|Tuesday, 6 June 2023|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-12-06
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/>
Wednesday, 6 December 2000
 Statement by the Government SpokesmanThe Government Spokesman Mr Michalis Papapetrou, commented yesterday, on Turkey's Accession Partnership with the European Union.
He said that despite the full mobilisation and strong reaction of Turkish diplomacy aiming at disassociating Turkey's Accession Partnership from the Cyprus problem, the text that has been adopted in the Accession Partnership contains clear references to the Cyprus problem. "I wish to stress that the relevant reference remains in the operative part on Turkey's short term obligations and the whole effort made by Turkey to remove it, even from this paragraph, has not been successful".
Referring to Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktash's statement on 4 December that the UN sponsored proximity talks on Cyprus had ended for the Turkish side, Mr Papapetrou said that this is contrary to the letter and spirit of the European Union decision and in essence is the first jarring note to it.
Asked what he thinks about the change made in the sub-heading of the text of the Accession Partnership, which now reads 'Enhanced political dialogue and political criteria', Mr Papapetrou said:
"It is a fact that a sub-heading has been added which refers to 'enhanced political dialogue and political criteria'. However, this sub-heading comes under the chapter of Turkey's short-tern obligations for the year 2001.
The meaning of 'enhanced political dialogue' is spelled out in paragraph 12 of the Helsinki conclusions, which inter alia says that 'Turkey will benefit from a pre-accession strategy to stimulate and support its reforms. This will include enhanced political dialogue, with emphasis on progressing towards fulfilling the political criteria for accession with particular reference to the issue of human rights, as well as on the issues referred to in paragraphs 4 and 9 (a)'.
I would also like to remind you that paragraph 9 (a) says 'The European Council welcomes the launch of the talks aiming at a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on 3 December 1999 in New York and expresses its strong support for the UN Secretary-General' s efforts to bring the process to a successful conclusion'. I think that these clarifications give the answers".
Replying to another question, the Spokesman said:"Nobody claims that this document of the Accession Partnership is ideal or the best possible for our side. Undoubtedly it could have been stronger. It could have demanded respect for resolutions, the withdrawal of the occupation troops and settlers, the return of the refugees etc. This procedure is used as a catalyst for a solution. This document, however, is a very important political tool, which our side is called upon to utilise so that Turkey may be made to cooperate as closely and as sincerely as possible with the UN Secretary General.
Asked why in his opinion the words " political dialogue" were inserted, given the fact that political dialogue does not create legal obligations for Turkey, Mr Papapetrou said:
"It was the result of a compromise and in the opinion of both the Cyprus and the Greek Government this compromise, this wording, does not affect our expectations. On the contrary it enables us to promote our cause".
Referring to the importance of the document, he said: "Although it is no cause for celebration, it is important because the Helsinki Presidency Conclusions have placed Turkey before some real dilemmas and created quite specific obligations. These obligations are now becoming more practical and time specific. What is more, Turkey has given its consent. Therefore, if tomorrow it continues to follow the same policy it will come into conflict with the EU and its own accession course and will violate commitments it has undertaken on its own free will.
Compared with the Helsinki conclusions, the political demands of the EU not only have not been relaxed but on the contrary have multiplied. The have become more time specific.
Whereas the Turkish Prime Minister Mr Bulent Ecevit had threatened a few days ago that even a mere reference to Cyprus would mean that Turkey would stop its accession course, he has now changed tune and will attend the Nice Council. This shows how Turkey's accession course could make the country's leaders change their stand".
 UN Secretary General recommends extension of UNFICYP mandate in CyprusIn his latest report dated 1 Dec 2000 on the activities of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), which covers developments from 1 June to 27 November 2000, the UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan recommends to the Security Council to extend the mandate of the force for a further period of six months, until 15 June 2001.
In the chapter entitled "Observations," the UN Secretary General notes "the situation along the ceasefire lines in Cyprus has remained generally stable." He stresses, however, that "the conditions in which UNFICYP operates have become more difficult, owing to the restrictions imposed on it by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the Turkish forces."
Moreover, he points out that his "urgent call" to the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the Turkish forces to "rescind the restrictions and to restore the military status quo ante at Strovilia has not, so far, met with a positive response."
In the prevailing circumstances, he considers the presence of UNFICYP "essential for the maintenance of the ceasefire on the island".
The report notes that the Turkish forces and Turkish Cypriot security forces "moved forward of their ceasefire line at Strovillia and have since controlled the access of UNFICYP to its post in this small hamlet, which is inhabited by Greek Cypriots". "Since October the Turkish forces have prevented UNFICYP from moving along the Famagusta - Dherinia road", it adds.
The significant impact of the above restrictions in the movement of UNFICYP means much longer trips and long detours, and "as result the operational effectiveness of UNFICYP has suffered," the report says.
The report acknowledges unilateral measures the Greek Cypriot side has taken in connection with the issue of missing persons: "In addition to other unilateral measures, the Greek Cypriot side has undertaken exhumations as well as identification of remains."
In the fenced area of Varosha, which the United Nations force in Cyprus continued to monitor, the status quo continued to change, the report says. "The United Nations continues to hold the Government of Turkey responsible for maintaining the status quo in Varosha," it adds.
On the Secretary General's good offices mission, the report outlines developments during the proximity talks, conducted by his Special Adviser Alvaro de Soto and notes the invitation the Secretary General has already extended to the two sides for further talks in late January.
 Foreign Minister addresses the EU Intergovernmental Conference"Seventeen chapters have been provisionally closed in the Cyprus EU accession negotiations due to the close assistance and cooperation of the European Commission and the Union's member states. However, we fully realise that the most difficult chapters of the acquis are still to be negotiated," Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides said yesterday.
Speaking at the 6th Ministerial Meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference for the accession of Cyprus to the European Union (EU), Mr Kasoulides reconfirmed that Cyprus will continue its efforts and further enhance its preparations in order to step up the pace of negotiations and add new momentum in the future with a view to their timely conclusion".
Cyprus has expressed the government's appreciation to the French presidency of the Council for "the important tasks it has undertaken in furthering the accession process and conducting the work of the Intergovernmental Conference on Institutional Reform", as well as "for the results achieved so far".
Cyprus has expressed its satisfaction for both the 2000 Regular Report and the Enlargement Strategy Paper he said, adding that "these documents arrive at the conclusion that Cyprus does fulfil all the Copenhagen political and economic criteria".
"We consider this as an encouragement to continue with more strength and determination our efforts and work towards successfully concluding the accession negotiations" he added.
Mr Kasoulides also expressed Cyprus' "sincere hope and expectation for a successful conclusion of the Nice European Council, which will open the way for effective institutional reforms and prepare the Union for its next enlargement".
The European Council President, French Foreign Minister Mr Hubert Vedrine, and the European Commissioner on enlargement Mr Gunter Verheugen, both noted that Cyprus' EU accession talks have moved forward in a positive manner and that progress has been made in certain chapters of the acquis communautaire.
Mr Vedrine congratulated Mr Kasoulides on the work Cyprus has done regarding full harmonisation with the acquis, noting that Cyprus has closed 17 chapters and is at an advanced stage of negotiations to close the rest.
For his part Mr Verheugen also expressed the Commission's satisfaction with Cyprus' preparation regarding the adoption of the acquis communautaire. He underlined that the Commission would proceed in such a way that accession negotiations would be completed within the year 2002 with the countries that are ready to join the EU, so that enlargement can be feasible in 2003.
 Proposal by a foreign bank to set up a "stabilizing fund" for the Cyprus stock exchangeThe Cyprus Council of Ministers approved a proposal submitted by a foreign bank, to set up a "stabilising fund" of 100 million Cyprus pounds for the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE), the Minister of Finance Mr Takis Klerides announced yesterday.
Speaking after yesterday's Council of Ministers' meeting, Mr Klerides said the proposal "indicates the trust of foreign banking and investment organizations in the long-term future of the Cyprus Stock Exchange".
The Finance Minister noted that the fund would give the ability to those handling it to intervene in the Cyprus Stock Exchange, by investing on a long-term basis. He also said that the specific bank would bring money to Cyprus, which would be invested in "low risk shares", if need be.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/
Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article