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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-06-26

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Holbrooke to leave Cyprus post
  • [02] Australia appoints Cyprus envoy

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Holbrooke to leave Cyprus post

    Washington, Jun 26 (CNA) -- US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, is likely to leave this post once he assumes officially his duties as US ambassador to the UN.

    "It is clear that Holbrooke is not going to be able to perform the duties of special presidential envoy on Cyprus," James Rubin, State Department spokesman, has said.

    He said the US has not "selected a new person for that task" and hastened to add that "we place a high priority on resolving Cyprus."

    Indications are that Tom Miller will probably follow Holbrooke to the UN and give up his post as Special Coordinator for Cyprus.

    "The US continues to support the UN in its efforts to achieve a settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation. We fully support Cypriot accession into the EU, which can offer important economic and security benefits," Rubin said.

    Asked if the US intends to recognise the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus, Rubin "that is not on the cards."

    He said at the end of recent meetings Holbrooke and Miller had in Cyprus, it was clear that "the Turkish side was not prepared to begin serious negotiations."

    "They included preconditions, such as the one on recognition and that in our view is not on the cards, it is not a serious proposal," he added.

    He also explained that when it becomes a precondition, it suggests that the talks are precluded and that the proposal is being made in an unrealistic fashion.

    Holbrooke was appointed Cyprus envoy barely a year ago in a bid to make headway with efforts towards a negotiated settlement.

    This has not been possible because of unacceptable demands by the Turkish Cypriot side for recognition and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application for accession to the European Union.

    Holbrooke's nomination for the UN post has to be ratified by the Congress.

    CNA DA/MM/GP/1998

    [02] Australia appoints Cyprus envoy

    Nicosia, Jun 26 (CNA) -- Australia has appointed ambassador John Spencer as its special envoy for Cyprus.

    Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, announced yesterday the "principal role of Australian Special Envoy John Spencer will be to support efforts of the UN Secretary-General to broker a solution to the problem".

    He said Spencer will "convey Australia's views directly to the parties involved and encourage them to cooperate with the UN to reach a final agreement."

    Spencer, who is also Australia's Ambassador to France, is expected to meet US Presidential Emissary, Richard Holbrooke, the UN Secretary- General's Special Advisor on the Cyprus problem Diego Cordovez and senior officials from Cyprus, Greece and Turkey.

    The new envoy "will evaluate the situation on behalf of the Australian government and identify ways in which Australia can further assist the search for a settlement," Downer said.

    According to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Australian "government is concerned that the recent weeks have seen a deadlock develop over efforts to solve the problem."

    He said the efforts of Holbrooke have been suspended, while the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has refused to meet envoys of the European Union. Furthermore, Denktash has suspended further intercommunal discussions", about the deadlock in the Cyprus problem.

    Downer noted the government of Australia has demonstrated "an ongoing commitment to helping find a solution" and pledged Australia's support to the efforts of (UN Secretary-General) Kofi Annan and others to broker a solution".

    Downer said his government "gives practical assistance to relieving tensions on the island through the ongoing commitment of civilian police to the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus."

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
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