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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-06-05

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/>

Tuesday, 5 June 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN Secretary General recommends extension of UNFICYP mandate in Cyprus
  • [02] Swedish Prime Minister refers to Cyprus' EU accession course


[01] UN Secretary General recommends extension of UNFICYP mandate in Cyprus

The United Nations Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan, in his report to the UN Security Council dated 30th May on the activities of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) recommends that the UN Forces' mandate be extended for a further period of six months, until 15 December 2001.

In his report, which covers developments from 28 November 2000 to 29 May 2001, the Secretary General says that "the military situation along the ceasefire lines remained calm" but highlights a number of small incidents caused both by the National Guard and the Turkish forces. He also refers to one potentially more serious incident in which a soldier from the Turkish forces fired two shots into the air near a United Nations Officer protesting a construction by the Turkish forces".

The Secretary General notes that restrictions imposed on UNFICYP by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the Turkish forces since 1 July 2000 have remained in force including the violation of the military status quo in the village of Strovilia. Further, the restriction of movement along the Famagusta - Dherinia road imposed on 1 November 2000, continued to prevent UNFICYP from monitoring the whole of the fenced area of Varosha. "Observation by UNFICYP is now limited to the areas visible from static observation posts and a short patrol route well away from the fence" he says, adding that "the United Nations holds the Government of Turkey responsible for maintaining the status quo in Varosha."

He also refers to the continued activities and contacts involving Greek and Turkish Cypriots assisted by UNFICYP and to the Force's mandated humanitarian tasks in support of the Greek Cypriots and Maronites living in the northern part of the island and of the Turkish Cypriots living in the southern part.

Referring to the issue of missing persons, Mr Annan refers to the Cyprus Government's unilateral programme of exhumation and identification of the remains of persons some of whom have been previously listed as missing.

On his mission of good offices, the Secretary General reports on the activities of his Special Advisor for Cyprus Mr Alvaro de Soto who travelled to Cyprus in January 2001 for meetings with President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. Although it has not proved possible for the UN talks to resume, Mr De Soto has continued to hold consultations in order to be of assistance to the parties at the appropriate time, he says.

Finally, in the chapter entitled "Observations," the Secretary General notes that during the past six months the conditions under which UNFICYP operated remained difficult, owing to the restrictions imposed on it by the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the Turkish forces, adding that "these restrictions remained in force despite efforts to have them lifted and to have the military status quo ante at Strovilia restored".

In the current circumstances, he considers the presence of UNFICYP "essential for the maintenance of the ceasefire on the island".

[02] Swedish Prime Minister refers to Cyprus' EU accession course

The Prime Minister of Sweden Mr Goran Persson, whose country presently holds the European Union's rotating presidency, had a meeting in Athens on 31 May with his Greek counterpart Mr Costas Simitis, with whom he discussed the forthcoming EU Summit in Goteborg on June 15-16. Among the issues discussed was also Cyprus' European Union accession course.

Asked whether the European Council in Goteborg will reconfirm the decision taken at the EU Summit at Helsinki on the completion of Cyprus's accession course regardless of a solution being found to its political problem, Mr Persson said that this was already decided at Helsinki, adding that "given that accession negotiations are developing successfully, we shall adhere to our decisions and there is no danger of us moving away from them".

For his part, the Greek Prime Minister said that Greece considers the issue of enlargement very important and desires acceleration in the process so that, by the end of 2002, the relevant protocols can be signed, and later during the Greek Presidency, the official signing of the documents can take place. Mr Simitis also said it is unnecessary for us to seek confirmation of previous decisions at every Summit because it is as if we ourselves are sowing doubts on these decisions.


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


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