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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-03-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU launches accession process - special reference to Cyprus
  • [02] Kasoulides reiterates accession to EU catalyst for solution
  • [03] T/C politician accuses Denktash of promoting partition
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] EU members outline views on Cyprus' accession
  • [06] Governement pleased with UN position
  • [07] EU-Cyprus accession talks, a most significant move, says Greece

  • 1450:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] EU launches accession process - special reference to Cyprus

    By Myria Antoniadou

    Brussels, Mar 30 (CNA) -- As the European Union launched its accession process here today, EU Council President, British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, made a special reference to Cyprus and Turkey.

    Cook described today's meeting as "a milestone" and commended applicant countries for the progress they have made so far in preparing for membership, noting also that the EU should reform its policies and institutions to prepare for enlargement.

    EU Commission Vice-president, Hans Van den Broek, told the Brussels meeting a successful enlargement is one of the main "political priorities" in the years ahead and assured applicant countries that progress towards membership would depend on the applicants' conformity.

    In his opening remarks, Cook said Cyprus' specific pre-accession strategy "will be based in particular on participation in certain targeted projects, as well as on participation in certain community programmes and agencies."

    He said enlarging the EU, Europe is "finally overcoming the cruel and unnatural division of our continent and creating the conditions that will help prevent a return to the terrible suffering and destruction Europe has known this century."

    Cook recalled Turkey's place in the enlargement process and said the Luxembourg EU summit "confirmed Turkey's eligibility for accession to the EU and that Turkey would be judged against the same criteria as the other applicant states."

    This message was also echoed earlier on in his opening remarks when Cook addressed himself to the eleven candidate countries, destined to "join the EU on the basis of the same criteria, and participate in the accession process on an equal footing."

    The British Foreign Secretary said the EU "has great respect for the progress which you, the applicant states, have made in preparing for membership" and called on them to "consolidate an efficient, reliable public administration, a challenge no-one underestimates."

    Cook told applicant states they need not only to accept fully the rights and obligations of membership but also to implement them effectively.

    He said the EU has the task of helping the applicant states prepare for accession and ensuring that it is properly prepared for enlargement.

    "We must reform our policies and institutions. All of us, existing and future members, must do our best to make a success of the accession process, " he added.

    The EU, Cook said, would offer through the enhanced pre-accession strategy targeted and practical help to prepare the applicant states for accession.

    Accession partnerships, he said, would provide the "single framework for all community assistance, which will be increased substantially."

    EU Commission Vice - President said "the pace of progress towards accession depends on applicants' conformity with adopting the acquis and ensuring its implementation."

    He noted that a successful enlargement "is one of the main political EU priorities in the years to come" and pointed out the EU is preparing for the implementation of its pre-accession strategy.

    Outlining EU programmes to help applicant countries, he said "the more problems we resolve together, the less difficult the accession negotiations will be."

    The Commission, he added, will prepare at the end of the year the first of its progress reports and concluded "we look forward with determination to achieving our goal and all applicant countries join the EU."

    CNA MA/MM/GP/1998

    [02] Kasoulides reiterates accession to EU catalyst for solution

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Brussels, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides today stressed Cyprus has "a place and a role in an enlarged European Union", and pointed out accession will benefit the population of Cyprus in its entirety".

    "The problem we face in Cyprus is the division of our country", Kasoulides stressed in a statement at the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the 15 EU member-states and their counterparts from the 11 applicant countries, that got underway, here, today, launching the accession process.

    Reiterating the Cyprus government's will to engage in direct negotiations to reach a settlement to the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions, Kasoulides said: "We value the interest and support of the EU."

    He pointed out that "the process of accession to the EU is not seen as a substitute to the efforts to find a political solution to the Cyprus problem".

    Kasoulides added the EU prospect will act as a "catalyst" inducing all sides involved to work for an early solution, well in advance of the next EU enlargement.

    He reassured, "the government will do everything in its power to make this a reality".

    Referring to the enlargement process, he described it as "challenging" and noted it should "move forward in a rapid pace and remain open to all countries with a European vocation, including Turkey, provided they fulfil the criteria and implement and respect EU principles."

    Kasoulides pointed out that each country, whether member-state or applicant, has something to contribute towards a united Europe and said, Cyprus feels part of the European family.

    "The goal of accession to the Union is a natural choice dictated by our (Cyprus') culture and civilisation, our history, our tradition of democracy and freedom", he said, adding that "no doubt we have a lot to benefit from EU membership."

    The Foreign Minister did point out, however, that Cyprus' geographic position, healthy economy, its people's devotion to the EU ideals and the vigour with which it is preparing for membership "render us willing partners towards the good of European integration".

    "Cyprus feels confident that as a full member of the EU will contribute to the stability and welfare of the big European family, regardless of its small size", he concluded.

    CNA MA/MCH/GP/1998

    [03] T/C politician accuses Denktash of promoting partition

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash's objective is the partition of Cyprus, a party leader in the Turkish-occupied part of the island has said.

    Turkish Cypriot press reports on Monday quoted Mehmet Ali Talat, President of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), as accusing Denktash that his policy towards a Cyprus solution and Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU) aims at the island's partition.

    Talat strongly critisised Denktash of failing to support his community's rights, by refusing Turkish Cypriot participation in the Cyprus negotiating team for EU membership, leaving this task to the Greek Cypriots.

    The RTP leader also denounced Denktash's tactic of insisting to equal political rights recognition than proposing something else to the EU.

    Referring to the so-called "association council" between Turkey and the pseudostate, aiming to integrate the breakaway "state" in Turkish-occupied Cyprus to Turkey, Talat said such actions lead to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ismail Cem, flew this morning to the occupied areas for a brief visit within the framework of the "association council".

    Cem and Denktash had a 45-minute long meeting and then gave a joint press conference in the occupied part, the same reports said.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said this was an "historic" day.

    The Turkish Foreign Minister claimed that the recognition of the Cyprus Republic negotiating team by the EU is "the first step to dangerously climaxing instability in the region."

    Cem was due to fly back to Ankara later today escorted by "officials" of the illegal regime, who will attend there tomorrow a meeting of the "council", which is expected to decide a series of measures, in retaliation to the start of Cyprus-EU accession talks today in Brussels.

    A proposal by President Glafcos Clerides for the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the Republic's negotiating team, although it was described as "courageous and fair" by the EU presidency, has been turned down by the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Denktash threatened not to attend future UN-led peace talks on Cyprus and of integrating to Turkey his secessionist entity, if the EU went ahead with the accession talks with Cyprus.

    CNA AP/GP/1998

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    89,16 ( 0,85)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                 100,83 ( 1,79)
    Approved Investment Companies          66,03 ( 0,50)
    Insurance Companies                    65,91 (-0,65)
    Industrial Companies                   84,47 (-0,57)
    Tourist Industries                     77,30 (-1,48)
    Commercial Companies                   54,03 (-1,35)
    Other Companies                        81,37 (-0,11)
    Trading Volume                       1.876.731
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting. CNA /MCH 1998

    [05] EU members outline views on Cyprus' accession

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Brussels, Mar 30 (CNA) -- The Foreign Ministers of Ireland and Italy welcomed today the start of Cyprus-European Union accession talks, while their French counterpart repeated the difficulties of a divided Cyprus becoming an EU member.

    Speaking at the launch of accession talks, Irish Foreign Minister, Frank Sahey, welcomed the start of negotiations and pointed out that the prospect of accession will give the opportunity to the Greek and Turkish Cypriots to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Sahey also stressed that EU accession benefits all and safeguards the security of both communities on the island.

    On his part, Italian FM, Lamberto Dini, expressed the wish that Turkey will participate in a future European Conference.

    He also made special reference to the conclusions of the Luxembourg European Council last December with regards to the participation of Turkish Cypriots in accession negotiations.

    According to the Luxembourg conclusions, "the EU Council requests that the willingness of the government of Cyprus to include representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in the accession negotiating delegation be acted upon".

    Dini stressed the need to ensure that the accession process helps both communities in Cyprus to overcome their differences.

    Speaking at a press conference, in reply to a question by a Turkish journalist, French Foreign Minister, Hubert Vedrine, also referred to the Luxembourg conclusions with regard to the start of Cyprus' talks for accession to the EU.

    He said the accession process has been launched but pointed out that the road to EU membership will be long.

    Vedrine said France's position on the issue of Cyprus' accession to the EU is well-known, pointing out that it would be difficult to accept a divided island in the EU.

    CNA MA/MCH/MM/1998

    [06] Governement pleased with UN position

    Nicosia, Mar 30 (CNA) -- The government has expressed satisfaction with comments by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan that talks for a peaceful settlement must be conducted within the framework of his good offices mission.

    It also called on the international community to engage in current attempts to break the present deadlock with more persistent efforts to allow bicommunal dialogue to resume.

    "A statement by Annan's spokesman, after he met Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Saturday, included positive elements. In particular, we consider the assertion that the basis of the talks cannot be modified as particularly positive," Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides has said.

    Denktash told Annan that future negotiations for an overall settlement in Cyprus should be conducted on a state-to-state basis and not on a bicommunal basis, as has been the case for years.

    Speaking at his daily press briefing, Stylianides described the statement made by Annan's spokesman as containing many positive points especially "the reaffirmation that the basis on which bi-communal talks are conducted will not change".

    The government, Stylianides said, considers that the UN Security Council should act in such a way so as to curb Turkish intransigence and proceed towards a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    "We hope that the international community and the European Union and the US will engage with more vigour, conviction and pressure, I would say, to lead things to an intercommunal dialogue for a correct procedure for a resolution of the Cyprus problem," Stylianides said.

    CNA KN/MM/MCH/1998

    [07] EU-Cyprus accession talks, a most significant move, says Greece

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Brussels, Mar 30 (CNA) -- The start of accession talks between the Republic of Cyprus and the European Union "is perhaps the most important development in the history of Cyprus since its independence in 1960", Greek Foreign Under-Secretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis, said today.

    Speaking to the press, Kranidiotis expressed the hope EU membership talks will act as a catalyst towards a solution to the Cyprus problem and described them as "the greatest strategic move undertaken by the Republic of Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island".

    Meanwhile, Cyprus' chief negotiator for the EU accession talks, George Vassiliou, pointed out, earlier today, that "the road to Europe will not be a bed of roses", but stressed the need to overcome problems "bearing in mind that the outcome will provide security and prosperity to all".

    The Greek Foreign Under-Secretary pointed out that Cyprus' accession to the EU should be to the benefit of both communities on the island, noting that the door should remain open to the Turkish Cypriots for participation in the Republic's delegation in the talks.

    Kranidiotis said accession "will provide the basis for closer cooperation between the two communities, safeguard the security and the rights of all Cypriots and contribute to stability, peace and cooperation in the eastern Mediterranean".

    He also stressed it will "contribute to the improvement of Greco- Turkish relations and Turkey's European course. Turkey should also join the European family."

    Asked whether the launch of accession talks would eliminate the view that the solution to the Cyprus problem is linked to the accession process, Kranidiotis recalled that "no official EU document links the two".

    The Greek Under-Secretary also pointed out that there is plenty of time to reach a Cyprus settlement and called upon the EU and the US to assist in this direction by exercising pressure on Turkey to cooperate.

    Kranidiotis warned that if certain countries try to block Cyprus' accession to the EU should the Cyprus problem remain unresolved because of Turkish intransigence, then Greece will not accept EU enlargement with other countries.

    Commenting on Ankara's designs to integrate Cyprus' Turkish-occupied areas with Turkey in response to the start of accession talks, Kranidiotis described such moves as "illegal" and said Greece will bring them to the attention of the EU.

    "Nobody will recognise these illegal actions, just as nobody has recognised the puppet regime unilaterally declared in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus", he added.

    He noted that such actions "keep the Turkish Cypriots even more isolated from Europe and marginalise them".

    On his part, Vassiliou said "the road to Europe will not be a bed of roses. There are a lot of problems and there will be many difficulties but we should be ready to deal with them decisively, bearing in mind that the end result will offer security and prosperity for all."

    Commenting on a statement made earlier by French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine, noting the difficulties of accepting a divided Cyprus into the EU, Vassiliou said "the accession process will take a long time and one should not pre-empt developments."

    "We should stress that we are open to negotiations with the Turkish Cypriots and we consider accession negotiations and talks for a Cyprus settlement as two parallel procedures," Vassiliou said. CNA MA/MCH/MM /1998


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