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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-04-21
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Boucher: We are working on a robust resolution on Cyprus
Boucher: We are working on a robust resolution on Cyprus
by Demetris Apokis
Washington, Apr 21 (CNA) -- State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said the US and other members of the UN Security Council were working on a ''robust resolution'' to be enacted this week, in order to provide the encouragement wanted by Cypriots that the UN would put its full weight behind the plan for a Cyprus settlement and that all parties would meet their obligations under the settlement.
Noting that Secretary of State Colin Powell had said earlier today that this was ''a historic moment'' for Cyprus, Boucher said the US was looking forward to doing what it could individually, but also with Security Council colleagues, to make sure the moment ''is not lost.''
He said the Council was having discussions this evening about a Cyprus resolution and expressed the hope that it would move quickly,
 Ahern: It is for the people of Cyprus alone to decide
Ahern: It is for the people of Cyprus alone to decide
Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) -- European Council President, Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, said it was for the people of Cyprus alone to decide in the referenda involving the two communities on the island on Saturday whether to accept a settlement proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
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 UEFA lifts ban on Israel home matches
UEFA lifts ban on Israel home matches
Limassol, Apr 21 (CNA) -- The UEFA Executive Committee has approved today a recommendation to lift the current ban on home matches in Israel for all UEFA competitions.
 EU Commissioner calls on Papadopoulos to live up to his pledge
EU Commissioner calls on Papadopoulos to live up to his pledge
Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) -- European Union Commissioner responsible for enlargement Gunter Verheugen has called on Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos to honour a pledge he had given the EU to back a political settlement and said he felt ''personally cheated'' by Papadopoulos.
In an address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Verheugen also said that the EU expected Cyprus, that is to join the Union next week, to wage an impartial information campaign.
''What we expect of our member states and what we expect of those states that will be joining us in less than 10 days is the full backing for the fundamental principle of the European project as a peaceful project. We expect this of the government of the Republic of Cyprus too,'' he said.
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 Spokesman says difficult to understand Verheugen's remarks
Spokesman says difficult to understand Verheugen's remarks
Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government said it was difficult to comprehend remarks by European Commissioner on Enlargement Gunter Verheugen that he felt ''cheated'' by the government of the Republic with regard to its stance towards a UN plan for a political settlement.
Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides refuted allegations that the government interfered with the right of the people to freedom of information and expression.
 Change in voting hours for 24 April referendum
Change in voting hours for 24 April referendum
Nicosia, April 21 (CNA) Chief Returning Office for the Referendum, Kyriacos Triantafyllides, said that the House of Representatives would take up a bill tomorrow to extend voting hours to 18.00 Cyprus time (15.00 GMT) in the referendum Saturday on the Cyprus settlement plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
The change is being proposed so that ballots close simultaneously and counting starts at the same time in both referenda among the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.
 EP members call for 'yes' in Cyprus referenda
EP members call for 'yes' in Cyprus referenda
Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) European Parliament members said the advantages of a political settlement in Cyprus based on the Annan Plan, that will be put to referenda on 24 April, would be more than the cost if the plan was rejected by the people.
 UN chief says his role ends if Cyprus settlement plan rejected
UN chief says his role ends if Cyprus settlement plan rejected
by Apostolis Zoupaniotis
United Nations, Apr 21 (CNA) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said today that if his Cyprus settlement plan was dismissed in the April 24 referendum, then the Greek Cypriot part of Cyprus would join the European Union with the Turkish Cypriot part remaining outside, while the plan would be dead and his role would have ended.
Annan noted however that this did not mean that the two sides may not try and find other means of moving forward but said that it would be extremely difficult.
In statements on arrival at UN headquarters, Annan expressed hope that the people of Cyprus realised that they had an historic decision before them, which would either allow a reunited Cyprus to find its place in Europe or maintain the divisions that were sustained for so long.
Asked if he was considering the postponement of the referenda in Cyprus for a few months in order to give time to the people to understand the plan and vote for it, Annan said ''the request for postponement has not come from any of the main protagonists.''
''The parties in the talks have not called for a postponement and therefore we are not considering that. I think we are going ahead with the referendum. The parties are ready for it,'' he added.
Annan expressed hope that ''the people of Cyprus realise that on such a day they have an historic decision before them, a decision that will allow a reunited Cyprus to find its place in Europe working with the EU, becoming part of the EU, or a decision that they take may maintain the divisions that are sustained for so long.''
''So I hope they will really, really think hard before they cast their vote. This is an opportunity I hope they will not miss,'' he said.
Asked what would happen if the people rejected the Annan plan in the referendum, the UN chief said ''if they say 'no', then the Greek Cypriot part of Cyprus enters the EU with the Turkish part remaining outside and the plan will be dead and my role will have ended.''
''This does not mean that they may not try and find other means of moving forward but I think it's going to be extremely difficult, we've been at this for decades and I don't think we've ever been this close and I really hope the people bear this in mind as they cast their votes,'' he said.
Annan added that ''there is lots of support for a reunited Cyprus entering the EU, lots of assurances have been given on the economic and financial front,'' noting that he had found through his own discussions with the Security Council that ''there is willingness to help on the peacekeeping and the security front.''
 European Parliament passes resolution on Cyprus
European Parliament passes resolution on Cyprus
By Theodoros Georgitsopoulos
Strasbourg, Apr 21 (CNA) The European Parliament in Strasbourg, in a resolution approved today, calls on the citizens of Cyprus to seize the historic opportunity to reunify their country in a peaceful way by accepting the Annan Plan, which will be put to referenda on 24 April.
It said the European Parliament acknowledged although it would unreservedly welcome a united Cyprus as a member of the EU - the right of Cypriots to decide for themselves on the Annan plan in referenda on 24 April, without pressure from the outside and will respect such a decision.
 Kofi Annan: Message to the people of Cyprus - FULL TEXT
UN Secretary general Kofi Annan sent a message today to the people of Cyprus, in view of the referenda on Saturday. Herebelow is the full text of his message:
''21 April 2004 THE SECRETARY-GENERAL MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF CYPRUS
Dear Cypriot friends,
This Saturday, each one of you has a difficult decision to make - one that will determine the destiny of your country.
As your leaders agreed, they will put before you a plan to reunite Cyprus. A plan that would end decades of division. A plan that would allow a united island to enter the European Union on 1 May.
I know you call it ''the Annan Plan''.
Indeed, parts of the plan were put together by the United Nations.
But all of its key concepts emerged out of four years of negotiation among your leaders.
And most of its 9,000 pages were drafted by hundreds of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.
Their extraordinary efforts produced one of the most comprehensive peace plans in the history of the United Nations.
On Saturday, you will be asked whether you wish to make this plan the basis for your common future.
That decision is yours - and yours alone.
I welcome the support the plan has received from political leaders on both sides, and in Greece and Turkey.
I acknowledge truly that this plan does not meet the full demands of either side. In fact it is a compromise, as is inevitable in any negotiation. It is also the only foreseeable route to the reunification of Cyprus.
There is no other plan out there. There is no magic way of accommodating the maximum demands of one side while at the same time accommodating the maximum demands of the other. This is it.
The plan is a long and complex legal document. Why?
Because this is not a paper agreement. It is a serious plan, designed to provide certainty and security, with guarantees that it will be implemented.
Its whole purpose is to ensure that the benefits it promises will be realized.
The plan envisages one independent and sovereign state, the United Cyprus Republic.
That State is based on the parameters agreed between the parties since the 1970s - a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal structure, based on the political equality of the two communities.
The plan prohibits partition or secession, domination by one side, or union with any other country.
The plan ends the status quo. It ends the division of the country.
It safeguards the identity of Cyprus and of each community in it. It preserves the integrity of the citizenship of the country. These are prizes that have eluded us in all previous negotiations. They are prizes of which all of you could rightly be proud.
The federal government provided for in the plan is designed to function from day one. It is designed to function effectively. It can not be blocked by one-man vetoes, and it has machinery to resolve deadlocks.
It would allow a reunited Cyprus to speak with one voice internationally, particularly in the European Union.
The people of each community would largely run their own affairs, through constituent states which they administer.
The plan fully respects individual human rights, including the rights of those of you who were forced to leave your homes.
It allows many people to return, and to get all or some of their property back. Anyone who does not get all their property back would be paid full and secure compensation.
The people who have to move to a new home, because of the territorial adjustment, will be helped to do so in a dignified and proper manner.
We have worked closely with the European Union, the World Bank and the IMF to make a number of changes, to ensure that the plan is economically and financially sound.
No one pretends that implementation will be straightforward.
But let me reassure you: the world stands ready to help you to make this plan work.
That was the clear message from the donors' conference in Brussels last week.
It is the clear message of the European Union, which is ready to act to help accommodate the settlement and assist in its implementation.
And it is also the clear message of the United Nations Security Council.
I have called on the Security Council to act to reassure you that the plan will be fully and faithfully implemented, in full conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter.
I am pleased that the Council is responding to my call.
The United Nations will station a new and robust operation in Cyprus, to help maintain security and hold all parties to their commitments, including the commitments to withdraw troops and hand back territory
We are determined that neither the events of 1963, nor those of 1974, will ever be repeated.
Dear Cypriot friends,
After forty years of conflict, and thirty years of division, the choice before you this Saturday is one of truly historic importance.
The vision of the plan is simple: reunification and reconciliation, in safety and security, in the European Union.
The world is ready to help you turn that vision of the future into reality. But we cannot take that fateful decision for you. We await your call.
 UN chief sends message to Cypriots in view of referenda
UN chief sends message to Cypriots in view of referenda
Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said today in a message to the people of Cyprus that there is ''no other plan out there'' apart from the one the UN had proposed for a Cyprus settlement, which aims at ''reunification and reconciliation, in safety and security, in the European Union.''
In view of the April 24 referenda in the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities of the island, to approve or dismiss the UN plan for a solution, Annan assured that the international community stands ready to help the two sides in Cyprus but noted that ''we cannot take that fateful decision for you, we await your call''.
 Irish Minister says united Cyprus in EU strong preference
Irish Minister says united Cyprus in EU strong preference
Nicosia, April 21 (CNA) Ireland's Minister of State for European Affairs Dick Roche said the accession of united Cyprus to the EU on May 1 remains the strong preference of the Union.
 Cyprus President to hold talks with Greek Premier on Tuesday
Cyprus President to hold talks with Greek Premier on Tuesday
by Christa Nicolaou
Athens, April 21 (CNA) Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos will hold talks in Athens on Tuesday with Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.
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