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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-10-16
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>Δευτέρα, 16 Οκτώβριος 2000
 President Clerides determined to exploit every opportunity for a Cyprus settlement"I would like to make it absolutely clear that personally I will continue to struggle to complete the mission entrusted to me by the Cyprus people. I repeat that I am determined to seize every real opportunity for the finding of a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem," President Clerides has stated.
Speaking at a ceremony organised by the main opposition party AKEL, on 14 October, to mark 40 years since the Republic's independence, the President stressed that he is prepared to sign an agreed settlement on Cyprus, if he considers that such a settlement is the best possible solution that can be reached:
"Taking up my responsibilities, I will go to the end. If I believe that the solution which can be achieved is the best feasible solution, that it will not be a confederation but a bicommunal, bizonal federation within the framework of UN resolutions and that it will be a solution, that will safeguard the existence of Greek Cypriots on their ancestral lands," he said.
President Clerides pointed out that perpetuating the situation in Cyprus entails grave dangers: "The unproductive passage of time creates and strengthens a suitable foundation to consolidate the fait accomplis of the invasion and the international recognition of the so-called "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," he said.
"The best way of facing any such dangers is to strive through negotiations, so that any ideas put forward would be subject only to interpretation compatible with the resolutions of the United Nations, the acquis communautaire, international law and the conventions of human rights," he said. He also warned that any decision to leave the negotiating table would be tantamount to "an act of utmost irresponsibility and national suicide ", with serious repercussions.
Referring to the UN-led proximity talks, due to resume in Geneva next month, the President said the non-papers presented at the last round of talks in New York aimed at sounding out the views of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.
"I cannot exclude the possibility of being faced with a draft outline solution at a later stage if the talks go on," he said, adding that in his assessment such a blueprint would be "negotiable."
"I do not claim that the road ahead is easy. However, all the political forces on the island should walk along the same path, united in achieving our common goal. This is the least we can do for the Cyprus people, who will be called upon to express their will in a referendum if eventually a solution is found," he said in conclusion.
(The full text of the President's speech can be found at the Special Issues" section)
 Markides: Cyprus is determined to take the necessary action for combating racismThe solution to the Cyprus problem "should entail effective implementation without any discrimination or distinction throughout the Republic of all human rights safeguarded by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and similar international instruments," Attorney-General Mr Alecos Markides stated in his speech on 13 October, at the plenary session of the European Conference against racism in Strasbourg.
"The people of Cyprus hope and expect that with the help of the international community, the current effort to solve the Cyprus problem will lead to a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, within the parameters of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council," he added.
The Attorney General referred to "the tragic fate of the people of Cyprus" who at the beginning of the third millennium, are still physically separated on a racial basis due to the continuing illegal foreign occupation of part of Cyprus' territory.
"Cyprus strongly supports the view that violations of human rights grounded on discrimination with a racial or xenophobic orientation must be seen as presenting a potential threat to stability, democracy and peace, as well as to efforts to promote cultural diversity and an open pluralistic society," Mr Markides said.
He also emphasised Cyprus' "readiness and determination" to take further action for combating racism at domestic level and to continue to support and contribute to the ongoing and future activities of the international and European communities in this field.
 Cyprus expected to complete all chapters of the acquis communautaire by December 2001The Chief negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the European Union Mr George Vassiliou had a meeting last Friday 13 October, with President Glafcos Clerides.
In a statement to the press afterwards, Mr Vassiliou said that the purpose of the meeting was to brief the President on developments in the course of the accession negotiations and inform him of the contacts he had in Brussels.
Mr Vassiliou said he believed that, as a result of the meetings he had with Commissioners and EU Director Generals, the chapters on energy, transport and the movement of products, would be ready to close either during the French or the Swedish Presidencies.
He also expressed the hope that until the end of the Swedish Presidency in June 2001 Cyprus would cover all the chapters and that by the end of the Belgian Presidency in December 2001, it would conclude negotiations on all the 29 chapters of the acquis communautaire.
Mr Vassiliou also referred to a statement by the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Gunther Verheugen, who had expressed satisfaction at Cyprus' progress and had said that as soon as the chapters on Cyprus are completed he would propose that the EU proceeds with the accession of Cyprus.
 President Clerides urges for an end to violence in the Middle EastThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides has sent a written message to Israeli Prime Minister Mr Ehud Barak and to the President of the Autonomous Palestinian Areas Mr Yasser Arafat, "expressing the sympathy of the people of Cyprus to the families of the people killed and urging for an end to violence and bloodshed."
According to the statement, issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 13 October, President Clerides expressed the hope that the two leaders will find a way to defuse tensions so that the peace process can continue. He also offered Cyprus as a place for such a dialogue."
 Statement by the Government SpokesmanThe Cyprus Government Spokesman Mr Michalis Papapetrou stated on 13 October that if the discussion of the Cyprus problem in the House of Representatives is completed on 21 October as it has been announced, it is the President's intention to call for a meeting of the National Council on 23 October. The meeting of the National Council will otherwise be held the following day of the completion of the discussion.
 New Israeli Ambassador to CyprusThe President of Cyprus Mr Glafcos Clerides received on 13 October at a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace, the credentials of the new Ambassador of the State of Israel to Cyprus Mr Michael Eligal.
Presenting his credentials, the new Israeli Ambassador reiterated his country's support to all international efforts aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem. He also expressed the hope "that through continued dialogue this goal will be achieved for the benefit of all the people of Cyprus".
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/