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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-11-29

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/>

Friday, 29 November 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN Special Adviser still hopeful for agreement by 12 December
  • [02] President Clerides: Cyprus is heading towards accession to EU
  • [03] Tony Blair: UN plan offers "greatest prospect" for settlement
  • [04] The dynamic for a solution must be sustained after Copenhagen, says Greek FM


[01] UN Special Adviser still hopeful for agreement by 12 December

The UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Mr. Alvaro de Soto, said, after his meeting with President Clerides in Nicosia today, that he remained hopeful that an initial agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem could be achieved by 12 December.

Asked if the Cyprus President had given him a letter or message to convey to the Secretary-General, Mr. de Soto replied negatively.

Invited to say whether he was satisfied with the Turkish Cypriot leader's reply to the UN plan, he noted that he thought "Mr. Denktash is prepared to negotiate on the basis of the Secretary-General's document." He added that the Turkish Cypriot leader "has said it clearly and we have said it in a communique in New York two days ago."

[02] President Clerides: Cyprus is heading towards accession to EU

"We are heading towards accession", the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, stressed yesterday, replying to a press question on whether there was enough time to reach an agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem until the Copenhagen European Summit of 12 December.

Mr. Clerides was speaking after yesterday's meeting of the National Council - the top advisory body to the President - which convened in order to discuss changes and comments to the UN Secretary-General's plan, as the latter had requested in a letter, sent to both sides on 26 November.

The Government Spokesman, Mr. Michalis Papapetrou, made the following statement after the meeting:

"The Members of the National Council examined, in depth, the situation being formulated in relation to the Cyprus problem and the latest developments and exchanged views on various aspects. Regarding yesterday's letter by the United Nations Secretary-General, the Members of the National Council expressed their views and gave the President of the Republic a free hand in the handling of the whole issue. The National Council will convene again to continue its discussions next Monday morning and afternoon."

[03] Tony Blair: UN plan offers "greatest prospect" for settlement

"The UN plan that has been put forward offers the greatest prospect for a final settlement of the Cyprus issue that we have had for many decades", the British Prime Minister Mr. Tony Blair said, during a meeting of the House of Commons on Wednesday, replying to a question posed by Labour MP Mr. John Lyons on whether the British Government would raise the issue of missing persons and other humanitarian aspects of the Cyprus problem, in its discussions with the new Turkish Government, as "matters of urgency".

The British PM emphasised that there was a possibility of resolving all aspects of the Cyprus problem comprehensively and in the context of an agreement to the UN plan.

Invited, by Labour MP Mr. Andrew Dismore, to assure Greek Cypriots that the delay by the Turkish side to respond to the UN plan would not, in any way, prevent their entry to the EU at the Copenhagen Summit, Mr. Blair emphatically stated that Cyprus would join the EU "in any event".

Specifically, the British Prime Minister's reply was the following: "We made it absolutely clear that Cyprus should be able to join the EU, even if there is not a final settlement. However, it is important, obviously, that we want there to be such a settlement. I have had good conversations with the new leadership in Turkey about this issue. I hope that the UN proposals can at least be a basis for concluding these negotiations reasonably quickly. If that happens, the Cyprus issue would be resolved. Cyprus, in any event, will join the EU, and relations between Greece and Turkey could improve. That would be of enormous benefit to the whole region."

[04] The dynamic for a solution must be sustained after Copenhagen, says Greek FM

The Greek Foreign Minister, Mr. George Papandreou, in an interview to CNN last Wednesday, made reference to the Cyprus problem saying that Greece sees positively the UN Secretary-General's "historic initiative" and hopes for a solution to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible. However, Mr. Papandreou noted, if no agreement was reached by 12 December, the dynamic for finding a solution must be sustained.

The Greek Foreign Minister said that Cyprus' accession to the European Union had a particular significance, since the EU could provide the framework within which Greek and Turkish Cypriots could coexist in peace.

He also underlined that more and more Turkish Cypriots were supporting the Secretary-General's efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, and cited the recent demonstration in the occupied areas where Turkish Cypriots had sent a strong message in favour of a solution and accession to the EU. At the same time, he said, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Denktash was delaying the process of reaching an agreement, "on purpose".

Furthermore, Mr. Papandreou emphasised that Greece supported Turkey's EU accession course, but also the need for Turkey to comply with the Copenhagen criteria.


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


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