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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-11

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, 11 April 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Minister returns his visit to the United States
  • [02] US State Department Spokesman on the meeting between Secretary Powell and Foreign Minister Kasoulides
  • [03] Austrian Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs arrives in Cyprus for talks


[01] Foreign Minister returns his visit to the United States

Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides returned yesterday from a weeklong visit to the United States, where he had a series of contacts with US officials.

Speaking to the press on arrival, Mr Kasoulides said that he had a meeting with US Minister of State Mr Colin Powell, which was the first meeting since Mr Powell assumed office. Mr Kasoulides said that the Turkish side had hoped that there would be a change in American policy towards Cyprus, but as he had realized from his contacts there, the new US administration would not change its policy towards the Cyprus problem.

Mr Kasoulides also said that during his stay in the US, he had a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem Mr Alvaro de Soto, and on his way back to Cyprus he made a stopover in London where he met Britain's Representative for the Cyprus problem, Sir David Hannay.

Replying to questions, Mr Kasoulides said "it is crystal clear for the Bush Administration that our side is ready to proceed with the UN-led proximity talks on Cyprus, from where they have been left last November and that it does not suffice for us if the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash simply returns to the negotiating table. Mr Denktash will have to come back with the political will to negotiate".

The US administration shares the view of the Cyprus Government that the 18 months ahead, before the decision of the European Union concerning Cyprus' accession to the Union, are a "milestone" in the developments concerning Cyprus. Moreover, it is aware that this period has to be fully exploited within the framework of the efforts being made for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, he added.

Asked if there have been any attempts by Mr de Soto and Sir David Hannay to appease the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Kasoulides said that he had warned both of them that any effort to appease Mr Denktash would be a mistake. It would encourage Mr Denktash to become more negative than before because he would realise that his negative stance bears fruit, he added.

[02] US State Department Spokesman on the meeting between Secretary Powell and Foreign Minister Kasoulides

Replying to a question on 9 April on the meeting between the US Secretary of State Mr Colin Powell and Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, the US State Department Spokesman stated the following:

"Their first meeting covered ongoing efforts to resume the UN-led talks process. The Secretary reiterated US support for the UN Secretary General's efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus.

Secretary Powell and Foreign Minister Kasoulides also discussed bilateral issues, including economic matters and bicommunal programs".

In reply to another question on whether Cyprus' EU accession was also discussed at the meeting, the US Spokesman said:

"The United States is not a member of the European Union. Secretary Powell noted that we support the entry of a united Cyprus into the EU and hope the accession process can be used to support such a result".

[03] Austrian Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs arrives in Cyprus for talks

The Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Austria Mrs Benita Ferrero Waldner arrived in Cyprus yesterday, at the invitation of Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides.

In a short statement to the press after her arrival, Mrs Waldner said that her country's priority is to give a new impetus to the EU enlargement process. Her visit to the island, as one of the candidate countries for EU accession, is taking place within this framework and would be followed by visits to the Baltic countries, she said. The Austrian Foreign Minister added that she looked forward to her forthcoming talks with Mr Kasoulides.

Replying to questions, Mrs Waldner said that during her stay in Cyprus she would have a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, which would be followed by a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash, with whom she would discuss the Cyprus problem. She also expressed the certainty that Mr Denktash was aware of the European Union's position on the accession talks with Cyprus.

Mrs Waldner underlined that "the position of the EU is also the position of Austria", that it would be excellent if there were a solution for a unification of the island before its EU accession. If, however, this was not possible, there would also be the possibility for Cyprus acceding to the EU she said, adding that it remained to be seen if both sides used this excellent opportunity in the UN-led proximity talks on Cyprus.


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


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