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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-05-16

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/>

Thursday, 16 May 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN Secretary General meets with President Clerides
  • [02] US expresses support for the UN efforts to solve the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Gunter Verheugen: only the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus can issue certificates of origin for Cyprus products
  • [04] President of the European Parliament urges the parties in Cyprus to "seize the moment of opportunity"


[01] UN Secretary General meets with President Clerides

The President of the Republic, Mr Glafkos Clerides received yesterday at the presidential palace the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan. Present at the meeting, which lasted an hour and a half, were the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General, Mr Alvaro de Soto and the Under Secretary to the President, Mr Pantelis Kouros.

After the meeting President Clerides made the following statement: "We had a very good meeting. We discussed how we could accelerate the negotiation process. The Secretary General will have a meeting this afternoon with Mr Denktash on the same issue how to accelerate the process."

Asked what "the main obstacle was," the President replied:

"I think at this moment it would not be wise for each side to say what the main obstacle is. Let us wait to see if the Secretary-General will succeed in getting understanding on both sides how to accelerate the process."

Later in the afternoon, Mr Annan had a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that lasted almost two hours.

In the evening the UN Secretary General hosted a dinner for President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, held at the residence of the Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus and Chief of Mission Mr Zbigniew Wlosowicz.

After the dinner, the Secretary General and the leaders of the two communities shook hands with each other and departed.

Asked about their meeting and dinner, President Clerides said, "it was a good meeting", Mr Denktash noted "it was a very good dinner" and Mr Annan agreed, "We had a very good meal and good discussions".

[02] US expresses support for the UN efforts to solve the Cyprus problem

The United States have reiterated their support for the UN efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

The US State Department Spokeswoman Ms Lynn Cassell replying to a question during her regular press briefing yesterday, on the UN Secretary General's meetings in Cyprus stated the following:

"We actually actively support the UN in its efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue. Our Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Ambassador Tom Weston, provides ongoing diplomatic support for the direct talks, and we stand ready to continue assisting the UN Secretary General and his Special Advisor in this important endeavour."

Asked if the United States were optimistic about a settlement, Ms Cassell replied: "We are always optimistic".

[03] Gunter Verheugen: only the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus can issue certificates of origin for Cyprus products

The European Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Gunter Verheugen replying to questions put forward by Sarah Ludford and Andrew Duff on "what plans the Commission have to lift or ease the trade and economic embargo on Northern Cyprus within the limits of European and International law in order to help alleviate the present isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people and assist in the progress towards a political settlement on the island with a view to EU accession" stated that according to the European Court's decision of 5th July 1994, Cypriot products have preferential treatment provided that they are accompanied by the proper certificates of the competent authorities of the Republic of Cyprus. At present, Mr Verheugen said, in the northern part of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot exporters use stamps of the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', an entity, which according to international law is not recognized by any country in the world apart from Turkey. For this reason and according to the current state of affairs, these stamps cannot prove the Cypriot origin of the products, he added.

Mr Verheugen went on to say that on 5 August 1994, the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides sent a letter to the UN Secretary General in which he stated that if the procedures, as defined by the national, European and international laws, were followed, then the Turkish Cypriots would be able to export their products on the same preconditions as the rest of the population of Cyprus.

He pointed out that President Clerides' message contained a clear political commitment by the Government of Cyprus, that it will issue certificates of origin to the Turkish Cypriots, provided they ask for them through legal ways. Consequently, it up to the Greek Cypriots to agree on how the Turkish Cypriots can obtain the certificates of origin from the Republic of Cyprus he said, adding that the European Union believes that this issue will be resolved with the overall solution of the Cyprus problem.

The European Commissioner made it clear that the European Union is not refusing trade with the Turkish Cypriots and in fact wishes to include the northern part of Cyprus in its trade transactions because it is sad to see the occupied part of the island steeped in poverty and the free areas developing fast. He explained, however, that the problem is that the Turkish Cypriots are prevented by their own 'authorities', which refuse to adhere to the appropriate preconditions. He underlined that the certificates of origin cannot be issued by the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus', but only by the recognized Republic of Cyprus. Finally, Mr Verheugen said that the European Commission is unable to change anything in this clear legal framework because if it did, it would be violating the law.

[04] President of the European Parliament urges the parties in Cyprus to "seize the moment of opportunity"

The President of the European Parliament Mr Pat Cox has asked Euro MP's "to join him in sending a message of support and encouragement" and to urge both parties in Cyprus 'to seize the moment of opportunity" and settle the Cyprus problem.

Addressing the European Parliament in plenary session in Strasbourg yesterday, the President of the European Parliament, made the following declaration:

"This is a crucial and decisive moment for enlargement, and especially for Cyprus. The compelling deadline stemming from the negotiations on the accession of Cyprus to the EU has brought about an unprecedented window of opportunity for a comprehensive settlement.

The visit of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan today will hopefully give a new impetus to the face-to-face talks on Cyprus being conducted through the good offices of the UN.

I ask the House to join with me in sending a message of support and encouragement, and to urge both parties to 'seize the moment of opportunity'."


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


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