|Thursday, 20 February 2020|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-02-19
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 President invites parties to participate in national unity governmentGovernment Spokesman Manolis Christofides announced that President Clerides sent yesterday written invitations to all political parties to participate in a national unity government.
"The letter notes that in view of the President's public position to form a government of national unity, he considers it his duty to address the parties in writing and invite them to participate," the Spokesman said.
President Clerides has asked the parties to reply in writing this week.
Moreover, the Spokesman said that if there is no response from all parties, the President will go ahead and form a cabinet of widest possible approval.
 Congratulations to President CleridesMore Heads of state have sent congratulatory messages to President Glafcos Clerides on his re-election to the presidency for a new five-year term.
In his message, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl points out that Clerides' re- election coincides with a crucial phase in the process of building our common European house.
"The European Council's historic decision in Luxembourg last December paved the way for Europe to grow together as a peaceful, free and secure continent," he says.
"In this connection all parties involved must redouble their efforts to bring about a peaceful and just resolution to the Cyprus conflict," he adds, expressing certainty that Clerides will continue to put all his energy into achieving this goal.
French President Jacques Chirac expresses in his message his satisfaction that he will continue an already fruitful dialogue with President Clerides.
Chirac also underlines the value he attaches to relations between the two countries.
Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, Emir of Quatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al- Thani and President of the Malvides, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, have also congratulated President Clerides on his re-election.
 US considers 1998 as important year for CyprusThe US will take advantage of the opportunities that arise in 1998 in order to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem, US Ambassador to Cyprus said in Nicosia yesterday.
According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), speaking after a meeting with President Clerides, during which he conveyed President Clinton's warm congratulations on his re-election, US Ambassador Kenneth Brill said: "The US is very serious about trying to take advantage of the opportunities that 1998 provides" in efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem and described 1998 as "an important year for Cyprus".
Asked to comment on the issue of Turkish Cypriot participation in accession negotiations between Cyprus and the European Union, Brill said it is an issue that concerns the EU.
At the same time, he said "it is obviously better for that accession process to start with a unified island rather than otherwise".
 European Commission stresses need for bi-communal contacts in CyprusThe European Commission "is aware of recent difficulties concerning the continuation of bi-communal meetings and continues to impress on all partners concerned the need to pursue these contacts in order to improve mutual trust and confidence".
This is stated in a European Commission reply (17.2.98) to an oral question by Greek MEP Mr Constantinos Hadjidakis regarding the preaccession talks on Cyprus.
The reply refers to the invitation by the General Affairs Council of 6 March 1995 for the Commission's "information strategy in consultation with the Cypriot government, towards the Turkish Cypriot community in order to explain the advantages it could derive from accession to the European Community".
Since then, the reply notes, the Commission has supported a wide range of information activities involving an important number of members of the Turkish Cypriot civil society both inside and outside Cyprus.
Reference is made to the various bi-communal functions promoted by the EU Delegation in Nicosia but it is also stressed in the reply that recently there are difficulties concerning the continuation of bi-communal meetings.
These contacts are important and should continue "in order to improve mutual trust and confidence", the EU Commission stresses in its reply.
 Van den Broek and Hannay to visit CyprusGovernment Spokesman Manolis Chistofides confirmed yesterday that European Union External Affairs Commissioner Hans Van den Broek will visit Cyprus in the beginning of March.
He also said that the Van den Broek visit will be preceded by a visit by Britain's special representative for Cyprus Sir David Hannay. The British representative is expected next week.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/