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Cyprus News Agency 96-07-11.

Cyprus News Agency Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Giorgos Zacharia <lysi@MIT.EDU>


  • [01] US to raise Cyprus profile on foreign policy agneda
  • [02] British envoy calls for "more work and ingenuity" on key issues
  • [03] Albright to continue Clinton-Clerides discussions
  • [04] US commitment for Cyprus solution
  • [05] No difference in Han's and Hannay's approaches, says Clerides
  • [06] British envoy leaves after days of discussions

  • 0950:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US to raise Cyprus profile on foreign policy agenda

    Washington, Jul 11 (CNA) -- The scope of the trip of US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Madeleine Albright, is to ''raise the profile'' of Cyprus on US foreign policy agenda, State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns has made clear.

    Speaking to CNA on Albright's visit to Nicosia, Athens and Ankara, scheduled for July 15 to 20, Burns said the US consider the Cyprus problem an ''important issue.''

    ''We send one of our chief diplomats, member of the cabinet to talk about it. This is a concerted effort from our part to flag this as an important issue'', the State Department Spokesman said.

    Stressing that the primary scope of the trip is ''to talk about the Cyprus problem'' and noting US desire to ''raise the profile of the issue'', Burns added Albright will discuss the Aegean (dispute between Greece and Turkey) ''if it comes up''.

    Burns said Albright brings with her some American ideas about the Cyprus problem.

    ''She will have private discussions with the Cypriots, Greek and Turkish Cypriots, with the Greek government, with the Turkish government about this. I don't know if she will unveil a formal, public diplomatic plan but clearly she is going there not for tourism. She is going there to try to make progress on Cyprus,'' the Spokesman added.

    Albright, who will be accompanied by US Special presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Beattie ''will try to inject into the Cyprus situation some ideas to try to resolve the more than 20 years old diplomatic problem'', Burns said.

    He noted the trip ''follows US President Bill Clinton's very positive, encouraging meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides.''

    Burns said the US ''overall goal for Cyprus remains the same: The establishment of bizonal - bicommunal federation in which political and human rights of both communities in Cyprus are assured.''

    He noted that the US is ''assured'' and continues ''to support Cyprus' accession to the European Union as a bizonal -bicommunal federation.''

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1996

    [02] British envoy calls for ''more work and ingenuity'' on key issues

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Jul 11 (CNA) -- Britain's representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, considers the security, sovereignty issues and constitutional arrangements as the most important aspects of the Cyprus question that need ''a lot of work and ingenuity'' to be dealt with.

    Sir David also believes that negotiations for an overall Cyprus settlement must not be conducted on a give-and-take basis on the different elements that make up the Cyprus problem.

    He has welcomed the appointment of a representative of the Irish presidency of the European Union for Cyprus but stopped short of admitting that a permanent EU envoy for Cyprus is being blocked by Turkey.

    In an interview with CNA at the end of his talks here with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides, Sir David said he discussed President Glafcos Clerides' idea for the demilitarisation of Cyprus and added ''problems are where you would expect them, security, some aspects of constitutional arrangements, references to sovereignty are very sensitive and important to both sides.''

    On the issue of security, he said ''the most important thing is to come out with a settlement that gives both communities a feeling of security.''

    ''At the moment, arrangements on the island (presence of large number of Turkish troops and increase in armaments on Greek Cypriot side) provide some security in the short term but provide insecurity for the long term because there is something approaching an arms race and the situation is fundamentally not a stable one,'' he said.

    He said ''the security aspect has to be looked at in the overall context of a settlement and in my view and that needs a lot more work, thought, ingenuity, discussion with both communities and some time.''

    Asked if President Clerides' position to accept the presence of Turkish troops in Cyprus after a settlement under the aegis of an international force could be described a concession, Sir David replied ''I do not think any aspect of this negotiation should be looked at exclusively in terms of a concession for a counterpart concession.''

    ''We are looking for a fair overall settlement, good for all parties which will contain a balance and which will be agreed when everything is agreed. It would be better to look at it in that way and not in terms this is for you and that is for me,'' the British envoy said.

    Invited to assess the possibility of partial withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus' occupied northern areas, Sir David said one must not aim for ''partial solutions but an overall solution which may have elements that would be implemented gradually.''

    On the issue of EU involvement in Cyprus, Sir David welcomed the recent appointment of Ireland's representative Kester Heaslip as ''an excellent move'' and said he would see him next week to work together.

    ''The EU has an important role to play in support of efforts to reach a permanent settlement and in preparing the ground for Cyprus' future accession,'' he added.

    Asked if a permanent EU representative for Cyprus would be a better move, Sir David said it would be difficult to be ''very dogmatic about the pros and cons of that'' and added ''there is a problem about an EU representative in the context of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot reaction because Greece is an EU member and Turkey is not.''

    This, he said, ''has given some problems in the past, so it is difficult to be too cut and dry on this issue.''

    EU involvement, he added, ''is best done if it can bring effective results and there have been difficulties with the EU on the part of the Turkish side for the reason I mentioned.''

    Sir David welcomed moves to secure Turkish Cypriot participation in the forthcoming membership talks and in particular said intensification of contacts between the EU and the Turkish Cypriots would be a helpful development.

    He also welcomed ''joint EU seminars to help Greek and Turkish Cypriots become familiar with EU law and efforts to open an EU documentation centre'' in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus as ''steps in the right direction.''

    Replying to questions, he said his meetings here over the past three days have him a ''better understanding of the problem of Cyprus and the attitude of the two sides towards the idea of a settlement.''

    ''This has been a useful process, we covered a lot of ground during the process of preparation for negotiations sometime in the future, which is underway and should be carried forward in a systematic way,'' he said.

    He said he ''found willingness on both sides to cooperate in preparatory work now underway.''

    Hannay is due to see UN Secretary-General's special envoy for Cyprus Han Sung Joo in London on Friday to discuss how best he and those others who are trying to help him should carry forward in future.

    Hannay will also visit the US before the end of the month for meetings with US Presidential Emissary Richard Beattie and US State Department officials ''to see how to coordinate efforts.''

    Replying to questions, Sir David said ''economic factors and cooperation have an important role to play in the approach to negotiations and perhaps even more in the aftermath of a settlement, in the implementation of an agreement.''

    Asked if he thought that the sovereignty of a future federal Cyprus would emanate from both communities or it would be a single nation, Sir David said this was a very sensitive issue, and noted that ''there are several formulations on that in a UN set of ideas on an overall settlement of the Cyprus question.''

    ''I do not get the impression that either side is entirely satisfied with those formulations at present. There will be a good deal more thought and discussion about that,'' he said but refrained from any further comment on the matter.

    Sir David said a ''wide range of issues of concern'' will have to be accommodated in an overall settlement, including the movement of people, the return of the refugees, government and court functions.

    Asked to outline the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's position on the demilitarisation of Cyprus, the British diplomat said he had not formulated a clear cut view on Denktash's stand on either the security issue or President Clerides' demilitarisation proposal.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA MM/GP/1996

    [03] Albright to continue Clinton-Clerides discussions

    Nicosia, Jul 11 (CNA) -- Madeleine Albright, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, will be visiting Cyprus to follow up discussions on the Cyprus issue between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and US President Bill Clinton, in Washington, last month.

    This was stated here today by new US ambassador to Cyprus Kenneth Brill, after his first meeting with Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, soon after presenting his credentials to President Clerides.

    The two men discussed Albright's tour of Nicosia, Athens and Ankara between July 16-19, accompanied by US President's Emissary for Cyprus Richard Beattie.

    Asked to comment on press reports that Albright will be bringing some ideas on the Cyprus problem, Brill said ''she is coming here to help advance the process that was discussed in Washington''.

    He added she will be ''following up those discussions and see how we can move the process further ahead''.

    The new American ambassador reiterated President Clinton's personal commitment to help efforts for solving the protracted Cyprus issue.

    Brill described the fact that Albright is coming with the US presidential emissary as ''very significant'' and noted that ''the focus of this trip will be Cyprus'' but she ''has other responsibilities as well so she will also be discussing other issues''.

    Asked if during their talks the US officials will give emphasis on the issue of security, one of the key aspects of the Cyprus problem, Brill said ''this issue needs to be resolved in a comprehensive way''.

    He added ''there are areas that we can give some special attention to, but we are looking for a comprehensive settlement''.

    Meanwhile, Cyprus Government Yiannakis Cassoulides said the United States considers the Cyprus problem as an important international question.

    The Cypriot official was commenting an a statement to CNA by US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns, who said the scope of Albright's visit to region is to ''raise the profile'' of Cyprus on US foreign policy agenda.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA KN/MA/GP/1996

    [04] US commitment for Cyprus solution

    Nicosia, Jul 11 (CNA) -- Kenneth Brill, the new US Ambassador to Cyprus, assured Thursday Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides that his country will continue ''to work closely with the United Nations and others, to help the Cypriot people achieve an acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation''.

    Presenting his credentials to President Clerides, the US Ambassador reiterated the determination of the Clinton Administration ''to help in any way it can to promote a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem''.

    He also expressed his personal commitment ''to working hard and creatively with you (President Clerides) and your government in support of our common objectives, which are a Cyprus solution and an even stronger bilateral relationship''.

    He pledged that he ''will actively seek to promote an easing of tensions on Cyprus, as well as increased personal contact between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots through bicommunal activities''.

    In his reply, President Clerides said during his presence in Cyprus, Brill ''will witness the stark reality of the de facto division of our country, imposed by the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37% of its territory and 55% of its coastline''.

    President Clerides stressed that ''the issue of security is of paramount importance for both communities and should be given top priority.

    ''We very much hope'', he continued, ''that the US government will find it possible through principled and effective diplomacy to help remove the known obstacles and persuade Ankara that an urgent solution to the Cyprus problem would be to everybody's interest''.

    President Clerides referred to the position of the Greek Cypriot side that ''common ground on the basic aspects of the Cyprus problem should be found before embarking on a dialogue''.

    He underlined that the Greek Cypriots ''aim at a comprehensive solution since experience in piecemeal approaches has shown that they do not lead to results''.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974 in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA RG/GP/1996

    [05] No difference in Han's and Hannay's approaches, says Clerides

    Nicosia, Jul 11 (CNA) -- There is no difference in the approaches of British Special Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, and UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus Han Sung Joo, concerning efforts for a Cyprus settlement, President Glafcos Clerides told the press today.

    Speaking after the presentation of credentials of new US Ambassador to the island Kenneth Brill, President Clerides said that Han has not talked about ''an interim solution''.

    ''Han did not spoke of an interim solution but for an incremental approach and not for an incremental solution to the Cyprus problem,'' President Clerides stated.

    Asked to comment on Han's reference to a small and large package of issues relating to the Cyprus problem, Clerides said the UN representative was referring to the basic and wider issues of the problem, noting that this is the government approach as well.

    President Clerides said ''both the Americans and the British show substantial interest in the Cyprus problem'' and noted that ''they will co-ordinate their efforts to see whether a settlement can be reached during the next 18 months.''

    He said foreign diplomats have not exerted any pressure on the Greek Cypriot side, but he recognised that ''at a later stage some pressure will be exerted.''

    ''What I have noted, and which is also an observation of Ambassador Brill, is that this is the first time in the history of the Cyprus problem that so many parties show interest in promoting a solution'', President Clerides said.

    Asked to comment on a statement made by US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns that the US supports ''Cyprus' accession to the European Union as a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation'', President Clerides said it is everybody's wish for a solution to be reached before accession but this, he added, is not a ''precondition''.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA MCH/GP/1996

    [06] British envoy leaves after days of discussions

    Larnaca, Jul 11 (CNA) -- Sir David Hannay, the representative of the British government for Cyprus, said today he thought ''we are going to see a period in which a solution to the Cyprus problem is going to be up on the international agenda''.

    Speaking on his departure from Cyprus, Sir David said it is then that ''we will see whether an agreement can be reached'', stressing that it is far too soon to ''hazard a guess on that''.

    The British envoy had six-days of discussions with political leaders from both sides of the divide, including Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    He is flying back to London where he will meet there tomorrow Han Sung-Joo, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus. The UN envoy was seeing Britain's Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind, in London, tonight.

    Sir David told the press at Larnaca airport that he is ''personally convinced the right objective to aim for in the next eighteen months is an overall solution, which deals with all aspects of the problem and does not leave loose ends or the possibility of a further prolonged negotiation after some agreements have been reached''.

    He pointed out ''it may take a bit longer'' to reach the solution he spoke about, but said he thought ''it will be worth taking that longer time, in order to get an overall solution''.

    Sir David stressed that ''it is very important for both sides that all elements be brought within the scope of the negotiation, so that when individual aspects are decided, everything is decided''.

    ''Until then'', he said, ''nobody is committed on individual aspects'', adding that this ''is a helpful way of proceeding''.

    Speaking about his visit to Cyprus, Sir David said it was very useful, since he met ''a very wide range of people'', he had ''valuable sessions'' with President Clerides, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides, Rauf Denktash, party leaders from both sides, as well as trade unionists, parliamentarians and journalists.

    All these meetings, he said, have ''helped me a great deal to understand the intricacies of this problem''.

    Sir David also pointed out that ''the discussions that are beginning now in an informal way, are what is necessary if progress is to be made later on to reach a solution'', adding that ''these preparatory discussions have not yet got very far and do not guarantee success''.

    However, he said he thought ''they are a necessary condition of the success later on, because negotiations do not succeed by good luck alone, they succeed by perseverance and hard work and that work is starting now''.

    Asked about his coming visit to the United States, Sir David said he is not going there with proposals, not even ideas.

    ''I am going to the United States to compare notes on my experience on the two visits I have had here, the visits I have paid to Athens and Ankara, the contacts I have had with the EU Commission in Brussels and all these things'', he said.

    Tomorrow, Sir David will be seeing the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Cyprus, Professor Han Sung-Joo, in London ''so that the work we are determined to do together with the UN, supporting the UN, can be properly coordinated and concerted''.

    Sir David was also asked whether, from his meetings in Cyprus, he feels that President Clerides and Denktash are familiar with the positions of the other side. He said ''I think they do, but of course they see them indirectly''.

    ''One day'', he added, ''they will need to negotiate together, but I hope that one of the results of having a lot of international activity with people like Professor Han working on it, is that each will get a better idea of the other's point of view and the other's principle problems''.

    Sir David said he believes this ''is moving ahead slowly and steadily'' and hopes ''that as the months go by, the understanding of each side for the position of the other will intensify and then we have got to move to the point of seeing whether we can bridge the gaps''.

    Sir David mentioned ''there are obviously a number of difficult points and crucial issues'', but avoided to refer to them specifically, saying that ''the purposes I am pursuing here are to assist the conduct of future negotiations, which does not include talking about them in detail here at this early stage''.

    Asked about the role the Turkish Cypriots will play in the negotiations for Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU), Sir David said what he ''wanted to do in particular was to encourage them to prepare themselves in detail for the problems that could arise for them from admission to the EU and to get themselves sufficient information to enable them to analyse the pros and cons of that''.

    On this matter he added: ''I am not trying to take a position about how the negotiations are conducted. My own view is that the right way for Cyprus, the best way, the quickest way for Cyprus to enter the EU is to negotiate as the advisor of a federated state. That will ensure success''.

    Referring to his future meetings, Sir David reminded his meeting tomorrow with Professor Han in London and that he will be seeing the Irish EU presidency representative Kester Heaslip next week and the Americans later on. He also mentioned that he will be back in Cyprus ''some time in Autumn''.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA RG/GP/1996

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