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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-07-10

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/>

Wednesday, 10 July 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] British Government's priority is to pursue a settlement in Cyprus
  • [02] UN Security Council: Turkish Cypriot side less constructive in talks
  • [03] National Guard Commander killed
  • [04] Portuguese House President supports Cyprus' EU accession


[01] British Government's priority is to pursue a settlement in Cyprus

The British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr Jack Straw, responding to a recent report from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on Turkey, in which report there is a reference to Cyprus, said that:

"The British Government believes that, while a political settlements is not a precondition for membership, it would be in the best interests of all concerned if it was a re-united Cyprus which jointed the European Union. The Government works closely with all interested parties, in the region and more widely, in particular the United States, other EU member states and the United Nations, to promote a just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem. Our message to Turkey, at all levels of government and society, is that the current process of face-to-face talks in Cyprus, under UN aegis, can produce a settlement which meets the legitimate interests of both sides. The benefits of such a settlement would be far-reaching, involving all the parties, the EU and the region as a whole; but arguably benefiting Turkey most of all. Conversely, the damage done by a failure to seize the present opportunity would be profound".

In his reply to the Committee, Mr Straw also said: "As the Committee has stated, the priority needs to be to pursue a settlement. All the Government's efforts are currently devoted to that end."

[02] UN Security Council: Turkish Cypriot side less constructive in talks

After being briefed by the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr Alvaro de Soto on the ongoing Cyprus talks, the members of the Security Council expressed yesterday disappointment that, despite the personal involvement of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, including his visit to the island in May, progress remained "disappointingly slow" and the June target date for agreement had not been met.

The Council members "noted in this regard that the Turkish Cypriot side had been less constructive in its approach so far and had declined to support the goal of resolving the core issues by the end of June," the current President of the 15-member body, Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock of the United Kingdom, said in a statement to the press.

The full text of Ambassador Greenstock's statement is as follows:

"The members of the Security Council heard on 9 July a further briefing from Alvaro de Soto, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus, concerning the direct talks in Cyprus between the two leaders which have been in progress since January, pursuant to their agreement on 4 December 2001. They reviewed the whole process since the talks began on 16 January 2002.

The members of the Council welcomed the support given to the talks and to the Secretary-General's efforts by the heads of State and government of the European Union meeting in Seville on 21-22 June and by the Foreign Ministers of the G-8 on 13 June.

The members of the Council expressed disappointment that, despite the Secretary-General's valuable personal involvement, including when he visited the island in May, progress remained disappointingly slow and the June target date for agreement had not been met. They noted in this regard that the Turkish Cypriot side had been less constructive in its approach so far, and had declined to support the goal of resolving the core issues by the end of June. They also noted with regret that the call by the members of the Council on 2 May that the UN should play a fuller part in the talks had not yet received the requisite response; and the members reiterated that call.

The members of the Council endorsed the intention to continue the present talks process on the island for a further period, in pursuance of the mission entrusted to the Secretary-General by the Council in its resolution 1250. They urged both sides to cooperate fully in such an effort and in particular to work with the Secretary-General's Special Adviser so as to enable him to establish the component parts of a comprehensive settlement which takes full consideration of relevant Security Council resolutions and treaties. They strongly underscored the need for the Turkish side in particular to move in this direction.

The members of the Council invited the Secretary-General to give it a further report in early September."

[03] National Guard Commander killed

The Minister of Defence Mr Sokratis Hasikos announced this morning that the Commander of Cyprus' National Guard, Lieutenant General Evangelos Florakis, and four other army officers were killed at 04:20 local time today when their helicopter crashed near the south-western town of Paphos, an official press release says.

The four army officers are Air Force Commander, Brigadier Stelios Demenegas, Lieutenant Nikos Georgiou and the two helicopter pilots, Flight Lieutenant Paris Athanasiades and Flank Officer Michalis Shiakallis.

In a written statement Mr Hasikos said that the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Glafcos Clerides was briefed about the accident at the National Guards headquarters in Nicosia and expressed his deep sorrow and grief for the tragic accident and his condolences to the relatives of the deceased.

The Minister said that Florakis and the other four army officers were aboard a helicopter which crashed near the village of Kouklia, in Paphos district.

[04] Portuguese House President supports Cyprus' EU accession

The Ambassador of Cyprus to Portugal Ms Thalia Petrides had a meeting yesterday with the new President of the Portuguese Parliament Mr Mota Amaral. During their talks, the Ambassador briefed the Portuguese official on the progress in Cyprus' EU accession course and on the developments in the efforts towards a solution to the Cyprus problem, in the framework of the UN Secretary-General's good offices mission.

Mr Amaral assured Ambassador Petrides of his country's continuing support for Cyprus and of the positive stance of the Portuguese Parliament towards Cyprus' EU accession.


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


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