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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-05-15

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, 15 May 2003 Foreign Minister departs for Strasburg to attend CoE meeting
  • [02] Lord Hannay: crossings are neither a settlement nor an immediate precursor to settlement
  • [03] Washington reiterates hope for Cyprus settlement within UN framework
  • [04] No other way towards a settlement than through UN, says Weston

    [01] Foreign Minister departs for Strasburg to attend CoE meeting

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr George Iacovou, departed yesterday for Strasburg to take part in a meeting of the Council of Europe (CoE) Committee of Ministers. Speaking upon departure at Larnaca Airport, Mr Iacovou stressed the importance of the Council of Europe as an institution, as "it is the guardian of the Human Rights Convention and the institutional framework of the European Court of Human Rights". He further told reporters that on the sidelines of the Strasburg ministerial meeting he would hold contacts with the CoE General Secretary, the President of the European Parliament, and European counterparts. He would also have meetings with the CoE Secretariat on the issue of the ECHR decision on the Titina Loizidou case. On the aforementioned case, Mr Iacovou pointed out that Turkey had been extremely active at the CoE, and that it had sent a group of experts for contacts with the Court and the Secretariat. "The team of experts has submitted some supposedly compromising proposals", he added. In other statements, the Foreign Minister told reporters that Mr Denktash's announced intention to establish a "special court" to deal with property claims was not "irrelevant", and pledged to spend a significant amount of his time there to ascertain the situation. Invited to say on whether an EU initiative on the Cyprus problem was expected, Mr Iacovou noted that the Government was holding a series of meetings, the first phase of which would be concluded by the end of June, in order to determine the intentions of the countries that had traditionally shown a high-level interest in the UN Secretary-General's actions. On the same topic, he made reference to the illegal visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to the occupied areas, saying that "Mr Erdogan has made some harsh and intransigent statements which must be taken into consideration for our planning and predictions."

    [02] Lord Hannay: crossings are neither a settlement nor an immediate precursor to settlement

    Britain's Special Envoy on the Cyprus problem, Lord David Hannay, has reiterated his government's commitment to the reunification of Cyprus within the framework proposed by the UN Secretary-General, stressing that the revised version of the Annan plan was a "unique framework for a settlement". In an interview to London Greek Radio (LGR) yesterday, Lord Hannay described the recent partial lifting of restrictions on movement by the occupation regime as "an entirely positive thing which should be welcomed by everyone", warning, however, that there is a danger of "deluding ourselves into thinking that this is in itself a settlement, or that it is an immediate precursor to a settlement. In fact, it is neither of those two things". The British diplomat further expressed his hope that all sides would commit themselves to the peace process and to the resumption of negotiations, "but resuming negotiations with the intention of putting the outcome to a referendum within a measured period of time". "I know that President Papadopoulos has stated very clearly in the letter that he replied to Mr Denktash that he was prepared to work in that way", he noted. As to the Turkish Cypriot side, Lord Hannay expressed the belief that time was needed for Mr Denktash to realise that in spite of his objections, the Annan plan remained on the table - as the UN Security Council had said quite firmly - and that it constituted a "unique framework for the achievement of a settlement". Invited to comment on the Cyprus Government's support measures for Turkish Cypriots, Lord David Hannay noted, "Anything that increases contacts, anything that increases trade, anything that increases movement, in my view is a good thing to be encouraged", adding that that was also the view of the European Union.

    [03] Washington reiterates hope for Cyprus settlement within UN framework

    The US White House Spokesman, Mr Ari Fleischer, mentioned yesterday during the regular press briefing that US President George W. Bush had discussed the Cyprus issue in a telephone conversation with the Turkish Prime Minister on that same day, and that both leaders had welcomed "the unprecedented freedom of movement between the Turkish and Greek sectors of Cyprus in recent weeks, and noted their hope for a lasting Cyprus settlement". The White House Spokesman further said that President Bush had reiterated to Mr Erdogan the US's support for a Cyprus settlement based on UN Secretary-General's "fair and balanced plan". In addition, Mr Bush's National Security Adviser, Ms Condoleezza Rice, also referred to the Cyprus issue replying to a question of a Turkish reporter, yesterday, on the specific measures that the Turkish government had to take to overcome difficulties in US-Turkish relations. Ms Rice made reference, inter alia, to the Cyprus problem noting, "We obviously have an interest in dealing with the Cyprus problem. We had made some progress on Cyprus. The UN Secretary-General has made heroic efforts to try and resolve that, and we would hope that Turkey would put its weight behind a settlement of the Cyprus issue".

    [04] No other way towards a settlement than through UN, says Weston

    "We believe that there is no way to get a settlement other than through the UN", the US State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Ambassador Thomas Weston, stressed, speaking at an event on the recent developments in Cyprus organised by the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) in Washington DC last week. On the recent crossings along the ceasefire line on the island, Mr Weston noted, "I don't know of any other situation in human history that I can think of where you have had 300,000 people doing this sort of crossing after a division going back to 1974 with almost no incidents whatsoever… it is absolutely incredible how peaceful and positive this whole experience has been." At the same time, he emphasised that despite these positive developments - which the US applauded - "I do not think that we can lose sight of the fact that those [developments] are not a settlement. These moves do not and will not solve some very basic issues like property, like security, like how you run a government, which are covered in the [UN Secretary-General's] plan. The only path to settlement is a settlement." On a closing note, Mr Weston reaffirmed his government's strong and continued commitment to finding a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

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


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