|Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-02-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 New Cyprus President committed to continue peace talks with good will"It is our commitment and duty to continue the negotiations with flexibility and good will to bring about the improvements that are necessary for the Annan Plan to become a functional and viable solution", Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, the winner of yesterday's presidential elections, told a large crowd of his supporters at the "Eleftheria" indoor stadium last night, after he was officially declared the new President of the Republic of Cyprus. Mr. Papadopoulos, who got 51.51% of the votes thus ousting incumbent President Mr. Glafcos Clerides, said that he wanted negotiations not to deprive Turkish Cypriots of their rights, but to render the solution plan functional and viable for both communities living on the island. Speaking to thousands of people who gathered at the "Eleftheria" stadium in Nicosia for the inauguration ceremony of the new President, Mr. Papadopoulos said, "I look forward to your cooperation, especially the cooperation of the parties that have a long history of interaction with the Turkish Cypriots, to work together for a reunited Cyprus to join the European Union and for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to enjoy the benefits flowing from EU membership." "I assure you that our effort at the talks is to prove our good will and show that we want a society of equality in which we respect the tradition, the rights and the history of the Turkish Cypriots, in the same way that we ask them to respect ours", he added. Making reference to the refugees, the newly-elected President said that the new administration would seek to secure their right to return to their homes, without the fear of a new persecution and under conditions of security. On the issue of missing persons, he pledged to work for a solution of this humanitarian problem at the negotiating table. Lastly, referring to the enclaved and especially those living in the Karpass peninsula, Mr. Papadopoulos stressed that they were worthy of respect and appreciation for not leaving their homes, in spite of having to endure constant humiliation and hardship in the Turkish occupied areas.
 2003 presidential elections concludeThe 2003 presidential elections were concluded last night, after the presidential candidate Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos managed to secure more than 50% of the votes from the first round, thus becoming the new President of the Republic. A total of 431,690 people voted during yesterday's elections, which signifies a percentage of 90.55% of the total number of registered voters who amounted to 476,345. The valid votes reached 95.95% of the total votes cast. 2.75% of the votes were void and 1.31% blank. The candidates, in the order that their names were appearing on the ballot paper, got the following results:
 US MPs call on Bush administration to persuade Turkey for solutionA total of 78 US MPs have sent a letter to American President Mr. George W. Bush, calling on his administration to persuade Turkey to contribute to the peace process for resolving the Cyprus problem. The initiative for composing and circulating the letter was taken by the MP Mr. Frank Pallone, a Democrat from the State of New Jersey. It is worth noting that the letter was sent to the American President last Friday, a day on which Mr. Bush was to meet with the Turkish Foreign Minister Mr. Yakis, to discuss inter alia the Cyprus problem. The full text of the letter is as follows: "Dear Mr. President: The European Union has now extended its official invitation to the Republic of Cyprus to join the EU, an action fully consistent with longstanding U.S. policy. The EU decision will have positive and far-reaching implications for security, stability and prosperity in the eastern Mediterranean, a region of vital U.S. interests. We welcome the fact that the EU adhered to its prudent and sensible policy of not making a settlement of the Cyprus question a precondition for
Cyprus' admittance to the EU. In fact, it is becoming increasingly more evident that Cyprus' EU accession is serving as a catalyst for the end of the 29-year-old division of Cyprus. The United Nations' new plan for a Comprehensive Settlement of the Cyprus problem was promptly accepted by President Glafcos Clerides, the President of Cyprus, as a basis for negotiations to reunite the divided island. In sharp contrast, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, continues to oppose the UN plan. Thousands of demonstrators have now taken to the streets of the Turkish- occupied portion of Nicosia to urge Mr. Denktash to cooperate with the
UN process. Polls show that a substantial majority of Turkish Cypriots favor EU membership because of the important economic and social benefits it will bring -benefits that are being withheld simply because of Mr. Denktash's intransigence. In addition, Turkey's own bid to join the EU would be greatly advanced by working for a settlement to the Cyprus problem. If Cyprus accedes to the EU, Turkey will be occupying the territory of an EU member. There are indications that the new government in Ankara is interested in breaking from some of the unhelpful Turkish policies of the past, and maybe amenable to working for a solution. Given this dramatically altered international context, we believe that there is now a unique opportunity to achieve a resolution of the Cyprus problem, consistent with UN resolutions. Therefore, we respectfully urge your Administration to undertake as a high priority and at the highest possible level, efforts to persuade Turkey to fully support this process. Cyprus will become a Member of the EU, with or without a settlement. It would be more advantageous if Cyprus were able to enter the EU as a reunited nation- How meaningful it would be for the world's greatest democracy to play a leading role in helping to achieve this long overdue result."
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/