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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-08-09
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 9 August 2000
 The quest for a Cyprus settlement through talks and negotiations is the only way out at the moment, says KasoulidesIn a press conference given yesterday , Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, stressed that despite the Turkish stand on the Cyprus problem which did not permit much optimism as regards the outcome of the proximity talks, the quest for a Cyprus settlement through talks and negotiations was the only way out at the moment. Since the two sides were called upon by the UN Secretary-General to participate in talks, the Greek Cypriot side and Cyprus Government were obliged to do their utmost to bring about an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem even if the hopes and expectations for a settlement were limited, he said.
Noting that third parties were not willing to exert pressure on Turkey to change its intransigent policy, Mr Kasoulides said that since it had steadily embarked on its course towards the European Union, the Cyprus government had decided to follow a policy which offered prospects and momentum rather than a static policy which relied on the hope that one day pressure would be applied on Turkey. He believed that in this way Cyprus' EU process would act as a catalyst as the date of accession approached. But, if not, then accession itself would constitute the magnet which would achieve the reunification of the country.
Mr Kasoulides said the Greek Cypriot side had committed itself to talks until the beginning of October. "Beyond this commitment, the position of our side cannot be taken for granted. I am not stating at this moment what our position will be after that date. Everything will be decided collectively with the members of the National Council, depending on developments in New York," he added.
Mr. Kasoulides also noted that following UN Security Council Resolution 1250, it was the leaders of the two communities and not the Secretary- General or the Security Council that were called upon to commit themselves to the following principles:
- no preconditions;
- all issues on the table;
- commitment in good faith to continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached;
- full consideration of relevant United Nations resolutions and treaties.
Therefore the principle "all issues on the table" could not be disassociated from "no preconditions", which was what the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, was doing at the moment. Nor could it be disassociated from the principle "full consideration of relevant United Nations resolutions and treaties."
He said that whichever side refused to proceed to substantive talks - and this would certainly not be the Greek Cypriot side - this should be recorded and the Security Council informed, and responsibility for this must be assumed.
Moreover, the Turkish side should not undermine the mild climate in which the talks should he held by unilateral and arbitrary acts such as the violation of the status quo in Strovilia or the provocations caused by the 20 July parade and the strengthening of the occupying forces in Cyprus, he said.
The Greek Cypriot side had expected the United Nations to demonstrate its credibility by showing that it was in a position to safeguard the status quo in Cyprus which was the result of the ceasefire agreement of 16 August 1975 and which the Turkish occupying troops had obviously violated. "If the Peacekeeping Force is not in a position to safeguard the status quo, then its authority would diminish with respect to any differences that might arise in the future between the National Guard and the Peace - keeping Force . And as I do not expect that the Peacekeeping Force would be able by itself, without the support of the Security Council, to exercise the mandate it has been given by the Security Council, the Security Council itself would be responsible for the consequences if it omits or neglects to take a position on the Secretary-Generals' letter regarding Stovilia. For if the Security Council refuses or delays taking the position that it should, then our side is obliged to react. The decision regarding Kokkina was not a decision of vengeance nor a decision of punishment. It was a decision of common sense.
From the moment the Turkish side closed the passage connecting the occupied area with the free areas in Pyrgos tis Tillyrias, how could they want this passage to open selectively for those who wish to go to the festivities since they would close it again to the Peacekeeping Force afterwards. Our position was a position of common sense. If they permanently opened the passage to the Peacekeeping Force as well as all the other passages they closed, including that of Strovilia, then our side would have no problem in allowing the way through from the Kokkina area.
Nor will the provocations which occurred during the parade remain unanswered. And let no one come and make suggestions to us as to how either the "Nikiforos" exercise or our parade will be conducted at the given moment. Also, all the necessary measures will be taken to reinforce the National Guard's defence capability against the army of occupation, " he added.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/