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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-22
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 22 November 2002
 Kasoulides: G/C side ready to reach agreement on UN plan before 12 DecemberThe Greek Cypriot side is ready to reach an agreement on the plan put forward by the UN Secretary-General, for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem, before the timeframe set by Mr. Annan, that is, before 12 December, the Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides argued yesterday, upon his arrival from Brussels where he took part in a meeting of EU Foreign Ministers and their counterparts from the candidate countries.
Speaking to the press at Larnaca airport, Mr. Kasoulides noted the following:
"Our side has already replied that it is ready to negotiate on the plan submitted by the UN Secretary-General, after having secured his assurance that the plan is to be negotiated and not on a take-it-or-leave-it basis. We are ready to start negotiations since yesterday. However, there are some imponderable factors, like Mr. Denktash's illness as well as other factors that do not depend on us. I am referring specifically to the intentions and disposition of the Turkish side, since we hear various statements from Ankara, coming from numerous officials, and Mr. Erdogan, which are contradictory most of the time."
Replying to a comment that the British have attempted, at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, to associate Cyprus' EU accession course with the timeframes regarding a solution to the Cyprus problem, the Cyprus FM said that the Greek Cypriot side was ready to negotiate and reach an agreement before 12 December. At the same time, he added, "we will not accept the transformation of the plan into a take-it-or-leave-it document due to the others' delay."
"Since the two of the four basic aspects of the Cyprus problem, namely the issues of territory and refugees, have not been discussed during the talks of an entire year, we have every right in wanting to discuss and examine in- depth these two issues, and certainly the other issues of the plan as well", Mr. Kasoulides said.
 President and House President meet with British envoyThe President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, met yesterday morning with the British Special Representative for Cyprus, Lord David Hannay, with whom he discussed developments following the submission of the UN plan for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.
After the meeting, Lord Hannay told reporters that there was still time to reach a settlement in Cyprus, making indirect reference to the deadline of 12 December 2002, when the Copenhagen European Council will meet to take the final decisions on EU enlargement.
The British envoy later met with the House President, Mr. Dimitris Christofias, who made the following statements after the meeting:
"I had an extensive talk with Mr. Hannay, surely on the latest developments, the focal point of which are the proposals, the plan by the UN Secretary- General, and what must be done as regards mostly the handling of the situation.
Mr. Hannay knows very well that our side, following a decision by the National Council, has accepted with a large majority to discuss this proposal on a good will. I have pointed out to Mr. Hannay that everyone must turn to the Turkish side, since it has not given an answer. I have said that we feel the pressure; President Clerides has given it his best during these last ten months and has shown good will, and now we are the ones feeling the pressure - of course, Turkey and the Turkish side feel pressure as well, given the tight timetables that have been set. In essence, time until Copenhagen is running out, if it hasn't run out already, and it is very limited for one to say that there is capacity for a substantial negotiation and reaching of an agreement.
I have conveyed these messages and I have discussed various aspects that cause concern to the public. I have discussed the issue of settlers, the issue of refugees as well as other matters."
Mr. Christofias also noted what he had told Turkish Cypriots journalists earlier, namely that "the solution must not serve any mother-country, either Turkey or Greece, and no foreigner, but the goal should be the accommodation of the interests of Cypriots, Greek and Turkish Cypriots."
"It is time", he said, "for us to think as Cypriots, while retaining our descend, conscience and traditions, for the interest of our common country." If that is reflected in the solution to be found, then this place will have a future, the House President concluded.
 UN: no reply from Denktash yetDuring yesterday's press briefing at UN Headquarters in New York, the Associate Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, made reference to Cyprus when asked about the response by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to the Secretary-General's recent proposal on Cyprus.
The Spokesman, Mr. Stephane Dujarric, said the United Nations had not received any answer from Denktash as yet. He noted Mr. Annan's recent statement, on 19 November, on the pressing need to find a way to get the negotiations under way.
Furthermore, he told the press that in the afternoon, at 3:30pm, the UN Security Council was scheduled to hold a private meeting with troop contributing countries to the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
 Moody's delegation in Cyprus for evaluation of economyCyprus Finance Ministry officials had a meeting yesterday with a delegation of the international rating agency, Moody's, who is on the island within the framework of the regular evaluation of the Cypriot economy by the agency.
The Cyprus officials briefed the delegation on the course of the Cypriot economy during 1997-2000, paying particular emphasis on the Government's pre-accession economic programme and the programme for fiscal reform.
They assured members of the international rating agency that the Cyprus Government would follow its commitment for the achievement of long-term economic stability.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/