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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-02-26

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association Conference
  • [02] Russia on Turkish threats to settle Famagusta
  • [03] Cyprus government does not accept preconditions for EU accession
  • [04] UN Chief determined to bring leaders together
  • [05] National Guard submitted positions on military dialogue
  • [06] Mchaelides stresses EU role in a solution
  • [07] Van den Broek: EU considers 1997 crucial year for Cyprus
  • [08] Kyprianou describes developments in EU as negative

  • 1620 CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association Conference

    Nicosia, Feb 25 (CNA) -- Cyprus will host, next Monday, the 28th British Islands and Mediterranean Regional Conference of the Commonwealth Parliamentarian Association.

    A total of 38 deputies from Britain, Cyprus, Malta, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey and the Falkland Islands will take part in the conference entitled to be held in Nicosia from March 3 to 4.

    Parliamentarians will discuss the issues of European Union Enlargement, Organised Crime and Drugs, Public Health, and Development of Dependent Territories - in Particular Scope for the reform of their Constitutional Status, following the handover of Hong Kong to China.

    President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, will address the opening session of the Conference.

    During their stay in Cyprus, the deputies will meet with Kyprianou and visit the UN-controlled buffer zone in Dherynia, where two unarmed Greek Cypriot protestors were brutally murdered by Turkish troops and members of the extremist Islamic group "Grey Wolves", last summer.

    CNA EC/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1645:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Russia on Turkish threats to settle Famagusta

    Nicosia, Feb 26 (CNA) -- Russia called on the UN Secretariat to inform Security Council members over Turkish threats to settle the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta.

    According to UN Security Council sources, Russia's Permanent Representative, Sergei Lavrov, raised the issue during a closed session of the Council.

    Lavrov referred to threats expressed by Mehmet Aslan, leader of the extremist Islamic group, "Grey Wolves" in the occupied north, over the settlement of the eastern coastal town of Famagusta.

    The UN Secretariat promised to inform the Council about the issue in the next few days.

    The settlement of Famagusta "by people other than its inhabitants" is considered by UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984) as "inadmissible". The same resolution "calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN."

    Some 35 thousand Turkish troops occupy 37 per cent of the Republic's territory since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    CNA EC/MCH/1996
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1720:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus government does not accept preconditions for EU accession

    Nicosia, Feb 26 (CNA) -- The government will do its utmost so that a solution to the Cyprus problem is not set as a precondition for the Republic's accession to the European Union (EU)

    This was stressed today by Government Spokesman, Yiannakis Cassoulides, who also pointed out that the stance of some EU member states at an EU Council of Ministers' meeting held last Monday, regarding Turkish Cypriot participation in accession talks, raises many questions.

    "Of course any effort to set the solution of the Cyprus problem as a precondition for entry to the EU worries us," he said, adding that the government "will strive not to allow the two issues to be connected and to prove that it is not the side to blame if a solution is not reached when accession talks begin."

    Cassoulides pointed out the EU did not support simultaneous accession talks with the Turkish Cypriots, but the countries that made the proposal wanted to ensure Turkish Cypriot participation.

    On Monday, Britain, France and Germany insisted to include phrases, open to different interpretations, calling for the participation of all Cypriots in the accession process. Greece had made counterproposals on the issue which were turned down.

    Asked whether the government was given any explanations as to how member states see Turkish Cypriot participation, Cassoulides replied "not exactly" and added "that is why there are questions".

    However, he expressed confidence that the whole issue will be addressed in a satisfactory way.

    Cassoulides noted the Cyprus government will only be satisfied when the EU issues a common communique regarding Cyprus' political dialogue.

    He was referring to the fact that a meeting, within the framework of the Cyprus-EU structured dialogue, was postponed following disagreement among EU member states over Turkish Cypriot participation. The 15 member- states were to issue a communique with their common position.

    The Spokesman said he agrees with the Greek position and noted the EU must reaffirm its decision of March 6 1995, whereby accession talks will begin with Cyprus six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    He also said the EU must "reconfirm its only interlocutor is the legal government of the Republic of Cyprus."

    Cassoulides reiterated the government does not disagree with EU efforts to inform Turkish Cypriots over the benefits they will have from Cyprus' EU accession.

    Replying to questions, Cassoulides said the government is planning to hold meetings with Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Italy and the European Commission, regarding the political dialogue with Cyprus.

    CNA MA/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1800 CYPPRESS:04

    [04] UN Chief determined to bring leaders together

    Larnaca, Feb 26 (CNA) -- The UN Secretary General is determined to bring President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in direct talks, as soon as possible, Resident UN Representative, Gustave Feissel said today.

    Speaking on his return from New York, where he reviewed the situation in Cyprus with UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, Feissel stressed "the target is to get the two leaders together for comprehensive talks, and we are going to work very hard between now and then to give this the best chance of success."

    The UN Chief, Feissel said, "reaffirmed his determination to make every effort to try and bring the two leaders together as soon as possible, with the objective being by the middle of this year, for comprehensive negotiations."

    All UN efforts will be geared towards this direction, he stressed.

    Asked about the march organised by Turkish extremist Islamic group "Grey Wolves", next Sunday, threatening with the settlement of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, Feissel said Denktash, has assured him "that nothing was going on."

    He also pointed out that "the UN position on Varosha is well known", adding that the UN "expect everyone to live up to their obligations and we expect that is what is going to happen at this time."

    According to UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) attempts "to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants" is considered "inadmissible", The same resolution also calls for the "transfer of this area to the administration of the UN."

    Referring to the UN-sponsored indirect military dialogue between the National Guard and the Turkish occupation troops, Feissel said the UN "are talking with the two sides on the entire package of measures we put forward, which is unmanning, the prohibition of loaded weapons along the cease-fire line and the code of conduct."

    Each side, he added, is expected to "talk to us about the entire package, and at the end of the day we have to see how the positions of the two sides are, with a view to harmonising any differences that might remain."

    Describing the talks as "a rather simple matter, which should be resolved without that much effort", Feissel said they have been going on for an unecessary long time. They should "go forward intensively, at least twice a week, which is the way we would like to see them take place", he noted.

    CNA TA/RG/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1840:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] National Guard submitted positions on military dialogue

    Nicosia, Feb 26 (CNA) -- The National Guard has put forward its positions on a UN-proposed package of issues to be discussed during an indirect military dialogue with the Turkish occupation forces, aiming at defusing tension along the demarcation line in Cyprus.

    Speaking after a meeting today with President Glafcos Clerides, Defence Minister, Costas Eliades, said the Turkish occupation forces have not yet submitted their positions.

    Eliades, along with National Guard Chief, Lieutenant General Nikolaos Vorvolakos, briefed President Clerides on the issue.

    The UN have proposed an indirect military dialogue which would focus on the extension of a 1989 unmanning agreement, the code of conduct and the unloading of weapons, along the demarcation line.

    The Defence Minister refrained from commenting on a statement made earlier this week by UN Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Spokesman, Waldemar Rokoszewski, that there was some progress in the dialogue.

    Eliades said he could not comment on the issue until he sees results and added consultations between UNFICYP and the National Guard are continuing.

    Replying to a question he said UNFICYP has not put forward any new ideas.

    CNA MA/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2200:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Mchaelides stresses EU role in a solution

    Larnaca, Feb 26 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides stressed the European Union (EU) has a role to play in efforts to reach a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem, which, he noted is the government's top priority.

    Speaking at Larnaca Airport, on his return from Brussels where he attended a meeting of the EU-Cyprus Association Council, Michaelides stressed, "our ambition and effort is to solve the Cyprus issue".

    He pointed out that "this is the reason why we repeat our call to everyone who can contribute, and definitely the EU has an important role to play."

    Michaelides described a proposal by Britain, France and Germany for Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession process as "unnecessary".

    The Foreign Minister was referring to the three countries' insistence, during an EU Council of Ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday, to call for the participation of all Cypriots in the accession process.

    The call was to be included in a common communique on EU-Cyprus relations that was to be issued after a structured dialogue meeting, which was postponed after the 15 member states failed to reach an agreement.

    Greece believed the call was open to different interpretations and had made counterproposals which were turned down.

    "We believe this reference is not in the spirit of the decision of March 6 1995," Michaelides said.

    The decision states that accession talks will begin with Cyprus six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference and calls for the Turkish Cypriots to be informed of the benefits they will have from Cyprus joining the EU.

    Michaelides said he will be visiting London, Paris, Rome, the Hague and Bonn next week, for talks with his counterparts on the EU role in solving the Cyprus issue.

    Referring to EU External Affairs Commissioner's, Hans Van den Broek's visit to Cyprus, Michaelides described it as of "particular importance". He said the Republic's preparation for EU accession and the Cyprus problem will be discussed.

    Van den Broek came to Cyprus tonight on a three-day official visit during which he will have meetings with both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    CNA TA/MA/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2215:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Van den Broek: EU considers 1997 crucial year for Cyprus

    Larnaca, Feb 26 (CNA) -- The European Union (EU) considers 1997 as a very crucial year for Cyprus and believes efforts should be invested to reach a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem, in view of accession talks scheduled to begin in about a year's time.

    At the same time, the EU believes it is necessary for the Turkish Cypriots to be familiar with the benefits they will gain from Cyprus' accession, and the fact that accession will in no way affect their relations with Turkey.

    The EU positions were outlined by External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, on his arrival at Larnaca Airport this evening, for a three- day official visit.

    Van den Broek, who is accompanied by Dutch EU Presidency Envoy for Cyprus, Irish Ambassador Kester Heaslip, will hold separate talks with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    "1997 should be a crucial year for Cyprus," Van den Broek said, pointing out that "in about a year from now we hope to open accession negotiations."

    He added "we really have to invest during this year also in trying to make real progress regarding a political solution for which the UN has the mandate to lead the process."

    The Commissioner noted both the EU and the US "are very much interested to give their backing to this essential process" and said the Union "is firmly committed to assist where it is called upon to bring a solution closer by."

    The EU official pointed out that "every advance in that political process will certainly also bear fruit and give an additional impulse to those (accession) negotiations that are going to start at the beginning of next year."

    He stressed "there has been no common decision by the EU to change the goalposts of the (accession) process in any way" and added "the commitment to open negotiations by next year stands."

    However, Van den Broek pointed out that EU member states are concerned about mounting tensions in Cyprus, since last August, and the obstacles in its relations with Turkey.

    Referring to the Turkish Cypriot community, he said it is "extremely important" to make it "familiar with what the prospects of EU membership really mean, what benefits, what advantages they can derive also from the membership of a unified Cyprus."

    He said it is also important to "allay certain fears that may exist with the Turkish Cypriot community, that EU membership would mean a breach for them with their partners in Turkey."

    Tomorrow, the EU Commissioner will call on President Clerides and meet Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and House President Spyros Kyprianou, before a meeting with political party leaders.

    Van den Broek will then cross over to the Turkish-occupied part of the island to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkish Cypriot party leaders.

    Early in the evening he will give a lecture in occupied Nicosia on "Cyprus and the EU" and will then return to the free areas to attend a dinner in his honour given by Michaelides.

    On Friday he will brief the Heads of Missions of EU member states in Cyprus and will hold a press conference at Ledra Palace Hotel, in the UN- controlled buffer zone in Nicosia, for Greek and Turkish Cypriot journalists.

    Van den Broek is also expected to meet UN Resident Representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel.

    CNA MA/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2230:CYPPRESS:08

    [08] Kyprianou describes developments in EU as negative

    Nicosia, Feb 26 (CNA) -- President of the House of Representatives and Democratic Party leader, Spyros Kyprianou, said today the call by Britain, France and Germany for Turkish Cypriot participation in Cyprus-European Union accession talks is "a very serious and negative development".

    "This move", according to Kyprianou, "is a flagrant violation of resolutions 541 and 550 of the UN Security Council" 550" and furthermore "sends Turkey the message to continue being intransigent."

    Kyprianou was speaking on his return from Athens, where he met with Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis, President Costis Stephanopoulos, President of Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis and other members of the socialist PASOK government.

    He also mentioned a statement made by British Representative for the Cyprus problem, Sir David Hannay, in which he describes this EU move as "a warning".

    "If we continue this way", Kyprianou said, "I do not know where we shall end up. We must give more persuasive messages that this ridicule must stop. It is not on us that pressure should be exerted to bring back peace in the region and to give a reasonable solution to the Cyprus problem".

    Moreover, Kyprianou said there is no indication that Turkey will shift from its positions or that any pressure will be exerted on Turkey, for that matter.

    Kyprianou noted that these developments, coupled with the recent statement made by British Foreign Secretary, Malcolm Rifkind, that a solution should be found before Cyprus' accession to the EU, "mean we will enter a very difficult period and we should decide now which moves we should make".

    He said atmosphere in Athens was "tense" following recent developments, stressing at the same time "the determination of the Greek government to stand by our side in the Cyprus problem, our defence and the promotion of Cyprus' accession to the EU".

    CNA RG/MCH/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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