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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 04-01-21

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]Wednesday, 21 January 2004 President Papadopoulos receives Greek opposition party leader
  • [02] Harmonisation Coordinator addresses Belgian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee
  • [03] Britain continues to view Annan Plan as only realistic basis for settlement

    [01] President Papadopoulos receives Greek opposition party leader

    The President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, received yesterday at the Presidential Palace the leader of Greece's main opposition party, Mr Costas Karamanlis. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Karamanlis noted that the next national goal, after the successful conclusion of Cyprus' EU accession course, was the achievement of a just, viable and peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions and the EU acquis communautaire. "We, as always, are by the side of the Cyprus Government. I have made a commitment to President Papadopoulos that as of 8 March, given the will of the Greek people of course, we will work in the same spirit to fulfill the expectations of the Cyprus people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots", Mr Karamanlis said. The Greek politician and contestant in the forthcoming Greek general elections expressed the view that national issues should be left outside the electoral campaign, noting that it was a time of national consensus and responsible behaviour in handling such issues. Commenting on his meeting with Mr Papadopoulos, Mr Karamanlis said the identity of views with the President had been once again ascertained. Earlier yesterday, Mr Karamanlis met with the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Demetris Christofias.

    [02] Harmonisation Coordinator addresses Belgian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee

    The Coordinator for Cyprus' harmonisation with the acquis communautaire, Mr Takis Hadjidemetriou, spoke before the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the Belgian Senate yesterday, in the framework of discussions on the Cyprus problem and Cyprus' EU accession course held in the aforementioned Committee. In his speech Mr Hadjidemetriou made a brief outline of the history of the island and then referred to the performance of the Cyprus economy, the island's EU accession course and the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. Specifically, the Harmonisation Coordinator said Cyprus had a record of successful economic performance, which was reflected in rapid growth, full employment conditions and internal stability. He also noted that all indicators - unemployment, inflation, fiscal deficit and public debt - were in line or without serious discrepancies with that of the Maastricht criteria. Referring to Cyprus' EU accession course, Mr Hadjidemetriou underlined the immense efforts to harmonise legislation with the acquis communautaire, noting that 900 new harmonisation laws had been enacted that far and that the process would carry on until accession. Mr Hadjidemetriou further noted that the accession of Cyprus to the EU would establish the Union both as a Mediterranean and a Middle Eastern power. "The role of Cyprus, as a full EU member, in the Eastern Mediterranean will offer new opportunities and possibilities for the improvement of economic, commercial and cultural links between the EU and this volatile and important area with a population of 300 million people", he added. On the Cyprus problem, Mr Hadjidemetriou said the submission by the UN Secretary- General of a settlement plan, known as the Annan Plan, in November 2002, indicated a turning point in the efforts to reach a comprehensive solution. Noting the Greek Cypriot side's willingness to resume negotiations for a settlement on the basis of the Annan plan, Mr Hadjidemetriou said all peace efforts had failed to yield any results because of the intransigent stance of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, as it was exposed by the UN Secretary-General's statements as well as in subsequent UN Security Council and European Parliament resolutions. "The EU has sent a clear message to Turkey that the continuation of the Cyprus problem constitutes a serious obstacle to its EU ambitions", he further said, noting that the initiative was now in the hands of Ankara and in particular, the National Security Council which would convene on 23 January to decide the Turkish policy on Cyprus. "I have the strong belief that there is a chance for the solution of the problem which will eventually serve the real interests of all countries involved, namely, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, and will more generally serve peace and stability in the sensitive area of the Eastern Mediterranean", Mr Hadjidemetriou concluded.

    [03] Britain continues to view Annan Plan as only realistic basis for settlement

    "We continue to believe that the UN Secretary-General's proposals offer the only realistic basis for a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement", Britain's Minister of State for Europe Mr Denis MacShane has noted, calling on all sides involved in the Cyprus issue to commit to resuming peace talks on the basis of the Annan plan as soon as possible. In his written answers to questions on Cyprus posed by Labour MP Andrew Dismore at the House of Commons last week, Mr MacShane said the "formation of a new "government" under the leadership of the pro-settlement politician Mehmet Ali Talat in northern Cyprus is an encouraging development" and welcomed the fact that the so-called government's aim was to work for a settlement to the Cyprus problem, on the basis of the Annan plan, by 1 May 2004. Referring to his recent visit to Ankara, the British Minister noted that he had discerned "a positive line from the Turkish Government in support of the Annan Plan". As regards the need for a census to be conducted in the Turkish- occupied areas of the island, Mr MacShane noted, "We believe that the UN Secretary-General's proposals (the Annan Plan) satisfactorily take into account the issues underlying calls for a census. It is difficult to see the useful purpose that a census at the present time would serve, nor how the necessary delay in organising it would advance matters".

    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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