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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-03-24

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] UN chief to meet Denktash
  • [02] UN envoy confirms Cyprus peace talks cannot resume now
  • [03] Denktash rules out dialogue
  • [04] Warm congratulations, gratitude to Greece

  • 1020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] UN chief to meet Denktash

    United Nations, Mar 24 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan will meet Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Friday, in Geneva, it was confirmed here.

    Acting UN spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt also said that Diego Cordovez, the Secretary-General's Special Advisor for Cyprus, had carried letters from Annan to President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, urging them to continue the intercommunal talks.

    Cordovez was due to fly from Athens to Ankara today, following a six- day visit to Nicosia last week but failed to persuade Denktash to return to the negotiating table.

    Denktash is expected to raise his demand to change the status of the interlocutors in the Cyprus peace talks, demanding recognition for his illegal regime.

    The puppet regime, unilaterally established in 1983 in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974, is considered by the UN as "legally invalid". The international body has called on all states not to recognise or in any way facilitate it.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader's demands are an absolute non-starter for the UN, whose resolutions call for a bicommunal, bizonal federation for Cyprus.

    CNA JD/MA/GP/1998

    [02] UN envoy confirms Cyprus peace talks cannot resume now

    By Costas Iordanides

    Athens, Mar 24 (CNA) -- A top UN envoy for Cyprus has suggested that the Security Council would not be willing to change the basis on which the Cyprus peace talks are held.

    In an interview with CNA, UN Secretary-General's special advisor for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, also said that the Turkish Cypriot leader is only considered as politically equal to the President of the Cyprus Republic during bicommunal negotiations.

    He reiterated that for the time being negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem cannot resume.

    Cordovez was in Cyprus last week for meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, in a bid to break the deadlock and resume the peace process.

    Denktash said he would not return to the negotiating table unless there was recognition of his illegal regime, unilaterally established in 1983 in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    "The talks have been conducted until now as intercommunal and this was a decision by the two community leaders which has been endorsed by the Security Council," Cordovez said, adding the Security Council wants intercommunal talks to continue.

    He said "we are not asking anything about recognition (of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime), we are asking if the status of the negotiations should be changed."

    Asked what he believes the Security Council stand towards Denktash's demand will be, Cordovez said "my informal initial consultations indicate the Council would not change (its position)." He pointed out this is what he told Denktash.

    Cordovez said the Turkish Cypriot leader's position will be the main issue Denktash will discuss during a meeting with Kofi Annan, on Friday, in Geneva.

    The UN envoy also said Denktash will not meet other foreign government envoys for Cyprus because "he does not want to acknowledge, so to speak, anything connected with the intercommunal talks."

    "He maintains that the special representatives are accredited to the intercommunal talks, so he doesn't want to meet them," he explained.

    Cordovez said the Turkish Cypriot leader only wants to hold consultations with him and that Denktash supports the Secretary-General's good offices mission.

    Asked if President Clerides and the Greek government made it clear they would never recognise the Denktash regime, the UN envoy replied: "Yes, very strongly".

    Cordovez, who chaired two rounds of fruitless talks between the two leaders last year, pointed out Clerides and Denktash are considered as politically equal only during negotiations.

    "What I said to Mr Denktash is that he must remember that the only context in which there is political equality between the two (is when) I treat them as absolutely equal," he said.

    Cordovez added "we are very, very strict in this, maintaining the political equality of the two sides. And this is the only context in which he is considered an equal of Mr Clerides."

    According to the UN envoy, Denktash bases his claim for recognition on the fact that negotiations are held between the two community leaders on an equal footing, but under all other circumstances Clerides is considered the President of Cyprus.

    Asked if he believes there can be progress on the Cyprus issue after this complication, Cordovez said "at present no".

    "At present we cannot resume this. In other circumstances I would try alternative methods, including some system where they appoint delegates, but these are negotiations which really have to be conducted by Mr Clerides and Mr Denktash."

    He added that "so long as we have disagreement we cannot move, but of course the process continues."

    Cordovez warned that "the one thing that Mr Denktash has to be careful of is not to cut his links with me."

    He refrained from passing judgement on the Turkish Cypriot leader's demand, but said he told Denktash that "if this is his position we have a difference of what so far has been accepted by the two sides and it has to be referred to the Security Council and see how it will react."

    Asked if the Security Council is able to take a position on this matter, Cordovez stressed that it has "already taken a position in the past."

    "The question is whether they will maintain that position or change it, " he added, noting that he has informally raised this issue with the Security Council three times.

    Cordovez clarified, however, that "we have not asked the Security Council to pronounce itself" and admitted that the Council does not have a mandate on questions concerning the recognition of states.

    The UN special advisor would not comment on a proposal by President Glafcos Clerides for Turkish Cypriot participation in the Republic's accession talks with the European Union (EU).

    He said the EU process "has added a lot of new elements into the negotiations of the peace settlement."

    "Now Rauf Denktash is in a very sort of rigid attitude of not joining under any circumstances the EU, certainly not before Turkey joins," he added.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader has turned down the proposal for participation in the EU talks, described by the British rotating EU presidency as "courageous, realistic and fair."

    Cordovez pointed to the Turkish Cypriot leaders position on the EU application and the government's negotiations with the EU as an example of what Denktash maintains to be a consequence of the fact that his illegal regime is not recognised.

    Asked to comment on the fact that the UN and its members only recognise one legitimate government in Cyprus, with which it negotiates, Cordovez said "Denktash does not accept this".

    The UN envoy, who was on the island for meetings last week and is today leaving from Athens for a two-day visit to Ankara, also said he will meet foreign government envoys for the Cyprus issue on Thursday, in Geneva.

    He said he now works "very very closely together" with foreign government envoys. "I am happy to say that they are all supporting very strongly my mission. I told them at the beginning that each one can contribute something."

    CNA KI/MA/GP/1998

    [03] Denktash rules out dialogue

    Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has made it clear that no UN resolution would make him return to the negotiating table.

    Denktash's comments came only a few days after top UN envoy for Cyprus Diego Cordovez told the press he would seek guidance from the Security Council on demands by Denktash to change the basis of the negotiations to "state-to-state" talks, instead of an intercommunal dialogue.

    Cordovez also said he did not think the Council would be inclined to change its position on the matter and announced that talks cannot resume at the present time.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader told the Turkish Cypriot newspaper "Kibris" he would outline his views to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, on Friday, at their meeting in Geneva.

    Denktash also said he did not believe the Security Council would modify its attitude towards the Turkish Cypriots and adopt a resolution in their favour.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader is also seeking to secure international recognition of his self-styled regime in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, declared unilaterally in November 1983.

    "We have made it clear that we are ending the talks. Why should we talk, since the accession process is continuing? If they insist too much we shall bring back to the foreground integration with Turkey," Denktash told the Turkish daily "Milliyet."

    Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, applied for full EU membership in July 1990. Accession talks between Cyprus and the EU will start end of March. CNA SA/AA/MM/GP/1998


    [04] Warm congratulations, gratitude to Greece

    Nicosia, Mar 24 (CNA) -- Cyprus has congratulated Greece on its national day, tomorrow, and expressed appreciation for the unwavering support and solidarity Greece shows to Cyprus in its struggle for justice and freedom.

    In a message to Greek President Constantinos Stephanopoulos, President Clerides says the "anniversary offers the opportunity to reiterate our appreciation and gratitude for your personal interest and the broad support of your government, the political leadership and the people of Greece in our struggle for national and natural survival."

    Clerides notes that Cypriot hellenism takes lessons from the Greek war of independence of 1821, marked by tomorrow's anniversary, and inspires optimism for a successful outcome of the struggle of the people of Cyprus for justice.

    Congratulating Greek Premier Costas Simitis, Clerides says in his message "your multi-faceted support to the Republic of Cyprus is a guarantee for the success of our struggle and for that we thank you and are grateful."

    The Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos congratulated Stephanopoulos and Simitis in separate messages and said Cyprus, fighting to rid itself of the Turkish occupation, is expecting Greece to fulfill its duty.

    "We anticipate to see our land, now occupied by Turkey, freed with the help of the entire Hellenism. May God bless the Greek nation," the Archbishop said.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
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