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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-10-02

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

Friday, 02/10/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN statement says two sides have agreed to "on island contacts"
  • [02] Sir David Hannay pledges to work hard to back UN effort
  • [03] Cyprus' Independence Day marked
  • [04] President Clerides' independence day speech
  • [05] Congratulatory messages
  • [06] Cyprus signs protocol on human cloning


[01] UN statement says two sides have agreed to "on island contacts"

President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash have expressed support for a process of UN contacts on the island with both parties.

A written statement issued by the UN on Wednesday said that during separate meetings with President Clerides and Mr Denktash, the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, proposed that his Resident Representative in Cyprus, Ann Hercus, "develop a process for on-island contacts with both parties, with the goal of reducing tensions and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement".

The statement notes that "both leaders have expressed their support for such a process and have promised to cooperate in a constructive and flexible manner".

The UN Chief met with President Clerides on 25 September on the sidelines of the 53rd UN General Assembly. He had a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash in New York on Wednesday.

Commenting on the statement, Cyprus Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said today that it was nothing new.

"The UN Secretary-General's representative has always examined both questions of substance and questions of reducing tension", he added.

As regards questions of substance, he said, it is well known that we insist on the UN resolutions which have a bizonal, bicommunal federation as their basis. As regards questions of reducing tension, he said that clarifications are needed because it is important to know what issues will come under this heading and whether they will be on the basis of the UN resolutions.

Mr Stylianides also announced that the government has already made representations about an amendment to the statement issued later on Wednesday by the UN.

The original statement was reissued with references to President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, being replaced with "his excellency Mr Glafcos Clerides " and "his excellency Mr Rauf Denktash", respectively.

A UN spokesman asked about the changes said: "The titles given in the revised statement reflected the convention that we have established and held to for a long time on how to refer to the parties in the context of negotiations".

Mr Stylianides on his part said: "The fact that the UN recognises the Republic of Cyprus and its President is not in doubt", he said.

"The simple fact that the President of Cyprus addressed the UN General Assembly and was called to the podium as a head of state, following the proper procedures and protocol of the General Assembly for heads of state, is clear proof that the position of the UN Secretariat and the UN Organisation in general hasn't changed as regards the full recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, and President Clerides as the head of state", he explained.

[02] Sir David Hannay pledges to work hard to back UN effort

Sir David Hannay, Britain's representative for Cyprus and European Union Austrian presidency envoy, has pledged to work hard to back a new UN peace effort for Cyprus as he believes it offers some prospects for the future.

"We British and the representative of the Austrian EU presidency greatly welcome the Secretary-General's statement. I think it offers some prospects for the future and we will be supporting the efforts of the Secretary- General and his representative", Sir David said after a meeting in New York with Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides.

[03] Cyprus' Independence Day marked

The Republic of Cyprus yesterday celebrated the 38th anniversary of its independence.

Greece's Defence Minister, Akis Tsohatzopoulos, arrived in Cyprus on Wednesday in order to attend the Independence Day celebrations.

Together with President Glafcos Clerides, and other government officials, he observed yesterday's military parade to mark the anniversary.

On his arrival in Cyprus, Mr Tsohatzopoulos said Greece will continue to strengthen its defence pact with Cyprus and will respond to Turkish threats with actions not words.

He said that as long as Turkish expansionist policies persisted, so would the defence pact between Cyprus and Greece.

"The Cypriot people and the Greek people are very experienced in the expansionist policy of Turkey and its threats," Mr Tsohatzopoulos said.

Mr Tsohatzopoulos was received by President Clerides yesterday and had a meeting with his Cypriot counterpart, Yiannakis Omirou.

Speaking to the press after the meeting with Mr Omirou, Mr Tsohatzopoulos said they had discussed the issue of a more effective co-operation between the two countries on joint defence and security, and the political developments in the region.

Given the political turbulence of the region, the two countries are working for stronger stability, co-operation and balance through constant upgrading of their defensive capabilities, Tsohatzopoulos said.

Referring to Cyprus' European course, he said the island's accession to the EU is simply a matter of time, adding "more positive initiatives" are likely next year.

The Greek Defence Minister also had with meetings with party leaders or their representatives.

He leaves the island today.

[04] President Clerides' independence day speech

President Glafcos Clerides, in his speech marking Cyprus' independence day, criticised Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's recent proposal for confederation.

"The anniversary of the declaration of the Republic of Cyprus, is celebrated this year during a period in which the Turkish side now publicly announces that it wants a confederation as a solution to the Cyprus problem, " the President said.

Clerides said Turkish Cypriot policy had for years "hypocritically been... pretending they want a federation. Because what other than a confederation was it when they asked for recognition of the so-called 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', for separate sovereignty, equal representation, a rotating presidency and a veto on decisions - proposals that all my predecessors in the presidential office rejected?"

Outlining the consequences he believes confederation would have on the island, President Clerides said it would result in the permanent substantive division of Cyprus, through the abolition of the Republic of Cyprus and its replacement with two separate states, with special relations with Greece and Turkey. He said this would create a legal basis for a future demolition of the confederation and its replacement by two separate states.

He said, moreover, it would result in the further distancing of the two communities from each other and a rise in tension between Greece and Turkey with a greater danger to the stability and security of the region.

President Clerides went on to state that a confederation went against everything that Greek Cypriot policy stood for. He continued by saying that Greek Cypriot determination alone was not enough for a solution, and that outside support was very necessary.

President Clerides ended his address with a call to "our compatriots the Turkish Cypriots to intensify their struggle for a reunification of our divided island."

[05] Congratulatory messages

US President Bill Clinton and French President Jacques Chirac were among the foreign heads of state sending congratulatory messages to President Clerides on the occasion Cyprus' 38th independence anniversary yesterday.

President Clinton said his administration continues to be firmly committed to finding a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus and indicated that courage and determined leadership can help reconcile the problem.

"As we have seen during the past year in other parts of Europe, courage and determined leadership can reconcile even the most intractable and long- standing conflicts," President Clinton said.

In his message, President Chirac expressed the wish that a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem can be found and added that he has no doubt that President Clerides is personally engaged in the difficult but necessary effort to find a political settlement.

Israeli President, Ezer Weizman, who is scheduled to pay an official visit to Cyprus in the first week of November, the first by an Israeli President, in his congratulatory message expressed the wish that bilateral relations between Cyprus and Israel will develop further.

Other congratulatory messages from world statesmen, included the Presidents of Israel, Syria, Morocco, Indonesia, Madagascar, Algeria, Sudan and Yemen.

Queen Elizabeth II, the Sultan of Oman, Pope John Paul, the Queen of Nepal, the Sultan of Brunei, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, and the President and Premier of the United Arab Emirates also sent similar messages.

[06] Cyprus signs protocol on human cloning

Cyprus has signed the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and its Protocol on the Prohibition of Cloning Human Beings.

The relevant texts were signed by Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Thalia Petrides, in the presence of Secretary-General of the organisation, Daniel Tarschys.

The Convention is the first internationally-binding text designed to protect people against the misuse of biological and medical advances. It aims at preserving human dignity and identity, rights and freedoms through a series of principles and rules.


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


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