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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-27

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/>

Wednesday, 27 November 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus FM: Turkish delay shortens time for negotiations on UN plan
  • [02] Government Spokesman's statement
  • [03] European Commission: still time for a settlement before Copenhagen
  • [04] New Cyprus' High Commissioner to South Africa presents credentials


[01] Cyprus FM: Turkish delay shortens time for negotiations on UN plan

The Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, who is in London on an official visit, met yesterday with the British Minister of State for European Affairs Mr. Denis MacShane.

Speaking after the 45-minute meeting, Mr. Kasoulides stated, inter alia, the following: "The discussion focused exclusively on the efforts to find a solution of the Cyprus problem. It was a sincere exchange of views on what the reality is as regards the handling of the UN Secretary-General's plan and on our readiness, as has been requested by Mr. Annan, to accept to negotiate on the plan. This is what we have called a basis for negotiation, and we have pointed out the fact that the Turkish delay in responding to the plan undoubtedly shortens the time limit, in a crucial way and to the extent that it may not allow the negotiations to be concluded on 12 December".

Invited to say whether he was satisfied with the British position on the matter, the Cyprus Foreign Minister replied that no British position was expressed during the meeting but it became clear what the relationship between Cyprus and Britain was and what the role of Britain could be, as regards the peace process.

"We exchanged views on how things could turn out, ideally and practically", Mr. Kasoulides said, adding that it was significant to see that the efforts for finding a settlement have a successful outcome.

[02] Government Spokesman's statement

The Government Spokesman Mr. Michalis Papapetrou, replying to a question on the position of the Greek Cypriot's side regarding the discussion of Mr. Annan's proposals, stated the following:

"The Greek Cypriot side has agreed to negotiate on the proposals submitted by the UN Secretary-General. Whether these proposals will be accepted as a basis for a solution or whether they will be rejected, will depend on the clarifications that will be given and the outcome of the relevant negotiations. This has always been the firm position of the President of the Republic since the first day of the submission of Mr. Annan's proposals".

[03] European Commission: still time for a settlement before Copenhagen

The European Commission continues to prefer the accession of a reunited Cyprus to the EU and strongly supports the UN Secretary-General's plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, Mr. Jean-Christophe Filori, Spokesman for the Enlargement Commissioner Mr. Gunter Verheugen, said yesterday during a press briefing in Brussels.

Mr. Filori pointed out that a solution to the Cyprus problem was preferable before the Copenhagen European Council, adding that there was still time to reach a settlement by 12 December.

However, he reiterated the Commission's opinion that a solution was not a precondition for Cyprus' accession to the Union, according to the relevant conclusions of the Helsinki European Council of December 1999.

[04] New Cyprus' High Commissioner to South Africa presents credentials

The new Cyprus' High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr. Costas Leontiou, presented his credentials last week to the President of that country, Mr. Thabo Mbeki.

Mr. Leontiou praised the excellent relations between the two countries and assured the South African President that Cyprus' accession to the European Union would not affect its historic ties with friendly countries belonging to the Non-Aligned Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations.

The Cyprus' High Commissioner expressed confidence that the successful transition of South Africa "from the race-based oligarchy of apartheid to a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual and pluralistic democracy will continue unhindered", and said he was happy to observe "the constructive contribution to the economic development of this great and beautiful country made by the thousands of Cypriots who have made South Africa their homeland".

Mr. Leontiou took the opportunity to express the Cyprus Government's "sincere appreciation and deep gratitude for South Africa's constant support for a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem".

Making reference to the submission of the UN plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, on 11 November, the Cyprus' diplomat noted: "The Government of Cyprus faces these developments with prudence, serenity and a high sense of responsibility. The time has come to remedy the traumatic experiences of the past. 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."

Receiving the credentials, President Mbeki assured Mr. Leontiou that South Africa would continue to support Cyprus' just cause and the peace process, under the aegis of the United Nations, and expressed belief that "the time has come for a Cyprus settlement".


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


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