|Wednesday, 21 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-03-11
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINES-- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced this morning the failure of the UN-led talk for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
-- Cyprus President Tasssos Papadopoulos stressed in the Hague here that inspite of today's failure he will continue his efforts to find a viable solution that will ensure the proper functioning of the state.
-- The Greek Government blamed the Turkish Cypriot side and Ankara for the collapse of the Hague talks on Cyprus, while Turkey said it believed there was still a chance.
-- Opponents of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said they would hold their own referendum on a U.N. plan to unite Cyprus. And, -- Britain's Tony Blair warned Russia and France that their veto threat risked undermining the transatlantic alliance and said he was working feverishly to find common ground on the Security Council.
 ANNAN TALKS FAILUREUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced this morning the failure of the UN-led talk for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
In a statement, read by his Special Adviser, Alvaro de Soto, Mr. Annan said that as as agreed on 28 February, the two leaders came to The Hague yesterday for a very specific and agreed purpose, to answer whether they were prepared to commit to submit his 26 February 2003 plan to approval at separate simultaneous referenda on 30 March 2003, in order to achieve a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus Problem.
Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos answered that he was prepared to do so, as long as the people knew what they are being asked to vote on. To that end he wished to be sure that the gaps regarding federal legislation, as well as constituent state constitutions, would be filled.
Mr. Papadopoulos, said the UN Chief, had underlined the importance of Greece and Turkey agreeing and committing to the security provisions in the plan.
Furthermore, considerably more time was needed than was available for a proper, public campaign on the referendum to be carried out. These conditions need to be fulfilled before a referendum can take place.
Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash answered that he was not prepared to agree to put the plan to referendum. Mr. Annan said the turkish cypriot leader had fundamental objections to the plan on basic points. He believed that further negotiations were only likely to be successful if they began from a new starting point and if the parties agreed on basic principles. He added that Turkey was in any case not in a position to sign the statement requested of the guarantors because this first required the authorisation of parliament.
Mr. Annan said efforts have continued in the course of yesterday and during the night to salvage the process and keep open the prospect of a reunited Cyprus accedding to the EU. I even suggested that negotiations could continue until 28 March with a view to holding the referenda one week later, on 6 April. Regrettably, these efforts were not successful for the reasons stated above.
Noting that we have reached the end of the road, Mr. Mr. Annan said the two leaders have expressed their willingness to continue talks. But without a firm commitment to proceed energetically to a conclusion according to a strict work programme, culminating in separate simultaneous referenda, it will clearly not be possible to achieve a comprehensive settlement before the accession of Cyprus to the European Union on 16 April.
That commitment is not in place at this time and Mr. Annan has asked Mr. de Soto to proceed to New York to prepare a detailed report to the Security Council. Mr de Soto's office in Cyprus will be brought to a close in the coming weeks.
The UN Secretary-General said he shares with all peace-loving Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Greeks and Turks a deep sense of sadness, noting he is not sure another opportunity like this one will present itself again any time soon. He also expressed regret that they have been denied the chance to decide their own future.
Nevertheless, he assured the people of Cyprus that he has not given up on them.
Mr. Annan said his plan remains on the table, ready for the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to pick it up and carry it forward to a solution if they summon the will to do so. The UN Chief said he if sees that there is clear and realistic prospect of finalising negotiations, with the full backing of the motherlands, he will be ready to assist.
 PAPADOPOULOS STATEMENTCyprus President Tasssos Papadopoulos stressed in the Hague here that inspite of today's failure to come to an agreement with the Turkish Cypriot side on holding referenda on a UN peace plan, he will continue his efforts to find a viable solution that will ensure the proper functioning of the state.
Speaking at a packed press conference early this morning at the Peace Palace after 20 hours of intensive negotiations between the UN, the two sides in Cyprus and the three guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and Britain, the president assured the Turkish Cypriots that he wishes to see wiser thoughts prevail so as all Cypriots can benefit from EU accession.
He also said that the changes Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash wanted to the UN peace proposal went far beyond the philosophy of the plan whereas his proposed amendments fell well within the parametres of the plan.
The Cypriot President pointed out that according to the recognition of the Secretary General ''all the things we have asked were within the parametres and the overall Annan plan''
Addressing himself to the Turkish Cypriots, he expressed the hope that second thoughts would prevail and that soon enough ''we would both build the foundation which will allow us to have a viable solution so that a unified Cyprus would be able to enjoy the benefits and the advantages which the accession will produce.''
Mr. Papadopoulos expressed thanks to the UN team which worked hard and intensively for many months in Cyprus and more specifically he thanked Kofi Annan for his ''unfailing efforts, patience and wisdom in trying to promote a solution.''
 GREECE HAGUEThe Greek Government blamed the Turkish Cypriot side and Ankara for the collapse of the Hague talks on Cyprus, adding however that it did not believe this was the last chance.
Spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry, Panos Beglitis said Rauf Denktash and Ankara were not flexible while the Greek Cypriot side showed a constructive spirit and was ready for a Cyprus. The one who said no was Mr. Denktash.
 GUL CYPRUSTurkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said today he believed United Nations efforts to reunite Cyprus had not completely ended and that Turkey still sought a solution on the island.
He said the secretary-general said there was no agreement but he did not completely close the doors, adding that efforts for a lasting solution will continue."
Mr. Gul is soon to step down as prime minister in favour of party chief Tayyip Erdogan, who also says he wants a deal on the tense division of Cyprus.
 HANNAY TALKSLord David Hannay, Britain's special envoy on its former colony Cyprus and key behind-the-scenes player in the peace process, placed the blame squarely on veteran Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash's shoulders.
"I am sad about it but I do not think that Mr Denktash left him Mr. Annan any alternative," Lord Hannay told Reuters.
 TC REFERENDUM- Opponents of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said today they would hold their own referendum on a U.N. plan to unite Cyprus after he blocked the so called "parliament" approval of the public vote just hours before a summit in the Netherlands.
Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party said Rauf Denktash does not represent the Turkish Cypriots and their decision is to go to a referendum.
 TALAT ELECTIONSMr. Talat, in statements today called for early so called elections in the occupied north of Cyprus, following the collapse of The Hague talks.
He said Greek Cypriots will enter the EU but the Turkish Cypriots must have to wait for a political change.
 BLAIR IRAQBritain's Tony Blair warned Russia and France that their veto threat risked undermining the transatlantic alliance and said he was working feverishly to find common ground on the Security Council.
With France and Russia threatening a veto, the United States and Britain have delayed a U.N. Security Council vote on an ultimatum for Iraq to disarm or face war.
He said he hoped they won't talk about vetoes in all sets of circumstances but rather they will try and find the common ground that allows a way through.
Britain is ready to modify the resolution, setting out a list of detailed disarmament moves for Iraq to fulfil by March 17 in order to avoid war.
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov also said Moscow would vote against the existing resolution. Several European Union nations, including Germany, also oppose military action.
 WEATHERThis afternoon, cloud will thicken to give local rain and which will be torrential at times with thunder and lightning and some snow over Troodos. Winds will be south-westerly to north-westerly light, three to locally four beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will reach 18 C inland, 19 C on the coasts and seven over the mountains.
Tonight, the weather will be cloudy with local rain and snow over Troodos. Winds will be westerly to north-westerly light, three beaufort and the sea slight. Temperatures will fall to seven degrees inland, nine on the coasts and one over the mountains. Tomorrow, the weather will improve. There will be local cloud which will bring some rain on the east.
The depth of snow on Mt. Olympus is 40 cm and 30 on Troodos Square.