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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-02-18

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/>

  • [01]Tuesday, 18 February 2003 Alvaro de Soto meets with President Clerides and President-elect Mr Tassos Papadopoulos
  • [02] Outgoing Cyprus President meets President-elect
  • [03] President Clerides: the mandate belongs now to the President- elect
  • [04] Simitis, Prodi and Blair congratulate new Cyprus President
  • [05] Greek PM and UN Chief discuss Cyprus on sidelines of EU meeting on Iraq
  • [06] UN Chief hopes Iraq will not distract his attention on Cyprus

    [01] Alvaro de Soto meets with President Clerides and President-elect Mr Tassos Papadopoulos

    The UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Mr Alvaro de Soto, had a meeting yesterday with the outgoing President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides and later in the day with the newly elected President Mr Tassos Papadopoulos. After the meeting with President Clerides, Mr de Soto said that there would be no change in the process of the talks on the Cyprus problem, adding that the meeting between Mr Clerides and Mr Denktash scheduled for that afternoon was postponed. The United Nations would inform the media on the schedule of the talks, he said. Later in the day, Mr de Soto was received by the newly elected President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos. In a statement after the meeting, Mr Papadopoulos said that he and Mr De Soto listed a number of issues that had to be addressed urgently in the framework of the negotiations and assured Mr. De Soto of his wish for the unobstructed continuation of the UN-led talks for a Cyprus settlement. Replying to a question on the issues he discussed with Mr de Soto, Mr Papadopoulos said that these were issues that had to be dealt with at once in order to decide what the next steps should be. Asked if he would be the next interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot side at the talks, Mr Papadopoulos said that what the people had decided was that he would be the representative of the Greek Cypriot community at the talks. Regarding the issue of the negotiator, that was an issue he had to look into, he said. For his part, Mr de Soto expressed satisfaction with the meeting and stressed that he looked forward to a close and frequent collaboration with Mr Papadopoulos and with the new negotiating team that would be appointed. Mr De Soto also said that the UN Secretary General's visit to Cyprus would take place as scheduled.

    [02] Outgoing Cyprus President meets President-elect

    The outgoing President of the Cyprus Republic had a meeting yesterday morning with the President-elect, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos. Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Papadopoulos said that he had asked Mr Clerides to remain a member of the National Council - the President's top advisory body on the Cyprus issue - so as to make better use of his knowledge, experience and handlings at the negotiating table. He also said that he had asked President Clerides to provide him with a thorough and comprehensive briefing on the progress of the peace talks and to convene the National Council as soon as possible. Replying to a question, the President-elect stressed that he did not intend to allow a "vacuum" at the talks, adding that it was his objective to show willingness to continue the talks without any break. Asked who would be meeting the UN Secretary-General on 26 February - whether it would be Mr Papadopoulos, Mr Clerides, or both - the President-elect said it had not been decided yet, but noted that Mr Annan had specifically asked to meet with him. He underlined that he did not care about protocols and that he would try to maintain a close cooperation with the outgoing President on the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue. He added that Mr Clerides remained the interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot side at the talks, noting however that they would decide when Mr Papadopoulos would take over, after Mr Clerides' return from Brussels. Mr Papadopoulos also said that he had already formed his negotiating team for the peace talks, but refused to announce any names as yet.

    [03] President Clerides: the mandate belongs now to the President- elect

    The President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides departed for Brussels yesterday to attend the European Council extraordinary Summit, which will mainly deal with the crisis in the Middle East and Iraq. In a statement to the press at Larnaca Airport prior to his departure, President Clerides said that he was travelling to Brussels to participate in the meeting on Iraq organised by the Greek EU Presidency, and that on Tuesday morning he would meet with the Greek Prime Minister Mr Costas Simitis before returning to Cyprus in the evening. Invited to comment on reports that he would not attend the talks on the Cyprus problem again, President Clerides said that elections took place in a democratic manner and the people decided that some change was necessary, therefore the elected President of the Republic should be the one to attend the talks. Asked if he had discussed with Mr Papadopoulos the issue of accompanying him to the meeting with the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan, President Clerides said the issue was not discussed in detail and that he would meet Mr Papadopoulos again on Wednesday morning. Replying to another question, President Clerides pledged to offer Mr Papadopoulos any help he wanted, adding that the new President would have to examine the proposals that the Turkish side had submitted for amendments, the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side and the minutes of the meetings in order to have a complete picture. Regarding his participation in the National Council, President Clerides said that the parties that were represented in the House of Representatives participated in the Council, and therefore, if the National Council would invite him for a briefing and for his views, he would gladly attend. Asked about his involvement in the direct talks on Cyprus, President Clerides said he had made it clear to Mr De Soto that the mandate now belonged to the President-elect, therefore any help he asked of him he would grant it, but stressed that the negotiation was not his issue anymore. Finally, commenting on the reasons he lost the election, President Clerides said that the people desired a change. "The people's verdict is respected, and the change will take place", he added.

    [04] Simitis, Prodi and Blair congratulate new Cyprus President

    The Greek Prime Minister and European Council President, Mr Costas Simitis, publicly congratulated the newly-elected Cyprus President, Mr Papadopoulos, immediately after his election on Sunday night, noting that "he has the experience and the knowledge of the situation that will enable him to handle the Cyprus issue." He also pledged to meet with Mr Papadopoulos soon. "He is very suitable to lead the people of Cyprus at this stage and I am certain that our cooperation will be very good, just like it was with the Cypriot leadership so far", Mr Simitis said during a press conference in Brussels. Asked whether the new government in Cyprus would cause a shift to the Greek Cypriot stance on the national issue, the Greek Premier noted, "I believe that he [Mr Papadopoulos] will confront the situation realistically, and I do not think there will be a different line form that pursued so far, as far as essentials are concerned." He added that the outgoing President, Mr Clerides, had forged a path for the new leadership to follow. Congratulations to the new President were also conveyed by the Greek President, Mr Costantinos Stephanopoulos and the Foreign Minister, Mr George Papandreou. In addition, the President of the European Commission, Mr Romano Prodi, sent a congratulatory telegram to Mr Papadopoulos yesterday, noting the following: "I am sure that under your leadership Cyprus will continue to prepare successfully for membership of the European Union by 1 May 2004. Your broad knowledge on EU matters obtained as President of the European Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives will guarantee such an achievement." "I expect also that your election will lead to the solution of the Cyprus issue based on the comprehensive settlement as proposed by the United Nations", Mr Prodi added. The British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, also sent a congratulatory message to Mr Papadopoulos, saying that the British government was looking forward to working with the new Cyprus government as regards efforts to find "a just and lasting settlement by the UN deadline of the 28 February." The message adds that the British government was encouraged by the new President's endorsement of the revised Annan plan. Mr Papadopoulos was elected president from the first round of the presidential elections of last Sunday, after having secured 51.51% of the vote, ousting incumbent President Mr Glafcos Clerides who received 38.8%.

    [05] Greek PM and UN Chief discuss Cyprus on sidelines of EU meeting on Iraq

    The Greek Prime Minister and EU President, Mr Costas Simitis, discussed the Cyprus problem with the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, with whom he met yesterday, on the sidelines of the extraordinary European Council meeting in Brussels on the Iraq crisis. According to the Greek Government Spokesman, Mr Christos Protopapas, Mr Simitis informed Mr Annan on the content of his telephone conversation with the newly-elected Cyprus President, assuring him that Mr Papadopoulos was in a "positive spirit". The Secretary-General, Mr Protopapas said, stated that he would meet with the new President during his visit to Cyprus on 26 February, before announcing any new proposals on the continuation of the peace talks for a settlement.

    He added that Prime Minister Simitis informed Mr Annan on the meeting he had earlier with his Turkish counterpart Mr Abdullah Gul, where it was agreed that the negotiations on the issue of security, in the framework of a comprehensive Cyprus settlement, would be concluded next week.

    [06] UN Chief hopes Iraq will not distract his attention on Cyprus

    "I hope Iraq will not distract me from my objective to reach an agreement by the end of February", the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, stressed during a press conference in Brussels yesterday, when asked if the Iraqi crisis could undermine the peace efforts in Cyprus. He added that he would continue with the efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem by the end of February, a deadline which he still considered feasible. In addition, Mr Annan congratulated the newly-elected President in Cyprus and noted that Mr Papadopoulos was well versed in the Cyprus problem. He hoped that with the help of the new President and the outgoing President, Mr Clerides, a positive conclusion in the peace talks could be reached.

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


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