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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-02-10

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 <>

  • [01]Monday, 10 February 2003 UN-led peace talks continue
  • [02] Foreign Minister returns from Lebanon visit

    [01] UN-led peace talks continue

    President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, had another meeting last Friday, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto. The meeting took place in the context of the UN-led direct talks for reaching an agreement on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of the revised UN solution plan, submitted by the Secretary-General on 10 December 2002. The UN diplomat, Mr. De Soto, left later that day for Turkey to hold talks with the Turkish government. Replying to questions prior to his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, President Clerides noted that he was aware of the Secretary-General's letter to the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Costas Simitis, on the issue of security. Asked if the Greek government had been invited to New York to discuss that issue, Mr. Clerides replied, "No, the Secretary-General has invited Greece and Turkey to begin consultations on the issue of future security." President Clerides and Mr. Denktash are to hold another meeting today, after which Mr. De Soto will depart for New York to brief the UN Secretary-General on the latest developments in Cyprus.

    [02] Foreign Minister returns from Lebanon visit

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, concluded an official visit to Lebanon, where he held talks with Lebanon's President, General Emile Lahoud, his Lebanese counterpart, Mr. Mahmoud Hammoud, and the National Assembly President, Mr. Nabih Berri. The main topics of discussion between Mr. Kasoulides and the Lebanese officials were the possibility of an Iraqi war, the developments in the Cyprus problem, the Palestinian question, the decision for Cyprus' accession to the European Union, and bilateral relations. On the issue of Iraq, the Lebanese leaders expressed their country's position in favour of employing any peaceful means to secure compliance with the UN Security Council resolution 1441 and prevent a war, which would have catastrophic consequences on the Iraqi people and the neighbouring countries.

    They also referred to the close ties between Cyprus and Lebanon and expressed hope for a quick solution of the Cyprus problem, on the basis of the relevant UN decisions. On his part, Mr. Kasoulides agreed that there should be full implementation of resolution 1441 and that all diplomatic means should be exhausted in order to avert an Iraqi war. Speaking upon his arrival from Lebanon, at Larnaca airport on Saturday, the Foreign Minister noted that his visit to Lebanon had been "very useful and productive", adding that consultations with friendly countries of the near region were essential, especially in light of the impending Iraqi crisis.

    With regard to the Cyprus problem, Mr. Kasoulides stressed that if any developments would occur on the Cyprus problem, these should be expected within 2003. He also said that the Turkish policy on Cyprus would change, especially once the leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party, Mr. Tayyip Erdogan, assumed the premiership. "Logic dictates that if Mr. Erdogan's goal is to ask that the December 2004 deadline [to decide if Turkey would begin accession negotiations] be pushed forward, Turkey must give some signs of compliance with the Copenhagen political criteria", Mr. Kasoulides said, adding, "some of these signs involve reducing the influence of the military, on the one hand, and the Cyprus problem, on the other." Replying to another question, the Foreign Minister said that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, and the military establishment in Turkey were obstructing the reunification of Cyprus, but pointed out that for the first time, there were hopes that these obstacles could be overcome.

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

    Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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