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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-03-07

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]Friday, 07 March 2003 President Papadopoulos returns from Athens
  • [02] Simitis: discussion, not a one-worded answer at The Hague
  • [03] Negotiations on Annan plan can go on until 25 March, says UN Spokesman

    [01] President Papadopoulos returns from Athens

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, said that he and the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Costas Simitis, had a "very useful and constructive discussion" and that they assessed all possibilities and scenarios at hand, in light of the Hague meeting on 10 March. Speaking yesterday evening after his arrival from Athens, at Larnaca airport, Mr Papadopoulos stressed that "the decision on what will happen is to be taken in Cyprus by the National Council [the President's top advisory body on the handling of the Cyprus issue]", adding that he would convey to the National Council the Greek government's views at tomorrow's meeting. In reply to a question, the Cyprus President said that the Greek Cypriot side's response, at The Hague, to the UN Secretary-General's request for the holding of separate referenda on 30 March would be "clear but not just one-worded". He further explained that one-worded answers of the type 'yes or no' were not customary, and that some discussion would have to take place in order to see whether there was room for improvement. "Our position is, and remains, that we want negotiations to be held, in an effort to improve the provisions of the Annan plan. This does not mean re-negotiating all the provisions of the plan, but only those which will make it functional and therefore viable", he added. Mr Papadopoulos also said that he was not aware of whether the Secretary-General would allow further negotiations at The Hague, reminding that Mr Annan's invitation was for a 'yes or no' response to his request. Invited to say whether all negotiations on the plan should conclude by 10 March, Mr Papadopoulos replied, "I did not say that such a thing is necessary. I have said that our wish is for negotiations to be held on the substantive issues that we raised, so that the Cyprus people can form an opinion on the plan." The President also said that he had asked the members of the National Council to accompany him at The Hague and that they all responded positively. Taking that into consideration, "whether the final decision will be taken here [Nicosia] or at The Hague, is something to be decided at that National Council's next meeting on Saturday", Mr Papadopoulos added.

    [02] Simitis: discussion, not a one-worded answer at The Hague

    The Greek Prime Minister, Mr Costas Simitis, expressed the view that the response to be given at The Hague by the two sides should not be one-worded answers but should entail some discussion. Speaking after his meeting with the Cyprus President Mr Papadopoulos yesterday in Athens, the Greek Premier stressed that what was important for the Greek side was not to say a 'yes or no', but to achieve something that could guarantee peace, cooperation and security in the region. Mr Simitis said he and Mr Papadopoulos discussed the revised Annan plan, but most importantly, they assessed the UN Secretary-General's invitation to meet with him at The Hague on 10 March. "The issue is how we respond to this invitation, what tactic will be followed, and in light, of course, of the tactic and thoughts of the other side", he added. He further noted that contrary to Mr Denktash' intransigent stance, the Greek Cypriot side had proven its good will at the negotiating table. "It is now up to the Cypriot leadership and the people to take decisions on their future, the decisions that concern them", he stated, while reassuring President Papadopoulos of the Greek government's commitment to work closely with the Cyprus government for the solution of the Cyprus problem, which remained "the top national priority". Referring to Cyprus' EU accession course, Mr Simitis said that it constituted a guarantee that any difficulties in a new period of the island's history would be overcome. On Turkey's EU accession course, he expressed his view that it was linked to the Cyprus problem, saying, "It is clear that the European Union wants the settlement of pending issues, it does not want dividing lines in Cyprus, and Ankara's road towards Europe passes through the abolition of dividing lines in Cyprus." Replying to a question on the procedure to be followed at the Hague meeting, Mr Simitis said that the UN Chief had called him the night before to point out "the necessity for the presence of all interested parties at The Hague, in a manner that would allow decision-making." In reply to another question, he said that the issue of security had also been discussed with Mr Papadopoulos, noting that "so far our invitation to the Turkish side for discussion has not been accepted, due to the issue of Iraq". Mr Simitis further said that his meeting with the Cyprus President was "constructive and long", pointing out that "it led to common assessments". On his part, the Cyprus President, Mr Papadopoulos, said that he agreed with all that Mr Simitis had stated, adding that their meeting was held under conditions of "total agreement and cooperation". Mr Papadopoulos also met with the leader of the Greek opposition, Mr Costas Karamanlis, yesterday afternoon, prior to his departure for Cyprus.

    [03] Negotiations on Annan plan can go on until 25 March, says UN Spokesman

    In answer to questions raised on Cyprus during yesterday's press briefing, the Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Mr Fred Eckhard, answered that "Mr Kofi Annan has said that his plan for Cyprus is structured in such a way that, should a positive outcome be reached in The Hague, the two leaders can still - if both of them agree - make further refinements to the plan up until 25 March 2003."

    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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