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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-11-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 23 November 1999
In a joint communique, issued after talks in Athens yesterday between President Glafcos Clerides and Greek Premier Costas Simitis, the two leaders welcomed a statement by US President Bill Clinton that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable.
"It now remains for words to be turned into specific deeds", the communique said.
The communique stressed that this is a crucial juncture for the Cyprus issue, in the wake of the OSCE summit and US President Bill Clinton's visit and in view of the forthcoming talks in New York and the EU Summit meeting due to be held in Helsinki.
In general their evaluation of the situation following the OSCE summit and the bilateral talks held by Mr Simitis and Clerides with EU leaders and the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan was positive.
Speaking to reporters on his return to Cyprus yesterday from a trip that took him to South Africa, Istanbul and Athens, he added that the UN Secretary-General himself had specified the first four basic issues that he wants opinions on.
He also said that, irrespective of the outcome of the December talks, in all likelihood a second round would be on the cards in view of the short period of time available before the Helsinki summit.
"The time available for the talks may not allow discussions to cover all the key aspects of the Cyprus question and enable the parties to make progress on all of them" he said, adding that his attending the European Union summit would depend on the course of the New York talks.
This was stated by the Ambassador of Finland to Cyprus, Mr Pasi Patoallio, on behalf of the Finnish Presidency of the EU Council which met in Strasbourg on 18 November in the context of the 16th session of the Joint Cyprus-EU Parliamentary Committee.
He added that the Finnish Presidency continues to work closely with the UN and other international factors in order to achieve this aim.
The EU, he went on, welcomes the fact that the two sides in Cyprus have agreed to proximity talks in New York on 3 December, and expects these to be substantial.
He expressed regret on the part of the EU that a solution to the Cyprus problem has not yet been found and stressed that Cyprus' entry into the EU should benefit both communities on the island and contribute to peace and reconciliation on the island.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/