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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-07-08

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]Tuesday, 08 July 2003 Foreign Minister departs for Athens
  • [02] Council of Europe ready to contribute further to confidence building in Cyprus, says Schwimmer

    [01] Foreign Minister departs for Athens

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Georgios Iacovou, departed yesterday afternoon for Athens for meetings with the Greek government. He is heading a delegation composed by the Deputy Attorney General, Mr Petros Clerides, and Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. Speaking upon departure at Larnaca Airport, Mr Iacovou pointed out that the purpose of the trip was the coordination of action by Athens and Nicosia at the Council of Europe, involving, in particular, the handling of recent moves by Turkey as regards cases pending before the European Court of Human Rights. Replying to a question on the possibility that Turkey might take some initiatives for the solution of the Cyprus problem, the Foreign Minister stressed that he had no information as to any measure to be taken by Turkey. He added that "skillfully and through various ways, Turkey and the occupying regime are spreading rumours on different scenarios that they might propose or not in the future". Mr Iacovou also said that concerning oneself with such issues was not really helping, and pointed out that the Cyprus Government was monitoring the situation closely and assessing the various information that were being collected.

    As regards information about a possible meeting between President Papadopoulos and the UN Secretary-General, on the sidelines of the forthcoming UN General Assembly in September, Mr Iacovou said, "It is usual for the President of the Republic and for all the Heads of State and Government who are addressing the General Assembly to be meeting with the UN Secretary-General". "There is no doubt that Mr Annan will discuss with President Papadopoulos mainly the Cyprus problem and its future course", Mr Iacovou noted. He further said that there was a possibility that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, would be invited also to meet with the UN Secretary-General, some time after the meeting between Mr Annan and Mr Papadopoulos, on the sidelines of the General Assembly meeting. Mr Iacovou expressed the hope that the period following the UN General Assembly meeting would be the timeframe when various initiatives on the Cyprus problem by the international community would begin to unfold.

    [02] Council of Europe ready to contribute further to confidence building in Cyprus, says Schwimmer

    The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr Walter Schwimmer, has pointed out that the CoE was ready to contribute to the last stages of confidence building among the two communities in Cyprus, in support of the efforts of the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, to bring an end to the longstanding division of the island. He further noted that CoE officials were "already developing ideas in the fields of reform of history teaching and the media, but also in other fields". In his opening speech at a roundtable meeting with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political party representatives, yesterday in Strasbourg, Mr Schwimmer referred to the recent developments on the island, saying that "a new reality is emerging in Cyprus that is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore". "Your island has suddenly become a symbol for the hope that even long standing and seemingly inextricable conflicts can be resolved and that the painstaking work of confidence building finally yields positive results", he added. With regard to Cyprus' EU course, the CoE Secretary General noted, "For the moment unfortunately it seems that only one part of the island will accede de facto, but from next year on, all of Cyprus will be de jure part of the European Union. There is now this famous window of opportunity which for all of us is so important to use". Referring to the Annan plan, Mr Schwimmer admitted that "the Council of Europe may not have been very happy about the way in which our Organisation has been involved in the preparation of this document", adding that in spite of that fact, "for the overwhelming majority of the international community, this plan remains the main basis for any solution of the issue". "When the Cyprus question will be answered one not too distant day, there should be no winners or losers - there should be Cypriots belonging to Europe", Mr Schwimmer stressed. Furthermore, speaking at a press conference following his meeting with Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political party representatives, Mr Schwimmer said he would discuss with the UN Secretary-General, in New York this month, ways in which the Council of Europe could contribute to efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus issue. "I will report to Kofi Annan about the results of today's meeting and also ask for his opinion what we could and should contribute in the future, but only on the full agreement of the UN, that is very clear", he said. "Cyprus is too small to be divided. Cyprus is a place where the two communities can live together in peace", Mr Schwimmer said and stressed that there was no other alternative but to resume without delay the peace negotiations, under the auspices of the UN. Prior to the meeting, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political party representatives and the CoE Secretary General planned a "tree of reconciliation and unity of Cyprus", which was symbolically covered with soil from both the government-controlled and the Turkish- occupied areas of the Republic. The Cypriot cedar tree was planned in the Parc de l'Orangerie, in the presence of the Mayor of Strasbourg, Ms Fabienne Keller. In a statement during the planting ceremony, Mr Schwimmer noted, "This little tree has travelled from your island to be planted into the soil of Strasbourg, the city-symbol of the first post-war European reconciliation. We are planting it today, together, to set a sign for your commitment and for the commitment of Europe to the unity of Cyprus within Europe. It shall also set a sign that the hope of all Cypriots which has been raised with the opening of the gates of the Green Line, two months ago, will continue to live and be fulfilled." "May it take firm roots in the soil of Europe and grow and prosper as Cyprus", the CoE Secretary General concluded.

    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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