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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-01-19

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

Monday, 19/01/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Clerides urges unity in handling new peace initiatives
  • [02] Foreign Minister says Turkey should satisfy European Union conditions
  • [03] Cyprus's UN protest at Turkey's new illegal military overflights
  • [04] Seminar on EU accession talks


[01] President Clerides urges unity in handling new peace initiatives

Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides called on the international community to act more decisively towards Ankara to open the road for a Cyprus settlement.

In statements on Sunday, 18.1.98, the Cypriot President expressed optimism about the future of the divided island, noting that the months to come after the February presidential elections would be decisive for the future.

"After the presidential elections a new initiative is expected to culminate to find a settlement to our national problem and negotiations for Cyprus accession to the European Union will begin" Mr Clerides said.

He stressed that the fate of the new initiative and the result of the negotiations would "depend, to a great extent, on the strategy to be followed".

For this reason, President Clerides said, what is required is the greatest "possible unity, responsible handling, determination and boldness".

Speaking to Turkish Cypriots on Saturday, 17.1.98, during a visit to the mixed village of Pyla, Mr Clerides said the future of the island for both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, could only be safeguarded with the island's accession to the EU.

He expressed the hope that 1998 would be the year to mark the start of a settlement.

"If the international community acts more decisively this time towards Ankara, the road towards a solution to the Cyprus problem will open", the Cypriot President added.

[02] Foreign Minister says Turkey should satisfy European Union conditions

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides expressed on Friday (16.1.98) the Government's satisfaction with a recent series of statements coming from the British EU Presidency, France, Germany and others about the need for Turkey to accept the Luxembourg EU decision and take up the offer to participate in the European Conference after first having satisfied such conditions as the opening of the road to a Cyprus solution.

Mr Kasoulides underlined that it is important that all European Union countries say that if Turkey is to realize her European aspirations, she must first take practical steps regarding Cyprus, human rights issues, good neighbourliness with Greece and respect for international law. "Sooner or later Turkey will have to face the challenge and invitation of Europe. We believe that the right conditions now exist - that were not there before - for Turkey to show interest at the European Union's proposals", the Cypriot Foreign Minister said.

Speaking at a press conference in Nicosia Mr Kasoulides also said that during his talks in Athens last week the parameters of how to achieve Turkish Cypriot participation in accession negotiations, were set out.

This should be done without contravening the Union's position that it carried out negotiations with the internationally recognised government of the Republic of Cyprus, he said.

He also revealed that the government of Cyprus will put forward proposals on Turkish Cypriot participation in membership talks with the European Union, due to begin next spring.

[03] Cyprus's UN protest at Turkey's new illegal military overflights

Cyprus has protested to the UN about new violations by Turkey of the Republic's national airspace, only two weeks after a previous such incident. In a letter to United Nations Secretary General and circulated as a UN document, Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Sotos Zacheos said:

"This new illegal and unacceptable Turkish action was committed on 12 January 1998 when four Turkish military aircraft, two type RF-4 with call sign ISIK-43 and two of unknown type (probably RF-4), violated the Nicosia flight information region and the national airspace of the Republic, flying over the areas of Karpasia, Mesaoria, Pendadaktylos and Dhekelia".

He added that these actions "are in complete disregard of international law, the Charter of the United Nations and the relevant resolutions and decisions of the Organisation on the question of Cyprus".

[04] Seminar on EU accession talks

A seminar was organised in Cyprus on Friday (16.1.98) by the Cyprus Public Administration Academy in co-operation of the Maastricht European Institute of Public Administration for senior civil servants of the government. Under the title "Negotiation for Europea, Union accession: processes, limitations, targets, strategy" the seminar focused on briefing those responsible for the island's harmonisation process on all the important aspects of accession negotiations, drawing on the experience of earlier EU candidates. In his address to the Seminar Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said: "We have about five years to achieve the highest possible converge with the European Union. Five very critical years that will mark the economic, social and political future of Cyprus. During this time, it is our duty to the country to implement programmes which will both ensure the Cypriot society's gradual adjustment to the Union's environment and also offer the potential to all sections of the economy to deve lop and function competitively".

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


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