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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-06

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Thursday, 06/03/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] Proximity consultations on the way
  • [02] Rapprochement efforts between Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities


[01] Proximity consultations on the way

Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides disclosed in Nicosia today that the UN Secretary-General's deputy Special Representative in Cyprus will initiate next week proximity consultations with the two sides on the substance of the Cyprus issue.

Cassoulides said that the basis for the consultations, would be the high level agreements and the UN resolutions on Cyprus.

Pointing out that no time table has been set, Cassoulides said that the UN are aiming at an overall approach in a spirit of compromise.

The consultations, he said, will be confidential, and the Cyprus government will respect the call by the UN to avoid public statements.

Cassoulides said that the government of the Republic of Cyprus is ready to enter consultations with the aim of finding common ground that would allow direct talks between the sides. If the Turkish side shows the necessary political will, it will be possible to make progress soon, he concluded.

[02] Rapprochement efforts between Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities

Greek and Turkish Cypriot party leaders yesterday agreed to step up contacts between them to facilitate the resumption of direct talks between the leaders on both sides.

The decision by the party leaders came after a bi-communal meeting, the second in as many months, at the UN-controlled Ledra Palace hotel in Nicosia.

A joint statement read by UN Permanent Representative Gustave Feissel after the meeting said: "The political party leaders underlined the importance they attached to the efforts under the auspices of the Secretary General of the UN to pave the way for the urgent convening of direct negotiations between the two communities on an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem".

Feissel said such meetings have a very important role to play in helping, promoting and facilitating the effort to bring about an overall settlement, but urged the leaders from both sides to exercise restraint in making public statements about progress in the Cyprus talks.

"This is a period when it is best to say less about the good news, the bad news or no news," Feissel said.

The party leaders also agreed to co-sponsor a bi-communal concert by renowned Greek and Turkish composers Mikis Theodorakis and Zulgi Livanelli. It is hoped the concert will take place in June in the compound of the Nicosia International Airport, which currently serves as UNFICYP's headquarters.

Another meeting is to take place next month. All the political parties on both sides attended yesterday's meeting except the Turkish Cypriot national Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu.

Similar efforts for rapprochement between the two communities of Cyprus include attempts to organise friendly football matches between Greek and Turkish Cypriot teams.

The Cyprus Football Association director, Andreas Stylianou, said yesterday these could go ahead soon. He had met with representatives of Turkish Cypriot clubs earlier this week to try to organise the two friendly games between under-18 and under-16 teams from both sides.

"The Turkish Cypriot clubs saw the idea very positively," he said, adding that only the practical details now remained to be sorted out.

Similarly, a bi-communal tree planting was organised on 4 March at the village of Pyla, inhabited by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, and situated northeast of the coastal town of Larnaca, in no man's land controlled by the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

"Pyla symbolises what we are trying to achieve for the whole island, Greek and Turkish Cypriots living together in peace in a bi-zonal federation", said UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel at the ceremony.

He described the bi-communal tree planting as "a vote of confidence in the future" and stressed that the "people of Pyla have demonstrated that problems can be solved when they are addressed with common sense and a willingness to compromise. It is this spirit of give and take which is required to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem".


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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