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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-09-17

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]Wednesday, 17 September 2003 President Papadopoulos returns from Athens
  • [02] Minister of Justice holds a press conference on implementation of the measures for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [03] George Papandreou discusses Cyprus issue with Thomas Weston and Condoleezza Rice

    [01] President Papadopoulos returns from Athens

    The President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, returned yesterday from Athens, where he had held talks with the Greek Prime Minister, Mr Costas Simitis, the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Constantinos Stephanopoulos, the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Apostolos Kaklamanis and political party leaders. Speaking upon his arrival at Larnaca Airport, President Papadopoulos noted that his meetings had focused on two issues, namely, the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' participation in EU affairs. Regarding the Cyprus problem, he said that he and his interlocutors assessed the latest developments on the issue and discussed the positions to be presented by the Greek side, and the Greek Foreign Minister in particular, at the UN General Assembly in New York. He added that an outline was prepared as regards actions to be taken by the Greek side during the period leading to the so-called "elections" in the Turkish-occupied areas of the island. On EU-Cyprus relations, President Papadopoulos said he had discussed the possibility of Greece offering assistance and support to Cyprus, in terms of technical knowledge and expertise, to ensure Cyprus' effective participation in EU affairs. Asked by journalists to comment on a statement by the UN Secretary-General that he would not resume any new initiative on Cyprus unless the two sides concerned would demonstrate their political will for a solution, Mr Papadopoulos noted that Mr Kofi Annan had expressed the same position in his report to the UN Security Council on his peace efforts in Cyprus. "This has been his firm position since The Hague and it is included in the Report he submitted to the Security Council", he added. The President reiterated that the Cyprus Government accepted the UN Secretary-General's peace plan as a basis for negotiations, and expressed the view that the proposed amendments to the Annan plan would render it more functional and viable.

    [02] Minister of Justice holds a press conference on implementation of the measures for the Turkish Cypriots

    The Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr Doros Theodorou held a press conference yesterday on the progress of the implementation of the measures that the Cyprus Government has introduced for the Turkish Cypriots. At the beginning of his statement Mr Theodorou stressed that the entire international community, the United Nations Organization, the European Union, the United States and the Turkish Cypriot opposition have made it clear that they do not accept the situation that has been created, as a result of the lifting of restrictions on movement, as the solution to the Cyprus problem. He pointed out the Cyprus Government has shown its good will to help the Turkish Cypriots though the introduction of measures which aim at developing relations between people and improving their living conditions, on the basis of the laws and regulations of the Republic of Cyprus and the European Union. The arguments of the Turkish Cypriot leader on the impossibility of peaceful coexistence have been disproved and new conditions have been created that must be taken into consideration in the solution, he said. Referring to the implementation of the measures, Mr Theodorou explained that some measures have been more successful than others. Measures such as lifting of restrictions on the movement of persons from and to the Government controlled areas are very successful he said, adding that there is an increase in the movement of Turkish Cypriots, in particular, mainly due to the relaxation of restrictions on the crossing of motor vehicles. There is a great demand for the issue to Turkish Cypriots, by the authorities of the Republic, of passports, identity cards, birth and other certificates and official documents, he said. Moreover there is an increasing demand for the use services such as hospitals, telecommunications and Labour and Social Insurance offices. On the issue of employment Mr Theodorou said a large number of Turkish Cypriots apply directly to the private sector for finding employment, although applications to the District Labour Offices are steadily increasing. Trade is one area where there are still difficulties, the Minister said, mainly due to the fact that the Turkish Cypriot leader refuses to accept the conditions, laws and procedures of the European Union and the Republic of Cyprus. The Minister noted that in the month of August six Turkish Cypriot companies were registered with the Registrar of Companies and one Turkish Cypriot company with the Registrar of Value Added Tax. In conclusion Mr Theodorou noted that the Greek Cypriot side has been working on the implementation of measures in relation to the de-mining of the buffer zone, the Turkish Cypriot missing persons, the teaching of the Greek language to Turkish Cypriots as well as the teaching of the Turkish language to Greek Cypriots and the participation of Turkish Cypriots in European Union programmes.

    [03] George Papandreou discusses Cyprus issue with Thomas Weston and Condoleezza Rice

    The Greek Foreign Minister Mr George Papandreou, who is currently in Washington for talks, had a meeting yesterday with the US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Mr Thomas Weston. In a statement to the press after the meeting Mr Weston said that with the Greek Foreign Minister he had a constructive exchange of views on all issues related to the Cyprus problem: "We had another very productive exchange on all the issues related to Cyprus and the search for a settlement. We were able to discuss both his recent visit to the island and his conversations there, we were able to discuss the way ahead, in particular activities on the fringes of the General Assembly meeting next week in New York. We were able to exchange assessments on all elements of the Cyprus question as well as to discuss associated issues going on the island. So, it was, as always is with the Minister, a very full and good conversation. And I think, from my point of view, we had a great coincidence of views not only in analysis on the situation and on all these aspects but also the way ahead."

    Mr Weston said the US has been working towards the recommencement of the UN good offices mission "meaning a return to talks and the movement towards a referendum in a time-scale that permits a settlement by May 1, by the actual date of the accession of Cyprus to the EU". "Whether these talks start now or after December, the important point is that they start in sufficient time to permit a settlement by May 1,"' he added. Invited to comment on the fact that the UN Secretary General had expressed regret, in his annual report to the UN General Assembly, at the lack of progress on Cyprus, the US diplomat said that Mr Annan was expressing regret that he had not yet seen that necessary demonstration of political will by all the parties involved. He said that the UN Secretary General "is very firm in his position that the efforts, his good offices mission, would recommence only when there has been a necessary expression of political will by the Turkish Cypriot community leader, by the Greek Cypriot community leader, and at a high political level of both Greece and Turkey." "That is a position of course unanimously supported by the Security Council, certainly supported by the United States," he added.' On his part Mr Papandreou said that his impression from the meeting was that the US has the intention to continue to contribute to the achievement of progress to the Cyprus problem, based on the UN decisions. He also underlined that the solution of the Cyprus problem remains a basic goal of the Greek foreign policy and that there is now a momentum on this issue. He noted that Kofi Annan's plan constitutes a basis for negotiations and that the solution of the Cyprus problem and Turkey's position on the issue will be one of the basic criteria for the evaluation of Ankara's European course, that will take place December 2004. The Cyprus problem was also among the issues discussed during a meeting between the US President's National Security Advisor Mrs Condoleezza Rice and the Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou. After the meeting Mr Papandreou made the following statement: "We had a very good meeting with Condoleezza Rice and discussed a number of issues. Obviously on our mind are a number of questions in our region, the hope that he Cyprus problem can be solved and looking towards the future, when Cyprus is becoming a member of the EU. We believe there is a chance for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to live together under one roof in Cyprus and within the EU. A solution which will be negotiated by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots based on the Kofi Annan Plan, is desirable and we do hope that the political will on all sides will exist, particularly on the Turkish side and we discussed these developments." The Greek Foreign Minister said that during his meeting with Mrs Rice they elaborated on developments anticipated in the following months that will be important for Cyprus because it will become a member of the European Union and the way will be opened for new initiatives, once the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey show the will for a Cyprus settlement. Mr Papandreou also said that he had pointed out to Mrs Rice that the US constant solidarity with the UN efforts, the US insistence for a just solution in the framework of the UN resolutions is something that will substantially contribute to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    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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