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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-02-21

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]Friday, 21 February 2003 Bush and Putin congratulate new President on election
  • [02] President-elect meets Foreign Minister Mr. Kasoulides
  • [03] Australian government hopeful for progress at peace talks, says Jim Short
  • [04] US President committed to UN efforts for Cyprus settlement

    [01] Bush and Putin congratulate new President on election

    The US President, Mr. George W. Bush, has conveyed a congratulatory message to the Cyprus President-elect, Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos, on his election of last Sunday. In the message, Mr. Bush noted that "the US has enjoyed a strong cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus in the war on terrorism and on efforts to foster a Cyprus settlement, which we hope to strengthen with your new government." In addition, the Russian President, Mr. Vladimir Putin, has also sent a congratulatory telegram to the new President, wishing him every success in his future activities. Mr. Putin stated the following: "I am confident that the friendly relations traditionally existing between our countries will further constructively develop in various fields in the interests of the peoples of Russia and Cyprus, peace, security and cooperation in Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. I would also like to confirm our invariable support to the policy on achieving just, viable and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions." Congratulatory messages to the new President of the Republic of Cyprus were also conveyed, inter alia, by the members of the Holy Synod and the Heads of State of Chile, Portugal and Luxembourg.

    [02] President-elect meets Foreign Minister Mr. Kasoulides

    The newly-elected President, Mr. Papadopoulos, had a meeting yesterday afternoon at his office with the Foreign Minister, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, who briefed him on the latest developments as regards Cyprus' EU accession course and on other foreign policy issues. Asked by reporters, after the meeting, to say whether the first direct meeting between himself and Mr. Denktash would take place soon, Mr. Papadopoulos replied, "I don't know if there will be time for a direct meeting, since Mr. Annan will be in Cyprus next Wednesday and in the meantime I will depart for Athens on Sunday. So, even if we want to have a direct meeting, there is no time and it will be very difficult for it to take place." Invited to comment on the possible submission of a new revised solution plan by the UN, Mr. Papadopoulos said that he had repeatedly raised that issue at his meetings with the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto, who insisted that it was up to Mr. Kofi Annan to judge when to put forward such a plan. As to who would be the interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot side at the negotiations, the President-elect stressed that it would not be right to change the tactic that had been followed so far, namely that the President was the interlocutor at the talks, since then Mr. Denktash would change his tactics too.

    He added that the issue had not been discussed further, but noted that outgoing President Clerides had repeatedly expressed his willingness to contribute to the peace efforts and that was the important thing.

    [03] Australian government hopeful for progress at peace talks, says Jim Short

    Australia's Special Representative for Cyprus, Mr. Jim Short, who is currently on an official three-day visit to the island, said that he was conveying the Australian government's hopes for progress at the negotiations in the next few days and weeks so that a united Cyprus could sign the EU Accession Treaty on 16 April, but expressed the belief that it would be difficult for an agreement to be reached by the end of February, in line with the UN timeframe. Speaking after his meeting with President Clerides yesterday, the Australian envoy pointed out that the next few days were critically important as there were still important issues to be sorted out prior to reaching a settlement. These pending issues, he continued, would indicate whether or not a solution could be reached by 28 February. On the submission of a new revised plan by the UN, the Australian envoy noted that it was a possibility that had been suggested in discussions, including Mr. Annan's discussions, and that depending on the progress of the talks, a revised plan could be presented "on some of the key issues on which there is disagreement." Mr. Short also said that he had informed President Clerides about his meetings in Turkey, Athens and London. Asked to comment on Mr. Papadopoulos' election to the presidency, he replied, "We hope and confidently expect that his election will not change the momentum that President Clerides has built in working towards a settlement." Australia's Cyprus Representative also met with the House President, Mr. Demetris Christofias, yesterday. The two discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, in light of the Secretary- General's impending visit to the island and other international conjunctures, as well as the traditionally friendly ties between the two countries.

    [04] US President committed to UN efforts for Cyprus settlement

    The US President, Mr. George W. Bush, has pledged his administration's continuous commitment to the UN efforts to find a just and lasting settlement for Cyprus by the end of February 2003. Mr. Bush communicated the above stance in his bimonthly report to Congress on progress towards a negotiated solution of the Cyprus question, covering the period December 1, 2002 through January 31, 2003. In a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the US President noted that his administration had been particularly active, during the aforementioned reporting period, in supporting the UN Secretary-General's efforts to foster a settlement on the basis of his revised proposal. "Although such a settlement did not emerge at the European Union's Summit in Copenhagen in December, intense diplomatic activity has continued", President Bush added. He also said that the Secretary of State, Mr. Colin Powell, the Under Secretary, Mr. Marc Grossman, the Special Cyprus Coordinator, Mr. Thomas Weston, and the US Ambassador to Cyprus, Mr. Michael Klosson, were encouraging all the parties involved "to maintain a spirit of compromise and a commitment to reaching an agreement by February 28, 2003", and pledged to do the same as part of Washington's continuing commitment to resolving the Cyprus issue.

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


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