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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-02-27

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]Thursday, 27 February 2003 UN Secretary-General arrives in Cyprus to press on agreement
  • [02] MacShane: Britain urges parties to secure settlement by 28 February
  • [03] Non-Aligned Movement adopts text on Cyprus

    [01] UN Secretary-General arrives in Cyprus to press on agreement

    Concluding his long-term visit to the region, the United Nations Secretary- General Mr Kofi Annan arrived yesterday in Cyprus. Accompanying Mr. Annan, who had previously visited Ankara and Athens, were Mr Kieran Prendergast, Senior Advisor, Ms Elisabeth Lidenmayer, Executive Assistant to the Secretary-General, Ms Hua Jiang, Spokesperson, Ms Anastasiya Delenda, Appointment Secretary, Mr Peter Schmitz Political Officer, Mr Eskinder Debebe, Photographer and Mr Mark Hoffman, Chief Operations Officer. Upon his arrival at Larnaca Airport and speaking to Greek Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot and foreign journalists, the Secretary-General made the following statement: "E am delighted having arrived in Cyprus, at this decisive moment. When I came here in mid May, I sensed a deep longing to bring an end to the long-standing dispute that has torn this beautiful island apart, for decades. This [yesterday] afternoon, I will be seeing Mr. Papadopoulos, the incoming Greek Cypriot leader, and Mr. Denktash, the Turkish Cypriot leader, before calling on Mr. Clerides who has played a distinguished part in public life here for more than forty years, and whose term in office will shortly come to an end. I expect to meet them together tomorrow morning. Tomorrow [today] I will also be meeting all the political leaders, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots were given a draft agreement on 11th November 2002. This was revised on the 10th of December, in the hope that they could agree to it before the Copenhagen European Council. That opportunity slipped away, unfortunately. This [yesterday] afternoon I will give them another revision which I hope to discuss with them tomorrow. Its contents should not come as a surprise to them. My Special Adviser Alvaro de Soto, whom you all know well, and his team have gone about the elements which we propose to change with all concerned in the past week or so. A preview of the proposed changes was given to them in writing this last Sunday. I pray that the leaders in their wisdom will come to an agreement in the coming days. This will allow Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to go to the polls on 30th of March in separate simultaneous referenda, so as to bring into being a new state of affairs in Cyprus. If this happens, on 16th of April the European Union Treaty of Accession will be signed on behalf of a reunited Cyprus. I have come to Cyprus to tell you that the entire international community is hoping and praying that a Cyprus settlement, so long delayed, is at last at hand. I believe very strongly that the offer on the table is fair and balanced, and that a settlement would bring great benefits to both sides, to the motherlands, to the region and to the world. I hope Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike understand the urgency, of the task at hand. It is not an exaggeration to say that you have a rendez-vous with destiny." Following his statement, Mr Annan replied to press questions as follows: Question: Will you ask the two leaders to answer to you in writing? Answer: When you say in writing you mean to agree to put their signature down and that they accept the agreement? Question: I mean the answer to you, whether they accept your paper or not, to be submitted to you in writing, so you will have the two leaders/ answers in writing. Answer: I am going to sit with the two leaders for discussions tomorrow, as I indicated. I am meeting them individually today and I will sit with them tomorrow. In these negotiations you proceed to come to conclusion, and we will follow this, and I think this is very clear to both of them. Question: What is your deadline for the two leaders to reply to your newly revised plan? Answer: As I have indicated since I arrived in the region, the time-frame that we have set is still valid. The time-frame in the sense that we need to come to an agreement in the next few days and be able to organise a joint referendum on the 30th of March. I have indicated that the date of 28th February may slip slightly but definitely not beyond a few days or maximum a week. The first appointment of the UN Secretary-General, after his arrival in Cyprus, was with the outgoing Cyprus President, Mr Glafcos Clerides, at the latter's residence in Nicosia. Mr Annan then had a meeting with the new President and interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot side at the talks, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, at the residence of the Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and UNFICYP Chief of Mission, Mr Zbigniew Wlosowicz, in the UN-controlled buffer zone, near the Nicosia airport. Afterwards, he met with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, at the same residence. During these meetings, Mr Annan presented Mr Clerides, Mr Papadopoulos and Mr Denktash with his third revised plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. Today, at 10:00 a.m., the Secretary-General had a joint meeting with President-elect Mr Tassos Papadopoulos and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Denktash, at the same location where the direct talks were being held, near the UN-controlled Nicosia airport. Present at that meeting was outgoing President Mr Clerides. After the meeting, Mr Annan's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr Alvaro de Soto, announced that "the Secretary-General, Mr Papadopoulos and Mr Denktash will meet tomorrow morning at 10:00". Mr Annan is expected to attend a lunch, at 1:15 p.m. today, with the political party leaders from both communities, at Mr Wlosowicz's residence.

    [02] MacShane: Britain urges parties to secure settlement by 28 February

    The British Minister of State for Europe, Dr Denis MacShane MP, said that his government continued to express its full support for the UN Secretary- General's 10 December proposals, and urged all parties concerned to secure a settlement of the Cyprus problem by 28 February, enabling referenda to be held on both sides of the island and a reunited Cyprus to sign the Treaty of Accession with the EU on 16 April. Replying to a question on Cyprus posed by Labour MP and friend of Cyprus Mr Tom Cox, last Monday, Dr MacShane noted that Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials were in regular contact with representatives and members of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities living in the UK, "in order to discuss the full range of issues of interest to those communities". "I maintain a close interest in the settlement process and regularly meet interested parties in the UK. Most recently, I held a discussion with the Friends of Cyprus Group on the state of play in the settlement talks", the British Minister added.

    [03] Non-Aligned Movement adopts text on Cyprus

    The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has adopted the following text on Cyprus, as part of the final document of its XII Conference of Heads of State or Government in Kuala Lumpur on 24-25 February: "The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed all previous positions and declarations of the NAM on the question of Cyprus. The Movement considered the present status quo in Cyprus, established through the use of force and sustained by military strength, as unacceptable and is deeply concerned over the lack of progress in the search for a just and viable solution to this long-standing question, primarily due to Turkish intransigence. The Movement noted the recent ongoing efforts of the United Nations towards finding a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem through inter-communal dialogue and reaffirmed its position that the solution agreed must be based on the implementation of all United Nations resolutions and NAM's decisions on Cyprus, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter and international law. In this regard, the Movement also considered the statement by the President of the Security Council of 19 December 2002, which expressed its regret that the Turkish Cypriot leadership had not responded in a timely way to the initiatives of the Secretary-General. The Movement also took note that the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot leadership is in direct contrast with the will of the Turkish Cypriots themselves. To this effort, the Movement welcomed the recent mobilization of the Turkish Cypriot civil society in favour of a solution. The Movement urged both sides to continue negotiating in the period ahead in a positive and constructive spirit so that full agreement can be reached the soonest."

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


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