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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-07-09

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Holbrooke satisfied with Greco-Turkish statement, reservations on Cyprus solution prospect
  • [02] No change in German stance
  • [03] Moscow expresses hope for solution in Cyprus
  • [04] Clerides credited with political courage
  • [05] Cyprus Government welcomes Greco-Turkish agreement
  • [06] Greco-Turkish relations, Cyprus: two separate issues
  • [07] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 1015:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Holbrooke satisfied with Greco-Turkish statement, reservations on Cyprus solution prospect

    by Maria Myles

    New York, Jul 9 (CNA) -- US Presidential Emissary on Cyprus Richard Holbrooke welcomed the joint statement Greece and Turkey issued in Madrid yesterday, designed to improve their relations, and described it as "wonderful and a big step forward".

    Although Holbrooke was on an upbeat mood over the statement, he appeared rather disappointed about the Cyprus issue and the prospects of any result coming out of the direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, beginning today in Troutbeck, near New York.

    Speaking after a dinner hosted Tuesday by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, for 25 officials involved in the efforts for a Cyprus solution, Holbrooke said "I think it was a wonderful statement."

    "It was another example of the fact that two countries, Greece and Turkey, with Americans asking them to get together, do want to reach agreement to reduce tension. I was very encouraged by that," the American official said.

    US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had encouraged the two sides to meet in Madrid on the sidelines of the NATO summit, in a bid to improve Greek and Turkish relations.

    Asked if the statement, agreed after a meeting between Greek and Turkish Foreign Ministers, Theodoros Pangalos and Ismail Cem, creates a better climate, Holbrooke replied: "Of course. Any agreement between Ankara and Athens is always a step forward. I think this is a big step forward".

    Invited to assess the situation as far as the Cyprus problem is concerned, after the dinner attended by both President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the American official said "the dinner did not change anything".

    "There was no negotiating, this was a social discussion", he added, noting the discussion was "very engaged" and that Clerides and Denktash "talked about their early relationships, when they first met".

    Asked whether the two events, the Madrid agreement and the dinner, could be described as the beginning of a process to create a better climate in the Eastern Mediterranean, Holbrooke replied he does not know.

    "The Madrid statement is a big step forward between Greece and Turkey, but I have seen no evidence that the Cyprus issue is moving at this point," he said.

    However, the US Presidential Emissary added "we will see what happens in the next few days. I don't think people should have their expectations too high about this."

    Asked by the press to assess the effect of the Madrid agreement on the five-day UN-sponsored direct talks, Holbrooke said "I have no idea", noting the two countries, Greece and Turkey, have to be asked.

    The dinner was hosted by UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, at his residence in New York, just one day before the direct negotiations begin.

    Six UN officials, including Annan's special advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, who will conduct the talks, and his resident representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel were present.

    The three guarantor powers of Cyprus' independence, namely Britain, Greece and Turkey, were represented with their special envoys to the talks. Also attending the dinner were seven other foreign government's and European Union envoys.

    President Clerides was accompanied by Attorney General Alecos Markides, one of his two advisors in the negotiations. The other advisor is Under Secretary to the President Pantelis Kouros.

    Denktash was also accompanied by one of his two advisors, Netcattin Ertegun.

    The UN Secretary-General invited the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides for direct negotiations between July 9-13, while foreign government envoys will be on the sidelines to offer their assistance, trying to reunite Cyprus under a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

    CNA MM/MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1120:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] No change in German stance

    by Maria Myles

    New York, Jul 9 (CNA) -- Germany's envoy at the UN-sponsored direct talks on Cyprus gave assurances that his government's policy on Cyprus' application for EU membership has not changed.

    Ambassador Detlev Graf Zu Rantzau told CNA in an interview that Germany "will judge the Cypriot application on its own merits when the time comes".

    Invited to comment on statements by German Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel (reported in press) that a divided Cyprus cannot join the EU, Rantzau said he could not comment on these reports.

    "What I can say is that my government's policy on Cyprus' EU bid has not changed", he told CNA in a telephone interview after he had a meeting yesterday with Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, in New York.

    He said Germany will cross that bridge when it reaches it, indicating his country will make a stance when the matter arises.

    However, reliable sources have indicated that Rantzau said Kinkel's statements were misinterpreted and misquoted by the press.

    The same sources said Rantzau acknowledged the efforts the Cyprus government is making to settle the problem.

    CNA MM/RG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1130 :CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Moscow expresses hope for solution in Cyprus

    by Maria Myles

    New York, Jul 9 (CNA) -- Russia's envoy to the UN-led direct negotiations, Vladimir Tchizhov, has expressed hope international interest in Cyprus will help bring about progress in efforts for a solution to this longstanding problem.

    Speaking after an hour-long meeting here Tuesday with President Glafcos Clerides, the Russian diplomat was not in a position to mention any specific elements of the statement expected to be made at the direct talks beginning today in Troutbeck, near New York, by the UN Secretary-General's special advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez.

    "The basis of the direct talks is the UN Security Council resolutions, which determine the Secretary-General's good offices mission," Tchizhov added.

    He also pointed out that the effectiveness of the negotiations between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, "depends on the good disposition and approach of the participants".

    "We hope increased international interest in Cyprus will be a helpful factor in efforts to make progress towards a correct and viable settlement in Cyprus," said the Russian envoy, who is the Head of the Third Directorate for European Affairs at the Russian Foreign Ministry. All permanent members of the Security Council, a European Union (EU) representative and envoy's of other governments interested in a solution in Cyprus, including Greece and Turkey, will be on the sidelines of the negotiations, to offer their assistance.

    Asked if Cyprus' EU course would facilitate or hinder the talks, Tchizhov replied "we see it as an important factor which can help towards achieving progress in Cyprus because it underscores the increased interest of European countries in Cyprus and lays down some kind of timetable."

    On March 6, 1995, the EU decided that accession negotiations with Cyprus will begin six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference.

    CNA MM/MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1155:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Clerides credited with political courage

    by James Delihas

    United Nations, Jul 9 (CNA) -- Only a few hours before the direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash begin, sources close to the peace process said the UN, which has brought the two sides to the table, is determined this time to push for conclusive results and has its sights set on an eventual comprehensive settlement.

    The UN also appears little inclined to brook derailing of the process, which has been the fate of every preceding rounds of talks.

    The two protagonists may not have changed much but the world around them has, said one UN diplomat, noting this offers the new Secretary- General an opening for fresh initiatives.

    Cyprus' pending accession to the European Union (EU), the diplomat added, and "the sheer dynamics of the EU where borders break down and integration between nations is the rule", render the Cyprus problem "an anachronism today and obsolete tomorrow".

    As if to reinforce the point, Richard Holbrooke, President Clinton's Emissary on Cyprus, noted yesterday after a meeting in New York with President Clerides, that the US had always strongly supported Cyprus' EU aspirations.

    Because of its economic strides "Cyprus has the unique opportunity to become the Singapore of the eastern Mediterranean. And when I say Cyprus," he added, "I mean both communities".

    As a further sign that fundamental changes may be in the wind, other observers pointed to the remarkable announcement made Tuesday from the Madrid NATO meeting, of an agreement between Greece and Turkey, to improve their relations.

    This thaw in the climate between the two countries, could be expected to extend also to the Cyprus issue and perhaps make itself felt in the talks, beginning today.

    That, at least, is the hope of some veteran United Nations officials, who do, however, caution realism and say that it is unlikely that there will be an agreement in this round of talks.

    What they hope to do, is to "get the process started and continuing".

    "We want to try a different approach this time," said one official directly involved in setting up the talks, adding the intent is to work towards an overall "architecture of a settlement which has never been attempted before".

    He said they also wished to provide conditions conducive to achieving results.

    The secluded rural setting for the negotiations, in Troutbeck, two hours from New York, is "an innovation" meant to insulate President Clerides and Denktash from the pressures of party politics and the glare of publicity that have interfered with past rounds of talks.

    "We want to give this process ample time and opportunity... this five- day period in New York, the next in Geneva," the same source told CNA.

    "The outlines of a settlement are well known to all," the official added, pointing out the Cyprus problem is "not a lack of ideas but of political will".

    For this he seemed to fault both sides noting "there are rejectionist elements in each camp. One side resists anything that appears to be a ceding of sovereignty. The other side makes few gestures of direct concessions."

    "President Clerides," he said, "has shown considerable political courage" in accepting the UN Secretary-General's invitation, implying perhaps that he took the greater risk but also has the most to gain.

    Troutbeck, where President Clerides and Denktash will spend the next five days, face to face and virtually alone, with the exception of their advisors, is well known for offering "walks in the woods" that have a positive and far reaching result.

    CNA JD/MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1200:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Cyprus Government welcomes Greco-Turkish agreement

    by Maria Myles

    New York, Jul 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has welcomed an agreement reached between Greece and Turkey to promote better relations and believe it could facilitate in a positive manner the on-going peace effort to find a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    "The government welcomes the Greco-Turkish agreement to promote friendly ties based upon the principles of international law and the respect for each other's sovereignty," Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides told Cypriot journalists in New York.

    Asked to say how this understanding will affect the direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, beginning in the US today, he replied "we hope the timing of this development would influence the talks in a favourable way".

    He said the Cyprus government had been informed and had a copy of the text agreed between the two countries Tuesday, at a meeting between their Foreign Ministers, Theodoros Pangalos and Ismail Cem, on the sidelines of the NATO meeting in Madrid.

    "We welcome this development and believe it would have beneficial results on the Cyprus issue, particularly at a time when talks will begin," Christofides told the press.

    The Spokesman stressed "let no one doubt Greece's support for Cyprus in a dynamic manner in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem."

    Replying to questions, he said that Greece's position that a new Turkish offensive against Cyprus would constitute casus belli still stands.

    "This position has not been annulled," he stressed, adding "it has not been abandoned".

    Invited to say if Cyprus should expect US engagement along the lines that Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, moved during the Madrid meeting and achieved the meeting between Pangalos and Cem, Christofides reminded of American interest in Cyprus.

    "The US has repeatedly reassured of its dynamic and decisive presence in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem, and in Cyprus' European Union accession course," the Spokesman added.

    CNA MM/MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1330:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Greco-Turkish relations, Cyprus: two separate issues

    by Demetris Apokis

    Washington, Jul 9 (CNA -- The Greco-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problem are two separate issues, said US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns.

    When he was asked if the agreement reached in Madrid between Greece and Turkey, has any effect on the Cyprus issue, the US official said "the problems in the Greek-Turkish relationship on the one hand; problem on Cyprus on the other - they're separate issues. We're going to proceed separately".

    "As you Know", Burns continued, "we have a Cyprus coordinator, Richard Holbrooke, who works on Cyprus issues. Secretary Albright has played a very key role in the separate issue of Greek - Turkish differences. I think we prefer to keep them separate as to the governments involved".

    Referring to separate meetings Holbrooke had with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in new York, Burns said Holbrooke "had a very good meeting with Mr. Denktash (Monday evening) and a very good meeting with President Clerides (yesterday morning).

    He made brief statements to the press after each of those meetings, which "essentially underline our very strong support for Secretary-General Kofi Annan's mediation effort that begins tomorrow (today) in Amenia, New York".

    Burns once more reiterated the US position to Cyprus' accession to the European Union by repeating Holbrooke's statement that "the United States very much supports the membership for Cyprus in the European Union, the candidacy for Cyprus in the European Union".

    On the attitude the US would keep during the UN discussions, Burns told CNA that "Dick (Holbrooke) and I (Burns) decided together that the United States will not be commenting on a daily basis on those talks. We are not part of the talks, although we will have an observer there."

    Burns said "this is up to the United Nations, I think and the parties themselves to describe what is happening in those talks. We don't wish to intrude upon the talks or make ourselves the centre of attention when we shouldn't be the centre of attention in those talks".

    On the issue of the agreement between Greece and Turkey reached yesterday in Madrid, on the sidelines of the NATO Summit, Burns said "we believe, here in the United States, that this is significant step forward for both Greece and Turkey. This agreement reached today (yesterday) is part of our attempt since the Imia/Kardak crisis of a year and a half ago to have Greece and Turkey reaffirm their commitment to live together peacefully and with a pledge to their mutual security and without resort to threat in their relationship".

    The State Department Spokesman said the US believes "this is a new foundation for Greek-Turkish relations. We look now to both of those countries to take practical steps to move the relationship forward and to give deeper meaning to this new foundation in the Greek-Turkish relationship".

    Asked by CNA what is the meaning of practical steps from both sides and if the US means the five confidence building measures proposed by NATO Secretary-General, Burns said "we hope that practical steps are forthcoming. The practical steps need to be decided by the two governments".

    On Solana's proposals, he said "we think those are good proposals. We think that the governments ought to take their time in looking at them and make sure that they have an opportunity to look at every aspect of them. But we certainly support Secretary-General Solana's proposals and we are encouraging the Turkish and Greek governments to consider them seriously".

    Regarding the Cyprus peace talks, Greek-American Congressman Mike Pappas (R-NJ) said in a statement he made at the floor of the US House of Representatives that "it is my hope that the discussions will concentrate on the removal of Turkish troops and the restoration of the territorial integrity of Cyprus". CNA/DA/GP/1997

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1450:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jul 9 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    75.90 (+0.38)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  84.16 (+0.33)
    Approved Investment Companies          64.56 (+1.75)
    Insurance Companies                    59.70 (+0.76)
    Industrial Companies                   78.73 (-0.09)
    Tourist Industries                     63.94 (-0.03)
    Commercial Companies                   48.49 (+0.37)
    Other Companies                        62.36 (+1.37)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 439549.805
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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