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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-08

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 <>

Monday, 08/09/97


  • [01] Foreign Minister visits Baltic States
  • [02] First interview by US Special Cyprus Coordinator before visit to the region
  • [03] Governments condemns Jerusalem bomb attack
  • [04] Cyprus donation to Poland's flood victims
  • [05] New School Year begins

[01] Foreign Minister visits Baltic States

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides who is visiting the Baltic States, has had a series of meetings with government officials in Latvia and Lithuania. On Friday (5.9.97) he met with Latvia's Prime Minister Guntars Krasts, Foreign Minister Valdis Birkars, as well as with the Deputy President of Parliament.

The meetings dealt with issues of mutual interest, in particular the future enlargement of the European Union, bilateral relations and the efforts for a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

An agreement for economic, technical and industrial co-operation was signed between the two Foreign Ministers.

In Lithuania Mr Kasoulides held talks an Sunday (7.9.97) with Foreign Minister Algirdas Saudargas and agreed to proceed with developing a framework for increased relations in commerce, investments and tourism.

During an exhibition of Cyprus products an agreement was signed between the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Lithuania and Cyprus.

[02] First interview by US Special Cyprus Coordinator before visit to the region

Thomas Miller, the newly-appointed State Department Special Cyprus Coordinator said one of the questions he will be exploring during his visit to the region is going to be "which tactical approach makes the most sense ... over time, sometimes the tactical approach - for a Cyprus solution - will change".

He went on to say: " I have a favourite practice called "sledgehammer diplomacy". You just keep on going back, you think you've got a good idea. You go back. You might repack the kit. Try a different way and - lo and behold, as we discovered with the Middle East peace process - ideas that have been tried and discarded, when tried again, and perhaps repackaged, some what worked. There is nothing brilliant or particularly original about sledgehammer diplomacy. But you don't give up. You just keep on persisting. And that's what we're going to do".

Mr Miller added that with the entry of Richard Holbrooke as US Presidential Emissary, "I am hopeful that we might be more successful than in the past. And when I say "we", I mean all of us, not just the United States. Because any effort to solve the Cyprus problem would take the efforts of the international community, working very much in close conjunction with the UN efforts".

The statements were made during an interview to a small group of Greek and Turkish journalists on 3.9.97 in Washington. The American Special Cyprus Coordinator leaves Monday (8.9.97) for a tour that will cover Ankara, Athens, Nicosia, Paris, London, Bonn, Brussels and Luxembourg, lasting until September 20th. He will be in Nicosia on 12.9.97.

Replying to a question about the main obstacles in solving the Cyprus problem, Mr Miller said: "Whenever there is a problem as difficult as the Cyprus problem has been, there is usually not just one obstacle. There are a number of considerations and a number of issues that are out there, that have been out there in various forms over the years".

Drawing from his experience in the Middle East peace process he explained there are some considerations applicable to most negotiations.

"One is that no one, neither side, gets everything one wants. In a good compromise, a good solution, endurable and lasting, neither side walks from the table with everything that it wants. But by the same token, both sides walk away satisfied that they came out better as a result of discussions than they were before".

On a date for a next round of Cyprus talks, Mr Miller said the UN will decide when that will be.

[03] Government condemns Jerusalem bomb attack

The Cyprus government has condemned Thursday's (4.9.97) bomb attack in Jerusalem and stressed the need to maintain a peaceful process in efforts to resolve differences in the Middle East.

"We unreservedly condemn the acts of violence which occurred in Jerusalem. Violence must be repelled and cast aside so that reason and dialogue can take its place", Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides told his daily briefing on Friday (5.9.97).

"Violence does not solve problems. The peaceful process must be maintained for differences to be resolved", he added.

[04] Cyprus donation to Poland's flood victims

Cyprus contributed 70,000 US dollars as a contribution towards aid for the victims of disastrous floods in Poland last July.

Poland's Charge d'Affaires to Cyprus Janusz Jesionek, thanking the Cyprus government for the gesture, said Poland will always remember the gesture, in light of the fact that both countries are on the same course towards European Union accession.

In the recent floods 12 out of Poland's 49 provinces were put under water, with tens of thousands of people made homeless.

[05] New School Year begins

The 1997-98 school year began today Monday (8.9.97) with 62,140 pupils in elementary education, compared to 61,995 last year and with 3,591 teachers, an increase of 177 since last year.

In the government-controlled areas there are 354 elementary schools and three for 32 Greek Cypriot pupils in the Turkish occupied villages of the Karpass.

Secondary education students begin term next Monday (15.9.97) and are estimated at 52,600, compared to 50,996 in 1996-97 at 90 High Schools. Teachers in Secondary Schools number about 4,400. 400 people are also expected to attend at four Night Schools. Students in Technical education number about 5,000.

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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