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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-06-04

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/>

  • [01]Wednesday, 04 June 2003 Commission proposes measures to bring northern part of Cyprus closer to EU
  • [02] UN Chief assures that he has not given up on Cyprus

    [01] Commission proposes measures to bring northern part of Cyprus closer to EU

    In order to promote a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem the European Commission, at the initiative of Enlargement Commissioner Mr Gunter Verheugen, proposed yesterday a package of measures which aims at promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus and bringing it closer to the European Union. This initiative responds to the request of the European Council of Copenhagen in December 2002, and consists of a financial assistance worth 12 million and measures promoting trade between the northern part of the island and the rest of the Union. The financial package is divided into two areas: 9 million for economic development, implemented through the United Nations Development Programme, and 3 million for actions aiming at bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the EU. Commenting yesterday on the Commission's decision to propose the goodwill package for Turkish Cypriots, Mr Verheugen noted, "There is a window of opportunity for a united Cyprus joining the European Union by 1 May 2004. The Commission is ready to assist any further effort to contribute to a comprehensive settlement on the basis of the UN plan, which remains on the table. Meanwhile, in line with the request of the European Council, we should do all we can to help the people of the northern part of Cyprus".

    [02] UN Chief assures that he has not given up on Cyprus

    "We have not given up on Cyprus", the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan stressed yesterday, adding that for the peace process to resume he would have to see a "signal" that both sides had the political will to move towards a settlement. Replying to a question on Cyprus, upon his encounter with the press at UN Headquarters in New York, Mr Annan noted, "We have not given up on Cyprus. Our position on Cyprus is that we will be prepared to work with the parties the moment they show genuine political will, both parties show genuine will, political will to make progress and to resolve the conflict. I think the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots as well as the motherlands are looking into prospects for pressing ahead with the process. But I will wait to see that signal that both sides are ready and there is political will." Furthermore, the UN Secretary-General's Spokesperson, Mr Fred Eckhard, made the following statement yesterday regarding Mr Annan's report on UNFICYP (UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus): "Out of the racks today is the Secretary-General's latest report on the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus, which covers the developments on the island since November of last year. He recommends that the Council extend the mission's current mandate for a further six months, until 15 December 2003. In the last week of April, the Turkish Cypriot authorities opened a crossing point to the public for travel in both directions. This was the first such opening in almost three decades. Additional crossing points were opened in the following days. The first week around 140,000 Greek Cypriots crossed to the north and 34,000 Turkish Cypriots went in the opposite direction. Since then, the average number of crossings has stabilized to about 13,000 people per day. The UN force, especially its civilian police component, has been active in ensuring a safe and orderly crossing of people and vehicles through the UN buffer zone. UN engineers have also worked to improve the roads. To face these additional duties, the Secretary- General says that the mission requires an additional 34 civilian police officers. There are currently 35 police officers assigned to the force. In conclusion, he notes that these recent developments are not a substitute for a comprehensive settlement. "It seems highly unlikely that such a settlement can be achieved without the genuine political commitment to the proposal I put forward and a firm timetable to finalize the negotiations", he says."

    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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