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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-05-30

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, 30 May 2003 US official says Washington is willing to contribute to Cyprus reconstruction after a settlement
  • [02] "We believe Cyprus negotiations should resume as soon as possible", says US Spokesman
  • [03] EU and Canada call for a swift and viable Cyprus settlement

    [01] US official says Washington is willing to contribute to Cyprus reconstruction after a settlement

    The Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Mr Andrew Natsios, expressed his government's readiness to contribute financially to a possible Cyprus settlement, but stressed that a solution of the Cyprus problem should precede any reconstruction plans. Speaking yesterday after a meeting with the President of the House of Representatives Mr Demetris Christofias, the US official said he was conveying the position of US President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell, namely that in the event of a settlement, Washington would be willing to participate in a Donors' conference organised by the European Union. At the same time, Mr Natsios pointed out that reconstruction and reconciliation plans were not a substitute for a political settlement, which was the sine qua non for any progress to be made. He further said that the solution plan put forward by the UN Secretary-General was the "best way" towards a settlement, and that the parties involved should return to the negotiating table for talks on the basis of the Annan plan. In addition, Mr Natsios told journalists that the United States had been assisting reconciliation efforts on the island through various bi- communal programmes of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the United Nations Operation Plan System (UNOPS), adding that over the past twenty years the US had contributed 300 million dollars for that purpose. On his turn, the House President, Mr Christofias, welcomed the US official to the island and wished him to return to a reunified Cyprus next time. He also briefed Mr Natsios on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus problem, citing the partial lifting of restrictions on free movement by the occupation regime. Mr Christofias stressed that Mr Denktash's "half- measures" could not form a solution to the problem. The House President further noted that the Annan plan was not being discussed at the moment due to the intransigent stance of the Turkish Cypriot leadership and Ankara. Mr Natsios' organisation, USAID, helps fund bi-communal restoration projects in Cyprus, like Apostolos Andreas and the Hala Sultan Tekke, through the UN Office for Project Services which has responsibility to overlook the implementation of the projects. He arrived on the island yesterday for a two-day visit to assess the progress made.

    [02] "We believe Cyprus negotiations should resume as soon as possible", says US Spokesman

    The US State Department Spokesman, Mr Richard Boucher, has noted that "it is the U.S. goal to see the two sides in Cyprus resume negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Mission for Cyprus, on the basis of Secretary-General Annan's settlement plan". In a written reply to a question on Cyprus, taken during the regular press briefing yesterday, the US Spokesman conveyed Washington's position that settlement negotiations should resume as soon as possible. He also said that the State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Mr Thomas Weston, "will be engaging in normal consultations in Brussels, Rome, Athens, Nicosia and Ankara from June 9 to 20".

    [03] EU and Canada call for a swift and viable Cyprus settlement

    The European Union and Canada call for "a swift and viable solution of the Cyprus problem through negotiations on the basis of the UN Secretary- General's plan". The above was mentioned in a joint communique issued last Wednesday by the current European Council President, Greek Premier Mr Costas Simitis, the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Jean Chretien, and the European Commission President, Mr Romano Prodi, after an EU-Canada Summit in Athens.

    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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