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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-02-20

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

News Update

Friday, 20/02/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus supports diplomatic solution to Iraqi crisis
  • [02] Britain wishes opportunities in 1998 to be put into best possible use for progress on Cyprus
  • [03] President Clerides receives Russian Ambassador
  • [04] Government Spokesman expresses satisfaction with President Clinton's reply
  • [05] AKEL and DIKO reject invitation to join national unity government


[01] Cyprus supports diplomatic solution to Iraqi crisis

The Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday issued the following statement on the Iraqi crisis:

"The Government of the Republic of Cyprus is following with particular interest and concern the dangerous escalation of the crisis in Iraq. Cyprus' firm position has always been that every member state of the international community has a fundamental obligation under the UN Charter and International Law to implement and fully comply with the UN resolutions, particularly those of the Security Council which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

We very much hope the crisis in Iraq is resolved as soon as possible by diplomatic means so as to avert the use of force and upsetting peace and stability in the region.

We therefore welcome the UN Secretary-General's scheduled visit to the region, following the consent of the Permanent Members of the Security Council, in an effort to find a diplomatic solution to the problem. We express the sincere hope that this will meet with appropriate response by Iraq so that the mission of the UN Secretary-General yields the expected positive results and be crowned with success, and as a result the people of Iraq do not suffer any consequences, and peace in the region is safeguarded."

[02] Britain wishes opportunities in 1998 to be put into best possible use for progress on Cyprus

British High Commissioner in Nicosia David Madden said yesterday that "Britain will fulfil its mandate from the European Union summit in Luxembourg to involve the Turkish Cypriots in the accession process and intends to engage in quiet diplomacy on the matter".

Madden, who delivered a message of warm congratulations from Prime Minister Tony Blair to President Clerides on his reelection to the presidency, said after the meeting at the Presidential Palace that British envoy for Cyprus and current EU British presidency representative on the Cyprus question Sir David Hannay will be in Cyprus at the end of next week.

Asked if Sir David would be bringing any ideas about Turkish Cypriot participation, Madden referred to the mandate from the Luxembourg summit in December "to pursue ideas for the involvement of Turkish Cypriots in the EU accession process" and added "that is what the presidency will do."

Madden said he has discussed with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash the restart of the UN peace process and "remains in discussion with him about the desirability of restarting the UN process and make the best use of the opportunities in 1998 for making progress."

[03] President Clerides receives Russian Ambassador

Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Georgi Mouradov delivered yesterday a congratulatory message from President Boris Yeltsin to President Clerides on his re-election for a second five-year term in office.

The personal message, Mr Mouradov said, "expresses Russia's readiness for further co-operation with the government of Cyprus for the benefit of the people of both countries and the solution of the Cyprus question for regional peace and stability".

Replying to press questions, Mr Mouradov revealed that Russia's special envoy for Cyprus Vladimir Tchizhov is planning to visit Cyprus in March and that there are "certain ideas" under discussion which could relate specifically to the demilitarisation of Cyprus.

"Russia always places great attention on this issue," he stressed.

[04] Government Spokesman expresses satisfaction with President Clinton's reply

The Cyprus government yesterday expressed its satisfaction with US President Bill Clinton's reply to a letter sent by President Glafcos Clerides earlier in the year.

"The content of the reply fully satisfies us," Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said, pointing out that it re-affirmed US interest for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The US President's reply was conveyed yesterday to President Clerides in writing by US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill.

In his letter, President Clerides had asked his American counterpart that the US intervenes in the direction of Turkey to work towards a resolution of the Cyprus problem.

Mr Christofides described Cyprus-US relations as "excellent" and said: "We look forward to a decisive US intervention in forthcoming negotiations" for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

[05] AKEL and DIKO reject invitation to join national unity government

Left-wing AKEL and centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO) have rejected President Clerides' invitation to participate in a government of national unity, while the United Democrats responded positively.

In a written reply to President Clerides AKEL cites "fundamental differences" concerning both the handling of the Cyprus problem and domestic issues.

It points out, however, that "it will continue working consistently in the framework of the National Council towards greater consensus in the handling of the Cyprus problem".

DIKO President, Spyros Kyprianou, says the reason why he cannot accept President Clerides' invitation is because rebel party members have also been invited to participate.

MP Alexis Galanos, who broke ranks with DIKO, and put forward his candidacy for president, garnering 4.04 per cent of the vote in the first round, has also accepted Clerides' proposal.

United Democrats' leader, George Vassiliou, a former President of Cyprus, said his party has agreed to participate in a national unity government and it will put forward certain names to President Clerides.

The socialist EDEK party will decide by the end of the week whether or not to participate in the national unity government.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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