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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-11-08
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 8 November 2001
 Statement by President Clerides upon his arrival in New YorkThe President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Glafkos Clerides arrived on 7 November 2001 in New York accompanied by the Government Spokesman, Mr Michalis Papapetrou to attend the UN General Assembly on 9 November 2001.
Replying to a question on whether the UN Secretary General would repeat his invitation for talks which was rejected in September by Mr Denktash, Mr Clerides stated the following: "The Secretary General had sent the invitation because Turkey had agreed to it as well. Later on, Turkey and Mr Denktash had a change of mind. The issue is, for the Secretary General to send another invitation, he will have to verify that both sides are agreed to an invitation. The Secretary General does not usually send invitations unless he knows that both sides will respond to it positively".
Asked to comment of whether the Turkish side has demonstrated a softening in its stance, President Clerides stated that there were no proof of any positive change and that Turkey's and Mr Denktash's position insisted on certain preconditions as was the case before.
Answering to a question on how the recent terrorist attacks would influence the Cyprus problem, President Clerides replied: " The USA following the September events, reaffirmed that the Cyprus problem would not be put aside and that they will continue their efforts for the beginning of a substantial and reinforced dialogue between the two sides. Since then, we had the visit of Mr de Soto who visited Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, we had a visit by Mr Weston and it seems that Britain as well gave assurances that it will continue its effort to assist the Secretary General in the finding of a solution to the Cyprus problem. All indications demonstrate a continuation of interest. The outcome of this interest depends on two things, one is for the Turkish side to come to the negotiating table and two, is for them to negotiate. Because, it is not enough to come to the negotiating table and repeat the same positions without negotiating. There is no green light for neither of these".
 Cypriot Foreign Minister meeting with his British counterpartForeign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides met on 7 November 2001 with his British coutnerpart, Jack Straw.
In his statement following the meeting, Mr Straw stated that among the issues which were discussed was the international campaign against terrorism and Cyprus' application to join the EU. "I have expressed to Mr Kasoulides my deep gratitude to the Cyprus government and the Cypriot people for their support in the coalition against terrorism which is expressed not only in words but in deeds", Mr Straw stated. As far as Cyprus' application to join the EU is concerned, Mr Straw repeated his government's commitment to accept Cyprus as a full member as soon as the island fulfilled the accession criteria.
The British Foreign Secretary welcomed the fact that Cyprus was far ahead from the rest of the candidate states with regard to the closing of the chapters and that its application should be viewed on its own merits without any preconditions with regard to the dispute between the Turkish and Cypriot governments. "Concerning the Cyprus problem, we have agreed that it would be best if it could be resolved before Cyprus' accession to the EU", Mr Straw noted.
Mr Kasoulides stated that he had a very interesting meeting with Mr Straw and that among the issues which were discussed the two men exchanged views on the efforts to return to the negotiating table with the hope to resolve the problem before the EU would take its decision concerning the island's accession. "This is a clear and strong message for the Turkish Cypriot side which refuses to negotiate for the resumption of the talks", Mr Kasoulides stated.
Replying to a question concerning Mr Ecevit's statement about the prospect of Cyprus' accession to the EU before the solution to the Cyprus problem and Turkey's intention of annexing the occupying areas of the island, Mr Straw stated that when he was in Ankara he discussed the Cyprus problem with Prime Minister Ecevit and Foreign Minister Cem. "What we wish to see is the negotiating procedure under the aegis of the UN for a solution in Cyprus to take place parallel to Cyprus' accession negotiations to the EU. But we don't place a precondition on the latter in terms of success of the former", Mr Straw noted.
Mr Kasoulides, replying to the same question, stated that he was aware of Mr Cem's statements which took place before Mr Ecevit's, Mr Bahtzeli's and Mr Gurel's statements and that he considers those statements essentially as a recognition of Turkey's policy failure and for its dilemmas which would either way be negative. "Essentially, it was Mr Cem's appeal to change the turkish policy, however, the hardliners in Ankara replied to his appeal appropriately", Mr Kasoulides concluded.
 The Spokesman of EU Commissioner on Enlargement comments on Mr Ecevit's statementConcerning recent statements by the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Bullent Ecevit, the Spokesman of the EU Commissioner on Enlargement, Mr Jean- Christophe Filory stated on 5 November the following: "As far as Turkish Prime Minister's statement on Cyprus, we find a hardening in the tone of Mr Ecevit's statement and we express our regret. We will continue to work on the basis of the Helsinki decisions".
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/