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

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

Friday, 06/06/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] Kasoulides: Government ready to negotiate in a positive and constructive way
  • [02] The US seeks reunification of Cyprus, not partition, US Spokesman says
  • [03] British minister stresses Cyprus must be a high priority


[01] Kasoulides: Government ready to negotiate in a positive and constructive way

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides in a speech in New York (4.4.97) emphasized that the Greek Cypriot side will attend early July direct talks near New York "with an open mind" and with a "spirit ready to negotiate in a positive and constructive way".

He noted that "if the other side comes with a similar political will and with a similar spirit then we will be able to celebrate the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation army, the restoration of the basic freedoms, the reunification of our country, the reconciliation of all Cypriots and a peaceful future for our children in our beloved island".

Talking to participants of the 8th Conference of the International Co- ordinating Committee-Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), the Cypriot Foreign Minister underlined that "we must show the world that we want our country to be reunited, that we want reconciliation in Cyprus, that we want to live in peace with our fellow citizens, the Turkish Cypriots, and that the future is common for all Cypriots in our country".

Noting "what we want is action and not to beat about the bush", the Minister said "the more active involvement by everybody that is here to assist, the better".

Kasoulides acknowledged "time is running against us" and therefore "we want a Cyprus solution to come as quickly as possible". He expressed the hope all current efforts accumulated "will, at last, produce results".

On the same occasion Kasoulides expressed the Cyprus government's "appreciation" for the US administration's decision to appoint Richard Holbrooke as President Clinton's emissary for the Cyprus problem.

"I think the appointment demonstrates the degree of the involvement of the government of the US in the efforts that are about to begin to solve the Cyprus problem", Kasoulides said.

Noting that Holbrooke's appointment is indicative of the US "special interest", he said "we do not see this appointment with any reservation".

Quite the contrary, we want to see his appointment as sending a message, particularly to Turkey, that the USA means business", he added.

[02] The US seeks reunification of Cyprus, not partition, US Spokesman says

Asked about the contents of the meeting on Friday between US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, Nicholas Burns, State Department Spokesman said on Thursday (5.6.97): "She will be talking to the foreign minister about Ambassador Holbrooke's agenda, about the fact thats he will be very active in working with him. She will ask for the support of the government of Cyprus, the government of Greece and the government of Turkey for Ambassador Holbrooke's mission. She will reiterate US policy, our basic US policy -- the United States seeks the reunification of Cyprus. The division of Cyprus is unacceptable to us".

On a question whether a Dayton formula could be applied to Cyprus, Nicholas Burns said Dayton was a tactical device to end the war in Bosnia and added that one cannot "just take the Dayton model and implant it in the Eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus is a very different conflict with a different history, involving different people"... "So we are not in the mood to imitate Dayton procedurally just because it worked there. It doesn't mean it would work in the Eastern Mediterranean. It may or may not".

Responding to a question on the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation army which has been on the island since 1974, the State Department Spokesman said:

"The United States will not support a solution to the Cyprus problem that will end with the island divided. The island has been divided for 23 years. We think that island must be reunited in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. That is our view. So we are not out to partition Cyprus. We are out to reunify Cyprus".

[03] British minister stresses Cyprus must be a high priority

"It is right that Cyprus should be among the first foreign issues to command the attention of the new House of Commons", Britain's Minister of State for European Affairs Doug Henderson has said.

In a speech to the House of Commons on Wednesday (4.6.97), Henderson said that there was no doubt that successive failures to address the divisions in Cyprus had "left Europe with a dangerously unstable region in the eastern Mediterranean".

"The question that citizens in this country and in Cyprus will be asking is whether progress towards peace is realistic", Henderson said, referring to the violence of 1996 and the "difficult start to 1997".

Referring to the imminent face-to-face talks under UN auspices the British Minister said:

"Of course problems still remain, but the prospects for getting both parties to talk to each other under UN mediation are now better than they have been for a long time".

He added there was a heavy burden of responsibility on the shoulders of both communities to negotiate a settlement, but said there was also an equal burden of responsibility on each and every Cypriot to make any settlement work.

Henderson stressed that Britain has a historical and moral duty to play a role, that it will do so in the months ahead, guided by the UN special adviser Diego Cordovez.

Underlining that the presidential elections are no excuse for standing still, Henderson added: "The negotiating process needs a basis to ensure that progress continues in early 1998. We are ready to help the United Nations manage any break in the negotiating process.

He stressed: "A settlement cannot be achieved easily, but the consequences of another failure would be grave".

On the European Union dimension the British Minister of State said: "The prospect of Cyprus's accession to the EU brings a new opportunity to make progress towards a settlement. Accession negotiations are due to open six months after the end of the intergovernmental conference under our EU presidency. We expect that that important initiative will begin on time.

We welcome the prospect of Cyprus's accession to the EU and hope that it will stimulate both sides to make progress towards a settlement through direct talks hosted by the UN. I should make it clear again that no third party can have any veto over that process".


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


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