to see an end to the division of our land and our people. "The solution of the Cyprus problem is our number one priority", he said adding, however, that what is missing is the demonstration of political will on the part of the Turkish side.

The Joint Parliamentary Committee also discussed the implementation of the 4th financial protocol, with particular reference to action involving the Turkish Cypriot community. Initiatives designed to encourage inter-communal contacts were supported, and the difficulties encountered due to the negative attitude of the regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus to allow Turkish Cypriots to move freely and take part in these activities were deplored.

Moreover a meeting was held in Brussels yesterday (26.11.96) between Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and EU Commission officials as part of the ongoing structured dialogue between Cyprus and the EU. The current Chairman of the European Council, Irish Foreign Minister Dick Spring, speaking at the meeting, said Cyprus has made great strides in its efforts to align its legislation with the acquis communautaire. He repeated the EU's commitment towards Cyprus that accession negotiations would start six months after the conclusion of the Intergovernmental Conference.

It was also announced yesterday that the Dutch EU presidency, which is due to follow Ireland's presidency in January, has decided to retain Irish ambassador Kester Heaslip as its special representative for Cyprus. Mr Heaslip is due in Cyprus today (27.11.96) for a week's visit accompanied by EU official Serge Abou.

[02] Cyprus' EU application not affected by Malta's decision to withdraw

The process of Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) is not affected in any way by Malta's decision to withhold its own application for accession, EU Commissioner for external affairs, Hans van den Broek, has said.

EU commitments to Cyprus shall not be altered by any means, the Commissioner said on 26.11.96 in Brussels, after a meeting with Cyprus Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides.

The two cases, Cyprus and Malta, are completely separate in that Malta's internal political situation has changed the country's accession prospects, a development which bears no relation to Cyprus, he said.

Van den Broek and Michaelides met on the sidelines of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee and reviewed Cyprus' accession course, the structured dialogue and matters relating to the fourth financial protocol.

Michaelides briefed the Commissioner on the latest developments in efforts to settle the Cyprus question and called on the EU to be more actively engaged in them.

[03] UNFICYP expects agreement on military dialogue soon

Agreement is expected to be reached on all issues included in the UN- proposed military dialogue, UN resident representative, Gustave Feissel said in Nicosia yesterday.

Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Feissel said "the two sides have now agreed to deal with the entire package of measures which the UN suggested".

He said this package includes unmanning of the areas where the two sides are at close proximity with each other, the prohibition of loaded weapons along the cease-fire line and the code of conduct for the military along the cease-fire line.

Feissel added that "it should be possible to complete the discussions and get to the implementation of these proposals rather quickly because they are very simple and do not in any way create any security problems to either civilian or military for either side".

He could not however give a specific date for the implementation of the proposed agreement, but believed "it should not drag on".

On his meeting with Clerides, Feissel said he and the President had had a good opportunity to review the situation in anticipation of the visit to Cyprus of the UN Secretary General's Special Representative Han Sung Joo on 10 December. He said if progress is to be made, efforts also have to be made.

Asked if he would support a Dayton-style process for Cyprus, Feissel said he did not want to label the procedures.

"We feel that when the two sides will get together in direct negotiations for an overall settlement it is important they stay together until the job is done", Feissel said.

"The ongoing process of negotiation is one of give and take".

Commenting on the letters between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Feissel said public letters were probably "not the best way of doing things", but noted the UN recognised the need for contact.

[04] Cyprus government calls on Turkey to contribute to a solution

The Cyprus government told Turkey yesterday that if it did not want a Greek air base at Paphos, then it would have to contribute to a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides was responding to comments by Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Omer Akbel.

Akbel claims that the construction of the air base to be used by Greek war planes" is a development which will inevitably escalate the tension on the island".

Cassoulides said if Turkey does not want the air base built, it now has a chance to show its political will to solve the Cyprus problem.

"If Mr Akbel and his colleagues at the Foreign Ministry act decisively, then their worries over the air base will be allayed".

[05] Seven mayors elected unopposed

Seven candidates for the December municipal elections were elected yesterday unopposed as no objections to their candidacy was raised.

Five of them representing an equal number of municipalities were officially announced mayors yesterday.

The remaining two, representing municipalities in Turkish occupied Cyprus, will be officially appointed on 29.11.96 at a symbolic ceremony near the Ledra Palace check-point, bordering the UN-controlled buffer zone. They are Elli Leptou, re-elected mayor of Kyrenia and Nicos Evangelou mayor of Lapithos who requested the Chief Returning Officer to hold the ceremony at the Ledra Palace.

The municipal council of the Turkish-occupied town of Karavas will also be formally appointed during the same ceremony.

From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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