|Monday, 28 September 2020|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-19
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 National Council meetsPresident Clerides yesterday briefed the National Council on his agreement to discuss security issues with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
The Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides, replying to press questions reiterated that the dialogue would be open, with no fixed agenda and no preconditions.
The National Council will convene again on Wednesday (24.9.97).
 European Parliament denounces Turkey's stanceThe European Parliament yesterday adopted a resolution denouncing the joint declaration signed by Turkey and the occupied areas of Cyprus as "illegal, provocative and not conducive to creating the right negotiating climate for the talks".
It reminds the Turkish government that "constructive relations between Turkey and the EU depend partly on the Turkish government's policy on Cyprus".
It says, moreover, that it was "appalled" at the statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that there will be war in Cyprus if its application to join the EU is successful and demands their total withdrawal.
In addition it regrets the precondition for progress in the direct talks set by Mr Denktash, namely that Cyprus' EU accession negotiations should be frozen, and confirms its clear expectation that these negotiations will be launched by the beginning of 1998 as agreed.
The Parliament welcomes the outcome of the meetings between President Clerides and Mr Denktash on humanitarian issues and the recent announcement that they will meet to discuss security issues, urging both sides to "to exercise the utmost restraint with regard to military deployment".
It recognises that there is Turkish Cypriot opposition to Mr Denktash and appeals to the Cyprus government and the Turkish Cypriot community to continue to look for peaceful ways of resolving the Cyprus problem in accordance with UN resolutions.
Finally, the European Parliament calls on the EU and all EU member states to "maintain firm pressure" on Turkey to contribute positively to a just solution of the Cyprus problem and to "ensure that they facilitate" the start of accession talks with Cyprus by the beginning of 1998.
 President Clerides says Turkey will not attackAnkara does not want to integrate the occupied areas into Turkey but has threatened to do so in order to get a better deal from the European Union on its own bid for membership, President Clerides said yesterday.
In an interview with the Athens daily 'Ta Nea', President Clerides said that Turkey's threats of a military strike are simply a ploy to block delivery of the Russian S-300 missile system to Cyprus.
The President went on to say that the missiles would be delivered to Cyprus on schedule unless there was progress on the Cyprus problem or if there was agreement to demilitarise the island.
"My view is that any integration of the occupied areas into Turkey conflicts with the vital national interests of the permanent members of the Security Council who are in a position to block implementation of the threat", President Clerides said.
Asked when he expects the United States initiative to materialise, the President said he saw the full development of US Presidential Emissary Richard Holbrooke's mediation occurring immediately after next February's presidential elections.
 Hopes shouldn't be raised, says US Co-ordinatorThe US State Department Special Co-ordinator for Cyprus Thomas Miller said yesterday that the agreement reached between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to hold talks on security issues was a "hopeful sign".
Speaking in Brussels after a meeting with EU External Relations Commissioner Hans van den Broek, whom he briefed on his tour in relation to the Cyprus problem, Miller said that the Cyprus problem is a long-standing and very complicated problem and that hopes should not be raised too easily.
He pledged that his country would make every effort to help the sides reach a settlement.
Mr Miller had meetings previously with EU officials in Luxembourg after which an announcement issued by Luxembourg's Foreign Ministry expressed the EU member states' satisfaction with US efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.
It welcomed the agreement by the two sides in Cyprus to discuss security issues and expressed the hope that it would reduce tensions on the island, bolster trust between the two sides and create a positive climate so that the UN-led peace talks could begin again.
 Joint ventures could create trust between two communities in CyprusThe creation of joint business ventures between Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen may pave the way towards creating a climate of trust between the two communities in Cyprus.
Lord Bethell, chairman of the "Friends of Cyprus" group of the House of Commons, speaking after a meeting the group had with President Clerides yesterday, said that they had already discussed this idea with businessmen from both communities.
Moreover, the group's Vice Chairman Robin Corbett said "the two communities need to learn how to work together again and if business people have experience of this, then it would seem sensible to start where we can".
Conservative MP Roger Gale said he saw three positive signs in the Cyprus problem - that the 31 July agreement between President Clerides and Mr Denktash will be honoured by both sides, that there is a real desire for co- operation between the business community, something the "Friends of Cyprus" is promoting, and that there is a real prospect of talks between the leaders of the two communities in the immediate future to discuss security.
Before leaving the island yesterday, the British parliamentarians met with the President of the House of Representatives Spyros Kyprianou.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/