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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 04-02-06

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]Friday, 06 February 2004 National Council convenes on Saturday to discuss Annan letter
  • [02] UN SG makes one more push to resolve Cyprus issue, says UN spokesman
  • [03] Washington welcomes UN Secretary-General's initiative for new talks
  • [04] British Foreign Secretary welcomes invitation for resuming talks

    [01] National Council convenes on Saturday to discuss Annan letter

    The National Council - the President's top advisory body on the handling of the Cyprus problem - will convene tomorrow to assess the letter sent by the UN Secretary-General, Mr Kofi Annan, to the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, inviting them to go to New York on 10 February 2004 for a new round of peace talks on the basis of the Annan plan. The President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, announced the National Council meeting yesterday, speaking to reporters at the Presidential Palace after having received a delegation from the Union for Europe of the Nations Group at the European Parliament. Invited to comment on the Annan letter, President Papadopoulos noted that it would be assessed by the members of the National Council at their meeting tomorrow morning at 10:00.

    [02] UN SG makes one more push to resolve Cyprus issue, says UN spokesman

    The UN Secretary-General has put a lot of effort in trying to resolve the Cyprus issue and considers the forthcoming meeting in New York as one more push forward on his part to try to reach a settlement, a spokesman for the Secretary-General, Mr Stephane Dujarric, said yesterday. Asked if the Secretary-General had contacted Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the spokesman said there had not been any spoken contact between the two in the past 24 hours but Mr Annan had communicated with him in writing. "The letter that was sent to Denktash was the letter written to both the Greek Cypriot leader as well as the Turkish Cypriot leader inviting them to come to the talks. But there has been no direct contact between Mr Denktash and the Secretary-General in the last 24 hours", he noted. The UN spokesman refrained from commenting on press suggestions that Mr Annan wanted to get rid of the Turkish Cypriot leader, saying that "the Secretary-General's aim is to get this process in motion again with the objective to get a completed text put to referenda in April 2004". Invited to say whether the parties, by accepting the invitation of Mr Annan to go to New York, also agreed with his terms and especially those described in paragraph 148 of his April 2003 report, the spokesman said, "I don't want to interpret the thoughts of the parties. What I can tell you is what the Secretary-General would like and that is what he said in the letter". Asked about the significance of the upcoming talks, he noted, "The Cyprus issue is obviously very significant. As you know it's been going on for quite a while and I think the Secretary-General has put in a lot of effort in trying to resolve it. And this latest meeting is one more push forward on his part to try to get this issue resolved".

    [03] Washington welcomes UN Secretary-General's initiative for new talks

    The United States welcomes the UN Secretary-General's initiative to invite the Cyprus parties to resume negotiations on the basis of his plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem, US State Department Spokesman Mr Richard Boucher has noted. "We do continue to support strongly, in any way we can, the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary-General. We urge the parties to do likewise, so as to assure that a settlement can be reached and a united Cyprus can enter the EU on May 1st. Our Special Cyprus Coordinator [Mr Thomas Weston] would expect to be in New York during the talks, but these are talks between the Secretary-General and the parties, so we are generally not in the room when they take place", Mr Boucher added, speaking during yesterday's briefing of the press. Replying to questions, he refuted news reports that Mr Marc Grossman, Under Secretary of State for political Affairs, would also be attending the New York meeting. Invited to say whether Washington agreed with the date proposed by the UN Secretary-General for putting his plan to a referendum, Mr Boucher noted, "When we refer to the Secretary-General's requirements and the Secretary-General's conditions, putting the plan to a referendum at a point in this process, a fairly early date because we are trying to get it all wrapped up by May 1st, is part of the Secretary-General's proposals, his formula, his requirements, whatever we want to use. But that is part of the package the Secretary-General has put forward that we have encouraged the parties to use to resolve this." Replying to other questions, he stressed that the UN Secretary-General was in charge of the peace process and the person deciding who would be attending the New York meeting. Mr Boucher also clarified that the US did not have the role of a mediator at the talks.

    [04] British Foreign Secretary welcomes invitation for resuming talks

    The UN Secretary-General's invitation to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders to resume talks for the reunification of Cyprus was welcomed yesterday by the British Foreign Secretary, Mr Jack Straw. Mr Straw made the following statement: "I strongly support the UN Secretary-General's judgment that the time has come for a final, wholehearted effort to find a Cyprus settlement. The prize of accession to the EU by a re-united island this May is still within reach. I am encouraged by the signals he has received that the necessary commitment exists among the parties to this process, and I applaud the way he is trying to ensure that this commitment translates into focused, genuine negotiations on the basis of his earlier proposals. As a Guarantor Power, and strong supporter of the UNSG's good offices mission in Cyprus, the UK will play its part fully."

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


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