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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 04-02-16

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, 16 February 2004 Cyprus parties agree to resume direct talks in Nicosia
  • [02] President Papadopoulos pledges to work hard for improvements on Annan plan
  • [03] Europe welcomes resumption of Cyprus peace talks

    [01] Cyprus parties agree to resume direct talks in Nicosia

    Direct negotiations on the basis of the UN Secretary-General's plan for a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem will resume on Thursday, 19 February 2004, in Cyprus, according to a statement agreed upon by all parties after three days of intensive talks at UN Headquarters in New York last week. The full statement, read by the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan at a press conference last Friday, is as follows: "Negotiations resumed on 10 February at United Nations Headquarters in New York between the two parties in Cyprus, in the presence of the Secretary- General of the United Nations. Following three days of meetings and consultations, the Secretary-General is pleased to announce that the parties have committed to negotiating in good faith on the basis of his plan to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem through separate and simultaneous referenda before 1 May 2004. To this end, the parties will seek to agree on changes and to complete the plan in all respects by 22 March 2004, within the framework of the Secretary-General's mission of good offices, so as to produce a finalized text. In the absence of such agreement, the Secretary-General would convene a meeting of the two sides - with the participation of Greece and Turkey in order to lend their collaboration - in a concentrated effort to agree on a finalized text by 29 March. As a final resort, in the event of a continuing and persistent deadlock, the parties have invited the Secretary-General to use his discretion to finalize the text to be submitted to referenda on the basis of his plan. In addition, the parties have agreed on the other suggestions contained in the Secretary-General's invitation of 4 February 2004. They have also decided to form a technical committee on economic and financial aspects of implementation, to be chaired by the United Nations. The guarantor powers have signified their commitment to this process and to meeting their obligations under it. The Secretary-General welcomes these commitments as well as the assurances of the European Union to accommodate a settlement and the offer of technical assistance by the European Commission. He looks forward to drawing on this assistance as well as that of others in the course of the negotiations. The talks will re-convene in Cyprus on Thursday, 19 February, with direct meetings between the two parties in the presence of the Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto. The technical committees on laws and treaties will re-convene on the same day. The Secretary-General commends the constructive spirit and political will displayed by both parties, as well as by Greece and Turkey, to reach this agreement. All concerned now face historic responsibilities to bring about just and lasting peace in Cyprus. The Secretary-General wishes them well, and looks forward to working closely with them."

    [02] President Papadopoulos pledges to work hard for improvements on Annan plan

    The President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, has pledged to work hard, in the next few weeks of intensive negotiations, to achieve improvements on the Annan plan so that the solution found would be to the best interest of the Cyprus people - Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Speaking last Saturday upon his return from New York, President Papadopoulos said the Greek Cypriot side had been called to give evidence of its willingness to resume the process for a solution on the basis of the Annan plan. He also said that the new round of direct talks, to resume in Cyprus this coming Thursday, would be intensive and its outcome would depend mostly on whether the Turkish side had changed its policy on Cyprus, namely, if it pursued a solution so that a reunited Cyprus could accede to the EU or if it still insisted on its long-standing policy for partition. Mr Papadopoulos noted that the new and significant element in the forthcoming round of talks was the participation of Greece, Turkey and the European Union. "The role of the European Union has been significantly upgraded and I have assurances both by Mr Verheugen [EU Enlargement Commissioner] and the UN Secretary-General that the role of the EU would be continuous, multifaceted and at all levels and steps of the negotiations", Mr Papadopoulos said, noting Mr Verheugen's visit to the island one day before the resumption of the talks in order to give "the message of the European Union's great interest and involvement".

    [03] Europe welcomes resumption of Cyprus peace talks

    European Commission The European Commission has welcomed the commitment made by the two sides in Cyprus to resume negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan for a solution of the Cyprus problem. According to a press release issued last Friday, "This historical breakthrough opens up the genuine prospect that a united Cyprus could join the European Union on the 1st of May 2004. It is the result of determined efforts by the UN Secretary-General and all parties involved. The Commission underlines the assurances of the European Union to accommodate the terms of a settlement and will provide any assistance needed for a successful outcome of the negotiations". In addition, European Commission President Mr Romano Prodi has noted, "The Commission considers that the chances for a comprehensive settlement have never been better. It would bring to an end a division that has been there already for too long. There is no place for barbed wires, minefields and peace-keeping forces in the European Union". Presidency of the EU Irish Prime Minister Mr Bertie Ahern, speaking on behalf of the Presidency of the European Union last Friday, welcomed the announcement made earlier that day in New York by the UN Secretary-General, with the agreement of the parties involved, that negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem would continue in Nicosia from 19 February in the framework of Mr Annan's mission of good offices. "The accession of a united Cyprus on 1 May remains the clear preference of the European Union. These negotiations offer a real opportunity to achieve this historic objective. The Taoiseach [Mr Ahern] reiterated the Union's readiness to accommodate the terms of a settlement in line with the principles on which the EU was founded", the Presidency statement on Cyprus said. United Kingdom The British Foreign Secretary Mr Jack Straw has welcomed the news that Cyprus talks would resume this week. Mr Straw's statement, made last Friday, is the following: "I congratulate the parties on their agreement. I express my special appreciation to the UN Secretary-General and his staff for their tireless efforts. All have shown a degree of commitment to this process which bodes well for the next phase. Accession to the EU by a reunited island is what all Cypriots deserve". France The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the following statement last Friday regarding the resumption of the talks for a Cyprus settlement: "Following three days of negotiations in New York on the Cyprus question, the UN Secretary-General announced that an agreement had been achieved on the process and timeframe for resuming talks. France welcomes this significant progress. It welcomes the Secretary-General's efforts and the good will shown by the parties in order to reach such an arrangement. France encourages the parties to continue within this constructive spirit with a view to reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question before the 1st of next May". Germany The German government has welcomed the agreement reached in New York for resuming the Cyprus peace process. "The fact that the talks will be conducted on the basis of the UN plan is due to the keen interest and involvement of the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan. In this way, the accession of a united Cyprus to the European Union has made a big leap forward", German Foreign Minister Mr Joschka Fischer noted in a statement he made last Friday on Cyprus. "The Federal Government calls on all the parties involved to work constructively for a just, balanced and functional solution. The Federal Government remains willing to actively support the good offices of the UN Secretary-General", Mr Fischer added.

    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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