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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-05-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 17 May 2000
 Kassoulides - Cook discuss the prospects of the forthcoming round of proximity talksBritish Foreign Secretary Mr. Robin Cook and his Cypriot counterpart Mr. Ioannis Kassoulides met yesterday in London where they discussed the prospects for the forthcoming round of talks to the United Nations.
Speaking after the meeting Mr. Cook expressed his country's full support for those talks, noting that: «We have had a useful discussion of the prospects for them and the positions of them. It is very important that those talks proceed without preconditions and with the view in order to achieve a historic settlement, which will restore single sovereignty for a single Cyprus.»
Commenting on the relation between Cyprus and the EU, Mr. Cook said: «Britain was in the lead at Helsinki in securing language which made it clear that the settlement of Cyprus was not a precondition for membership of the European Union. We believe that the Republic of Cyprus is entitled to have its application for membership judged on its merits and I am very pleased at the progress that has been made in those negotiations and I have mentioned to Mr. Kassoulides Britain's admiration of the a business-like way which Cyprus has proceeded in those negotiations».
Mr. Cook also noted that a solution to the division of the island would assist in the accession process. «I hope that over the summer we can make progress on these two separate tracks which would mutually reinforce each other», he said. «So I think today we have, once again, shared many common perspectives and a common commitment to achieve a single sovereign Cyprus, as a member of the European Union and that is what we will propose working towards», he concluded.
On his part Mr. Kassoulides said that he had a very useful exchange of views with his British counterpart and added that the discussion focused on whether the two sides will display the necessary political will at the future round of talks in order to «negotiate substance and have successful results». As Mr. Kassoulides pointed out «a successful outcome of the talks will undoubtedly help our process towards the EU.»
 11th Annual PSEKA conference beginsThe 11th Annual Conference of the International Coordinating Committee - Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) began yesterday in Washington.
This year's conference which is being held between 16-18 May is attended by more than 170 participants from the USA and overseas.
Addressing the Conference Presidential Commissioner for Overseas and Repatriated Cypriots Mr. Manolis Christofides, stressed the importance of this year's conference, adding that a lot of expectations arise from the US that give hope for a just settlement of the Cyprus struggle.
In a message addressed to the Conference, Greek Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms Angeliki Laiou pointed to the need for the upgrading of the negotiating process in the next round of UN talks on Cyprus and called on the US to use to good effect its influence on Turkey in this respect.
Speaking at a reception hosted by Cyprus' Ambassador in Washington Ms Erato Kozakou-Markoulli, US State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus Mr. Thomas Weston said that the US Administration remains committed to the process for an overall political settlement of the Cyprus problem.
 UK calls on parties in Cyprus to adhere to the principle of no- preconditionsIn a written answer tabled at the House of Commons, British Deputy Foreign Secretary for European Affairs Mr. Keith Vaz stated: «The UN proximity talks being held under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General are taking place on the basis of no pre-conditions. The UK continues to urge both parties to adhere to this important principle. The Government looks to the Cypriot parties and all those with an interest in Cyprus to co-operate with Kofi Annan constructively and flexibly».
Mr. Vaz was replying to a relevant question by British Labour MP Mr. Tom Cox.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/