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

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Sweden urges for a comprehensive Cyprus solution
  • [02] Cypriot MP criticises OSCE
  • [03] UN-led Cyprus direct talks open
  • [04] British Envoy says solution attainable in Cyprus
  • [05] EU fully supports UN-sponsored direct negotiations
  • [06] Cyprus peace talks open
  • [07] International money laundering Conference ends
  • [08] Canada welcomes Cyprus peace talks

  • 1630:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Sweden urges for a comprehensive Cyprus solution

    Nicosia, Jul 9 (CNA) -- A political solution to the Cyprus problem is of vital interest to Sweden, a statement issued by the Swedish Foreign Ministry said.

    Quoting the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Lena Hjelm-Wallen, the statement said "Sweden welcomes the fact that the parties will now meet for direct talks."

    Hjelm-Wallen said that "both sides must utilize this opportunity to achieve a comprehensive political resolution of the conflict." Sweden, she added, "has put forward this view directly to the parties."

    "A political solution to the Cyprus issue is of vital interest to Sweden, at the national level, as a member of the EU and as a member of the UN Security Council," she added.

    Referring to the UN-sponsored direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, beginning today at the Troutbeck rural retreat, north of New York, the Swedish Foreign Ministry noted "it will be the first time the parties have met for direct talks since 1994."

    Furthermore, it added, the talks "aim to bring about a political solution" to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    Sweden also noted that the direct talks coincide with the country's presidency of the Security Council, in July, and noted that Hjelm-Wallen will be in New York between July 14 and 16.

    CNA EC/AP/1997

    [02] Cypriot MP criticises OSCE

    Nicosia, Jul 9 (CNA) -- The need for more decisive action on the part of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) when member- states violate its principles and decisions, was stressed by Cypriot MP Isidoros Makrides.

    Speaking at the last OSCE parliamentary assembly meeting, held in Warsaw, Makrides criticised the organisation for dividing problems into "urgent" and "less urgent" ones and called for a change in this policy.

    Referring to the protracted Cyprus problem, Makrides pointed out that in its essence it is one of invasion and occupation and not of bi-communal differences between Greek and Turkish Cypriots living on the island.

    "It (the Cyprus problem) is an international problem of invasion and occupation by an OSCE member-state against another," Makrides said, noting that the presence of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus constitutes a threat to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The divisionist policy adopted by Turkey, which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and continues to occupy 37 per cent of its territory, he stressed, has been condemned by the international community and the UN.

    If OSCE has the political will to play a leading part then it should desert its policy of discriminating against certain problems by dividing them into "urgent" and "less urgent" ones, he pointed out.

    OSCE, he added, should act more decisively against member-states that violate its principles and resolutions.

    The OSCE parliamentary assembly meeting, which was concluded yesterday, adopted a Cyprus proposed amendment to the Resolution of Political Issues, which stressed that the right to self-determination should not be based or be the result of violation of the territorial integrity of another state.

    CNA MCH/AP/1997

    [03] UN-led Cyprus direct talks open

    by Maria Myles

    Troutbeck Jul 9 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan opened here today the direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash aimed at reaching a solution to the protracted Cyprus problem.

    In his statement, Annan thanked Norway for its financial contribution to the realisation of the talks and called on the two leaders to work for convergence of thoughts and positions to make a settlement possible.

    The press took pictures of the UN Chief and the two community leaders shaking hands and were then asked to leave the room.

    The long-awaited direct talks are due to begin at around 1400 local time (2100 Cyprus time).

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash arrived first at Troutbeck accompanied by his two advisors while President Clerides and his two advisors followed fifteen minutes later.

    Also present at the opening ceremony were Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez, Under Secretary General for Political Affairs Sir Kieran Prendergast, UN Resident Representative to Cyprus Gustave Feissel and the special representatives of various countries for Cyprus. (More later)

    CNA MM/MCH/GP/1997

    [04] British Envoy says solution attainable in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jul 9 (CNA) -- A solution to the protracted Cyprus problem is within reach if the two sides on the island can come to grips with their troubled past and rise above the pressures each side faces in hammering out a comprehensive settlement, Britain's Special Envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, has said.

    In a commentary published today in the English language daily "Cyprus Mail", Sir David said that after numerous contacts with those principally concerned in the Cyprus problem, he is optimistic a solution can be reached "if only the demons of history can be overcome."

    "In some peace processes the protagonists rise above these pressures, in others they succumb to them," Sir David said. "In the end, the options are theirs, and there is only a limited amount that even the best- intentioned outsiders can do to help them overcome them."

    Sir David's commentary coincides with today's start of UN-sponsored direct negotiations in Troutbeck, near New York, between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The talks, aimed at jump-starting the stalled peace talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities divided since Turkey's 1974 invasion and occupation of more than one-third of the island's territory, are the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since October, 1994.

    Calling past settlement efforts "just about the longest running, and so far unsuccessful, peace process in modern history," Sir David said that the introduction of number of new factors could, this time, turn things around.

    Sir David pointed out that after a string of failed bids to reach piecemeal agreements on specific aspects of the Cyprus problem, the current effort aims at a comprehensive settlement of all aspects, which could nevertheless present problems of its own, such as the probable duration of the negotiations.

    "But in a situation where it is clear that no one will agree anything until everyone agrees everything, it is, surely, the only realistic approach," he said.

    Sir David noted that Cyprus' application to join the European Union (EU) "offers a stimulus and an incentive to conclude a settlement," but added that a solution prior to EU accession would be the ideal case scenario.

    "It is common sense that accession to the EU preceded by a political settlement is the best, but certainly not the only, option for both communities in Cyprus," the British envoy said.

    Sir David also said that international support for the UN-led negotiations "has never been higher" and that at no other time has there been "less evidence of a fundamental conflict of interest between external advocates of a settlement."

    He added that the recent appointment of Ambassador Richard Holbrooke as the US President's Special Envoy on Cyprus "is another important signal of that support."

    "It is easy to mock the proliferation of diplomatic envoys, but complex international problems often require an effort beyond the routine diplomacy of each country," Sir David said.

    The British envoy also noted an equitable solution in Cyprus could help in mending "the abiding suspicion and distrust" between Greece and Turkey and bring benefits to both countries "which carry this out of the framework of a simple zero-sum calculation."

    Sir David warned, however, that all these factors do not necessarily assure the success of the negotiations because both leaders will have to face an uphill battle to countervail what he called "the bitterness engendered by the long confrontation along the Green Line, the distorted view of the other community nurtured in schools and in the media, the pressure of extremists on both sides" and the "low credibility of the peace process."

    "Somehow the twin nightmares, that the Turkish Cypriots are seeking effective separation and eventual secession, and that the Greek Cypriots are aiming for domination, whatever soft words they use on political equality, have to be banished," he said.

    The British diplomat added that in negotiations of this kind it is important that concerned parties "make a hard-headed analysis of the potential benefits and of the costs of failure," but noted that costs and benefits are "hard to quantify in advance."

    Outlining the British government's stance on Cyprus, Sir David said an unresolved Cyprus problem "will be a factor of instability in a region where that commodity is not in short supply," and will "impoverish the lives of all the inhabitants of the island," even if "it does not actually threaten them."

    "It will also continue to poison the relationship between Turkey and the EU, and confront the EU with difficult decisions on Cyprus' accession," he added.

    By contrast, Sir David said a solution will have "strongly beneficial effects" on all these issues and added that "while success is a zero-plus game, failure is surely a zero-minus one." CNA/MH/AP/1997


    [05] EU fully supports UN-sponsored direct negotiations

    Nicosia, Jul 9 (CNA) -- The European Union (EU) has stated its full support for the UN-led direct negotiations currently under way in New York between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and pledged to help in any way possible for a successful outcome to the talks.

    A declaration, issued Tuesday by the Luxembourg presidency of the EU, said it "fully supports this United Nations initiative" and that together with other members of the international community "will do everything within its power to achieve a positive outcome to these direct talks."

    The EU added it will help in the current peace effort "with an eye in particular to the prospective opening of the process for its enlargement."

    The EU also called on both sides in Cyprus to enter the talks "in a spirit of openness" and hopes that the talks will enable the two sides "to engage in a genuine negotiating process."

    It further called upon third parties involved in the negotiations "to bring all their influence to bear to enable progress to be made towards a negotiated, just and lasting solution in Cyprus."

    CNA MH/AP/1997

    [06] Cyprus peace talks open

    by Maria Myles

    Troutbeck, Jul 9 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, stressed here today he aims not to report on another failure regarding efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    In his five-page statement at the opening of direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, Annan said this was the time to "press forward, in a positive spirit, in search of our common goal, a viable and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem."

    Noting the difficulties faced by successive UN Secretaries General in their efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, Annan stressed, "my aim is not to have to report, yet again, to the Security Council about another opportunity missed."

    "No one underestimates the immensity of the tasks before you", he told the two leaders, adding however, that the international community is confident in their ability "to craft a new constitutional and institutional structures, to allow the people of both communities to live together in peace."

    Annan said if the two leaders agreed with the suggestions his special advisor on the Cyprus problem Diego Cordovez will share with them, on his behalf, later today, they "will be sending a strong and unmistakable signal to the international community."

    "You will be signalling your commitment and determination to reach a comprehensive settlement, for which the people of Cyprus have been waiting for too long", he said.

    The UN Secretary-General expressed the view that "specific and concrete solutions" to fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem, agreed upon by the two sides over the years should now be explored, without further delay, "in their proper context".

    "This can be achieved only if you begin consideration of the actual documents and legal instruments that will constitute the comprehensive settlement", he said.

    "I therefore propose", he added, "that you enter upon a process of negotiations, leading to the incremental construction of the juridical framework within which the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities will forge a new partnership."

    Annan noted that the fact that the process will be conducted under the auspices of the UN will ensure "that the principles of the Charter will inspire all the good offices efforts of the Secretary-General, will guide all deliberations and underlie all the understandings that you will reach."

    Closing his statement the UN Chief "stressed that both sides should refrain from making any statements."

    CNA MM/MCH/GP/1997

    [07] International money laundering Conference ends

    Nicosia, Jul 9 (CNA) -- The international three-day conference on money laundering, a crime the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Afxentis Afxentiou, said involves the amount of 500 billion to one trillion US dollars yearly, was concluded here Wednesday.

    During the conference, experts from a number of countries expressed their views on the issue and cited their suggestions aiming at preventing this type of economic crime.

    Pavlos Meletiou, partner at one of Cyprus' largest accounting organisations, analysed the relationship between fiscal evasion and money laundering.

    Meletiou said money laundering may result in tax evasion by using channels such as funds transferring from one account to another, or from one bank to another, currency smuggling, fictitious transactions or small and frequent deposits in a bank account.

    On the other hand, he added, tax evasion may lead to money laundering through cheque laundering or by using specific offshore accounts or companies.

    Today's third and last day of the conference was dedicated to workshops and a question and answer session.

    CNA GG/AP/1997

    [08] Canada welcomes Cyprus peace talks

    Nicosia, Jul 9 (CNA) -- Canada has welcomed the start of negotiations between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, and has called on the two sides involved to cooperate fully with the UN to resolve the protracted Cyprus problem.

    In a press release issued today by the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy "welcomes the start of talks", which began Wednesday in Troutbeck, near New York, under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General.

    Noting that "Canada is encouraged to see the beginning of talks on Cyprus" and expressing hope that "they will prove successful," Axworthy appeals "to the two parties to co-operate fully with the UN Secretary- General in initiating a peace process that will result in a permanent resolution of this conflict".

    The press release notes that Canada's Special Representative on Cyprus, Michael Bell, attending the opening of the talks by Kofi Annan, along with special envoys or representatives from other countries and the European Union.

    It also reminds that Canada had participated in the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus for 29 years, until 1993, "and since then has demonstrated its continued interest in Cyprus, notably through the recent appointment of Mr. Bell, in April 1997."

    The five-day negotiations began today with an opening speech by Kofi Annan, in the presence of foreign government envoys, and will be carried out by his Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem, Diego Cordovez.

    CNA MA/KN/1997
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