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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-09-28

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/>

Thursday, 28 September 2000


CONTENTS

  • [01] Kasoulides: We must seek a formula that will ensure real peace and reconciliation
  • [02] Cyprus ratifies the Revised European Social Charter
  • [03] Condolences to the victims of the sea tragedy
  • [04] Presentation of credentials


[01] Kasoulides: We must seek a formula that will ensure real peace and reconciliation

"The most important challenge for Cyprus today is the effort to reunify the country and our people in our common homeland", Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides stated yesterday.

In his speech at the Royal Commonwealth Society in London entitled "Cyprus and Europe", Mr Kasoulides referred to Cyprus' history of relations with the European communities, to the government's efforts for a political solution and to the present challenges and future prospects.

Beyond the prospects of reunification under a European system of values and principles, Cyprus' aim is to put a stop to the continuing violations of human rights emanating from the division and the illegal military Turkish occupation, Mr Kasoulides said.

He pointed out that as a result of the Turkish invasion the Greek Cypriots have lost their loved ones, they continue to be deprived of their homes and properties and many families have some of their members still missing.

"Yet the worst suffering from the invasion belongs to the Turkish Cypriot community as is reflected by their fate in the past 26 years", he said.

Mr Kasoulides noted that over 40,000 Turkish Cypriots, one third of the Turkish Cypriot community, have emigrated from the areas under Turkish occupation due to lack of safety.

"The Turkish Cypriots cannot live freely either with the oppressive presence of the Turkish army which controls aspects of their lives or with the continuous influx of settlers transplanted from Turkey's Anatolia region in an effort to change the demographic character of Cyprus," he said.

The sad reality is that the Turkish Cypriot community is already a minority in the occupied area, he said, and added that there is a movement supported by 43 political parties and organizations of Turkish Cypriots now gathering pace and its slogan is "we want our country back".

Mr Kasoulides analysed the efforts for a political solution and said that the context of a solution has shifted to one of bicommunal, bizonal federation. "The early concessions made by the Greek Cypriot community in 1997 were made upon the promises of a quick end to Turkey's occupation. These concessions however painful, are the only possible pointers toward any acceptable solution on Cyprus, because they were made in earnest and having in mind the interests of all the Cypriot people," he said.

He stressed that the Cyprus government has renewed its call for the demilitarization of the island in the most important step towards creating a feeling of true security. In addition, it has put forward the idea of a multinational security force under the mandate of the Security Council.

"We must continue to seek a formula that will ensure real peace and reconciliation in Cyprus. This cannot be founded on recognition and legalization of the crime perpetrated against the people of Cyprus", he said.

Referring to the solution of the Cyprus problem in relation to Cyprus' EU accession, Mr Kasoulides said that the nature of the solution is more important than the time factor, whether it will be before or after accession to the European Union.

"The issue," he said, "is not to speak of a solution before or after accession, but about the very nature of a solution," stressing that any solution, irrespective of the timeframe in which Turkey decides to facilitate it, must be in line with two basic requirements.

"First any agreements to be agreed must allow Cyprus to face up to its responsibilities and duties as an EU member state and secondly, we have to ensure that all instrumental arrangements of the day-to-day running of the state do not veer off from the requirements of the acquis communautaire," he added.

[02] Cyprus ratifies the Revised European Social Charter

The Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, Mr Andreas Moushouttas, handed yesterday the instrument of ratification of the Revised European Social Charter to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Walter Schwimmer.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Moushouttas described the Charter as a very important international treaty in the field of social policy and praised its contribution to European cohesion.

In Cyprus, the revised Social Charter is supported not only by the Cyprus government but also by the other social partners, who believe in the rights it provides for, the Minister said.

The aim of the revised Charter is to progressively replace the first Charter. It is a new human rights treaty which updates and completes the rights protected in the Charter which concern the six following fields: the right to housing, the right to health, the right to education, the right to employment, the right to social protection and the right to non-discrimination.

The revised European Social Charter came into force on 1 July 1999. It is in force in seven countries and has been signed by 16 countries. For Cyprus, it will enter into force on 1st November 2000.

[03] Condolences to the victims of the sea tragedy

The Cyprus Ambassador to Athens, Mr Christodoulos Pashiardis, visited the President of Greece Mr Constantinos Stefanopoulos yesterday and handed him a letter from the President Glafcos Clerides expressing deep and sincere condolences on behalf of the government and the people of Cyprus following the Greek ferry disaster near the island of Paros in which some 60 people died.

A telegram of condolences was also conveyed to the Greek Government and the families of the victims of the shipwreck, by the President of the House of Representatives, on behalf of himself and the Members of the House.

[04] Presentation of credentials

The Ambassador of Cyprus Mrs Popi Avraam, presented her credentials yesterday to King Alberto II of Belgium, as Cyprus' new Ambassador to Belgium.

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


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