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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-12

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, 12/09/97


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN Secretary-General regrets failure of the Montreux talks due to Turkish complications about Cyprus EU accession
  • [02] Date for Cyprus EU accession talks will be set by Luxembourg's European Council, says British High Commissioner
  • [03] US Special Cyprus Co-ordinator visits Athens
  • [04] Italy sees two communities in Cyprus, not two governments


[01] UN Secretary-General regrets failure of the Montreux talks due to Turkish complications about Cyprus EU accession

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan replied to questions on Cyprus developments during a press conference he gave at UN Headquarters on Thursday (11.9.97) on the occasion of the beginning of the 52nd UN General Assembly session.

Asked about his estimate of the recent direct talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Mr Annan said: "It is unfortunate what happened in Switzerland. I think the meeting we had in Troutbeck went reasonably well and after that, when the two leaders got to Cyprus they met several times. And that was the first time they had met in three years even though they live thirty minutes apart. It was a positive development. They discussed some other humanitarian issues, particularly the missing persons. So we were encouraged. But of course in Switzerland the question of EU's discussion of Cyprus membership was used to complicate the discussions.

I would hope that this will not persist forever. I noticed yesterday in the media that President Clerides has indicated he is prepared to come to the table at any time and I would hope that the Turkish side would also be prepared to do that".

The UN Secretary-General added: "Realistically with the elections planned in Cyprus I don't think we can anticipate any more talks this year. I think it would be more realistic and rational to have it after the elections because I think the election is already beginning to cast a long shadow over the talks".

To a question about President Clerides's proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus Mr Annan replied: "I think demilitarization and removal of arms in any region of the world is something that the UN cannot but applaud. Obviously it is a complex situation and it will also require others to do the same. Any attempt to demilitarize, if others join in we will support it. But it is not going to be easy".

[02] Date for Cyprus EU accession talks will be set by Luxembourg's European Council, says British High Commissioner

"I think we can expect the Luxembourg European Council probably to set the date for the opening of the accession negotiations with those candidate countries that is agreed, that the Luxembourg European Council should start talks with". This was stated by British High Commissioner to Nicosia David Madden when asked about Cyprus's prospects in its European Union accession course. He stressed that the view of the British government is that there is an agreement that accession negotiations with Cyprus will start early next year.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides on Thursday (11.9.97), the British High Commissioner noted "we still hope that the prospect of the accession process will be helpful from the point of view of bringing a settlement to the Cyprus question".

Mr Madden was asked to comment on Turkey's strong reaction to the purchase by Cyprus of Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles, to which he replied that he was "at something of a loss" to explain why there has been so much intense speculation about a system which is not due to be deployed for a considerable period, mid 1998.

"I can't explain why there is a sudden flurry of speculation and activity", he said.

The views of the British government on this issue, he added, are that "we will be working and continuing to work very hard to make progress towards a settlement, in the hope that this will obviate the need for other measures taking place".

[03] US Special Cyprus Co-ordinator visits Athens

Special Cyprus Co-ordinator at the State Department Thomas Miller had meetings in Athens on Thursday (11.9.97) following his visit to Ankara. He is on his first tour of the region in his new capacity; he arrives in Cyprus today, Friday (12.9.97) and will then visit European capitals.

In statements after his meeting with Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis, Mr Miller said the Cyprus question "is not a Bosnia negotiation", adding:

"This is a very very difficult problem that we all think that the time is not overdue to solve the Cyprus problem. Clearly there are many issues out there. I will also join the Minister saying that we are fully supportive of the UN initiative, this is absolutely clear, at the initiative of the Secretary General and his predecessors".

He empasized, however, that he will not discuss with the press the specific issues raised during his meetings in the region.

On his part, the Greek Minister repeated the Greek government's firm support to the UN initiative for a just and viable Cyprus solution and welcomed the efforts of the American government to this end.

Mr Kranidiotis said he expressed to Mr Miller the Greek disappointment for the negative stance of the Turkish side in the recent direct talks and also concern about continued threats of aggression by Turkey which, he said, have no reason to exist.

[04] Italy sees two communities in Cyprus, not two governments

Italy's Deputy Foreign Minister Serri on 10.9.97 gave a written reply to a question on Cyprus asked in Parliament by MP Russo Spana:

"The recent meeting between Foreign Minister Dini and his Cypriot colleague Kasoulides had the positive result to clarify the meaning of the statements which had raised the complaints by the Cypriot side, since the reference made to the two different entities which co-exist in the island referred to the two ethnic communities and not to the institutions which represent the State".


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


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