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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-09-18

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

Monday, 18 September 2000


CONTENTS

  • [01] President decides to continue to attend proximity talks
  • [02] Accession negotiations progressing well, says Maurer
  • [03] Foreign Minister appeals to Turkish Cypriot side to help resolve missing persons issue
  • [04] Cyprus accepts Protocol Nr.7
  • [05] Industrial Statistics for 1999


[01] President decides to continue to attend proximity talks

The President of the Republic, Mr Glafcos Clerides, has decided to continue attending the proximity talks in New York after receiving satisfactory clarifications of points contained in a statement the UN Secretary General, Mr Kofi Annan, read out to each side at the start of the fourth round of talks on 12 September. (See update of 13 September 2000, for full text of statement)

The statement was considered as being subject to different interpretations and President Clerides refused to attend further meetings until satisfactory clarifications were given.

The second meeting was held on Friday 15 September. President Clerides initially met with Mr Annan and then had a two and a half hour session with the Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Mr Alvaro de Soto with whom he discussed the territorial issue.

The Government Spokesman Mr Michalis Papapetrou said "all the vague points which could be exploited by the Turkish side have been totally neutralised and refuted."

The Secretary General's statement referred to the two sides as being equals, to a "comprehensive settlement enshrining a new partnership" and to the necessity of recognising explicitly the equal status of the parties in the settlement to be achieved.

It was thought that these references might be construed as implying tacit recognition of the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied area, an interpretation emphatically denied by Mr de Soto who said that "interpretations placed upon his (the Secretary General's) statement by others do not have any validity".

Assurances

Mr Papapetrou said President Clerides received assurances that talks would continue strictly within the framework set by the UN Security Council. "He has also received confirmation that political equality, which is interpreted by the Security Council resolutions, is a concept that must be tackled on the basis of these interpretations," he added.

Fleeing from the talks would perpetuate the status quo and division of Cyprus. The President was seeking to break the deadlock and achieve a settlement by the reunification of Cyprus within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as envisaged in the UN resolutions. "The President has decided to attend the talks and hold discussions on this basis," he said.

He said "on no account will the Greek Cypriot side help (the Turkish Cypriot leader) Mr Rauf Denktash maintain his intransigence and shoulder the responsibilities burdening Mr Denktash, who has so far refused to negotiate".

Greece supports talks

The Greek Foreign Minister, Mr George Papandreou, who is also in New York, said Greece insisted on substantive talks being held, leading to a Cyprus settlement envisaging a bicommunal, bizonal federation within the European Union.

Greek Cypriot party leaders are also in New York monitoring developments there.

The Democratic Rally, founded by President Clerides, and the United Democrats, led by the former President of the Republic, Mr George Vassiliou, endorsed the President's decision to go ahead with proximity talks.

The leftist party Akel, the Democratic Party led by the current President of the House of Representatives, Mr Spyros Kyprianou, and the Movement of Social Democrats expressed reservations about President Clerides' stand.

Other smaller parties not represented in the House of Representatives also expressed reservations.

[02] Accession negotiations progressing well, says Maurer

"Negotiations for accession are progressing well with 16 of the 29 chapters now already provisionally closed and a further nine progressing," European Commission team leader for Cyprus, Leopold Maurer, told a joint press conference with Mr Vasiliou, at the Ledra Palace Hotel on Friday 15 September at the end of the EU Commission negotiating team's mission to Cyprus.

Mr Maurer said the mission reviewed progress in chapters currently under negotiation during the French Presidency and monitored Cyprus' commitments from previous rounds of negotiations.

Mr Maurer stressed that while the transposition of the "acquis communautaire" into Cypriot law was important, the Commission is now closely monitoring implementation and enforcement.

Referring to the various chapters which were discussed, including competition, energy, taxation, environment, free movement of services and free movement of capital, he highlighted transport and particularly maritime transport safety as crucial for the EU, given that with the accession of Cyprus and Malta, the Union would have the biggest fleet in the world.

Mr Maurer also referred to the chapter on environment and highlighted the Commission's as well as the European Parliament's concern over the fate of the Akamas national park.

He said that relations between Cyprus and the EU are getting closer and that in the field of financial cooperation, following the EU's decision, Cyprus will start behaving like a member state already, since it will manage on its own the EU funding allocated to the island. Cyprus, due to its efficient state administration, will be the first to experience this task and it will be a prime example for the rest of the candidate states.

Cyprus' Chief Negotiator at the EU talks, Mr George Vasiliou, also speaking at the press conference, said that the decision to allow Cyprus to manage the funds demonstrates the trust the Commission services have for the Cypriot administration and its ability to handle the money and act as a member state. Cyprus will act as a model for the other candidates.

He said that Cyprus is on the right track and that the meetings, which took place during Mr Maurer's visit, had provided clarifications which will enable Cyprus to close more chapters either during the French or the Swedish Presidency.

He expressed regret that Turkish Cypriot journalists were not permitted by the Turkish Cypriot "authorities" to attend the press conference, adding that the venue was held at the Ledra Palace precisely in order to enable them to do so.

[03] Foreign Minister appeals to Turkish Cypriot side to help resolve missing persons issue

The remains of another 43 persons, missing or war dead from the 1974 Turkish invasion have been identified by foreign and Cypriot experts, through the scientific process of DNA, Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides stated last Saturday.

Speaking to journalists in New York on the issue of the missing persons, Mr Kasoulides explained that out of the 43 new cases, four are of Greek Cypriots listed as missingwhose files were submitted to the Committee of Missing Persons for investigation and 11 are of Greek Cypriots whose files were not submitted to the Committee.

The cases of missing submitted to the investigatory committee are classic examples of seeking the truth and closing these cases with convincing evidence, he said, and appealed to the Turkish side to cooperate for the implementation of the 31 July 1997 agreement to help resolve this humanitarian issue.

The Cyprus government is willing to cooperate in openness and in a humanitarian manner to identify remains of Turkish Cypriots who are allegedly missing and may be buried anywhere on the island, he said.

Mr Kasoulides said that the handling of the issue of missing persons proves the Greek Cypriot side's sincerity and its intention not to use this issue for political expediency".

Mr Kasoulides said that President Clerides raised the issue of missing persons with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at a meeting with him in New York. The Secretary General said he would do what he could to promote the issue, even if it was not part of the ongoing UN-led peace talks.

He expressed the government's deepest condolences to the families of the 15 missing whose fate has been ascertained and apologised for the long delay of 26 years in finding and identifying the remains.

The government has often said that the fate of each missing person must be ascertained through scientific means and the remains of those identified should be returned to their families.

"We cannot contemplate reconciliation and implementation of a Cyprus settlement without a resolution of this problem," he concluded.

[04] Cyprus accepts Protocol Nr.7

Cyprus today accepted Protocol Nr.7 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Ambassador Christophoros Yiangou, Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the Council of Europe, handed the instrument of acception to Walter Schwimmer, Secretary General of the organization.

The Protocol, which will enter into force for Cyprus on 1 December 2000, guarantees the right of aliens to procedural guarantees in the event of expulsion from the territory of a state, the right of a convicted person to have his sentence reviewed by a higher court and the right to compensation in the event of a miscarriage of justice.

It also guarantees the right not to be tried or punished in criminal proceedings for an offence for which one has already been acquitted or convicted. The Protocol safeguards the equality of rightsand responsibilities of spouses.

[05] Industrial Statistics for 1999

The Statistical Service has announced that it has published the annual report "Industrial Statistics 1999".

The report provides detailed statistical data on the developments in the broad industrial sector covering mining and quarrying, manufacturing, electricity, gas and water.

The mining and quarrying sector in 1999 increased by 5,6% compared to the previous year. It is estimated that value added of the sector in real terms increased from Cú14.385 thousand in 1998, to Cú15.197 thousand in 1999.

During 1999 the manufacturing sector recorded a marginal increase due mainly to an increase in local consumption and tourism. Value added of the sector increased by 0,3% in real terms compared to an increase of 1,2% in 1998.

Food, beverages and tobacco, which traditionally is the largest group and in 1999 contributed 36,9% to the manufacturing value added, registered a 4, 3% increase in volume of production. This was mainly the result of an increase in domestic demand.

Textiles, wearing apparel and leather, the second largest group, contributing 10,3% to the manufacturing value added, recorded a decline of 7,3% in volume of production, attributable mainly to a decrease in exports of clothing, footwear and travel goods as well as a decline in domestic demand. Clothing, continued to be the most important manufacturing item and its value of production is estimated at Cú92,4 million in 1999 compared to Cú100,2 million in 1998.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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