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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-03

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Clerides - Madden - EU
  • [02] Clerides - UN envoy - Mines
  • [03] Cypriot Minister - Israel
  • [04] President Clerides - Russian envoy

  • 1120:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Clerides - Madden - EU

    Nicosia, Aug 3 (CNA) -- Britain called on the Turkish Cypriot side to accept an offer made by President Glafcos Clerides, to join the Cyprus team for the EU - Cyprus accession talks.

    British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, told reporters today after he was received by Clerides that the offer "remains on the negotiating table."

    He said the issue was discussed during last month's visit to Cyprus by Sir David Hannay, the representative of the Austrian presidency of the EU on Cyprus.

    Asked if Sir David had asked President Clerides to reiterate his proposal to the Turkish Cypriots to join the negotiating team, Madden replied, "that's not correct."

    Acknowledging that Turkish Cypriots cannot join the team right now "because of the position" taken by them, Madden expressed the "hope that at some stage in the future, the Turkish Cypriots will take up that offer and will indeed join the negotiating team."

    To a question if Sir David had asked that negotiations start on how the Turkish Cypriots would join the team, Madden said the "offer was made in very general terms and there was no reference to the exact modalities of how a joint negotiating team would work."

    "Obviously it is up to the people to think about it, how that might work, how they would best be brought in," he added.

    Cyprus, which applied for full EU membership in July 1990, opened accession talks with the EU in March 1998.

    On March 12, 1998, President Glafcos Clerides extended a formal invitation to the Turkish Cypriot side to join the negotiating team.

    However, he underlined that they would have to accept that the Cyprus Republic is the sole interlocutor, that there is no issue of direct or indirect recognition of the pseudo regime in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus and that all those participating in the delegation will work for the island's accession to the EU.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash rejected Clerides' proposal because he opposes Cyprus' entry into the EU since Turkey, one of the island's three guarantor powers, is not a member of the EU.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1130:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Clerides - UN envoy - Mines

    Nicosia, Aug 3 (CNA) -- The United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus (UNFICYP) is examining the possibility of a demining initiative.

    The announcement was made by the new Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary - General in Cyprus, Dame Ann Hercus, after meeting today President Glafcos Clerides.

    In a short statement to the press, Dame Ann said she had taken the opportunity before the President goes on his holidays "to brief him about some UNFICYP matters".

    "In particular, we have been talking about the possibility of a demining initiative," she added, without taking any questions.

    A 1.200 UN force patrols the 180-kilometre buffer zone across this east Mediterranean island divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of its territory.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1230:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cypriot Minister - Israel

    Nicosia, Aug 3 (CNA) -- Cyprus Interior Minister, Dinos Michaelides is in Israel for a three-day official visit, at the invitation of his Israeli counterpart, Elyxahu Suissa.

    During his visit, Michaelides will discuss with Israeli government officials issues concerning civil defence, immigration and local administration matters.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1410:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] President Clerides - Russian envoy

    Nicosia, Aug 3 (CNA) -- A Russian envoy today underlined that the impasse in efforts to settle the Cyprus problem is not created because of Nicosia's decision to buy the S300 defensive missile system from his country.

    Russian Foreign Ministry envoy for Cyprus, Vladimir Tchizhov, also expressed the view that the situation today is worse than what it was a year ago, when at least bicommunal talks took place.

    "The S300s are not the reason for which the dialogue stopped and there is no movement for a Cyprus settlement," Tchizhov said after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides.

    He expressed concern with the lack of progress in the Cyprus peace effort and said "today we are a step behind where we were a year ago".

    Two rounds of talks between the two sides took place last year, which did not manage to bring about a breakthrough because the Turkish Cypriot side refused to negotiate.

    The Russian diplomat said that at least the two sides were engaged in a dialogue last year, whereas today there are difficulties in restarting talks.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has said he will not participate in peace talks unless his illegal regime in the areas occupied by Turkey since 1974 is recognised and Cyprus withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    Asked if he is discussing the S300 issue in his talks here, Tchizhov replied "in general", stressing that Russia's interest in Cyprus is not restricted to the missiles.

    He also said Moscow "is not under pressure" not to deliver the S300s, adding that there was a lot of talk on the missiles.

    The Russian envoy expressed concern over increasing tension in Cyprus but stressed that "the S300s are not the reason".

    "Tension will exist for as long as the impasse continues and it is possible that it will increase," he said.

    Tchizhov reiterated Moscow's support to the UN Secretary-General's efforts to settle the Cyprus problem and said Russia backs the island's demilitarisation.

    Earlier today the Russian diplomat met Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and will meet House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou this afternoon.

    Tomorrow he is scheduled to meet Rauf Denktash, in the occupied areas.

    CNA KN/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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