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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-11-17

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

  • [01]Monday, 17 November 2003 George Iacovou: Turkish Prime Minister has been fully aligned with Denktash's positions
  • [02] House President on an official visit to Ireland
  • [03] UN Secretary-General calls for a six months extension of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

    [01] George Iacovou: Turkish Prime Minister has been fully aligned with Denktash's positions

    The Foreign Minister Mr Georgios Iacovou said that the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been fully aligned with the positions of Mr Denktash during his illegal visit to the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, and wondered what the position of foreign mediators on this issue was. Speaking to the press at Larnaca Airport yesterday before departing for Brussels, where he will attend the General Affairs and External Relations Councils and a Meeting of the European Union Ministers of Foreign Affairs on the Intergovernmental Conference, Mr Iacovou also said that in the framework of his visit he will also participate in a working lunch with his US counterpart Mr Colin Powell. Asked what the official Government position on the illegal visit of the Turkish Prime Minister to the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus was, the Foreign Minister said he wondered what foreign mediators, who attributed good will and good intentions to Mr Erdogan would say on this issue. Mr Iacovou stressed that in reality the Turkish Foreign Minister had fully aligned with the unacceptable positions of Mr Denktash. Mr Iacovou stressed that the visit was completely illegal and condemnable adding that he would of course protest but would first wait to hear the evaluations of foreign mediators on the issue. The Cyprus Government had noted a long time ago that Mr Erdogan was fully aligned with Mr Denktash but foreign mediators disagreed, saying that Mr Erdogan was different and that he had the good will and readiness for a dialogue and a solution to the Cyprus problem, Mr Iacovou added. Commenting on the recent report of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, Mr Iacovou noted that the Secretary General rarely apportions responsibility unless there is a certain process in which the Turkish side had appeared negative. Such a thing happened last April at The Hague, he said, and explained that the present text was similar to the one Mr Annan had submitted last April in which there was also a resolution condemning Mr Denktash and Ankara. The Foreign Minister added that the issue at hand now was the renewal of UNFICYP and the Government's task therefore was to inform the members of the Security Council and other Europeans that Turkey's position is and remains intransigent, using also the statements of Mr Erdogan who is fully aligned with the negative position of Mr Denktash. Asked to comment on information that Turkey will find a way of not complying with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Titina Loizidou, Mr Iacovou said that on the contrary Turkey has not been allowed to get away, it has been cornered and what remains to be discussed now are the measures that will be taken against Turkey. The Foreign Minister concluded that the decision of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe is of great importance not only for Titina Loizidou, but for all the refugees and indeed the whole of Cyprus.

    [02] House President on an official visit to Ireland

    The President of the House of Representatives Mr Demetris Christofias, heading a parliamentary delegation, departed yesterday for an official visit to Ireland at the invitation of his Irish counterpart. In a statement to the press prior to his departure, Mr Christofias said that during his visit to Ireland he will discuss the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' EU course in view of the fact that Ireland takes over the EU rotating six-month presidency in January 2004. The House President said that the visit will be useful since Ireland is a good EU country member and one that traditionally supports the positions of principle on the Cyprus problem. He also expressed the belief that this visit will contribute to the whole effort of promoting the Cyprus problem and strengthening relations between EU member-states. Asked to comment on the illegal visit of the Turkish Premier, Mr Christofias said that the visit has shown Mr Erdogan's clear support for the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and his positions and philosophy. The official Turkish policy continues to be the divisive policy backed both by Denktash and the military and diplomatic establishment of Turkey, he added.

    [03] UN Secretary-General calls for a six months extension of the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus

    The United Nations Secretary General submitted on 12 November 2003 to the Security Council, his report on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, for the period from 21 May to 10 November 2003. The United Nations issued the following press release on the Secretary General's report: 12 November - Although the situation along the ceasefire lines in Cyprus is stable with "a remarkable low number of incidents" in crossings, only a comprehensive settlement will end the problems and the 40-year-old United Nations Peacekeeping force there continues to be necessary, Secretary- General Kofi Annan says in his latest report released today. Calling on the Security Council to renew the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further six months, Mr. Annan also notes that the Turkish Cypriot authorities "regrettably" have failed to provide uninhibited access and full freedom of movement and urges them to allow the Force to "carry out its mandate throughout its entire area of responsibility." Referring to the opening in April by Turkish Cypriot authorities of crossing points for public travel in both directions - the first such opening in almost three decades - he notes that 2 million crossings by Greek Cypriots to the north and Turkish Cypriots to the south have taken place as of 2 November. Mr. Annan says there is no point in his resuming his latest bid to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem, which he abandoned in April when efforts to enable a united Cyprus to sign a treaty of accession to the European Union broke down in a stalemate for which he then said the Turkish Cypriot side bore "prime responsibility." "It remains my position that no purpose would be served by renewing my mission of good offices unless there were a readiness on the part of both Cypriot parties, as well as Greece and Turkey, to finalize negotiations, with United Nations assistance, on the basis of the revised proposal that I presented to the parties and the guarantor powers on 26 February 2003, and to put the resulting agreement to separate simultaneous referendums within a short time thereafter," he writes. "However, I am continuing to monitor developments in Cyprus closely, and I wish to assure the Council that, should the appropriate opportunity to finalize the plan present itself I stand ready to re-engage," he adds. In his concluding observations, he reiterates his belief "that only the achievement of a comprehensive settlement will bring an end to the Cyprus problem. In the absence of such a comprehensive settlement, the presence of UNFICYP on the island continues to be necessary for the maintenance of the ceasefire," he adds. "I therefore recommend that the Security Council extend the mandate of the Force for a further period of six months, until 15 June 2004."

    Among its various duties, UNFICYP monitors the ceasefire lines, which extend some 180 kilometres across the island. The buffer zone varies in width from under 20 metres to some 7 kilometres and covers 3 per cent of the terrain. Surveillance is maintained through a system of observation posts, as well as through air, vehicle and foot patrols. The full text of the UN Secretary General's report can be found at


    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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