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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-09-09
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 9 September 2002
 President meets UN Chief and Denktash in ParisThe President of the Republic, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, had meetings in Paris on Friday with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, under the auspices of the United Nations. The three men discussed ways to achieve progress in the direct talks to solve the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Annan, in a statement issued after separate meetings with the two men and the joint lunch he hosted for them, said the following:
"I met today with each Cypriot leader, first with His Excellency
Mr. Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, then with His Excellency Mr. Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, after which I hosted them for lunch together.
I have asked the leaders to go back to the island and work with my Special Adviser, Mr. de Soto, on the issues that I highlighted to them today, and to meet with me once more in New York on 3 and 4 October.
I very much hope that the leaders will tackle the matters I discussed with them with a sense of urgency before our next meeting. Mr. de Soto will be working with them to help them achieve the requisite progress.
I have seen a great deal of speculation in the press, much of it pessimistic. My discussions today confirm my belief that, though serious differences remain, the elements of a comprehensive settlement that would meet the basic needs of both sides do, in fact, exist.
Each side has its own distinct and strongly held perspective, both on the history of the Cyprus problem and on the way forward. Nevertheless, I continue to believe that the gaps dividing the parties can be bridged. On some issues, I feel they are quite a bit smaller than when these talks began. There is an opportunity at hand, waiting to be seized."
Mr. Annan's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto, speaking to the press after the two-hour lunch, said that the UN Secretary-General, President Clerides and Mr. Denktash "did take stock, there was a frank discussion and they discussed ways in which a course could be charted for the way ahead."
"This is certainly the Secretary-General's expectation and both leaders remain committed to the goal of negotiating a comprehensive settlement", he added.
Mr. de Soto also said that they all agreed to go back to Cyprus and try to achieve some progress, which "should be kept under close review and for that purpose they will be gathering with the Secretary-General again on 3 and 4 October."
Asked to comment on the upcoming meeting in October, the UN official noted: "The purpose of the New York meeting is to review progress and to encourage them to continue their efforts. We are not saying we expect the settlement to be solved by the first week of October, but the Secretary-General is hoping for very significant progress by then."
President Clerides, who also spoke to the press after the meeting, made the following statement:
"As you know, I had a private meeting with the UN Secretary-General, who listened carefully what the disagreements and the reasons for those disagreements were. After having heard both sides, the Secretary-General suggested to continue the talks and said that he would expect to see us in New York on 3 and 4 October to assess what progress has been made."
Asked whether the UN might put forward a solution plan, if no progress is made by October, the Cyprus President said that the Secretary-General would intervene if he had to.
Regular meetings in the context of the ongoing UN-led direct talks will resume on Wednesday, 11 September.
 President's statements upon arrival in CyprusThe President of the Republic, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, spoke to the press at Larnaca airport on Saturday night, upon his arrival from Paris, where he had a private meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan and a joint meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash.
President Clerides made the following statement:
"During our private meeting, the Secretary-General listened to the points of disagreement, asked for clarifications and then said that every effort should be made to overcome, by 3 October, at least the serious disagreements."
The President then replied to press questions as follows:
Question: The Secretary-General's statement, that some gaps dividing the two sides are a lot smaller than when the talks began, raises a question mark.
Answer: Of course there are issues on which the differences, because they are not very serious issues, are much smaller than those on the fundamental issues.
Answer: I would like to mention what these differences are due to the moratorium on statements. When he refers to the fundamental issues, Mr. Annan refers to the issue of sovereignty and whether there will be a new state or a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus. On these issues, there seems to be no way of approach.
Question: Is it true that a document has been handed over to Mr. Denktash but not to our side?
Answer: The Secretary-General had before him the speaking points and of course we had our assistants taking notes. It is possible that Mr. Denktash asked to see the document containing those speaking points, which was read to me.
Question: Is it possible that, in those speaking points, the Secretary- General asked our side for a shift of position on the issue of sovereignty?
Answer: No, he asked both sides to make a move and an effort to find solutions to all these issues. He did not make a move toward one direction.
Question: For our side, what is the most important issue and what is the issue on which we can shift from our original position?
Answer: We shifter neither on the one issue nor the other. We consider them equally serious.
Question: On what issues does Mr. Annan expect a shift of position?
Answer: Generally speaking, the Secretary-General said our side shows willingness to take into consideration the concerns of the Turkish Cypriots…
Question: Is there a change in the process of the talks after the Paris meeting?
Answer: The process remains the same.
Question: Articles in the Turkish press make reference to Mr. Ecevit, who plans to annex the occupied areas during the pre-election period to help his image.
Answer: Not everything that is published in the Turkish press is accurate. The Turkish press has, on many occasions, published inaccuracies, such as that the Secretary-General has submitted a plan for us to sign based on the principles of a solution. But this did not happen.
 Danish Minister's statements about Cyprus problemThe Danish Minister of European Affairs, Mr. Bertel Haarder, stated, on behalf of the European Council, that the process to find a solution to the Cyprus problem has not halted nor reached an impasse.
Mr. Haarder, who was replying to a question raised by Greek EU MP Mr. Costis Alyssandrakis, said that Ankara cannot overshadow Cyprus' accession negotiations, since the Helsinki process cannot be overshadowed by any party.
Asked, by Greek EU MP Mr. Alecos Alabanos, to comment on Cyprus' accession course with regard to the talks to solve the Cyprus problem, the Danish official reiterated the Council's respect for the Seville and Helsinki decisions on Cyprus. He also noted that although a solution to the problem would facilitate the accession process, this would not be a precondition, adding that in its final decision, the European Council would take into consideration all relevant factors.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/