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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-11-11
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 11 November 1999
"Well, I've been following this for roughly the six and a half years that I've been here or in New York and the Cyprus issue has been before us. And at various times people get bursts of optimism, followed by bursts of pessimism. And so I have concluded that there's no way to really know what will cause the two leaders and the relevant leaders in Greece and Turkey to make the hard political decision to yield a peaceful settlement".
Mr Rubin expressed the hope that the recent rapprochement in certain cases between Greek and Turkish officials increases the chances for a settlement and added:
"Certainly the President will be raising these issues in his discussions in Greece and Turkey. But as far as knowing whether those tough decisions will be made, I prefer not to speculate other than to say that we're ever hopeful, but ever realistic".
In his speech Mr Grossman said that there is a much better chance of getting talks started now, than there was even a few months ago.
"Just a few months ago, there did not seem to be much chance of getting talks started. That is not the case right now. The G-8 is united. The UN is ready. The new spirit of cooperation between Greece and Turkey encourages us."
"The US President and the Secretary of State", he said, " are committed to trying to forge a Cyprus settlement. To say so is not to raise false expectations. It is to state this fact: a settlement is long overdue."
"Our immediate goal is to get talks started, consistent with the June 20th G-8 statement calling for comprehensive talks, without preconditions, under UN auspices. The legitimate interests of both sides can be best protected by a negotiated settlement," he added.
Mr Grossman pointed out that the US Special Presidential Emissary Al Moses and the State Department's Special Coordinator Tom Weston, visited the region in October to explore ways to move forward. "They are following up on those meetings now. We have a real chance to move steadily on Cyprus this autumn, in the right direction," he said.
The American official also reiterated US support for Cyprus' EU membership: "We also support Cyprus's EU candidacy. As we seek to advance, a bizonal, bicommunal federation on Cyprus, we believe all Cypriots would prosper from EU membership."
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/