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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-10-05
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 5 October 1999
 P>Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Mr Gregoris Niotis held a meeting yesterday in Washington with the US Deputy Secretary of State Mr Marc Grossman.
Speaking after the meeting Mr Niotis stressed that the American initiative should focus on putting into effect the UN Secretary General's extension of invitations to the two sides as soon as possible, before the OSCE Conference and certainly before President Clinton's visit to Constantinople and the EU Council meeting in Helsinki.
He also stated that Mr Grossman agreed that the US effort should be directed towards a successful outcome of the Secretary General's initiative.
The US, he added, is cautiously optimistic about the forthcoming initiative of US Presidential Envoy Mr Moses . There is no certainty, but a hope that this process may yield some positive results.
 P>US State Department Spokesman Mr James Rubin replying to journalists' questions yesterday in relation to US efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, said that there was an improvement in Greco-Turkish relations, and that the visit of the Greek Foreign Minister to Istanbul is part of the improved climate between Greece and Turkey.
"We hope this visit also helps our efforts to jump-start comprehensive Cyprus negotiations without preconditions under UN auspices as called for by Security Council resolutions and the statement of the Group of 8 as well".
Mr Rubin also referred to Cyprus during his regular briefing last Friday. Asked whether he was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with the Turkish Premier, Mr Rubin described the meeting as "constructive" and added:
"We believe that concrete progress was made in the meeting and we have a real chance to move and exploit the window of opportunity that exists this fall."
 P>The President of Russia, Mr Boris Yeltsin, in a congratulatory message to the President of Cyprus Mr Glafcos Clerides on the occasion of Cyprus' independence day, expressed the conviction that "the rich experience of friendly bilateral ties which has been accumulated by the peoples of our countries is a guarantee of further intensification and strengthening of co- operation between Russia and Cyprus".
This, he added "is in the interest of making Europe a continent of peace and security, as well as in the interest of a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of international law and UN resolutions".
In another congratulatory message, the President of France Mr Jacques Chirac said he hoped that the traditional bonds of friendship and co- operation that unite the people of Cyprus and France may be strengthened even more in the future. He also expressed the wish for a speedy solution to the Cyprus problem.
The President of the Peoples' Republic of China Mr Jiang Zemin , in his message, referred to the President Clerides' successful visit to China last June and said that he was "confident that under the joint care of the leaders of our two countries, the friendly relations and cooperation between China and Cyprus will continue to develop steadily"
Leaders from all over the world sent similar messages.
 P>The French Foreign Minister Mr Hubert Vedrine said last Wednesday that accession negotiations with Cyprus have started but no commitment as to their conclusion has been undertaken.
Mr Vedrine, who was replying to relevant questions on Cyprus at the French National Assembly, added that his country's stance on Cyprus' EU course remains unchanged.
It seems very difficult, he continued, to accept into the union a divided island. He also stressed that the improvement of Greco-Turkish relations can have a favourable effect on the issue.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/