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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-06-05

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, 05/06/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] Richard Holbrooke new US Presidential emissary for Cyprus
  • [02] Cyprus Government welcomes Holbrooke appointment
  • [03] Cyprus Foreign Minister praises Britain's efforts for a Cyprus settlement
  • [04] British envoy sees a very useful opportunity for all Cypriots


[01] Richard Holbrooke new US Presidential emissary for Cyprus

President Clinton has appointed Richard Holbrooke, former US Under Secretary of State for European Affairs as the new Presidential Emissary for Cyprus.

The announcement was made on Wednesday (4.6.97) by US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns who said: "This appointment of one of our most capable negotiators demonstrates our commitment to help promote a final political settlement on Cyprus".

Burns added the "appointment does demonstrate the very strong desire of both President Clinton and Secretary Albright to make sure that the United States lends its hand in pushing forward towards a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus", and urged "all the parties concerned to redouble their efforts to make progress towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem".

In the same announcement Nicholas Burns described Richard Holbrooke as "one of our most capable diplomats. He is one of our toughest negotiators. I think he is one of the most brilliant diplomats that our country has produced in a long time".

The State Department Spokesman stressed, however, that this was "a very challenging assignment" and that Holbrooke "does not expect any imminent breakthroughs".

The new presidential emissary will have a full-time negotiator in his team which is expected to be announced soon.

Richard Holbrooke himself will be working on Cyprus for about a week every month and will retain his present job with credit Suisse-First Boston.

[02] Cyprus Government welcomes Holbrooke appointment

The Cyprus Government through its Spokesman Manolis Christofides hailed the appointment of Richard Holbrooke as US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus as "fulfilling US pledges and confirming the importance it attaches to a resolution of the Cyprus problem".

The Spokesman's statement on Thursday (5.6.97) added: "Keeping in mind the American assurances for an active, substantive and dynamic presence during the direct talks and for full support for the United Nations task, we express our satisfaction with Mr Holbrooke's appointment and look forward to a just solution of the Cyprus question, which will be consistent with the declarations and the universal values that both the United Nations and the United States have committed themselves to uphold".

[03] Cyprus Foreign Minister praises Britain's efforts for a Cyprus settlement

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides had a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook in London on Wednesday (4.6.97), their first since Cook visited Nicosia as Labour's Shadow Foreign Secretary earlier this year.

Speaking after the meeting Kasoulides said he explained the Cypriot Government's views regarding the upcoming direct negotiations between President Clerides and Rauf Denktash. He said he also expressed appreciation for a number of positions taken by the Blair government regarding Cyprus, "in particular for British support in efforts for European Union accession, for the fact that Britain wishes to upgrade the Cyprus problem in international fora, like the Commonwealth and the EU itself".

The Cypriot Foreign Minister also praised Britain's role in facing the Cyprus problem, "concerning the restoration of basic freedoms, the existence of a unitary state and other issues".

Mr Kasoulides later attended a working lunch with Sir David Hannay, Britain's special envoy for Cyprus.

[04] British envoy sees a very useful opportunity for all Cypriots

British special envoy for Cyprus Sir David Hannay, who arrives on the island on Sunday (8.6.97), said there are now new elements that could contribute towards reaching a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

Speaking to reporters after a working lunch with Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in London on Wednesday (4.6.97), Sir David said he believes "this is a very important moment for all Cypriots" and expressed the hope "the leaders of the two communities in particular and those who support them politically will put to the best possible use".

"I believe that there is a seriously useful opportunity here, one which both communities are being offered, if they approach these talks in the right spirit, in a spirit of give and take", he added.

The British diplomat referred to "the previous efforts which have not succeeded and have left a legacy of cynicism and doubt about the possibility of getting a solution".

"I think that's a bit overdone myself, there are new elements", he said, pointing to "the prospect of accession to the European Union and the increased importance attached by a whole range of countries around the world to help the UN in a solution".

Sir David Hannay said he was encouraged by the fact that that the UN has put in a lot of hard work for a solution over the last year, along with foreign governments, and said "I think the time is now very close when we should put these issues to the test, at the negotiating table".


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


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