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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-06-26

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]Thursday, 26 June 2003 Italian EU Presidency will work towards a Cyprus settlement, says Fini
  • [02] Simitis discusses Cyprus issue with Bush at EU-USA Summit

    [01] Italian EU Presidency will work towards a Cyprus settlement, says Fini

    The Vice President of the Italian government, Mr Gianfranco Fini, who was on an official visit to the island, has pledged that Italy would make efforts towards the achievement of a settlement of the Cyprus problem, once it assumed the rotating Presidency of the European Union on 1 July 2003. Mr Fini said that the Cyprus problem was also a problem of the European Union, noting, however, that the EU could not replace the United Nations as the basis for conducting peace talks. In statements yesterday during a press conference in Nicosia, the Italian official further pointed out that the sooner Turkey acceded to the EU, the better it would be for the efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue. Mr Fini was received earlier yesterday by the President of the Republic, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem, the island's accession to the EU, and the conclusions of the Thessaloniki European Council. The President's Press Office Director, Mr Marios Karoyian, told journalists after the meeting that the Italian Vice President had reiterated his country's position that it would try, together with the other EU member states, to exert pressure on Turkey to shift its views on Cyprus and return to the negotiating table in order for a settlement to be reached. Mr Karoyian further noted that Mr Fini had expressed appreciation for President Papadopoulos' constructive and responsible stance before and during the talks in The Hague, as well as for his willingness to work towards a viable settlement of the problem. Meanwhile, President Papadopoulos stressed, replying to press questions after having received the Italian official, that the meeting did not aim at securing any kind of assurances or promises from the Italian delegation. "The purpose of the meeting was to exchange information and views, and that has happened within a very friendly atmosphere and with a very constructive mood", Mr Papadopoulos said. The Italian Vice President also met yesterday morning with the Cyprus House President, Mr Demetris Christofias and the Foreign Minister, Mr Georgios Iacovou. Speaking through an interpreter after his meeting with the House President, Mr Fini underlined that the plan of the UN Secretary-General "is not just a solution but the only possible solution". He further expressed belief that the EU would contribute decisively in the reunification of Cyprus, adding that it was very significant that the Cyprus Government and Parliament were not against Turkey's accession to the Union. For his part, Mr Christofias assured his interlocutor of the Cyprus Government's readiness to resume the peace talks on the basis of the Annan plan, and to continue implementing confidence building measures for Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, as well as support measures for the Turkish Cypriot community. The Italian official also said, after his meeting with Foreign Minister Iacovou, that Cyprus' accession to the European Union had particular significance as it would enhance the Union's Mediterranean dimension and it would also enhance the friendly ties between Italy and Cyprus as two Mediterranean EU member states. Another topic discussed during both meetings was the issue of illegal immigration and Cyprus' role as an EU member state in tackling this phenomenon.

    [02] Simitis discusses Cyprus issue with Bush at EU-USA Summit

    The Cyprus issue was among the topics discussed at the EU-USA Summit in Washington DC yesterday, between the US President Mr George Bush, the Greek Premier and current EU President Mr Costas Simitis and the European Commission President Mr Romano Prodi. Speaking to Greek journalists after the Summit, Mr Simitis said he had pointed out to the US President the need to resume peace talks on the basis of the Annan plan, adding that pressure should be exerted on the Turkish side to consent to the resumption of the negotiations. He further said he had explained to Mr Bush that the Annan plan needed some amendments, and that it could not be adopted as it was since Cyprus was now an EU member state. "In order for amendments to be made on the plan, the Turkish side has to be convinced that it needs to change its stance. President Bush acknowledged that and said he would make efforts", Mr Simitis said. The Greek Prime Minister and EU President also pointed out that Mr Bush had already contacted the Turkish Premier, Mr Erdogan, noting the necessity for the Turkish side to make steps towards that direction.

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


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