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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-02-09
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 9 February 2000
The parties have accepted in principle the Secretary General's invitation to resume the proximity talks on May 23 in New York, the UN Secretary- General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr Alvaro De Soto, announced yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference at the end of the second round of the proximity talks, Mr De Soto emphasised that the current round of talks in Geneva "did not involve negotiations as such" but noted that the two parties worked with the UN "in a constructive manner in exploring in greater depth the range of issues that were before them".
The aim of the current stage of the process, he said, is to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement. He pointed out that the process "is on track" and welcomed external factors such as the improvement of relations between Turkey and Greece, which give ground for hope.
Asked if there is a possibility to hold direct talks, Mr De Soto said that should the parties mutually agree the UN would consider changing the format of the proximity talks, but stressed that meaningful negotiations can take place without face to face talks.
Asked whether the United Nations will attempt to find a settlement in Cyprus on the basis of political equality, the UN official said that the notion of political equality in the context of the efforts to solve the problem of Cyprus, is enshrined in a variety of UN documents and contained in several of the UN Secretary General's reports.
"The challenge is how to translate that into a comprehensive settlement and that is what these talks are about and what the negotiations will be about, together with a variety of other issues that I have enumerated and will have to be part of a comprehensive settlement," he said.
Mr De Soto will visit Cyprus next month to be briefed by UNFICYP. "I have a lot of learning to do on the ground", he said.
The protocol was signed by the Permanent Representatives of Cyprus and Bosnia-Herzegovina at the United Nations, Ambassadors Sotos Zackheos and Mohamet Sacirbey.
In his address Mr Zackheos said that the protocol would promote relations between the two countries in various fields.
The two countries, face common challenges, the greatest of which is the maintenance of their sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity", he said. Both countries support the resolution of international problems on the basis of international law, the decisions of the UN Security Council and the protection of human rights without discriminations, he added.
Mr Zackheos expressed support for the international community's efforts for the reconstruction of Bosnia and pointed to the keen interest of the private sector in participating in these efforts.
On his part the Ambassador of Bosnia underlined that with the signing of this protocol a stronger relationship between Cyprus and Bosnia will be established.
The draft agreement, which was initialled by Cyprus Permanent Representative Mr Nicos Agathocleous, will be submitted to the EU Council of Ministers and to the European Parliament for final approval and implementation.
The participation of Cyprus in this programme is expected to contribute to the harmonisation of Cyprus enterprises with the European Union standards. It also constitutes a significant step in the pre-accession strategy of Cyprus.
According to the agreement the contracting parties have a common interest in cooperation in the field of small and medium-sized enterprises as part of a wider cooperation between the community and Cyprus and with the aim of contributing to a dynamic and homogeneous development in this field.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/