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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-13

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 <>

Wednesday, 13 November 2002


  • [01] President meets with Cyprus' EU Chief Negotiator
  • [02] Annan: Solution plan a sound and optimal proposal
  • [03] US Secretary of State urges two sides to study UN plan carefully
  • [04] Verheugen: presentation of UN plan a courageous and important step
  • [05] Stephanopoulos stresses the need for national unity

[01] President meets with Cyprus' EU Chief Negotiator

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, met yesterday morning with Cyprus' Chief EU Negotiator, Mr. George Vassiliou, after the latter's arrival from Brussels, where he had discussions with EU officials on the two remaining chapters of the acquis communautaire, that of Agriculture and the Budget.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, Mr. Vassiliou said that he and President Clerides discussed the latest developments regarding Cyprus' EU accession course and also the submission, on Monday, of the UN plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

With regard to the UN plan, Mr. Vassiliou noted that he had assurances from the European Union that it fully complied with EU fundamental principles. He also said that the plan must be examined in depth and in a serious manner, before replying to the UN Secretary-General on whether it could be accepted as a basis for agreement.

The Cyprus-EU Chief Negotiator emphasised that he did not consider the UN plan an "ultimatum" and that he agreed with the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr. Papandreou, that the submission of the plan should be seen as "a success of the Greek side and not as blackmail". "Turkey, faced with the dilemma of seeing Cyprus join the EU without any progress towards a solution of the Cyprus problem, was forced to change its attitude and gave the green light to the UN to submit the plan", he added.

Mr. Vassiliou also expressed the view that the UN plan should be made public, once it was translated in Greek, in order to avoid misinterpretation.

[02] Annan: Solution plan a sound and optimal proposal

The UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, upon his encounter with the press after the briefing of the Security Council yesterday, stated the following:

"Let me confirm to you that I have conveyed to the parties a proposal that I believe can form the basis of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. And I have asked them to study it very carefully and give me their reactions within a week. I did share my initiative with the Council and they give me broad support for the initiative".

Mr. Annan then replied to press questions as follows:

Question: What is the deadline for the parties to respond to your proposal?

Answer: I advise them to come to me within a week. I hope I hear from them on the 18th of November. I asked them to give me their reactions.

Question: What is the model…Belgian, Swiss…

Answer: I think the parties know what I have put before them. They are going to study it. We have to look at many issues and many different possible options and I believe I put before them what I consider a sound and optimal proposal. I know it is going to be a tough decision for them, it is going to require courage, wisdom and vision. And I am confident they are capable of it.

Question: What is the timetable to accept it or not?

Answer: My role after all these years of negotiations is to help the parties come to comprehensive agreement. My role is that of a helper, expediter, to get there, to accept to come to a comprehensive agreement. And I think they realise that we have a limited opportunity as we move forward. And there is a unique timing in the sense and the possibility of getting a united Cyprus into the European Union. And I hope they will seize the moment.

Question: You want an answer before December 12?

Answer: Work it out yourself.

Question: Will they come here to give the answer, or they will give it to Mr de Soto?

Answer: Mr de Soto is on the ground discussing with them, giving them explanation, and it is not excluded that I at sometime will meet with them again.

Question: Here or in Cyprus?

Answer: At the most practical location.

Question: This is not a take it or leave it document, however, if one side decides to leave it, what happens then?

Answer: I think if it is not a take it or leave it proposal, and I don't have the capacity of imposing it on either party, then we have a problem.

Question: According to the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, there is a seven-day deadline and a thirty-day deadline. Could you explain what they mean?

Answer: I am very happy that they have agreed to a deadline among themselves.

[03] US Secretary of State urges two sides to study UN plan carefully

The US Secretary of State, Mr. Colin Powell, had a meeting yesterday at the State Department, in Washington D.C., with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, with whom he discussed, inter alia, the UN plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem, which was put forward on Monday.

After the meeting, Mr. Powell told the press that he congratulated the Secretary-General for his initiative and expressed hope that both sides on the island would study the UN plan carefully.

"The initial response from both the Greek and Turkish and all parties in this difficult situation has been encouraging", he noted, adding: "There are many difficulties ahead, but I think it's important that both sides take this opportunity, with this new initiative, to reach a solution to this most vexing of problems".

Mr. Powell refrained from commenting on the details of the plan but emphasised that the important thing was for the two sides to discuss it "in the spirit of finding not problems, but finding ways of moving forward, of finding a solution".

On his turn, the UN Secretary-General told the press that he spoke to both leaders and appealed to them to take time to study the document, not to give any quick reactions, but respond within a week. "Once I receive their reactions, we will make a judgment on how we carry the process forward", Mr. Annan said.

[04] Verheugen: presentation of UN plan a courageous and important step

In a press release issued by the European Commission yesterday, the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Mr. Gunter Verheugen, made the following statement with regard to the submission of the UN solution plan:

"The Commission welcomes and supports the efforts of the good offices and the personal involvement of the UNSG Kofi Annan to solve the Cyprus problem. The presentation by the UN Secretary General of a proposal for a comprehensive settlement is a courageous and important step to which the European Union should lend its full support. The Commission hopes that it will contribute to bridge the gaps between the two communities and lead to a settlement before the Copenhagen Summit.

The European Union has repeatedly expressed its preference for a reunited

Cyprus to join the European Union on the basis of a comprehensive settlement, and urged the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to seize the opportunity and reach an agreement before the end of the accession negotiations this year. The European Union has also stated that it will accommodate such a comprehensive settlement in the Treaty of Accession in line with the principles on which the European Union is founded.

We are now indeed entering a decisive phase as the accession negotiations are coming to an end. Cyprus is among the ten countries for which the conclusion of the negotiations is recommended. The key reference for the EU in relation to the decision on Cyprus' accession are the conclusions of the Helsinki European Council in 1999. All efforts should be undertaken to make use of the very limited time left and to bring the process to a positive outcome so that the accession negotiations would indeed have served as a catalyst for a settlement."

[05] Stephanopoulos stresses the need for national unity

The President of Greece Mr. Kostis Stephanopoulos said that the plan submitted by the United Nations Secretary General for an overall solution of the Cyprus problem should fulfil two conditions: firstly it should lead to the reunification of the island but exclude partition and secondly, the plan should be viable so that the new Constitution can be workable and the solution lasting.

Speaking on Monday at a luncheon hosted by local officials on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the liberation of the island of Hios, the Greek President underlined the important need for national unity before the holding of the referendum both by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriots.

Mr. Stephanopoulos also expressed his country's wish for a just settlement of the Cyprus problem, one that complies with the principles of the United Nations Organisation, and gratitude to all those who intervened with a willingness for such a solution to be found.

From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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