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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-18

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 <>

Monday, 18 November 2002


  • [01] President Clerides returns from Athens
  • [02] Cyprus' UN Representative talks about human rights violations by Turkey in Cyprus
  • [03] Results of latest Eurobarometer in 13 EU candidate countries

[01] President Clerides returns from Athens

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, returned yesterday from Athens, where he held contacts with the Greek government and political leadership on the strategy to be followed regarding the solution plan put forward by the UN Secretary-General last week.

Speaking to the press upon his arrival at Larnaca airport, Mr. Clerides said that he had an in-depth discussion of the UN plan with the Greek Prime Minister and his advisers, and that he met with political party leaders to brief them on the latest developments and hear their views.

Replying to a question, Mr. Clerides emphasised that there was total agreement between the Greek and Cyprus governments regarding the negotiating tactic to be followed, namely, that clarifications should be asked on some issues and on others there should be negotiation for modifications.

Asked to comment on statements made by the leader of Turkey's Justice and Development Party, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who associated Cyprus' accession to the EU with Turkey's accession course, President Clerides noted: "Europe will not change its course because Mr. Erdogan says that for Cyprus to enter the EU, Turkey should accede simultaneously. This has been clarified a number of times by Europe".

Referring to the Turkish side's stance at the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, Mr. Clerides said that if Turkey did not have the political will to negotiate, no common ground would come forward.

Asked whether the UN Secretary-General had submitted a letter together with his plan, inviting President Clerides and Mr. Denktash to meet with him once more at the end of November, the Cyprus President confirmed that there was indeed a letter referring to that issue.

Invited to comment on statements made by the British envoy, Lord David Hannay, that the issues of sovereignty, citizenship and others were non- negotiable, Mr. Clerides said, "this specific point on sovereignty is a reply to the Turkish side which demands that it should have separate sovereignty.''

Answering a question on whether there should be a referendum prior to any acceptance of the UN blueprint, as well as on whether he would undertake "the burden" of signing the plan, the President replied: "Glafcos Clerides will listen to the views of the National Council. If these views are unanimous, then they are binding. If they are the majority, he must seriously consider them. Taking all that into consideration, if there is unanimity, then he does not have to take any decision because the National Council decisions bind him. If the views form a majority, he must pay great attention to what the majority says, and if he agrees, he will act according to that".

Asked how long there should be negotiations for, President Clerides replied that since there had been a delay in the process, and this delay was expected to continue, "it cannot be considered that the time left is sufficient to complete the negotiations".

Invited to say whether he agreed with the provision in the UN plan regarding the three-year transitional period during which the leaders of the two sides would become Co-Presidents of Cyprus, Mr. Clerides said: "I have already informed the Secretary-General's representative that I do not agree with this provision, nor the period provided".

Commenting on another question, he pointed out that "this island, in its long history, has gone through times that were considered critical or the most important and it survived. I think it will survive this time as well".

On a final question on whether the Cyprus Government would give its reply to the plan according to the Monday, 18 November, deadline, Mr. Clerides noted that it would be discussed during the meeting of the National Council, which convenes today.

[02] Cyprus' UN Representative talks about human rights violations by Turkey in Cyprus

The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the UN, Mr. Sotos Zackheos, spoke last week before the Third Committee at the 57th Session of the UN General Assembly, on the issue of the violations of human rights in Cyprus stemming from Turkey's invasion in 1974 and the continuous occupation of more than one third of its territory.

Mr. Zackheos referred to human rights violations regarding the issues of missing persons, displaced persons, the living conditions of Greek Cypriots in northern Cyprus, the situation of Turkish Cypriots living in the north and the Turkish settlers, citing major decisions of the European Court of Human Rights of the Council of Europe, such as the Fourth Interstate Appeal of Cyprus against Turkey and the Titina Loizidou case.

On the issue of missing persons, Ambassador Zackheos pointed out that in order for Turkey to fulfil its international obligations, it must carry out an effective and credible inquiry including exhumations and DNA examination of remains and inform the relatives of the results. "For its part, the Cyprus Government", he added, "urges the Turkish Cypriot leadership not to prohibit relatives of Turkish Cypriot missing persons from giving blood samples".

With regard to the home and property of displaced persons, Mr. Zackheos made reference to the "landmark decision" of the European Court of Human Rights in 1996, the Loizidou vs Turkey case, "which still awaits implementation, even after three interim resolutions of the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe".

On the living conditions of Greek Cypriots residing in the north, he referred to the Fourth Interstate Appeal of Cyprus versus Turkey, decided on 19 May 2001, which clearly found that they were deprived of fundamental rights, such as the freedom of movement, religious freedom, inheritance rights and other basic human rights relating to the respect of their private and family life.

Cyprus' UN Representative also referred to the situation of Turkish Cypriots and in particular, the harassment of Turkish Cypriot journalists by the occupation regime and the frequent prohibition of T/C to participate in bi-communal events.

Most importantly, Ambassador Zackheos spoke about the issue of Turkish colonisation of the north of Cyprus, calling it "a systematic attempt to completely alter the demographic and cultural heritage of the occupied area".

Citing reports by the former Rapporteur of the Council of Europe on the colonization of Cyprus, Mr. Cuco and the new Rapporteur, Mr. Jaako Laakso, Mr. Zackheos underlined that "a policy by an occupying power to change the demographic situation of an occupied country is a crime under international law and this was reiterated in the Rome Statute, setting up the International Criminal Court". "Such a policy can neither be condoned nor be accepted and its effects or objectives cannot be legalized ex post fact", he added.

Ambassador Zackheos concluded his speech by reiterating the Cyprus Government's position that a solution of the Cyprus problem must be based on UN Security Council Resolutions and must safeguard and restore human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots.

[03] Results of latest Eurobarometer in 13 EU candidate countries

The European Commission has released, last Friday, the results of the latest Candidate Countries Eurobarometer, which covered the period 2 September - 16 October 2002 and included a sample of 12,147 people from all the thirteen countries that have applied for EU membership.

Overall, the Eurobarometer confirms a high level of support for EU membership, shows that trust in the EU remains high despite very low levels of self-perceived knowledge and information, indicates that the outcome of the referenda on membership could be more influenced by low turnout than by opposition to membership, and finally, it reveals a high level of support for the Euro, as well as for the idea of a Constitution for the European Union.

With regard to Cyprus, in particular, the survey shows that 47% of the Cypriot respondents consider EU membership a good thing, 34% think it is neither good nor bad, and 25% believe it is a bad thing. It must be noted that there has been a 7% drop in the percentage of Cypriots supporting EU membership since the last Eurobarometer of Spring 2002.

Other results show that 58% of Cypriot respondents would vote in favour of EU accession in a referendum, 25% would vote against and 3% would abstain. Furthermore, a percentage of 63% thinks that Cyprus would benefit from EU accession, whereas a 23% replied negatively.

In parallel to the aforementioned survey, the European Commission made public the results of another survey conducted in the occupied areas, regarding the opinions of Turkish Cypriots on EU enlargement. This survey was carried out by the Turkish Cypriot institute for surveys KADEM, on a sample of 500 people, for the period 1 - 30 September 2002.

This survey found that a large majority of Turkish Cypriots supports EU accession. In specific terms, the 88,4% of respondents replied that EU membership would be a good thing, the 7,9% said it was neither good nor bad, and the 3,5% called it a bad thing.

Asked whether EU membership would be beneficial to them, on an overall basis, 88,9% of Turkish Cypriots asked said yes. Additionally, a high percentage of 87,4% said they would vote in favour of EU accession in the case of a referendum.

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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