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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-03-22

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, 22 March 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Quatar
  • [02] Mr George Vassiliou meets with British EU Commissioner C. Patten
  • [03] US supports Cyprus accession to the EU
  • [04] Labour Party remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Greek Prime Minister discusses Cyprus problem with his British counterpart


[01] Minister of Foreign Affairs visits Quatar

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Kasoulides paid an official visit to Quatar on March 19 and 20 at the invitation of his counterpart, after the two countries established relations in February of this year. During his visit, Mr Kasoulides briefed his counterpart on recent developments of Cyprus' political situation and they exchanged views on international and regional issues of common interest.

The two Foreign Ministers also discussed bilateral relations and the efforts to develop trade and economic ties between Cyprus and Quatar.

During an interview with the local press, Mr Kasoulides said, among other things, that the Cyprus government rejects solution of the Cyprus problem with two separate states, which is the solution supported by Mr Denktash.

Asked about the Palestinian issue, Mr Kasoulides stated that Cyprus' position on the matter is clear, and is based on the same principles, the implementation of which we pursue for the Cyprus problem.

On the issue of the border dispute between Bahrain and Quatar, Mr Kasoulides said that the two countries have set an example to the world with regards to resolving disputes by peaceful means and on the basis of international legality.

The Foreign Minister was received by the Emir of Quatar, Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, to whom he conveyed a personal message from the President of Cyprus, Mr Glafcos Clerides.

[02] Mr George Vassiliou meets with British EU Commissioner C. Patten

The Head of the Negotiating Team for the Accession of Cyprus to the European Union, Mr Vassiliou, briefed British Commissioner C. Patten, during their meeting in Brussels yesterday, on the recent developments of the accession negotiations. Mr Vassiliou also stressed that the Cypriot side is directing all its efforts towards a full adaptation and implementation of the acquis communautaire. The procedure of Cyprus' accession negotiations is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.

Referring to the lack of progress on the Cyprus issue, Mr Vassiliou said that the Turkish side is responsible for the stalemate, as it refuses to take part in the process of the proximity talks and shows no respect to UN resolutions on the matter. Mr Vassiliou made reference to the statements made by Mr Verheugen, according to which a confederation cannot be an acceptable solution for Cyprus, since that EU is not willing to accept two separate Cypriot states.

[03] US supports Cyprus accession to the EU

"We have strongly supported the European Union's decision on accession. We have supported the 1999 Helsinki Conclusions that say that a political settlement would facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, and they go on further. That is our policy. That is what we support", the US State Department Spokesman Mr Richard Boucher stated yesterday during his daily press briefing.

Asked to comment on a statement made by the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Mr Marc Grossman, which left open the possibility that there should be a solution of the Cyprus problem first and then the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, Mr Boucher said that Mr Grossman's remarks have been "over-interpreted".

Mr Boucher explained that what Mr Grossman actually said was that "we ought to be able to make sure that all people in Cyprus, whether in north or south, have the opportunity to get into the European Union, and to do that they are going to settle the problem."

Asked whether the US supports the Helsinki decision of the European Union, Mr Boucher replied: "We always have and we still do, and Mr. Grossman'scomments are consistent with that position.

Replying to another question regarding the meeting between the Greek Foreign Minister and Secretary Powell, Mr Boucher said the Greek Foreign Minister Mr Papandreou has accepted Secretary Powell's invitation to meet on May 21st in Washington. In addition to the meeting, they will have a working lunch, he added.

[04] Labour Party remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem

"The Labour party remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the Cyprus problem. We believe that the best means of achieving a solution is on the basis laid down in UN Security Council resolutions calling for a bizonal bicommunal federation".

The above position on Cyprus is stated in a booklet published by the British Labour Party. The booklet states the Labour Party's policies on various issues and its achievements in the last three years of being in power.

The Labour Party underlines that "the solution of the Cyprus problem must respect the human and democratic rights of all the citizens of Cyprus and allow both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities freedom to live in peace and security".

It says, "the Labour government welcomed UN Security council resolution 1218 adopted on 22 December 1998, which sets out clear and far reaching objectives for reducing tension and for progress towards a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus".

It underlines that it has played a key role in support of UN efforts towards a settlement in Cyprus leading to the launch of UN proximity talks in December 1999.

Moreover, the Labour Party supports Cyprus' application for membership to the European Union and believes that a resolution to the division of the island is not a precondition of Cyprus' membership.

Finally, it stresses that "Britain will continue to use its influence as one of the guarantors of the 1960 settlement to bring about the peaceful reunification of the island".

[05] Greek Prime Minister discusses Cyprus problem with his British counterpart

Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis had a meeting in London on 20th March with his British counterpart Mr Tony Blair.

Speaking to Greek journalists yesterday, Mr Simitis said that during his meeting with Mr Blair they discussed the Cyprus problem and Greco-Turkish issues.

Referring to the Cyprus problem Mr Simitis said that Britain's stance on the Cyprus problem is of considerable help and reminded that at European Council at Nice, Britain had made a proposal for a paragraph on Cyprus to be included in the Conclusions.

Replying to a question on the role Britain can play in the resumption of the Cyprus talks, Mr Simitis said that both he and Mr Blair agreed that the Turkish Cypriot leader must be persuaded to come to the negotiating table. Moreover they both believe that the UN Secretary General must set a date for the resumption of the talks so that it can be made clear that the Turkish Cypriots do not respond to the agreed procedure.


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


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