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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-11-26

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/>

Monday, 26 November 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Minister on an official visit to China
  • [02] Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia
  • [03] British reply regarding Turkish threats
  • [04] Statement by the Irish Foreign Minister at the Irish Parliament, Oireachtas


[01] Foreign Minister on an official visit to China

Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides departed, on 24 November 2001, to Peijing on a five-day official visit. In the framework of his contacts, Mr Kasoulides will have talks with his Chinese counterpart, Mr Tang Jiaxuan, concerning the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, bilateral issues as well as current international developments.

Mr Kasoulides, during his departure from Larnaka airport, referred to China as an important country, Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, friendly towards Cyprus with political, diplomatic, economic and cultural relations. "China has always followed a positive stance towards Cyprus at the Security Council conferences. It is in this framework my visit will take place in China and I have the honour to be accepted by the country's Vice-President, Mr Hu Jintao, who as it is well-known has visited Cyprus recently and I will have talks with my Chinese counterpart", Mr Kasoulides noted.

Replying to questions put forward by journalists, with regard to whether Mr Denktash's proposal for a meeting with President Clerides is a bluff instigated by himself alone or by other international factors as well, Mr Kasoulides stated that this proposal was made by Mr Denktash and the American and British factors were not involved, on the contrary they had suggested a different procedure to be followed with the aim to convince Mr Dentkash to join the negotiating table. "It is obvious that Mr Denktash's move was instigated by himself alone which no one had expected. Perhaps it was his own proposal in cooperation with Turkey but it is obvious that this was a protractive move with the aim to ease the negative impression made by Mr Denktash's refusal to accept the UN Secretary General's invitation. I hope I am wrong in my belief that Mr Denktash is bluffing with regard to the 4th of December meeting and that he will prove that is willing to discuss seriously the Cyprus problem. If he is prepared to do this, he will face a well-prepared President Clerides to discuss the essence of the Cyprus problem", Mr Kasoulides stated, inter alia.

The Foreign Minister added that during the meeting with Mr Denktash, President Clerides would say that there is a window of opportunity for thesolution of the problem in the future accession of the island in the EU. "This will be made possible by next October, otherwise the whole island will become a member of the Union, however, the acquis communautaire will be adopted in the areas under the control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus and that would be a pity for the Turkish Cypriots and for Turkey. We will not be, and the EU will not be frightened by the various threats regarding conflicts or any other threats. We are left with no other choice but to opt for the EU accession because of the various threats. Either way, the EU does not function on the basis of threats", Mr Kasoulides concluded.

[02] Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia

Joint Statement

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the six candidate countries negotiating accession to the European Union on the basis of the conclusions of the Luxembourg European Council in December 1997 - Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia - met, for the fifth time, in Limassol, Cyprus, on 23 November 2001.

The Ministers expressed their deep regret for the tragic events of 11th September 2001 in the United States and unequivocally condemned terrorism. They reaffirmed their firm commitment to join forces with all Governments and international organizations in the effort to eliminate terrorism and their full alignment with the position of the European Union in this regard.

The Ministers reviewed and assessed the current state of accession negotiations and considered how to take forward its successful conclusion without further delays. This can be achieved only by fully respecting the road map and the basic principles of the accession process such as the principle of differentiation and individual treatment. They called upon the Presidency and the Member States to adopt the relevant Common Positions in due time and to avoid any linkages between the negotiations and the EU internal debates. The Ministers reiterated their strong belief that the success of the negotiations depends largely on the ability of both Member States and the candidate countries to show a significant degree of flexibility.

The Ministers recalled with satisfaction the conclusions of the Goteborg European Council regarding the enlargement process. They expressed the belief that the new international environment calling for a stronger and more effective European Union will contribute towards reconfirmation of the EU preparedness to conclude the negotiations in the year 2002. The Ministers expect that the European Council in Laeken will give the necessary guidance for the successful completion of the accession negotiations in line with the recommendations of the European Commission's 2001 Strategy Paper. They also welcomed the proposal of the Commission and the intention of the Spanish Government to start the drafting of the Accession Treaty and its Annexes. Together with the successful conclusion of the negotiations this would allow the signing of the Treaty by the end of 2002 concluding the historic vision 'from Copenhagen to Copenhagen'. Accession could then take place on 1 January 2004.

The Ministers also welcomed the Commission's intention to ensure that the Council should discuss financial issues early in 2002 and expect that the final Common Positions should properly reflect the EU's political commitment and the principle of equal treatment between the current and future Member States.

The Ministers reaffirmed their countries' determination to continue and to conclude their internal preparation for accession within the timeframe they set for themselves.

The Ministers expressed the desire of their countries to be actively engaged in the discussions on the Future of Europe. They expect to be invited to participate in the work of the Convention on an equal footing with the current Member States. Proceeding from the decisions of the Nice and Goteborg European Councils they expect their countries to participate as full Members in the next Intergovernmental Conference.

The Ministers agreed to meet next in Poland in May 2002.

[03] British reply regarding Turkish threats

British Deputy Foreign Minister, Peter Hain, gave a written reply concerning Turkish threats of annexing the occupied parts of the Island, which was submitted to the British House of Commons on 22 November 2001 following a question put forward by Labour MP, Tom Cox:

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Turkish Government regarding recent statements by the Turkish Prime Minister, and the Foreign Minister, relating to the occupied area of northern Cyprus and EU admission.

Peter Hain: The suggestion that Turkey might "annex" north Cyprus, in the event of Cyprus joining the EU before a settlement, is not new. While it is difficult to predict what Turkey might do if a divided island were to join the EU, we believe that the "annexation" of northern Cyprus would severely compromise Turkey's relations with the EU, and contravene her obligations under the Treaty of Guarantee. However, our aim continues to be a settlement before Cyprus joins the EU, though we stand by the Helsinki Council Conclusions that it is not a precondition for enlargement. To that end we urge all concerned to engage constructively in the current UN process.

[04] Statement by the Irish Foreign Minister at the Irish Parliament, Oireachtas

Irish Foreign Minister, Brian Cowen, gave a reply concerning Turkish threats of annexing the occupied areas of Cyprus to the Labour MP, Eamon Gilmore, of the Dun Loaghaire county, which was written in the minutes of the Irish Parliament session on 22 November 2001.

Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Government's view of the threat made by Turkey to annexe the Turkish-Cypriot area of Cyprus; the steps being taken to secure a settlement to the dispute over Cyprus; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (29228/01)

Mr Cowen's reply reads as follows: In this context, I welcome reports earlier this week that Mr. Rauf Denktash, the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, has agreed to meet Mr. Glafcos Clerides, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, for face-to-face talks in the presence of a UN representative. This meeting is scheduled to take place in early December.

This follows intensive efforts by the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto, and by the Secretary General himself. Ireland had earlier expressed in the Security Council our disappointment that Mr. Denktash was unable to accept the Secretary General's invitation to attend talks planned for 12 September. I also wish to register the Government's disappointment at the reported comments of the Turkish Foreign Minister to which the Deputy refers. I met Mr. De Soto when I was in New York on 30 October and discussed the situation with him.

Together with our EU partners, the Government will continue to back unreservedly the efforts of the United Nations Secretary General to resume - without preconditions in line with Security Council Resolution 1250 - the search for a comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus in conformity with the relevant Security Council resolutions. Once again, I call on all parties involved to cooperate in the process with a view to achieving a political settlement before the end of the negotiations for the accession of Cyprus to the European Union.


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


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