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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-01-21

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Wednesday, 21/01/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] US Secretary of State vows to continue efforts on Cyprus
  • [02] Foreign Minister comments on Madeleine Albright's statement on Cyprus
  • [03] Canada willing to play role in multinational force in a future federal Cyprus


[01] US Secretary of State vows to continue efforts on Cyprus

American Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said the US will persist in efforts for a Cyprus solution and that, that it will keep Ambassador Richard Holbrooke "on the job" as presidential emissary for Cyprus.

In an interview with Reuters news agency on 20.1.98, marking the first anniversary of her appointment, Mrs. Albright said: "This is one of the difficult areas of the world. We are obviously concerned about Greek- Turkish maneuvering in the Aegean and about the lack of resolution of Cyprus." She added: "I think what we are going to do is keep Holbrooke on the job."

Referring to presidential elections to be held in the Cyprus Republic on February 8, Mrs. Albright said Washington would see whether "that will allow the process... to move forward."

[02] Foreign Minister comments on Madeleine Albright's statement on Cyprus

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides commenting on Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's statements to Reuters on 20.1.98 expressed the view that the United States is now convinced that the settlement of the Cyprus problem would be the key to stability in the region and to normalisation of Greco-Turkish relations.

The Cypriot Foreign Minister noted that the present situation in the Eastern Mediterranean "has already convinced the US for the need of a Cyprus settlement, which would bring stability to the region and mainly improve relations between Greece and Turkey."

On his part, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said on 20.1.98 that Mrs. Albright's statement reaffirmed that the Cyprus issue remains a priority for US diplomacy and that progress towards a settlement should be made.

[03] Canada willing to play role in multinational force in a future federal Cyprus

Two senior Canadian government officials who are visiting Cyprus held talks on Tuesday (20.1.98) with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.

Speaking after the meeting Canadian Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ted McWhinney said he had "very valuable discussions with Mr. Kasoulides on foreign policy issues and a very large number of matters that affect Cyprus and Canada but not specifically matters related to internal Cyprus issues." He said he would visit Athens and Ankara for talks and then report to the Canadian government on the content of his discussion.

Mr. McWhinney and Canada's special representative for Cyprus Mr. Michael Bell said that the removal of landmines from Cyprus was one of the issues discussed with the Minister.

"There is a lot of expertise in Canada about landmines and we will be looking forward for action there and if it occurs I think there will be a strong argument for the Canadian government in helping for the removal of landmines here", he added.

Responding to questions, he said the removal of mines, most of which lie near the UN controlled buffer zone which divides the island, will probably be touched upon at a meeting with UNFICYP Commander, Major General Evergisto de Vergara.

Mr. McWhinney said his talks on both sides of the divide gave him grounds that the sides can make headways towards a solution.

"I am quite encouraged, there is enough pragmatism around, all of us want to see Cyprus issue settled and a solution that respects the integrity of the island," he told journalists.

Asked if Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash indicated to him he would return to the negotiating table in spite of public statements to the contrary, Mr. McWhinney replied "generally I am very impressed with the possibilities here after my visit, dialogue is essential and rigid positions that are sometimes taken for newspaper headlines purposes are not necessarily the ultimate positions."

Asked whether Canada may participate in a multinational peace-keeping force in Cyprus after a solution, he pointed out that Canada concentrates on peace-keeping for the past 35 years and added "I think there will be very strong support in Canada for further involvement."


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


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