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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-04-30

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Foreign Minister - London - Budapest
  • [02] Ranieri - Cyprus - Interview

  • 1040:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Foreign Minister - London - Budapest

    Nicosia, Apr 30 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides leaves for London on Monday to attend a two-day ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary since the establishment of the Council of Europe (CoE).

    The ceremony is held in the British capital where the Treaty of London establishing the Council was signed on May 5th 1949, by ten states. Today the CoE has 41 members.

    The Foreign Minister has no other scheduled meetings in London, sources told CNA, but did not rule out the possibility.

    The sources said Kasoulides will definitely have telephone conversations with British officials involved in efforts to reach a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    From London the Foreign Minister will fly to Budapest, Hungary, to attend a Committee of Ministers meeting held May 6-7 also commemorating the CoE anniversary.

    Hungary, the first of the 17 central and eastern European countries to join the Council after the fall of the Berlin Wall, is currently chairing the Committee of Ministers.

    CNA MA/EC/1999

    [02] Ranieri - Cyprus - Interview

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Apr 30 (CNA) -- A Turkish Cypriot demand to have the Republic of Cyprus application for accession to the European Union withdrawn is "a mistake", according to Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Umberto Ranieri.

    Ranieri considers President Glafcos Clerides' proposal for the demilitarisation of Cyprus as a useful tool in rounding up an overall agreement on the protracted Cyprus question but believes that the end result of the negotiations leading to a settlement is a matter for the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities to decide.

    In an interview with CNA at the close of his two-day visit to the island, Ranieri said he called on the Turkish Cypriot side to accept an invitation to talks by the UN "in the coming months" without any preconditions and described the resumption of a dialogue as a matter of urgency.

    President Clerides has already said he would go to talks without any preconditions and would accept a UN invitation to that effect.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash demands international recognition for his self-styled regime in the Turkish-occupied northern part of Cyprus and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application for EU accession. Ranieri met with both men on Thursday.

    Commenting on the Turkish Cypriot demands, Ranieri said "I think an agreement can be reached without preconditions, discussions must start without preconditions."

    He also pointed out that "Denktash is mistaken if he says it is necessary to withdraw Cyprus' application to the EU" and said the whole island should benefit from the EU.

    Invited to comment on Denktash's demand for a confederation in Cyprus, which is contrary to UN resolutions, Ranieri indicated that it is not for Italy to say what kind of a solution would be reached.

    "I do not think Italy must say in which way the institutional aspect may be reached. Italy and the EU must support the idea of new negotiations and the solution of all aspects of institutional proposals must be decided by the parties," he told CNA.

    Ranieri said the two parallel tracks, the UN process and the EU accession process, could complement each other in the sense that the former could lead to an overall agreement and the latter could be speeded up.

    "It is important only in the perspective of Cyprus' participation in the EU as a member," he added.

    The Italian diplomat backed President Clerides' proposal for demilitarisation and described it as "right and useful" noting that in view of a political agreement "it is possible to promote the perspective of demilitarisation."

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    Cyprus applied for full EU membership in July 1990.

    CNA MM/GP/1999
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