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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-11-29

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] German Ambassador - Cyprus problem - EU course
  • [02] President Clerides - Greek Premier - S300
  • [03] Cyprus - Romania - Parliaments

  • 1020:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] German Ambassador - Cyprus problem - EU course

    By Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Nov 29 (CNA) -- Germany has called on the Cyprus government to be "more courageous" in the search for a settlement here and try harder to build up trust with the Turkish Cypriots.

    German Ambassador in Nicosia, Gabrielle von Maisen-Tilborch, stressed that Turkey is well aware that it does not have the right to veto Cyprus' accession to the European Union and warned that nobody can predict the outcome of memberships talks Cyprus has started with the Union.

    The Ambassador also clarified her government's position following the ill feeling caused by a declaration Germany and another two EU member states (France and the Netherlands) issued, supporting the need for a solution in Cyprus before accession.

    "The Cyprus government has the backing of the international community and it is in a position of political, legal and economic strength and from such a position you can afford to be little bit more courageous," von Maisen-Tilborch told an audience at the Cyprus College where she gave a lecture this week.

    She indicated that the level of activity relating to grassroots could be expanded to help build up trust, noting that at worst any such movement may be turned down by the Turkish Cypriot side but will be appreciated by the international community.

    Commenting on Cyprus' application for accession to the EU, she said Cyprus applied in the hope that EU process will play a catalytic effect on the peace effort.

    "So far the catalytic effect is far from being realised. This will not come automatically," she remarked, saying that the Cyprus government thinks the catalytic effect will come at the end of the negotiations.

    She pointed out that "at the end of day, it will not be the governments of member-states that decide on Cyprus' entry but parliaments who have to see that everything has been done by all concerned and particularly by the Cyprus government to make progress" towards a settlement.

    The German Ambassador, whose country assumes the six-monthly rotating EU presidency in January next year, warned that "nobody can predict what will happen at the end of the day and at this point we can only say what we want to happen. Anything is possible."

    She said the Union and Cyprus have "identical" concerns that the EU course cannot eclipse the peace process.

    Expressing full EU backing for the UN peace process, she said nobody will tell Cyprus what to do as far as the solution is concerned and urged more public discussion on the future rather than on the past. "The core of the problem is perhaps the mistrust," she supported.

    Referring to Turkey's European aspirations, she said that as a candidate country she has to adhere to the same criteria as the rest. "Turkey knows that nobody in the EU gives her the right to veto Cyprus' accession and we keep on telling her," the Ambassador stressed.

    She announced, though informally, that Detlev Graf Zu Rantzau will take over as EU presidency envoy for Cyprus from British former diplomat Sir David Hannay.

    In her remarks on a recent declaration by Germany and two other EU members on the Cyprus problem and accession, she said there is nothing new in the declaration.

    She said one should look at "our deeds when one complains about our words", noting that substantive membership talks have started with the consent of all EU states.

    The Ambassador expressed concern that the acquis communautaire cannot be implemented throughout the island.

    The government of Cyprus is prevented from exercising its jurisdiction throughout the territory of the Republic because of the continuing occupation of part of the country by some 35,000 Turkish troops.

    "Cyprus cannot make progress towards a settlement without big players, especially Turkey," she concluded.

    CNA MM/MA/1998

    [02] President Clerides - Greek Premier - S300

    Nicosia, Nov 29 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides dismissed press reports that Greek Premier, Costas Simitis, has proposed that the surface-to-air missiles, ordered by the Cyprus government, be deployed in the Greek island of Crete.

    According to the Athens News Agency, President Clerides said that various countries, including the US, Britain and other European Union member states, had made suggestions along these lines.

    The Russian-made S300 missiles were ordered by the Cyprus government in a bid to boost its air defence, prompting strong opposition from various countries.

    Speaking yesterday to reporters in Patra, south-west of Athens, before a speech at the town's university, the President pointed out that much of what has been written about the meeting he had in Athens Friday with Simitis was not true.

    The two leaders discussed the Cyprus problem and the Republic's European Union accession course, at a meeting also attended by the Foreign and Defence Ministers of Cyprus and Greece.

    President Clerides underlined that there were no differences between the governments of Athens and Nicosia and said the joint defence pact, agreed between the two countries in 1993, was being implemented.

    He also said that the Cyprus problem must not be used to serve internal and political party purposes.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the island and since then occupies 37 per cent of the Republic of Cyprus' territory.

    CNA MA/RG/1998

    [03] Cyprus - Romania - Parliaments

    Nicosia, Nov 29 (CNA) -- The Cyprus House of Representatives has pledged to provide the Romanian Parliament with technical and other assistance regarding the planning needed for European Union accession.

    According to an official announcement issued today, a four-member delegation of the House Foreign Relations Committee, headed by its president Tasos Papadopoulos, had paid an official visit to Romania.

    They discussed bilateral cooperation, especially with regard to the EU, and exchanged views on the further development of friendly ties between the two countries.

    Cyprus has already begun substantive accession talks with the EU, while Romania is among the group of countries included in the second wave of enlargement.

    The high-ranking Romanian officials, with whom the Cypriot deputies met, assured them of their country's firm support to a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions and international law.

    UN resolutions call for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    CNA MA/RG/1998
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