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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-11-21

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

Friday, 21/11/97


  • [01] UN will start new process of negotiations for Cyprus solution in March
  • [02] Turkey's European orientation must satisfy certain conditions, says Greece

[01] UN will start new process of negotiations for Cyprus solution in March

The UN Secretary-General's special advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez said that he will be returning to the island in March in order to start an ongoing process of negotiation on all the substantive issues of the Cyprus problem until a solution is found, a process he hoped would not last very long.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of his visit to Cyprus today, Mr Cordovez said the UN are changing the process of negotiations and the talks would now centre on the "actual text" that would constitute a comprehensive settlement.

He added that both sides had emphatically agreed that they "discuss the modalities of initiation of negotiations in line with the suggestions of the UN Secretary-General" when he comes back in March.

Mr Cordovez urged the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to take advantage of the international concern for the Cyprus issue and warned that this will not last for ever.

He said the worst enemy of any agreement is mistrust and emphasised the importance of finding an agreement that works and hence the search for a comprehensive agreement.

He said one of the problems here is that neither side believes that the other wants a solution.

Earlier today the UN envoy met in Nicosia with the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Yesterday Mr Cordovez was given a guided tour of the demarcation line dividing Nicosia by the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and said he was shocked to see it.

"I was particularly upset by the line," he said, describing Nicosia as "the only remaining divided city in the world."

Mr Cordovez said "to see the two communities facing each other with guns, it is something terrible."

Speaking before a lunch hosted by the UN resident representative Gustave Feissel for Greek and Turkish Cypriot party leaders in the UN-controlled buffer zone, he said he is determined to push the Cyprus peace process forward "but I have to get my distinguished interlocutors to be more determined."

Later yesterday afternoon Mr Cordovez had a second meeting with President Clerides following the separate meetings he had the day before with him and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

"Cordovez will visit Cyprus immediately after the presidential elections to organise the negotiation procedure," Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said after yesterday's meeting between President Clerides and the UN envoy.

Both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides have given their consent to the visit, he added.

Replying to questions, the Foreign Minister said Cordovez had said that if any side wished to hand in legal documents, they would be welcome. He clarified however that such a request had not been put forward officially to the two sides.

Mr Cordovez will now fly to Athens and Ankara for meetings with Greek and Turkish officials.

[02] Turkey's European orientation must satisfy certain conditions, says Greece

Greek Premier Costas Simitis said last night that Greece requires that Turkey meets certain preconditions before it can participate in the European Conference currently being considered by the EU states.

Speaking after a dinner hosted by Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean Claude Juncker in the framework of the EU's extraordinary summit being held in Luxembourg, Mr Simitis revealed that during the closed-door meeting the questions of EU expansion and EU - Turkish relations had been discussed.

He said that in order for Turkey to participate in a possible European Conference, in which European states other than EU members will also participate, it should abide by the principles of international law and peaceful co-operation.

Moreover, he said that all EU candidate countries should accept to have any disputes between them and their neighbours resolved by the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Furthermore he stressed that no candidate country should object or hinder another candidate country's accession procedure.

Mr Simitis said that Turkey should abide by UN resolutions in relation to a settlement of the Cyprus issue without threatening to annex the occupied areas or to attack the island.

He added that the EU Commission President Mr Jacques Santer agreed that Turkey should work constructively towards a Cyprus settlement within the framework of the UN and that pressure should be exerted on Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash not to veto Cyprus' EU accession.

Moreover, Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday that Greece is in favour of Turkey's European orientation, but would like to see certain issues resolved, particularly the ones that impede good relations between the two countries.

"If Turkey wishes to help by making specific steps to promote solutions to the problems it has created, such as the Cyprus issue, then we shall also be able to help," he added.

From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

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