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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-10-27

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 <>

News Update

Monday, 27/10/97


  • [01] Commonwealth Heads reaffirm their support for Cyprus
  • [02] Commonwealth report refers to Cyprus
  • [03] President Clerides raises Cyprus issue at Commonwealth summit
  • [04] Legal experts' opinion on Cyprus' EU bid circulates as UN document
  • [05] Businessmen adopt rapprochement plan
  • [06] Miller says key to a Cyprus breakthrough is slow and steady progress

[01] Commonwealth Heads reaffirm their support for Cyprus

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Edinburgh today adopted its Final Communique in which the following reference is made to Cyprus:

"Heads of Government reaffirmed their support for the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus. They called for the implementation of United Nations resolutions on Cyprus, in particular Security Council Resolutions 365 (1974), 550 (1984) and 939 (1994). They regretted that negotiations on a solution have been at an impasse for too long and strongly supported the process of direct intercommunal talks under the UN Secretary-General's mission of good offices. They expressed concern about recent threats of use of force and integration of the occupied territory by Turkey and reiterated support for President Clerides' demilitarisation proposal. They called for the withdrawal of all Turkish forces and settlers, the return of the refugees to their homes, the restoration of and respect for human rights of all Cypriots and the accounting of all missing persons. They expressed concern and disappointment that progress had been impeded by the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side to introduce pre-conditions to the talks and called for a co-operative attitude from all sides for the achievement of a bi- communal and bizonal federation. While noting the existence of the Commonwealth Action Group on Cyprus, they welcomed the initiative of the Commonwealth Secretary-General to nominate an observer at the UN-sponsored negotiations. They recognised that Britain as a permanent member of the Security Council and as a guarantor Power has a special position in this matter."

[02] Commonwealth report refers to Cyprus

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku on Friday 24.10.97 officially launched a Commonwealth report on "A future for Small States overcoming vulnerability" in which special reference is made to Cyprus.

In assessing the threats various small states face, the report says the Turkish occupation and the de facto division of Cyprus is as "intractable as ever and the cause of Commonwealth and international concern".

Noting that "in geopolitical terms there are, in Commonwealth small states, very few cases where ethnic violence can possibly lead directly to interstate conflict", the report points to the case of Cyprus as "the obvious exception".

Cyprus is mentioned in the report as one of the examples of small states that have made signal contributions to world order in advancing the adoption of the notion of peremptory norms of international law in the Law of Treaties.

The report stresses the Commonwealth's continuous support to UN efforts towards a peaceful resolution to the Cyprus problem.

Special reference is also made to the Commonwealth Action Group on Cyprus, set up at the 1975 CHOGM, which "continues to monitor development and facilitate the UN Secretary-General's efforts and to support the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus".

[03] President Clerides raises Cyprus issue at Commonwealth summit

President Glafcos Clerides on Saturday 25.10.97 briefed the heads of states attending the Commonwealth summit in Edinburgh on the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

In a short address before the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), President Clerides said no progress had been achieved in the Cyprus problem since the previous CHOGM meeting in New Zealand for which he blamed the lack of political will to do so on the part of the Turkish side.

He also referred to Turkish intransigence during the two rounds of Cyprus peace talks held this summer and to an American proposal to the two sides to discuss security issues, which also reached a deadlock after the first meeting between the leaders of the island's two communities, last month in Nicosia.

President Clerides called on the Commonwealth to fully support the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and to reaffirm its support for the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of the Cyprus Republic.

Earlier President Glafcos Clerides had a meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, during which the two men discussed recent developments in the Cyprus problem and the island's European Union (EU) accession course.

"Tony Blair's government displays a special interest in efforts for a Cyprus settlement, as Britain will take over the rotating EU Presidency on January 1," Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told reporters afterwards and expressed satisfaction with the level of co-operation between the governments of Cyprus and Britain.

The Foreign Minister himself had a meeting with his British counterpart, Robin Cook, on Sunday 26.10.97, during which they discussed Cyprus' forthcoming entry negotiations with the EU with special attention to the role that Britain, which will hold the EU Presidency, can play as well as matters pertaining to the Commonwealth's final communique on Cyprus.

Mr Kasoulides' other contacts in Edinburgh included a meeting with newly appointed Commonwealth envoy for Cyprus, deputy Commonwealth Secretary- General for political affairs, Krishnan Srinivasan, as well as meetings with his counterparts from New Zealand, Belize, the Bahamas and Canada.

[04] Legal experts' opinion on Cyprus' EU bid circulates as UN document

The legal opinion prepared by three prominent international jurists and professors of international law, stating that Cyprus is fully eligible to become a European Union (EU) member was circulated on Friday 24.10.97 as a General Assembly and Security Council document.

Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN, Nicos Agathocleous, sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General on the issue enclosing the legal opinion, prepared in September, in response to Turkish claims and letters sent to the UN Secretary-General earlier this year that Cyprus cannot join the EU unless Turkey is also a member.

The legal opinion, prepared by James Crawford, professor of International Law at Cambridge University, his colleague at Vienna University, Gerhard Hafner, and professor of International Law at Paris-X University, Alain Pellet, also dismisses Turkish claims that the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, by which the Republic of Cyprus was established, and the country's constitution prevent the island from joining the EU.

[05] Businessmen adopt rapprochement plan

Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen have unanimously adopted a 20-point plan to promote rapprochement between the two communities.

The proposals, drawn up by Greek Cypriot businessman and former MP Constantinos Lordos, were presented at a meeting between 20 businessmen from both sides in Athens on Friday.

They will now be presented at a high-profile business seminar in Brussels early next month, being organised by US Presidential emissary for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke.

The proposals aim for free and unhindered communication leading to a climate of trust, which would in turn be followed by a series of joint activities and programmes.

Suggestions to break down the barriers include a joint GSM mobile telephone service to allow free voice and fax communications, in addition to e-mail and the current telephone access to the occupied areas via the UN exchange.

Other proposals include setting up a joint chamber of commerce and a business council, property evaluation board, business fund, cultural society, language school, bi-communal newspaper, radio and TV station.

The Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen agreed progress on these issues should be parallel with progress on the Cyprus problem.

[06] Miller says key to a Cyprus breakthrough is slow and steady progress

The Committee on Foreign Relations of the US Senate last week examined the appointment of Mr Thomas Miller as the US State Department's special co- ordinator for Cyprus with the rank of ambassador.

In a brief statement before the Committee, Mr Miller said that finding a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem is a top US foreign policy objective, and that the US fully support the UN peace process to find a solution within the parameters of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

Noting that the key to a breakthrough in the Cyprus problem would be slow and steady progress, he added that he was well aware of the difficulties since he had been involved in the issue for nearly 20 years but could "see new opportunities to move closer toward ending intercommunal strife on Cyprus".

"With the support of Congress I will try to make a difference", he said, adding that he would work closely with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Presidential Emissary on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke and Assistant State Secretary Marc Grossman.

He said that Cyprus' application to join the European Union is a new important factor in the Cyprus equation, and described this as a "positive development" which "provides important, positive incentives for a settlement."

Miller said the US also support a closer relationship between the EU and Turkey, noting this too can have a positive impact on the overall atmosphere for the settlement process.

He said he was pleased that President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had agreed during his visit in Cyprus to "discuss security issues for the first time ever on a one-to-one basis, under UN auspices, with no preconditions or set agendas."

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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