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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-13

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Socialist party opts for free vote
  • [02] US press Turkey to assist efforts for Cyprus solution

  • 0045:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Socialist party opts for free vote

    Nicosia, Feb 13 (CNA) -- The Socialist party, EDEK, decided here early Friday morning on a "vote at will" in Sunday's runoff presidential election.

    The decision was taken at a meeting of the 120-member Central Committee with 90 votes in favour and three abstentions. Sixteen members backed the notion of supporting one of the two presidential candidates, while the remaining 11 left the meeting before the voting started.

    Elaborating on the decision EDEK President Vassos Lyssarides, who managed to garner a pivotal 10.59 percent of the vote in last Sunday's first round of election, said "tonight's decision is a follow up of our proposal for national unity, which the two presidential contenders have accepted."

    Incumbent President, Glafcos Clerides, who got 40,06 per cent of the vote, and former Foreign Minister George Iacovou, with a slightly higher percentage of 40,61, have responded positively to the proposal for a government of national unity, and a National Policy Council, to replace the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem.

    Lyssarides said he considers both front-runners bound by the proposal.

    Replying to questions, he said the decision "marks a new page for the party and for the socialdemocratic movement because we have proved that we can be a unifying factor, a factor for reconciliation which laid the foundations for a national strategy."

    "I honestly believe that this is possibly the biggest contribution EDEK has made after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus," Lyssarides said.

    The veteran socialist leader said after the elections he would proceed with consultations with others to form a socialdemocratic movement, noting that many politicians have expressed the wish to do this.

    "EDEK's decision paves the way for a socialdemocratic movement to be established," he added.

    The six-page blueprint, presented to Clerides and Iacovou earlier this week, outlines fundamental positions on the Cyprus problem, underlines the need to strengthen ties with Greece and commitment to the Republic's European Union bid. It also refers to the economy and other domestic issues.

    CNA MM/MA/1998

    [02] US press Turkey to assist efforts for Cyprus solution

    Washington, Feb 13 (CNA) -- US desire for a solution to the Cyprus problem, and their intention of intensifying their efforts in assisting towards this direction was reaffirmed by Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

    Speaking at the US House International Relations Committee, Albright said the US is pressing Turkey to be of greater assistance in efforts towards a Cyprus solution.

    Responding to a question by Congressman, Robert Andrews, who pointed out that Turkey's accession to the EU should be conditioned upon Ankara's active and constructive participation in the settlement of the Cyprus question, Albright said:

    "Let me just say that this is a very complex issue, because it is very important, I believe, to have Turkey look westward rather than east or south. We need to have it be a part of the new European Community."

    She added, however, that the US has pointed out to Turkey "about what needs to be done in terms of becoming EU members".

    She stressed the US government "obviously spent a great deal of time with them (Turkey) in trying to deal with the Cyprus issue, which is the longest-running and a source of great problems to all of us."

    Albright said the US is "pressing on them (Turks) to be of greater assistance in Cyprus".

    She pointed out "Ambassador (Richard) Holbrooke is now trying to carry on those negotiations. The elections in Cyprus are in between two rounds at the moment, and we will pay even more attention to it as soon as everybody's settled."

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

    CNA DA/MCH/GP/1998
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