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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 98-02-27

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/>

Friday, 27/02/98


CONTENTS

  • [01] Sir David Hannay in Cyprus
  • [02] Simitis: Viable Cyprus solution will facilitate Turkey's approach to the EU
  • [03] International Education Fair opens in Cyprus on 4 March


[01] Sir David Hannay in Cyprus

British envoy and EU presidency current representative on Cyprus Sir David Hannay arrived in Cyprus last night for a new effort in the the search for a Cyprus solution and in trying to secure an agreed approach regarding Turkish Cypriot participation in the Cyprus-EU accession talks due to start at the end of March.

Hannay said now that the pre-election and the election period in Cyprus are behind, "it's time... to pick up the trail again and to continue with the search for a settlement in Cyprus...see how to resume the UN process that began last June".

Sir David stressed that it is important now to get on, "to create some forward momentum, to pick up the thread of this negotiation which has lasted for... many, many years now, and to see whether in the new circumstances of 1998 we can move forward with it".

With reference to Britain's presidency of the European Union, Sir David said that according to the Luxembourg European Council decisions, his country "will have to see whether a joint negotiating team can be constituted for the accession negotiations, due to start on March 31."

He added that this task was given to the presidency and the Commission, noting that that EU External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, will be visiting Cyprus next week.

The British envoy said that the participation of the Turkish Cypriots is "a complex and sensitive subject" and for this reason he wanted "to hear the views of the Cyprus government."

This morning Sir David is being received by President Glafcos Clerides and is also having talks with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has refused to meet him.

[02] Simitis: Viable Cyprus solution will facilitate Turkey's approach to the EU

Greek Premier Costas Simitis reiterated yesterday that the failure to find a political solution to the Cyprus problem should not affect the island's bid for EU membership and he repeated his country's unconditional support for the completion of accession talks as soon as possible.

"Cyprus' accession constitutes part of the overall policy of the EU's enlargement and is separate from a solution", Simitis said during a debate on foreign policy in Parliament yesterday.

He expressed the hope that Turkey will eventually realise that Cyprus' entry into the EU will not only benefit both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey itself, but will get them out of the present deadlock.

"A just and viable solution to the island's problem will greatly facilitate Turkey's approach to the EU and will significantly speed up efforts to improve Greeco-Turkish relations", he said.

Responding to criticism by the US and Britain of the Cyprus government's decision to purchase the S-300 ground-to-air missiles, Simitis said that Cyprus has "every right to organise its defence and we support it unconditionally".

But he also expressed his support for President Clerides' call for the full demilitarisation of the island, saying Turkey's rejection of this proposal "is another example of its intransigence".

The Greek Premier added:"Times have changed... The Cyprus problem is an international problem and as such, responsibility for a solution lies in the hands of all of us.

[03] International Education Fair opens in Cyprus on 4 March

Fourteen countries and around 103 educational organisations and institutions will participate in the 5th International Education Fair that will open in Nicosia on 4 March 1998.

The five-day event is organised by the Cyprus State Fairs Authority and the Ministry of Education and Culture and aims at contributing to the upgrading and modernizing of the island's education system.

Educational institutions from Cyprus as well as Greece, the UK, the US, France, Russia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Lebanon, Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are taking part.

During a press conference yesterday, State Fairs Authority chairman, Dimitris Ioannou said that this Fair aims at informing youngsters, their parents, and teachers about the opportunities offered by both local and foreign educational institutions.

Education Minister George Hadjinicolaou said the Ministry will participate with its own pavilion under the title "The European dimension of our education".


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


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