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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-12-09

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, December 09, 1999

Clerides fury at Unficyp mandate resolution

THE CONTENT of the UN resolution for the renewal of Unficyp's mandate is threatening to bring the peace talks to a premature end, according to press reports. Phileleftheros said that President Clerides Aexploded with anger after seeing the draft resolution that was to be approved by the UN Security Council. Clerides was clearly annoyed by the fact that the draft failed to refer to the basic parameters for a Cyprus solution - no mention that a federal state would have one sovereignty, one international personality and one nationality - and sent a letter to the five permanent members of the Security Council. In his letter, Clerides said that he would have preferred for the Unficyp mandate not to be approved rather than accept the draft resolution. He said he would consider not attending January proximity talks if the Security Council adopted the draft resolution. Clerides said the Security Council, in its effort to persuade Rauf Denktash to attend talks, had encouraged him to adopt extremist positions on the Cyprus problem. Politis described the draft as a toothless document that contained nothing substantive apart from a reference to the need to renew the Unficyp mandate. Clerides had ordered the diplomatic service to make demarches at the UN and the capitals of the five permanent member-countries of the Security Council. The permanent members justified the draft on the grounds that anything else would have provoked a reaction from the Turkish side. In reality, with the resolution, Denktash was securing what he had failed to secure at the negotiating table - his equality with president Clerides. So far, there had been equality only at the negotiating table, the paper said. Now, with the pretext that the good climate of the proximity talks was at stake, Denktash's demands, regarding equality and the existence of two states, would be included in a UN resolution. Haravghi said that Turkey's intransigence has taken on new dimensions after the signing of an agreement for the construction of an oil pipeline from Baku to Alexandretta in Turkey. Denktash was quoted as saying that Turkey could make no concessions because the pipeline from the Caucasus increased the strategic importance of Cyprus. Turkish intransigence was being encouraged and reinforced by the stance of the US and Britain. It accused Britain's envoy Sir David Hannay of being the architect of the UN draft resolution, which was indicative of US-UK intentions. Alithia took a more moderate line on the draft resolution, saying the UN did not want to link this to the ongoing proximity talks. The Security Council was trying to maintain delicate balances on the phraseology and wording it was going to use so as not to upset either of the two sides. Machi claimed it had information on how the territorial issue would be settled. It said that Varosha would become an international port, while Morphou would be returned to the Greek Cypriots. All areas north of the Nicosia-Famagusta road would be under Turkish Cypriot administration. This arrangement would allow the return of a large number of refugees, it said. With regard to Morphou, there was thought of setting up a new residential area that would be under Turkish Cypriot administration, next to the town. Simerini reported that the German government had intervened in an attempt to bridge the differences among Greece, Turkey and the EU so as to prevent a deadlock at the Helsinki summit. Germany had asked Greece not to veto the EU candidate status of Turkey at Helsinki. In exchange, Turkey should undertake some goodwill gesture to give Greece the opportunity to justify it decision not to use the veto to Greek public opinion; it should give assurances that it has no territorial claims against Greece and that it would try to make Denktash change his stance in the Cyprus issue.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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