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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-05-23

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Talks likely to start July
  • [02] Talks set to start 7 July
  • [03] Foreign Minister on tour of world capitals

  • 1120:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Talks likely to start July

    Nicosia, May 23 (CNA) -- Direct negotiations on the Cyprus question are set to begin in July, President Glafcos Clerides disclosed here last night.

    Speaking to "Antenna" TV network, he said he did not expect the first round of talks to start in June, as originally thought, because UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, will be too preoccupied with the UN conference on the environment, scheduled for end of June.

    The President said he still had not received an invitation to talks and has no information about the exact date or venue of the talks.

    He also said the agenda of the talks is expected to be set either here or in New York.

    UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast, told the press here last week that President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, were ready to talk and indicated their willingness to engage in a direct dialogue.

    Sir Kieran was due to return to New York last night after his tour that took him to Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and report to the UN chief about his talks in this region.

    Leader of the ruling rightwing Democratic Rally party, Yiannakis Matsis, told CyBC television last night, there was no agenda for the talks so far and set July 7 as possible date for the start of direct negotiations, the first encounter between Clerides and Denktash since 1994.

    Main opposition party leader, Demetris Christofias, of leftwing AKEL, said there was not enough preparation to ensure the talks yield results, but he expressed his party's support for the President at the negotiations, provided that his arguments would be based on the fundamental aspects of the Cyprus problem.

    Centre-right Democratic Party (DIKO) President Spyros Kyprianou slammed the call for direct talks without some basic preconditions but he acknowledged that one cannot reject an invitation to talks from Annan. He too pledged support to the President.

    Socialist EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides said the political leadership must be present at the talks for consultations and inform the people if serious obstacles arise. He also wondered whether any commitments have been made, prior to the talks.

    United Democrats President George Vassiliou said the Greek Cypriot side is being "dragged to the talks" which nobody expects to be successful. He said his party will back the President to find solutions, but not to make concessions.

    CNA MM/GP/1997

    [02] Talks set to start 7 July

    Nicosia, May 23 (CNA) -- The first round of direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is expected to start on 7 July and last for seven to ten days, Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides, said here today.

    "There is sound basis behind reports that 7 July is a likely date for the start of talks," he said but refrained from giving any specific details.

    He also said the government has been informed that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's programme shows that talks will take place end of June or beginning of July.

    Asked if there is an agenda for the talks, the Spokesman replied "we have no concrete information about the talks, we expect to be informed from the UN at the end of this month."

    Replying to questions, he said Britain's representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, has not "taken over" to push forward efforts for a solution.

    "Sir David may have his own contacts but he has not taken over because he does not represent the UN Secretary-General," Christofides said.

    The Spokesman repeated earlier statements that the National Council will decide on the framework within which the Greek Cypriot negotiator to the talks will operate.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997

    [03] Foreign Minister on tour of world capitals

    Nicosia, May 23 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides will visit several capitals around the globe for meetings with his foreign counterparts as part of government efforts to brief them ahead of direct negotiations, due in July.

    "The Foreign Minister will meet his British counterpart Robin Cook in London, and Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov in Moscow," Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, announced here today.

    Kasoulides is also expected to have meetings in Tokyo and Amsterdam with Dutch Foreign Minister and President of the European Council Hans Van Mierlo.

    These meetings, Christofides told the press, are expected to materialise before June 6, when the Foreign Minister is scheduled to meet American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright in Washington.

    More details about the timing and venue of Kasoulides' tour of meetings will be announced at a later date.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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