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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-21

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/>

Thursday, 21 November 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] European Parliament report makes reference to Cyprus
  • [02] American Senate unanimously supports Cyprus' accession to EU
  • [03] Britain welcomes UN solution plan
  • [04] UN: "The calendar is an important part and a parcel of the plan"
  • [05] French Minister expresses hope for a reunified Cyprus to accede to the EU
  • [06] Chief UN arms inspector praises Cyprus' role in hosting UNMOVIC office
  • [07] International rating agency ranks highly Cyprus economy


[01] European Parliament report makes reference to Cyprus

The European Parliament has included Cyprus is its overall report on enlargement, presented before the EP Assembly that convened in Strasburg on 18 - 19 November, which was approved by an overwhelming majority of 505 votes for and 20 against, with 30 abstentions.

With regard to Cyprus, the European Parliament welcomes the UN plan submitted by the Secretary-General on 11 November and calls upon the two sides to use the blueprint as a basis for negotiations and reach an agreement by 12 December, as Mr. Annan proposed. At the same time, the EP calls on the European Commission to examine whether the UN solution plan is in compliance with the acquis communautaire and if the Annan proposals can provide the basis for a viable and operational settlement in the framework of the European Union.

The ten paragraphs on Cyprus, as included in the overall report, stipulate that the European Parliament:

32. Notes with satisfaction that the Commission considers that Cyprus, along with nine other candidate countries, will be able to assume the obligations of membership within the envisaged time frame; considers that, in the run-up to accession, Cyprus must continue its preparations in accordance with the commitments entered into during the negotiations;

33. Shares the hope that a reunited Cyprus under single sovereignty, but with guarantees for the regional autonomy and protection of the interests of both communities, will accede to the EU on the basis of a comprehensive settlement to be achieved before the completion of accession negotiations and that the terms of the accession treaty may reflect this settlement;

34. Welcomes the detailed plan for a political settlement presented to the parties by the Secretary General of the United Nations on November 11 2002; calls on both parties to use the plan as a basis for negotiations and to arrive at a framework agreement to be signed before the Copenhagen European Council; invites the parties involved to examine these proposals thoroughly and objectively and calls on the Commission to certify whether they can provide the basis for a viable and operational settlement in the framework of the European Union in accordance with the acquis communautaire;

35. Recalls, in particular, that this political settlement should enable Cyprus to participate in the decision-making process and the policies of the European Union and to ensure the proper application of EU law; underlines that this implies that the Federal Government and Parliament of Cyprus should be fully functioning entities at international level;

36. Stresses the fact that once a settlement is reached the Government must also ensure full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the whole territory of the island;

37. Supports the efforts of the Commission to generate and finance bicommunal projects, and appeals to the northern Cyprus leadership actively to support these efforts and stop any harassment of those who are in favour of a solution and EU membership;

38. Is convinced that in the event of a political solution, a supplementary budgetary effort will be required in order to facilitate the 'catching-up' of the north of the island with the acquis communautaire and to contribute to the reconstruction of the 'buffer zone' as well as areas in most need;

39. Welcomes the fact that opinion polls indicate increasing support among Turkish Cypriots for accession to the EU; welcomes, too, the European engagement of 90 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the north;

40. Urges Turkey, in particular, to lend its full support to efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement this year, in accordance with relevant UN Security Council resolutions;

41. Reiterates its view that, if such a settlement is not achieved within the given time frame, the European Council of Copenhagen should proceed according to the Helsinki conclusions.

[02] American Senate unanimously supports Cyprus' accession to EU

The United States Senate approved, on 18 November, a resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 122) that supports Cyprus' accession to the European Union and calls for the reunification of the Republic of Cyprus.

The resolution states that "membership in the European Union will guarantee each citizen of the Republic of Cyprus important legal, civil and human rights, as well as the means and legal recourse necessary to secure the full application of these fundamental individual rights, and to promote the respect of cultural diversity and traditions."

It further recognises that "the European Union will bring significant benefits to both Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, including new economic opportunities, access to new markets, a freer exchange of goods and services, balanced and sustainable development as well as the free flow of persons, goods and services, and capital."

The Senate cites the relevant Helsinki European Council conclusions on Cyprus and pledges the US commitment to work together with the EU to support the UN Secretary-General's efforts for finding a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem, in full accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and international treaties.

It is also noted in the resolution that the settlement of the Cyprus problem "is consistent with American values, as enshrined in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States, which guarantees the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness".

The Senate resolution specifically states the following:

(1) the current status quo on Cyprus must be ended and the island and its people be reunited, in a bizonal, bicommunal federal Cyprus, with full consideration of United Nations Security Council resolutions and international treaties;

(2) the direct and intensive negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, which began in January 2002, and which are continuing on a regular basis, have been most welcome and are encouraged to continue until a comprehensive settlement has been achieved;

(3) while a successful resolution of the Cyprus problem would facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, in the absence of such a resolution, the accession of Cyprus to the European Union could act as a further catalyst for the solution of the Cyprus problem without the latter being a precondition for accession and with all relevant factors being considered;

(4) membership of the Republic of Cyprus in the European Union should be strongly supported;

(5) all Cypriots be urged to support and encourage efforts to bring the Republic of Cyprus into the European Union; and

(6) the various agencies of the United States Government in support of United Nations efforts to facilitate a settlement should pursue as an issue of high priority new initiatives that will help promote and achieve reunification, reconciliation, stability, and prosperity on Cyprus.

The Senate Concurrent Resolution 122 was introduced by Senator Olympia Snowe and co-sponsored by the Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Joseph Biden and Senators Paul Sarbanes, Barbara Mikulski, Robert Torricelli, Johf Kerry, Jean Carnahan, Diane Feinstein, Tim Johnson, Jon Corzine, Tom Harkin and Thomas Carper.

[03] Britain welcomes UN solution plan

The British Government, through the Deputy Foreign Secretary, Mr. Denis MacShane, has welcomed the submission of the plan by the UN Secretary- General for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

In a written statement on 18 November, as a reply to the question posed by Labour MP Mr. Andrew Dismore before the House of Commons regarding the Foreign Secretary's assessment of the Cyprus plan, Mr. MacShane states the following:

"The British Government received a copy of the UN Secretary-General's proposals for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem on 11 November in our capacity as a Guarantor Power of Cyprus. We will be studying these proposals carefully, particularly in so far as they affect our responsibilities under the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, and will be responding to Kofi Annan in due course.

The Government warmly welcomes the UN Secretary-General's decision to table his proposals for bridging the remaining gaps after the months of negotiations between the two sides. We believe this is a timely initiative which we will be giving our full support.

As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in a press statement on 11 November, 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. We will be working with all those concerned for a positive outcome."

[04] UN: "The calendar is an important part and a parcel of the plan"

The Spokeswoman of the UN Secretary-General, Ms. Hua Jiang, referred to the UN Secretary-General's Report on the United Nations Operation in Cyprus, during her press briefing yesterday, and said that the Security Council would have closed consultations on the issue on Friday 22 November in the morning. She also referred to the arrival of Dr. Blix to Cyprus and to his meeting with President Clerides.

Replying to a question as to whether the UN would give the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Denktash an extension of time to reply on the UN Secretary- General's proposals, the UN spokeswoman reiterated that "the calendar is an important part and a parcel of the plan" and that the clock is ticking.

The full text of her statements is given below:

HJ: The operations of the UN Peacekeeping force including its main humanitarian activities have brought together thousands of Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the buffer zone. UN Peacekeeping forces have also performed humanitarian tasks in support of Greek Cypriots living in the north and Turkish Cypriots living in the south. Despite the recent calm along the ceasefire line the SG recognizes the need for an extension of six months of the force mandate. He conceded the UN force presence on the island is essential to the maintenance of the ceasefire between the two sides. We expect the Security Council to hold closed consultations on Friday morning to discuss the mandates renewal.

Dr. Hans Blix, the SG of the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission and some of their colleagues left for Baghdad at 8am local time this morning for Larnaca, Cyprus. Shortly after arriving the two paid a courtesy call to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Glafcos Clerides. Dr. Blix will then leave Larnaca today for London were he is to Chair another meeting of the European Bank Reconstructionů

Question: When will Mr. Denktash give his answer?

HJ: I have no information on that.

Question: Yesterday (Mr. Denktash) sent a letter asking for an extension, are you going to give him that?

HJ: As the Secretary said in the statement that was issued yesterday he is really very concerned and he did mention that the calendar is part and parcel of the plan so as he said yesterday the clock is ticking.

Question: Where is he going to meet Mr. de Soto?

HJ: I have no information on that.

[05] French Minister expresses hope for a reunified Cyprus to accede to the EU

The French Minister Delegate for European Affairs, Ms. Noelle Lenoir, gave yesterday a press conference at the Reception Centre of Foreign Press in Paris (CAPE), during which she also made a reference to Cyprus.

In reply to a question by a Turkish journalist as to whether Cyprus would accede to the EU as a divided or a unified state, Mrs. Lenoir, expressed the hope that Cyprus would accede to the EU, at the next enlargement, as a reunified state.

After referring to the talks that are conducted between the "protagonists" of the problem of Cyprus, she noted that France supported and viewed in a positive spirit the solution plan for Cyprus, which the UN Secretary- General, Mr. Kofi Annan, had recently presented.

Ms. Lenoir described as pitiful the fact that an agreement had not yet been reached, but expressed the wish that in 2004 a reunified island would join the EU. "We have many hopes, however, that there could be an agreement that would lead to the solution of the problem", she added.

Ms. Lenoir reminded that at the Helsinki European Council in 1999, it was decided that Cyprus would accede to the EU, irrespective of a solution to its problem of partition. "Having this principle in mind, its accession will take place", she concluded.

[06] Chief UN arms inspector praises Cyprus' role in hosting UNMOVIC office

The Chief UN weapons inspector and Acting Director of the UN Monitoring Verification and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), Dr. Hans Blix, praised the Cyprus Government for accepting the Commission's request for setting up a local office on the island.

Dr. Blix, who was speaking to the press after his meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, yesterday at the Presidential Palace, said "the Government of Cyprus has been kind to allow us to open a local office in Larnaca, from where our inspectors flying in from all parts of the world will be able to travel with our own planes from Larnaca into Baghdad in the near future."

He also expressed happiness for being in Cyprus and said his team was ready to launch a new chapter as regards Iraqi arms inspections.

Replying to a press question, Dr. Blix said that more people would be arriving in Larnaca and that by Christmas, it was estimated that the inspectors' base in Baghdad would host around 100 people.

[07] International rating agency ranks highly Cyprus economy

The international rating agency Standard & Poor's issued, on 19 November, its evaluation report on the Cypriot economy, whose findings are judged as positive for Cyprus since they confirm the stability and optimistic prospects of the economy of the island.

According to this report, Cyprus has achieved significant progress in the areas of fiscal consolidation and structural reforms. It is estimated in the report that the fiscal deficit, by the year 2005, will drop to 0,6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while for 2002 it will fluctuate around 3% of the GDP, remaining within the Maastricht limits. Moreover, the public debt is expected, according to Standard & Poor's, to drop below 50% of the GDP for 2005, whereas this year it will remain at high levels, around 57% of the GDP.

The report makes special reference to Cyprus' high income per capita, which reaches $14,860 and compares favourably among similarly rated sovereigns.

Furthermore, the international rating agency notes that the Cyprus Government adopts a constructive approach to the prospect of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.


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


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