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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-12

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/>

Tuesday, 12 November 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN puts forward Cyprus peace plan
  • [02] Statement by Cyprus President on UN solution plan
  • [03] President Clerides: UN plan to be negotiated not on "take-it-or-leave- it" basis
  • [04] "It is an especially important day for Cyprus and its people", says Greek Prime Minister
  • [05] Washington welcomes UN initiative to submit solution plan
  • [06] Presentation of UN plan a timely initiative, says British Foreign Minister
  • [07] Cyprus Ambassador to Russia presents credentials
  • [08] Cyprus participates at 11th meeting of Future of Europe Convention


[01] UN puts forward Cyprus peace plan

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, received yesterday afternoon, at the Presidential Palace, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto, who handed him the UN plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

After the meeting, Mr. de Soto said that he handed the Cyprus President a document that included the UN Secretary-General's proposals on the Cyprus problem. He also mentioned that the document was handed over simultaneously to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, who is still in New York recuperating after having undergone heart surgery.

Asked whether there would be a timeframe within which the two leaders must respond to the UN blueprint, Mr. de Soto noted that a provision on that was included in the document, handed over to the two sides.

Furthermore, a Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General made the following statement yesterday:

"The Secretary-General conveyed today to Mr. Clerides, the Greek Cypriot leader, and to Mr. Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, a document providing a basis for agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Copies of the document have also been conveyed to Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom in their capacity as guarantor powers under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

The Secretary-General hopes that this initiative will help the parties focus on the decisions that they should take in the next few weeks in order to seize the opportunity at hand and bring about a settlement.

He has asked the leaders not to take a formal public position on what he has submitted to them but instead to take some time to consider them. The Secretary-General hopes that they will exercise the necessary discretion in this regard."

In addition, the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, briefed the UN Security Council, behind closed doors yesterday afternoon, on the submission of the document, providing a "basis for agreement" on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

Speaking to the press after the briefing, at UN Headquarters, Mr. Annan noted: "I think the parties know what I have put before them and they are going to study it." He added that he had asked the two sides to give their reactions to the text by 18 November.

"We've had to look at many issues and many different possible options and I believe I've put before them what I consider a sound and optimal proposal," Mr. Annan said, adding that he did not rule out the need for future meetings with the parties involved. "I know it's going to be a tough decision for them. It's going to require courage, wisdom and vision, and I'm confident they are capable of it."

The Secretary-General said in a response to a question that his role "is that of a helper-expediter" to get the two sides to come to a comprehensive agreement. "I think they realise we have a limited opportunity as we move forward, that there is a unique time in the possibility of getting a united Cyprus into the European Union," he said.

Reacting to the Secretary-General's announcement, the Security Council President for the month of November, Ambassador Zhang Yishan of China, said in a press statement that the 15-member body welcomed Mr. Annan's "decision [to propose the text] and reaffirmed their full support for the continuation of the Secretary-General's mission of good offices."

[02] Statement by Cyprus President on UN solution plan

President Clerides made the following statement yesterday, after having received the UN plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem:

"Mr. Alvaro de Soto handed me at 5pm today the U.N. Secretary General's proposals for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The negotiating process is now entering its most delicate and crucial phase. The handling to be made in the coming weeks will be of crucial and of decisive importance. In the future, a lot will depend on the way we shall handle developments. The political leaders and the National Council with calm, unity and a sense of responsibility will start tomorrow the study of the U.N. Secretary General's plan. To this end, I have called a meeting of the National Council for 6 pm tomorrow.

Since July 1974 we have been struggling with consistency to prove that the fate of Cyprus does not lie in division and partition. We have made great efforts to pursue a peaceful solution and an honourable compromise, which so far have had no response from the other side.

Our vision is a united Cyprus to become an equal member of the European Union, to provide security and prosperity to all its inhabitants, with the safeguarding of human rights and freedoms. We must close for ever the chapter of national conflicts and wars and we must usher in a new era of prosperity and progress.

Fellow citizens,

We have to face these crucial developments with unity and unanimity, with prudence and a sense of responsibility. During these crucial moments there is no room for over-simplifications or maximalist approaches.

Having as our guide the interests of Cyprus and also our firm position that there are safety limits, which the Greek Cypriot side has the legitimate moral and political right not to go beyond, we shall study the proposals given us.

The framework set by the U.N. Security Council resolutions lay down the principles on which a solution to the Cyprus problem should be based. These resolutions form the objective judgment and the collective wisdom not of the parties involved in the Cyprus problem, but of the world community at large. In this framework, a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship, as well as respect for human rights should find their place in the solution we are seeking.

At this important juncture, I call upon all the political forces and the entire Cyprus people to unite and cooperate. I look upon to the National Council as a collaborator and an assistant in this difficult effort. Our effort to solve the Cyprus problem should acquire the greatest possible political and social consensus.

The Plan submitted covers all the aspects of the Cyprus problem. It is evident that it contains provisions that satisfy our positions and also provisions that are not to our liking and do not satisfy us. However, we shall judge the Plan as a whole. It is on this basis that we shall determine whether it serves the interests of the Cyprus people and whether it can really open up the way for breaking the deadlock and lead to a solution of the Cyprus problem. Being unable to see the wood for the trees is not my way of reasoning.

I wish to underline in particular the important role and the firm and unwavering support Greece has been playing in our whole effort. The cooperation between Greece and Cyprus has been an important positive factor both in respect of developments in our efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and in respect of our accession course. It is my intention to safeguard as the apple of the eye this cooperation and unanimity between Greece and Cyprus, in its widest form, not only with the Government but also with all the political parties in Greece.

I have been in continuous touch with Prime Minister Simitis and we have agreed to meet next Saturday to coordinate our actions.

I call upon the people of Cyprus who will have the final say concerning the approval or rejection of any agreement that may be achieved, to remain cool, calm and firm. The guiding light of all our handling should be the interest of Cyprus and its people and nothing else."

[03] President Clerides: UN plan to be negotiated not on "take-it-or-leave- it" basis

The UN solution plan was not put forward on a "take-it-or-leave-it" basis and is to be negotiated, President Clerides emphasised yesterday, speaking to the press after having received the blueprint.

Asked whether the proposals included in the plan were in compliance with UN resolutions and the EU acquis, Mr. Clerides said that he had not yet studied the 135-page document in depth and did not wish to comment on the details of it. He added that the plan needed to be studied carefully, in its entirety, before expressing any views.

Mr. Clerides told the press that the document would be handed over today to the members of the National Council, the top advisory body to the President, and that another date would be set for the Council to discuss the plan, after taking some time to examine it thoroughly.

Invited to comment if there was enough time for a solution to be found prior to the Copenhagen summit, the Cyprus President noted: "This question cannot be answered because it depends on what the other side will do. This is not a dialogue between Mr. Annan and me".

He also mentioned that the UN Secretary-General had asked him, in a telephone conversation the two had, to respond within seven days in order to say whether he thought the document could serve as the "basis for agreement", on which he could negotiate.

[04] "It is an especially important day for Cyprus and its people", says Greek Prime Minister

Following the submission of the UN Secretary-General's plan for an overall solution of the Cyprus problem yesterday, a meeting was held in Athens under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Costas Simitis. The Foreign Minister Mr. George Papandreou, the Alternate Foreign Minister Mr. Tasos Yiannistis, the Director of the Prime Minister's Diplomatic Office Ambassador Theodoros Sotiropoulos, the Spokesman of the Greek Foreign Ministry Mr. Panayiotis Beglitis and the Prime Minister's Advisor Mr. Nicos Themelis, were present at the meeting, which lasted one and a half hours.

In a statement after the meeting and following a telephone conversation with President Clerides, Mr. Simitis underlined the historical opportunity for a Cyprus settlement, noting that it was an especially important day for Cyprus and its people, both Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

The Greek Premier pointed out that for the first time after many years there was an overall proposal on the part of the United Nations, a development which was the product of a long and coordinated effort by several Greek governments to actively involve the international community and ensure that the Cyprus problem remained at the centre of attention. He also emphasised the special part played by Greece's strategy to strengthen Cyprus' European perspective.

The Greek Prime Minister underlined that the people of Cyprus had suffered for many years the consequences of the invasion and occupation, in a Europe where developments averted the dividing lines and knocked down 'the Berlin wall'. In Cyprus, however, the dividing wall still exists, he said.

Greece's firm aim is to find a just, viable and workable solution to the Cyprus problem that will comply with the UN decisions for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single personality, single sovereignty and citizenship, a solution that respects human rights and is in accordance with the European principles and the acquis communautaire, he said. "Cyprus' European Union accession course not only formulates the framework that will safeguard the security and rights of all citizens, but also guarantees the functioning of the solution".

Referring to the solution plan prepared by the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Simitis said that his first assessment was that the plan was a starting point, which allowed for intense hard and persistent negotiations. "We have an historical opportunity for a solution and everyone should contribute in the unimpeded conducting of negotiations, without setting time limits", he said. He noted, however, that the people of Cyprus would have the final word and it was they who would decide through a referendum.

Concluding, the Greek Premier expressed Greece's support to President Clerides, who had repeatedly demonstrated his political will for a solution to the Cyprus problem. He also stressed the need for calm and determination to overcome party differences, adding that Cyprus' accession to the European Union would be completed, despite the settlement procedure.

[05] Washington welcomes UN initiative to submit solution plan

"The United States strongly welcomes the initiative of United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan to present a proposal for a comprehensive settlement for Cyprus to the two Cypriot leaders as the basis for an agreement".

The above position was part of an official press statement by the US State Department Spokesman, Mr. Richard Boucher, released yesterday, after the UN solution plan was handed over to President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Rauf Denktash, respectively.

In the statement, Mr. Boucher expresses Washington's full support to the UN initiative and to the ongoing efforts of the Organisation to achieve a "just and durable solution to the longstanding division of the island".

"We encourage the two sides", the statement reads, "to study the settlement proposal carefully, to provide their considered responses and to work urgently with the Secretary-General to achieve a settlement by seizing the historic opportunity that exists before the European Union makes its decisions on enlargement in Copenhagen in December''.

[06] Presentation of UN plan a timely initiative, says British Foreign Minister

In a press release issued yesterday by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Foreign Minister Mr. Jack Straw expressed his government's full support to the UN Secretary-General's decision to put forward his proposals on the Cyprus problem and called it a "timely initiative".

"The British government believes that there is now the best chance to solve the Cyprus problem in decades, and that this opportunity is not likely to recur in the foreseeable future", Mr. Straw stressed.

Britain, which received a copy of the UN blueprint on Cyprus yesterday, as a one of the three Guarantor Powers in Cyprus under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, pledged to study the plan carefully and respond to the Secretary- General in due course.

"We will be working with all those concerned for a positive outcome", the British Foreign Minister said in his statement.

[07] Cyprus Ambassador to Russia presents credentials

The new Ambassador of Cyprus to the Russian Federation, Mr. Andreas Georgiades, presented his credentials to the Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin, during an official ceremony at the Kremlin last week, in the presence of the Russian Foreign Minister, Mr. Igor Ivanof and other officials.

Receiving the credentials, the Russian President referred to the friendly ties between the two countries, especially in the fields of economy, trade, investments and technology.

On the political level, Mr. Putin underlined the constant support of his country to the efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, which must be in compliance with the relevant UN resolutions, as he claimed.

In reply, Ambassador Georgiades thanked Mr. Putin for his country's continuous support over the years, and stressed the Cyprus Government's strong will and determination in the efforts for reaching a settlement. He also conveyed President Clerides' regards to his Russian counterpart and the friendly people of Russia.

During the ceremony, the Cyprus Ambassador had the opportunity to exchange views with the Russian FM, Mr. Ivanof, on the latest developments with regard to the Cyprus problem.

[08] Cyprus participates at 11th meeting of Future of Europe Convention

Ambassador Michalis Attalides represented the Cyprus Government at the 11th meeting of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which took place in Brussels on 7-8 November.

During the meeting, there was further discussion on the preliminary draft Constitutional Treaty, which was presented by the Chairman of the European Convention, Mr. Valery Giscard d'Estaing, on 28 October 2002. The European Union's social policy and economic governance, as well as ways of simplifying community processes, were also discussed. In addition, the workgroups on auxiliary competences and justice and security affairs presented their findings.

The Convention's next meeting will take place on 5-6 December.


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


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