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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-03-19

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

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


  • [01] Public thanks to Greece on EU stand
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Peace talks are "off", says Denktash

  • 1515:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Public thanks to Greece on EU stand

    Nicosia, Mar 19 (CNA) -- Cyprus has thanked Greece publicly for helping to finalise the draft of the opening statement on Cyprus at the start of accession negotiations with the European Union (EU).

    "The government owes a big thank to the Greek government and its diplomatic services," Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides told his daily press briefing.

    His comments came after Wednesday's agreement in Brussels on the amended text, after lengthy negotiations among European Union permanent representatives.

    The revised text, for which Greece argued firmly, welcomes the offer of the government of Cyprus to include Turkish Cypriots in the team for negotiating the terms of Cyprus' accession to the EU.

    Greece fended off reaction from France and other EU member states, which argued for a delay in membership talks until all sides could be brought to the negotiations.

    The amended draft said "the EU regrets that the Turkish Cypriot community has so far responded negatively to this offer and reiterates the importance that it attaches to associating the Turkish Cypriots with the accession process, in accordance with the Luxembourg summit," held in December.

    The presidency, Britain in this case, "will pursue it through the necessary contacts," it adds.

    Last week Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides submitted to the EU rotating presidency a proposal inviting the Turkish Cypriot community to "nominate representatives to be included as full members of the Cypriot team, which will conduct the negotiations."

    The proposal assures the Turkish Cypriots that their views will be discussed "freely, seriously and in good faith and that the conclusions reached will constitute an important element in formulating the negotiating positions of the Cypriot team."

    Greece's views eliminated from the original text a phrase which could have been misinterpreted to mean linking a Cyprus solution to the Republic's EU accession course.

    "Our objective remains a bicommunal, bizonal federation on the basis of a comprehensive political settlement in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions," the revised text says.

    The original noted "our objective remains the accession of a bicommunal, bizonal federation."

    The end product of last night's deliberations in Brussels reaffirms EU support for the search for a solution and says "a political settlement would allow the provisions of the accession treaty to be implemented throughout the island."

    "Progress towards accession and towards a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem will naturally reinforce each other," it adds.

    Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, applied for EU membership in July 1990. The Cyprus - EU membership talks will start on March 31, 1998.

    CNA KK/MM/GP/1998

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 19 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    88,90 (-0,41)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  99,01 (-0,25)
    Approved Investment Companies          67,83 ( 0,24)
    Insurance Companies                    66,88 (-1,85)
    Industrial Companies                   87,96 (-0,15)
    Tourist Industries                     77,72 (-3,68)
    Commercial Companies                   54,78 (-0,35)
    Other Companies                        82,72 ( 2.54)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 3.107.019
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1998

    [03] Peace talks are "off", says Denktash

    Nicosia, Mar 19 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash today struck another blow to efforts for a settlement in Cyprus, saying that negotiations between the two communities are "off".

    Denktash blamed the Cyprus government and the European Union (EU) for the deadlock in the peace talks and reiterated his demand that the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas is recognised.

    However, a top UN official said he would continue with his efforts to find common ground between the two sides that would enable them to resume negotiations for a settlement.

    "Intercommunal talks are off," Denktash told reporters before his Thursday meeting with UN Secretary General's special advisor for Cyprus Diego Cordovez.

    Asked after the meeting if he insists on his position, Denktash supported that President Glafcos Clerides and the EU are to blame for his stance.

    "The way and means of finding common ground is for us to meet as two absolutely equal parties to see what we can do," he said.

    Asked to clarify what he means by "equal parties", the Turkish Cypriot leader replied: "Two states."

    So far negotiations to settle the long-standing Cyprus question and reunite the island, divided since Turkish troops invaded in 1974, have been carried out between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    After an EU decision to start accession talks with the Cyprus Republic, on March 31, Denktash said he would not participate in peace talks unless the illegal regime, unilaterally declared in November 1983 in the northern occupied areas, is recognised.

    Asked if he insists the negotiations for a Cyprus solution should not take place between two communities, Denktash said:

    "We had been talking as two communities, but one of the two communities was made more equal than the other, was made the government of the other, and that is why we have not been able to settle it."

    Denktash was referring to the EU decision, as he claims that the internationally recognised government of Cyprus had no right to apply for membership and does not represent Turkish Cypriots.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said he wants a solution to the Cyprus problem and the Secretary General to continue with his good offices mission.

    He added the ground for a settlement must be prepared "very well, on equality."

    However, he supported that the EU must "accept and acknowledge" his illegal regime "on par" with the government of the Cyprus Republic.

    Numerous UN resolutions call on its member states not to recognise or in any way facilitate the illegal regime.

    Denktash refrained to say what the Turkish Cypriot side would do if the Security Council asks for the bicommunal talks to be continued, and said "when things happen we will decide."

    On his part, Cordovez said he met the Turkish Cypriot leader in order to have a better understanding of his positions.

    "I wanted to have a good understanding of his positions and I have a very good understanding of his positions. I will discuss now with Mr. Clerides and will prepare my report to the Secretary General," he added.

    Asked if his is trying to find common ground between the two sides the UN envoy replied: "That is my intention."

    Cordovez, who is on a six-day visit to Cyprus in a bid to draw the two sides back to the negotiating table, chaired last summer two rounds of fruitless face-to-face negotiations between President Clerides and Denktash, in the US and Switzerland.

    CNA MA/AP/1998
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