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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-01-08
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 8 January 2003
 President Clerides: Attorney General will remain in the Cyprus negotiating teamThe President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, stated yesterday, after a meeting with members of the Diplomatic Corps, that the Attorney General Mr. Alecos Markides, who is also a candidate in the February presidential elections, would remain in the team negotiating a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem irrespective of whether he would resign from the post of the Attorney General or not.
President Clerides stressed that the Attorney General would continue to be part of the negotiating team and made it clear that there was no problem whatsoever with Mr. Markides being a presidential candidate.
Replying to a question as to whether Mr. Markides would remain in the post of Attorney General, the President replied positively, noting that since Mr. Markides had not submitted his resignation, he was still the Attorney General of the Republic.
Asked if Mr. Markides should be removed from the negotiating team if he resigned from the law office, the President replied: "No, he will remain in the negotiating team. If he submits his resignation, then I will not appoint another Attorney General before the elections are completed, and it will be up to the new President to appoint another Attorney General".
Concluding, the President said that he would not revoke his decision to run for a third but limited term in office, stressing that he was not "one of those people who change their decisions, once they take them".
In his statement, after a meeting with the President yesterday, Mr. Markides said that he informed President Clerides of his willingness to offer his services to the negotiating team on the Cyprus problem and as coordinator of the Greek Cypriot side at the two ad hoc technical committees. He said the President replied, "You will stay, I want you to".
Mr. Markides said he would continue to participate in the talks on the Cyprus problem, although this might cause great complications to his pre- election campaign because the work for the committees was very time consuming, about five to seven hours per day. "But I cannot leave this project, since it is evident the President does not want me to leave", he added.
 Schwimmer: Council of Europe supports solution and reconciliation in CyprusThe Council of Europe (CoE) will support a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem and contribute to the reconciliation of the two communities on the island, the Secretary General of the CoE, Mr. Walter Schwimmer, pledged yesterday after a meeting with President Clerides.
Mr. Schwimmer, who is on an official visit to the island since Sunday, told the press that the Cyprus President had briefed him on the latest developments regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem, and that he was impressed by President Clerides' personal commitment towards finding a settlement.
"We agreed that there is now a window of opportunity for reaching a solution, and especially with the change of mood of the Turkish Cypriot community and the new attitude of the Turkish government", the CoE Secretary General noted.
Mr. Schwimmer also met yesterday with the President of the House of Representatives, Mr. Demetris Christofias, with whom he discussed efforts for a settlement based on the Annan plan, prospects for a reunited Cyprus to accede to the EU, and Cyprus' role after reunification so that the Turkish Cypriot community could reach the same socio-economic levels of development as the Greek Cypriot community.
The House President thanked Mr. Schwimmer for the CoE's important contribution in defending human rights in Cyprus and noted that after the island's accession to the EU, the Council's role becomes more important.
He also stressed that the Greek Cypriot side wanted a functional and viable solution to the political problem and one that would offer to all the people of Cyprus the benefits flowing from EU membership.
"We analysed our views on the efforts for resolving the Cyprus problem, noting that we consider the UN Secretary-General's plan as a basis for negotiations and that we are ready, despite the forthcoming presidential elections, to negotiate", Mr. Christofias said.
On his turn, the CoE chief emphasised that both he and Mr. Christofias agreed that any solution should "respect the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and the human rights of all Cypriots, Greek and Turkish", warning that "no solution should be found at the cost of human rights and fundamental freedoms".
He also expressed the view that any new constitution of the Republic of Cyprus must explicitly mention the island's membership to the Council of Europe and the European Convention of Human Rights.
In other statements after a meeting with the Foreign Minister Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, yesterday morning, Mr. Schwimmer stressed that the Council of Europe was very interested in a solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of the island. "We do not want to see any more dividing lines in Europe. We do not want to see any more divided cities in Europe", he said.
He added that Cyprus could play an active role in promoting stability and peace in Europe, as a member of both the European Union and the Council of Europe.
 Technical committees hold first meeting under UN chairmanshipThe members of the two ad hoc technical committees in Cyprus had their first meeting yesterday, under the chairmanship of the United Nations, to discuss procedural aspects and chart a course for the technical work ahead, the Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, Ms. Hua Jiang, told reporters at the regular press briefing in New York.
"It was agreed that the committee on treaties will meet Wednesday, the committee on common state laws will meet on Thursday, and the committee on treaties will meet again on Friday", the UN Spokesperson said yesterday, adding that "in view of the workload of the committees, it is envisaged that the schedule will further intensify starting from next week".
Moreover, a UN press release - posted yesterday on the UN News Centre website - notes that a UN official in Nicosia stressed that the purpose of these meetings was to "flesh out" some aspects of a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus, which were necessary if that settlement was to function smoothly and effectively upon entry into force.
According to the same press release, an aide to the Secretary-General's Special Advisor for Cyprus Mr. Alvaro de Soto, told UN Radio that "the technical meetings should go ahead in parallel with the ongoing political negotiations", and that "the work of the technical committees is to finalize texts on the matters they deal with and then essentially recommend them to the [Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot] leaders, who would then approve them."
With regard to Mr. Alvaro de Soto's itinerary for the next few days, the UN Deputy Spokesperson, Ms. Jiang, pointed out that the Cyprus envoy would be returning to the island early next week, stopping on the way in Turkey and Greece for consultations.
 Government condemns suicide bombing attack in Tel AvivThe Government of the Republic of Cyprus wishes to condemn in the strongest possible terms the recent suicide bombing attack that took place two days ago in Tel Aviv and which claimed the lives of twenty three innocent people and caused the injury of many others.
The Government also wishes to express its deep sorrow to the families of the victims and wish, at the same time, for the speedy recovery of those injured.
Violence and terrorist acts cannot and will not solve any dispute. It is for this reason, therefore, that Cyprus strongly supports the resumption, as soon as possible, of the peace process, as the only way for achieving peace and stability in the region.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/