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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-03-26

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]Wednesday, 26 March 2003 Cyprus protests to UN for airspace violations by Turkish military planes
  • [02] Members of US Congress call on Bush administration to pressure Turkey for Cyprus settlement
  • [03] UK parliamentarians undertake initiative to brief colleagues on Cyprus problem

    [01] Cyprus protests to UN for airspace violations by Turkish military planes

    Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos, has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General, on 19 March, protesting for new violations of the Flight Information Region (FIR) of Nicosia and the National Airspace of the Republic of Cyprus by military aircrafts of the Turkish Air Force, recorded during the months of December 2002 and January, February and March 2003. In his letter to Mr Kofi Annan, on behalf of the Government of Cyprus, Ambassador Zackheos strongly protested all the airspace violations, which were in breach of international law as well as Security Council resolutions on Cyprus, and called for their immediate cessation. He further hoped that the Turkish government would show restraint and respect for the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. "The Government of Turkey should also heed the appeals of the international community to change its own negative stance and its backing for the Turkish-Cypriot leadership, which does not reflect the will of the Turkish-Cypriot community, in order to contribute to the efforts to find a just and functional solution to the Cyprus problem, on the basis of United Nations resolutions", Mr Zackheos concluded. The letter will be circulated as a document of the UN General Assembly, under agenda item 54, and of the Security Council.

    [02] Members of US Congress call on Bush administration to pressure Turkey for Cyprus settlement

    In a letter to the US President George W. Bush, sent on 24 March, 17 Members of Congress, led by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., of New Jersey, expressed the position that the intransigence of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, and his supporters in Ankara, caused the breakdown of the UN-led peace talks in The Hague, and urged the US administration to "place the blame for this negative outcome squarely where it belongs, with Mr Denktash and Ankara". The bipartisan group of House Members conveyed its appreciation to the Bush administration for supporting the UN Secretary- General's initiative in Cyprus, noting, "It is our expectation that the Administration will use all available political and diplomatic means to persuade Turkey to work constructively to resolve the Cyprus question in a manner consistent with the UN process". "At a time when Turkey is interested in joining the EU, its lack of cooperation in the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem can only result in a setback for Turkey's EU candidacy", the Congressional letter stated, adding that "the Turkish rejection is a setback to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, a US strategic objective and long-standing policy for the region". The 17 Members of Congress praised the Cyprus President, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, for agreeing to the Secretary-General's proposal for submitting the UN solution plan to simultaneous referenda on 30 March, and for his pledge to continue efforts for a comprehensive settlement that would properly serve the interests of both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. On the contrary, they blamed Mr Denktash's refusal to act on the Secretary- General's recommendation for the failure to reach any progress towards a Cyprus settlement. "It is apparent that continued division serves Mr Denktash's narrow political interests - even if his position is completely contrary to the interests of the large majority of the Turkish Cypriots, who have made their views known in support of the UN process in massive demonstrations", they further noted. In addition, the Cyprus Embassy to the United States expressed its appreciation to the 17 Congressional Members for their initiative. "We deeply appreciate these distinguished Members of Congress for expressing their deep concern to President Bush on the deadlock reached in the peace process for Cyprus and for calling on the Administration to intensify its efforts to persuade the Turkish-Cypriot leader and Turkey to cooperate with the United Nations for reaching an agreement that would reunite Cyprus, hopefully prior to its accession to the European Union, for the benefit of all the people of our country", Cyprus' Ambassador, Ms Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, stressed. "This immediate reaction by Members of Congress", Ambassador Kozakou-Marcoullis also said, "is indicative of the long standing support in the United States for efforts to reunite Cyprus and to further strengthen the close relationship between our two countries".

    [03] UK parliamentarians undertake initiative to brief colleagues on Cyprus problem

    The Conservative MP of Barnet, Sir Sydney Chapman, and the Conservative EU MP of London, Ms Theresa Villiers, have undertook the initiative to brief their colleagues in the House of Commons as well as the European Parliament, on the situation of the Cyprus problem after The Hague and on Cyprus' EU accession course. The two UK parliamentarians pledged to carry out the briefing campaign during a working luncheon on Cyprus, organised on 21 March, in Barnet, by the President of the group 'Conservatives for Cyprus' and the President of the Democratic Rally in the UK.

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


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