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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 04-02-04

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, 04 February 2004 UN SG says all Cyprus sides seem ready to resume peace talks
  • [02] US urges Cyprus parties to finalise a settlement and put it to referenda
  • [03] Powell reiterates US support for Annan's peace efforts in Cyprus
  • [04] Greek side wants to see how Turkish intentions on Cyprus can be transformed into action

    [01] UN SG says all Cyprus sides seem ready to resume peace talks

    The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr Kofi Annan, has noted that all sides involved in the Cyprus problem appeared ready to resume UN- sponsored talks on the basis of his plan for a comprehensive settlement of the problem. He also said he hoped to be able to invite the parties to a meeting shortly. Speaking yesterday at a press encounter in Washington D.C. following a meeting with US President George W. Bush, Mr Annan said he had talked to Turkish Prime Minister Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cyprus President Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, Greece's Prime Minister Mr Costas Simitis and Foreign Minister Mr George Papandreou, and, although he had not yet spoken with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktash, it seemed that everyone was ready to resume talks. Asked if he planned to invite the Cyprus parties to a new round of negotiations, Mr Annan said, "I think in my last report to the Security Council on this issue I made it quite clear that I will be prepared to resume negotiations enough on my good offices if I felt that the parties had the will and the determination to engage each other and sustain the effort until we have a settlement. Over the past week or so, I have had the chance to talk to the Turkish Prime Minister, the Greek Cypriot President, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece. I haven't spoken to Mr Denktash yet, but everyone seems ready to resume and I hope to be able to invite them to a meeting shortly". Regarding the position of the US President on the issue, Mr Annan said Mr Bush supported his efforts and would like to see the talks resume. "He supports the plan we put on the table and urges the parties to press ahead and negotiate and find a settlement", he added. Furthermore, UN Spokesperson Marie Okabe mentioned yesterday at the regular press briefing that Cyprus was among the issues discussed during Mr Annan's talks with President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington D.C. Asked whether the United Nations was close to resuming efforts for a Cyprus settlement, the Spokesperson noted that the Secretary-General had said in Brussels last week that there was very little time left and that he hoped all parties would come up with concrete ideas to move forward. She also said Mr Annan had spoken by telephone with the Greek Foreign Minister last Monday.

    [02] US urges Cyprus parties to finalise a settlement and put it to referenda

    "We urge all parties, our friends in Cyprus and in Greece and Turkey as well, to agree to finalise a settlement, allow the Secretary-General to resolve outstanding issues, and submit a settlement to referenda by a date certain", White House Spokesman Mr Scott McClellan said during yesterday's press briefing. He added that a settlement would bring greater security and prosperity to all people in Cyprus, and Turkey and Greece, "as they deepen their integration into Europe". Invited to say whether the Cyprus issue had been discussed at the meeting of US President George W. Bush and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan yesterday, the White House Spokesman noted, "They touched on it very briefly in the initial meeting in the Oval Office. I expect that that may be an issue that will come up more in the lunch that they are in right now". He also said that the US welcomed "the sincere willingness to advance a Cyprus settlement on the basis of the Secretary-General's formula that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan conveyed to us during his visit last week". Replying to another question, the US Spokesman pointed out that Secretary of State Colin Powell "has remained actively engaged on a daily basis in support of the efforts of Secretary-General Annan and the U.N. mediator De Soto to foster a fair and lasting agreement on the basis of the Secretary- General's fair and balanced plan".

    [03] Powell reiterates US support for Annan's peace efforts in Cyprus

    US Secretary of State Mr Colin Powell reiterated to the UN Secretary- General, during their meeting yesterday, the US's full support for his efforts on the Cyprus issue, State Department Spokesman Mr Richard Boucher said. "He [Mr Powell] made clear that the United States continues to support at the highest levels the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission for Cyprus and the role of the UN Secretary-General as a facilitator in that process", Mr Boucher also said, speaking during yesterday's press briefing of the US State Department. He further noted that a significant portion of the conversation between Mr Powell and Mr Annan had focused on the Cyprus issue. "As you all know, we've been encouraged by the fact that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Gul have made clear in their meetings in Washington that there is a genuine willingness on Turkey's part to meet the UN Secretary- General's requirements for resuming peace talks immediately. The Secretary has made that point also to the Greek Cypriot President, that we're urging all the parties to commit to Secretary-General Annan, to meet his requirements to resume talks so that a settlement may be reached in time for a reunited Cyprus to join the EU on May 1st. So they discussed that somewhat today", Mr Boucher added. Invited to say what Mr Powell would be doing towards a settlement of the Cyprus issue, the US Spokesman noted, "The Secretary has been discussing it with all the parties. He has had regular exchanges with various people on this subject for quite a while and he will continue, I think, to work actively on this in support of the Secretary-General's efforts. And he made, as I said again, clear today to the Secretary-General our full support for his efforts and said that we would do - he would do - whatever we could to support the Secretary- General's efforts. So conversations, phone calls, interventions, letters, whatever is appropriate to make, to encourage the parties to move forward in the direction that the Secretary-General has set for them".

    [04] Greek side wants to see how Turkish intentions on Cyprus can be transformed into action

    Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister, Mr Tasos Giannitsis, has made the following statement on the Cyprus issue yesterday: "We are seeing major mobility regarding the Cyprus issue, it seems that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side, I suppose, have abandon the inflexible and negative stances followed until now and that they are willing to move forward and to find solutions. It is possible by May 1st, wishfully I would say, but I am not positive that this target could be achieved. We are ready. We are absolutely coordinated with the Cypriot side and we wait to see that these intentions could be transformed into real actions and of course we wait to see how the UN Secretary-General will evaluate Turkey's obligations and intentions."

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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