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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-03-28
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 28 March 2002
 Statement by the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on CyprusThe UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Mr Alvaro de Soto left Cyprus yesterday, for contacts in Athens, Ankara and New York. Prior to his departure from Larnaca Airport, Mr de Soto made the following statement to the press:
"I am leaving today for meetings in Ankara tomorrow with the Turkish Government and the day after I will be in Athens for meetings with the Greek Government. From there I will proceed during the weekend to New York. As I believe you all know the Secretary General has decided to contact a review at approximately mid-point and in the process of the talks that began on the 16th of January. Perhaps I should explain what I mean mid- point. When we say mid-point we mean between the date these talks started (16th January) and what the Security Council has called the target date for the completion of the task. This is a date, as you know, which was mentioned by Mr Denktash and by Mr Clerides separately. It is not a deadline in the sense that some guillotine is going to fall, if they do not complete the task by the month of June. It is, as we see it, a goal that they had set themselves and it is a desirable goal.
The Secretary General is lending his good offices in this effort and these talks are taking place at the invitation of the Secretary General as was agreed between the two leaders. Nevertheless, they are direct meetings and it is essential that the two leaders, who are responsible for the task that they have undertaken and we wish to echo the encouragement that was issued by the members of the Security Council when I last briefed them in late February, that they should approach their task with a sense of urgency, political determination and willingness to give and take in this negotiation in order to achieve the highly desirable and long postponed goal of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
The review will be contacted by the Secretary General at the beginning of next week. Toward the end of the week, I expect to be briefing the members of the Security Council and then returning for the resumption of the talks on 9th April in the afternoon at the regular time which is 4 p.m. when the two leaders normally meet unless they decide otherwise. The two leaders have held 22 meetings until now in this face of the talks. It is going on for ten weeks now and we feel that this is a good time to try to assess how things are going. I know that you will be curious to know how things are going and that you will be interested in hearing an evaluation of what is the state of play in the talks. I am afraid that on that I cannot give you anything firstly because I have to complete the circuit as it were by these consultations in Ankara and Athens and secondly because as you will understand it is my duty to report to the Secretary General and subsequently to the members of the Security Council. Since the beginning we have emphasized, and particularly now, the importance of confidentiality of the talks and frankly we feel that already more is being said about them than it should be."
Replying to a question on whether, after the review of the talks in New York, he expects any kind of intervention in the talks by the United Nations Secretary General, Mr de Soto said: "What I hope that we will be seeing, is an intensification of the negotiation between the two leaders. What we will do will essentially depend on the needs as we evaluate them at the time and this is precisely what we are going to discuss in New York."
Asked whether he is personally satisfied, as somebody whose presence at the talks helps the procedure, Mr de Soto said: "I will not be satisfied until there is a comprehensive settlement agreed on."
 British Minister optimistic about Cyprus' EU accessionThe British Minister for International Trade and Investment Baroness Elizabeth Symons of Vernham Dean referring to Cyprus during a meeting, in Athens on 26th March, with the Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Mr Tassos Giannitsis said that she was optimistic that the Cyprus EU accession negotiations would be successful. She also expressed the British government's satisfaction with the ongoing political dialogue for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and stressed that irrespective of the outcome of the direct talks, Cyprus would be welcome to the European Union.
Moreover, replying to a written question put forward by Lord Kilclooney in the House of Lords on 25th March 2002 on the direct talks on Cyprus, Baroness Symons stated the following:
"The UK has always believed that the UN settlement process, based upon UNSCR 1250, offers the best chance of achieving a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus which respects the vital interests of all concerned. Accordingly, we welcomed the decision by the two leaders in December 2001 to begin direct talks on-island in January under the auspices of the UN. We support this process and continue to urge all involved to engage in the talks in a positive and constructive manner."
 The Committee for the Protection of Journalists criticises the violations of the freedom of the press in the Turkish occupied areas of CyprusThe violations of the freedom of the press in the Turkish occupied area of Cyprus, the harsh restrictions, harassment and intimidation against journalists by the 'Denktash regime" have come under severe criticism in the 2001 annual report of the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, publicised on 26 March, 2002.
The report, which has a separate chapter on Cyprus notes, inter alia, the following:
" Some 35000 Turkish troops are stationed in the self-styled Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which only Turkey recognises as legitimate. The island remains divided into a more prosperous ethnic Greek sector in the South and an isolated and impoverished ethnic Turkish sector in the north. Cyprus' capital, Nicosia, sits in the middle of the island and is divided into two halves, one controlled by the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot authorities and the other by the Turkish government in Ankara.
During 2001, journalists in northern Cyprus frequently criticised the Turkish Cypriot breakaway regime, founded after Turkey invaded the northern half of this Mediterranean island in 1974. In response they were harassed and intimidated by Turkish Cypriot authorities and their supporters.
The daily "Avrupa" based in northern Cyprus is known for its aggressive reporting on Rauf Denktash, leader of the northern Cypriot regime, senior politicians in Ankara, and Turkish military officials based on the island. During 2001, the newspaper received regular threats and was also the victim of several, violent attacks."
 Public consultation for the licensing of mobile networksThe Ministry of Communications and Works has announced the initiation of a public consultation regarding the licensing of additional second generation (GSM) and new third generation (UMTS) mobile networks. The public consultation documents may be downloaded from the website of the Ministry of Communications and Works,
in the section "service desk", "public consultation". The deadline for receiving responses is April 25, 2002.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/