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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-05-20
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 20 May 2002
 Government Spokesman's statement after the National Council meetingThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides presided, on Friday afternoon, over a meeting of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem.
After the meeting, the Government Spokesman Mr Michalis Papapetrou made the following statement:
"The National Council was briefed today by the President of the Republic on the visit of the United Nations Secretary General to Cyprus. The members exchanged views in view of the President's visit to Athens and decided to hold another Council meeting after the President's return from Athens to discuss the situation afresh".
Asked whether any decisions or assessments were made Mr Papapetrou replied negatively and added: "In any case, even if there are assessments, there is nothing to announce, unless the National Council decided to announce something, which I don't think can be done very often."
Replying to a question on the positions expressed by the President of the House of Representatives in relation to the President's interview to CNN Turk, Mr Papapetrou said that no reference was made, at the National Council, to the President's interview.
Invited to comment on the significance of the statement by the US State Department Spokesman, who supported Mr Kofi Annan's statements in relation to the stance that the Turkish Cypriot side continues to maintain at the talks, the Government Spokesman said: "It is obvious that the Secretary General's mission to Cyprus took place with at least US encouragement and the fact that Mr Boucher was quick in expressing support for the statements shows that the US puts a special weight behind them and indicates that the Secretary General has a broader support than his own role as Secretary General gives him."
Commenting on the observation that Mr Denktash's stance has the backing of Ankara Mr Papapetrou said: "There is no doubt that Denktash has Ankara's backing, but what we are seeking is to bend Turkey's and Denktash's intransigence."
Asked if the journey of the negotiating team to Athens was discussed, the Spokesman replied that general views in relation to the visit were discussed.
Asked if there is approval about the President's handlings, the Government Spokesman replied that no such issue was raised and that he had heard nothing which proves the opposite.
Asked if the views expressed today at the national Council were different from the statements made in public by the Leaders of the main political parties, Mr Papapetrou said that a general discussion took place in a constructive climate without any apparent different assessments.
Replying to a question as to when there will be a specific discussion, the Government Spokesman replied that the National Council has an in depth discussions on all issues but the National Council's daily agenda cannot be announced.
 The United States support the UN Secretary General's call for more urgency regarding the talksThe US State Department Spokesman Mr Richard Boucher underlined during his daily briefing on 16 May 2002, the need for more urgency regarding the talks on the Cyprus problem and expressed the US government's strong support for the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's statement that between now and the end of June the core issues on the Cyprus question can be resolved, provided that there is the necessary political will.
"Well, we strongly support the Secretary General's visit. We strongly support what he said. We do think there is a need for more urgency. That was the position the UN Security Council took on May 2nd. We again in that resolution endorsed the June target date for an agreement.
So we agree with the Secretary General's statement today that the two leaders, between now and the end of June, can resolve all the core issues, provided they go about their task decisively and with the necessary political will."
Replying to a question on the delay of the European Union to resolve the issue of the final destination of the 13 Palestinians who are currently in Cyprus, the US Spokesman said "any further details on that need to come from the Europeans themselves". He also said that during the US "Secretary's meetings in Reykjavik with various European partners, he has thanked them for their efforts, thanked them for considering this further, and really left it to them to decide ultimately how this is -- how these people are placed, dispersed and otherwise taken in."
Asked by a journalist if he has no problem with the Palestinians remaining in Cyprus indefinitely, Mr Boucher emphatically stressed that this was not the position of the United States.
"The Europeans are working on it, and the Europeans will figure it out, and we're confident that they will", he added.
 Cyprus will fully comply with the EU procedure regarding the 13 PalestiniansThe Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Ioannis Kasoulides made it clear yesterday that none of the Palestinians would remain in Cyprus indefinitely.
Replying to a question as to what the Government would do if finally one of the Palestinian exiles remained in Cyprus, he stated the following:
'The European Union has decided to follow a particular line of action. No Palestinian exile will remain on the island. Should no EU country accept one of the Palestinians, Cyprus will be patient until the matter is resolved. I stress that Cyprus will fully comply with the procedure that has been agreed by the member states of the European Union. The member states will not ask us to let any of them stay here permanently and we have received assurances to that effect."
 Egypt and Morocco support a united peaceful CyprusThe Foreign Ministers of Egypt and Morocco, Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Benaissa stopped over on their way to Greece yesterday. They were welcomed at Larnaca International Airport by Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, with whom they held talks, at the airport's VIP lounge, on the situation in the Middle East, the Cyprus problem, bilateral relations and Mediterranean cooperation.
In their statements, the two Ministers expressed their countries' support for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem and underlined Cyprus' significant role to the settlement of regional problems.
The Egyptian Foreign Minister expressed gratitude and appreciation for Cyprus, which contributes by its stance to peace in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean. Mr Maher said he had a telephone conversation with President Clerides to whom he conveyed the greetings of his Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mumbarak and expressed the feelings of the Egyptian people towards the Cyprus people and their support for a united peaceful Cyprus, a support that is expressed at all fora.
Finally, the Egyptian Foreign Minister expressed the belief that the people of Cyprus have the right to territorial integrity and unity, living in peace and contributing to the prosperity of the whole area.
For his part, the Foreign Minister of Morocco described Cyprus as a bridge of communication between the countries of the region as well as a country with a vision, which acts with good will for peace.
 Direct talks on Cyprus continuedThe direct talks on the Cyprus problem continued on Friday morning with another meeting between the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktash, in the presence of the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Mr Alvaro de Soto. Present at the talks were the members of each side's delegation.
The regular meetings between the President and Mr Denktash are taking place under the aegis of the United Nations in the framework of direct talks for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/