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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-04

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/>

Thursday, 04/09/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] Klaus Kinkel and Cyprus Foreign Minister held talks in Bonn
  • [02] European Parliament Committee told true facts about Cyprus
  • [03] New US Special Coordinator to visit Cyprus
  • [04] Tributes to Diana from Cyprus Government


[01] Klaus Kinkel and Cyprus Foreign Minister held talks in Bonn

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides held talks on Wednesday (3.9.97) in Bonn with Germany's Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel.

Speaking to the press afterwards, Mr Kinkel spoke about Germany's contribution to the efforts for a Cyprus solution through the appointment of special envoy count von Rantzau, and of the full support it gives to the UN efforts in promoting peace negotiations.

"There is no doubt that the momentum of the negotiations must not be allowed to be lost and we must do every thing possible to help the two sides resume the talks again, even before the elections in Cyprus. Urging the two sides to do their almost to reach a solution in Cyprus, Mr Kinkel said "a solution is particularly important for the second significant issue for Cyprus as well as for us, that is, the issue of accession to the European Union".

The German Foreign Minister stressed: "The European Union has determined that accession talks with Cyprus will begin six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference. I have explained to my Cypriot colleague the present stage of negotiations. We are well aware that accession negotiations depend decisively on the present situation in Cyprus and, of course, particularly, on relations with Turkey. That is why we shall continue to use our potential towards Greece and Turkey to contribute towards a reduction in tension in the region and to reach conciliation and peace, something which is essential and necessary for the accession of Cyprus to the European Union".

Mr Klaus Kinkel added that what has been agreed by the EU on Cyprus will be implemented: "Pacta sund servanda", he said, adding that "I myself will assist in this through the upcoming talks with Turkish Prime Minister Yilmaz and Foreign Minister Gem, who is coming next week".

He also said he accepted the invitation by Mr Kassoulides and most probably will visit Cyprus next spring.

On his part, the Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides said:

"I have reiterated our known position of the Government of President Clerides that we will remain committed to the negotiating process and that we will do our utmost to reach a political solution to our problem as soon as possible. We will face the developments and the efforts of the United Nations to this end with an open mind and with a positive and constructive spirit and as we have demonstrated during the negotiations in Switzerland and before that in New York. We will be able to demonstrate again that we have the political will and we sincerely wish the reunification of our country and the reconciliation of our people".

On Cyprus's accession to the EU he said: "To this end we consider that our European Union accession process is absolutely necessary to assist and induce the sides for a rapid resolution of the political problem. For us the desire to become members of the European Union is not simply based to the natural fact of Cyprus being a European country with historical, cultural and economic aspirations. For us, most importantly, our decision to wish to become members of the European Union is based on the fact that this process will be to the service of the efforts to achieve a political solution and the reunification of our country and I am very pleased that I found understanding from my colleague".

Mr Kassoulides added: "Finally I wish to say as well that our desire is that the Turkish Cypriot community is involved in the negotiating process. Of course we must find such a way that this can realistically be carried forward without forgetting that the only legitimate internationally recognised government is the Republic of Cyprus with the sole interlocutor of the European Union".

[02] European Parliament Committee told true facts about Cyprus

Introducing Cyprus's candidacy for the European Union, during a speech to the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Dutch Euro MP Jean- Willem Bertens said that Cyprus is already in full position to become member of the Economic and Monetary Union.

Mr Bertens said in his report to the Committee on Tuesday (2.9.97) that Cyprus as a candidate is different from countries of Central and Eastern Europe, it does not have the problems left over from communism and it has had a stable economy and democracy for many years.

Referring to the island's political problem, Mr Bertens said the European Union has decided to start accession talks with Cyprus independently from a solution to the problem and added that the accession process can be helpful to the efforts seeking a Cyprus settlement.

The Dutch member of the European Parliament also spoke about the recent UN- led direct talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and was critical of the hardline attitude of Mr Denktash. He told the Committee that Rauf Denktash refused to talk on the substance of the Cyprus problem, demanding a freeze on the Cyprus-EU accession process. This unacceptable attitude of Mr Denktash at the Montreux talks, Mr Bertens said, was accompanied by threats of war towards the Cyprus Government, while Turkey proceeded to adopt a formal policy of annexation of the part of northern Cyprus it occupies militarily.

[03] New US Special Coordinator to visit Cyprus

The Government Spokesman confirmed on Wednesday 3.9.97 that the recently appointed US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, will visit Cyprus on the 12th September. The visit comes ahead of a planned visit by Diego Cordovez, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser, who headed the two rounds of Cyprus talks in Troutbeck, N.Y. and at Montreux in August.

Meanwhile US Ambassador to Nicosia Kenneth Brill said on 3.9.97, following a meeting with the President of the Republic, that US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke is also expected to visit Cyprus "some time in the Fall", but "his schedule has not been set yet".

Mr Brill stressed the US goal is "to keep people focused on how to move forward a political settlement and to avoid things that cause tension" and expressed the wish that talks in that direction will continue as agreed.

[04] Tributes to Diana from Cyprus Government

President Glafcos Clerides and other senior government officials signed a book of condolences for Princess Diana on Wednesday (3.9.97) at the British High Commissioner David Madden's residence.

The Residence has been visited by hundreds of Cypriots and British residents who wished to personally express their sympathy. Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides paid tribute to the Princess during Wednesday's daily press briefing, likening her to Greek goddess Diana in verses he composed himself: Princess Diana, he said, "hunted happiness with a passion and was ruthlessly chased herself during her short life ... her own life was a smile through tears... she's in our hearts and will remain there forever".


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


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