|Friday, 23 February 2024
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-06-15
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Government amazed at French statementsThe Cyprus government on Saturday (13.6.98) expressed amazement at a statement by France implying that the European Union's accession talks with Cyprus should be reconsidered.
"We are really amazed by the statements by the spokeswoman for the French presidency, especially after the visit of Foreign Minister Kasoulides to Paris and other official meetings we had with the French government," Cyprus Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said.
The French spokeswoman briefing reporters in Paris on the meeting of EU leaders due to take place in the Welsh city of Cardiff today and tomorrow, said on Friday (12.6.98): "The Union cannot import into its midst the problems of the division of Cyprus".
"Admitting a country which is split in two is hard to envisage. Negotiations make no sense if reunification is not on the cards," she said.
"To put it less diplomatically... that means that we believe the question needs to be asked about whether to continue or suspend these negotiations," she added.
Stylianides said the French statements were "contrary to the decisions of the European Union on Cyprus and the positions of the British presidency".
EU leaders agreed last December to start membership talks with the Cyprus government and subsequently these talks began in March. Suspending talks with Cyprus would require a unanimous decision from all EU countries.
Mr Stylianides said the Cyprus government was in touch with the Greek government on the matter, adding that the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Simitis is aware of the issue and that decisions have been taken for the necessary measures and diplomatic actions to be taken.
Meanwhile Athens News Agency reported that Greece said on Saturday that France is attempting to overthrow rules with which the EU operates.
"This policy", he said, "will not, however, be accepted, because the EU is a co-operation that serves principles and promotes communal interest ... and we will not allow it to be transformed into an intransparent bazaar," Government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said commenting on the French spokeswoman's statement.
 Government would have preferred UN report to have reflected Cyprus' viewsThe Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said on Friday (12.6.98) that he would have liked the report by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the UN operation in Cyprus to have reflected views closer to those of the Cyprus government.
"We would have liked to have seen in the report views closer to ours, particularly on issues such as the enclaved and Famagusta, and stronger criticism of the Turkish Cypriot side", he said.
He added, however, that the government has noted Annan's position on the lack of co-operation by the Turkish side with UNFICYP and the fact that the report blames the Turkish side for preventing bicommunal contacts and for the issue of missing persons.
"The government also noted Annan's position about the need for reduction of foreign troops on the island and states that it is ready at any time to continue the military dialogue," Mr Stylianides said.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/