|Sunday, 19 May 2019|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-11-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 UN envoy continues efforts for Cyprus settlementThe UN Secretary General's special advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez arrives in Cyprus this evening and is scheduled to have talks with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
Mr Cordovez will also meet party leaders on both sides before leaving the island on Friday.
In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) in New York on the eve of his arrival to Cyprus, the UN envoy said he believes efforts to reach a settlement must continue with a view to resuming negotiations after February's presidential elections on the island, as the short term objective.
Mr Cordovez expressed disappointment that neither the Greek nor the Turkish Cypriot side appears ready to submit "legal instruments" to facilitate the new constitutional structures of a federal Cyprus.
He also sees the Cyprus question as a "unique situation, which poses a double challenge" and admits that neither side has yet "convinced the other that they want a settlement", even though both feel that "something is pending."
Mr Cordovez, who chaired two rounds of direct talks between the leaders of the two sides last summer, said he regarded the current impasse in the Cyprus peace talks as "bleak and marked by tensions and distrust", following the breakdown of these talks and the deterioration of Greco- Turkish relations, in addition to the escalating war of words the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey have engaged in.
When genuine interest in a solution does exist, he said, "that is something the parties can see in each other, but we haven't reached that point."
However, Mr Cordovez told CNA that he is convinced that both sides do want a settlement. He said he came away from the two rounds of talks with the "impression that this was the beginning of another new and real effort".
The drafting of legal instruments by the two sides, he explained, would provide a framework for the "sustained process of negotiations" that would follow, leading eventually to "new constitutional and institutional structures" that would enable the two communities to live together in peace.
 Cyprus government finds bi-communal meetings usefulThe Cyprus government is in favour of bi-communal group meetings as they gradually create the climate for economic cooperation in a future peaceful co-existence, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said yesterday.
He was commenting on the results of a forum in Brussels last week which was attended by businesspeople from the two communities in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey. "In the past we neglected the importance of economic cooperation between the two communities. That was a mistake", Mr Christofides said.
The Spokesman stressed, however, that activities should in no way contain elements that might lead to direct or indirect recognition of the breakaway entity unilaterally established in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus.
Moreover, during his briefing to the press yesterday, Mr Christofides said that the Turkish Cypriots are welcome to participate in negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the European Union provided there is no recognition of the pseudostate.
The government, he said, has proposed the participation of Turkish Cypriot organisations, such as political parties and trade unions, in the official delegation of the Republic of Cyprus.
 Government Spokesman expresses satisfaction with Holbrooke's statementsGovernment Spokesman Manolis Christofides yesterday expressed satisfaction with US Presidential Emissary's statement that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has committed himself to a bi-zonal, bi-communal, federation.
Richard Holbrooke said that during last week's joint meeting in Nicosia between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the latter committed himself to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and said Greek and Turkish Cypriots can live together.
He also pointed out that the UN Cyprus peace initiative aims at establishing a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation where human rights will be respected. "This is what the Holbrooke's team will aim for," the spokesman said.
Moreover, commenting on another statement by the US Emissary, that the European Union is making life difficult for Turkey, Christofides said: "It is Turkey itself that makes its European course difficult by either ignoring its recommendations or threatening Europe for its position on Turkey's European prospects."
Europe has made clear to Turkey that it should make progress as far as human rights, the Kurdish and the Cyprus problems are concerned if Ankara's EU membership is to be considered. "It is Turkey that has to abide by the European criteria," Mr Christofides emphasised.
He added: "We do not object to efforts for progress in Turkey's European course, provided the pre-conditions set by the EU are kept," and pointed out that one of these pre-conditions is that Ankara should not hinder Cyprus' European course.
The spokesman also said the government is satisfied because Holbrooke keeps stressing that he considers it his duty to promote the conclusion of Cyprus' EU membership course.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/