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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-04-01
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Annan: time for Cypriots to decide
Annan: time for Cypriots to decide
by Maria Koniotou
Burgenstock, Apr 1 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said here tonight that an amended plan for a solution in Cyprus was very different from a previous proposal and accommodated the expressed concerns of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.
He said the final decision on the future of Cyprus lies with the people who were looking to their leaders for guidance. He called on the leaders to inform their people about the plan, which he said was ''inevitably a compromise.''
''The choice is not between a settlement plan and some other magical, mythical solution. In reality, the choice is between this settlement and no settlement,'' Annan told representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey who concluded enlarged talks tonight that lasted over a week.
He told leaders that the time for decision and action had arrived and welcomed all the leaders present as well as European Union Commissioner Gunter Verheugen, whose presence, he said, demonstrated the Union's strong support for this effort to bring about a Cyprus settlement.
Annan said the final text, reviewed and amended, would be put to separate simultaneous referenda to be held on both sides in Cyprus on 24 April, which would enable a reunited Cyprus to accede to the European Union on 1 May 2004.
''The process of negotiation is not a football match. It is not a question of keeping score of goals and own goals, of winners and losers. We have tried to accommodate the expressed concerns of both sides, so as to create a win-win situation,'' he added.
Addressing the leaders and the voters in both communities, he said the time had come to assess what was before them as an overall package in the run-up to the referenda.
''As the people of Cyprus, north and south, debate and consider their future over the next three and a half weeks, they will be looking to you, their leaders, for guidance,'' he noted and called on them to inform the people about the plan.
The Secretary General said that this plan was ''inevitably a compromise'' and did not satisfy everyone's demands but met the core interests and addressed the key concerns of people on both sides.
''If the settlement is approved in the referenda next month, Cyprus would reunify, in time to accede to the European Union. After only a short interval, freedom of movement would prevail, without border-like checkpoints,'' he said and added that a new state of affairs would emerge, far better designed than the one of 1960 to manage relations between the two communities.
Outlining some of the provisions of the plan, he said a substantial number of Greek Cypriots would be able to return to the homes they left behind thirty years ago, and to do so under Greek Cypriot administration. Others would receive full and effective compensation.
Some Turkish Cypriots might have to move, though fewer than was sometimes thought, he said, adding that the decades of isolation would come to an end for the Turkish Cypriots.
The United Nations would strengthen its operation in Cyprus, and help the Cypriots implement the settlement and the European Union would accommodate the settlement and provide important political and financial support for its implementation, he added.
Annan said that military forces would be substantially reduced during a transitional phase, and be halved again seven years from now and in time they would reduce to the moderate levels foreseen in the 1960 Treaty of Alliance.
''No-one says that reunification will be easy. Yes, there will be plenty of challenges along the way but the plan gives you a structure that can help you meet them,'' the Secretary General added.
He said that no one could be certain of what the future holds but he added ''I am certain that my settlement plan offers the best and fairest chance of peace, prosperity and stability that is ever likely to be on offer.''
 Cyprus spokesman: there was no agreement on final plan
Cyprus spokesman: there was no agreement on final plan
Burgenstock, Apr 1 (CNA) -- Cyprus Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides clarified here tonight that there had been no agreement on the final plan for a comprehensive settlement, which UN Secretary General Kofi Annan presented to the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey.
''There was no agreement. The Annan plan was simply handed over and will go to referenda on April 24,'' Chrysostomides told Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.
He said Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos would make statements to the press Thursday morning.
He said the final proposal would be examined in detail by the President and the political leadership as soon as they returned to Cyprus.
 Greek premier: impossible to reach agreed solution
Greek premier: impossible to reach agreed solution
by Christa Nikolaou
Burgenstock, Apr 1 (CNA) -- Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis stressed here tonight that it was not possible to reach an agreed settlement on the question of Cyprus during the week long talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides, in the presence of Greece and Turkey.
He told a press conference that there was close cooperation with Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and expressed hope that the people of Cyprus and the political leadership would decide with prudence, a sense of responsibility and foresightedness.
Karamanlis was speaking after he, Papadopoulos, Turkish Cypriots and Turkish premier had received a UN plan for a comprehensive settlement that will be put to a referendum on April 24 in Cyprus' two communities.
''Our objective has been to contribute to a settlement of the Cyprus issue. It is for this reason that I responded positively to the invitation of the UN Secretary General,'' he said, pointing out that the Greek government had honoured the commitments it had undertaken on February 13th in New York in an agreement reached that led to the resumption of the talks on Cyprus.
''In the past few days, we cooperated closely with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos and all the members of the Greek Cypriot delegation,'' he said.
Karamanlis said that his efforts focused on improving the Annan plan to the extent possible, particularly in ensuring its compatibility with the acquis communautaire and the fundamental principles of the European Union.
''Unfortunately, it proved impossible to reach an agreed solution. It is now up to the people of Cyprus and its political leadership to make the final decision,'' he said.
The premier said he was convinced that they would do so with ''prudence, a sense of responsibility and foresightedness.''
 Turkish premier: A new road map has been drawn on Cyprus
Turkish premier: A new road map has been drawn on Cyprus
by Iacovos Tsangaris
Burgenstock, Apr 1 (CNA) -- Turkeys Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed the view that no one has lost from the enlarged discussions for a comprehensive settlement for Cyprus that took place in Switzerland.
He told a press conference after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan presented the fifth and final version of his Cyprus settlement plan to the four parties involved in the Cyprus problem that Turkeys efforts concentrated on securing a result from which everyone would come out as winners.
He referred to Turkeys priorities, such as a settlement becoming part of EU primary law, reinforcing bizonality, securing political equality for Turkish Cypriots, strengthening guarantees and the economy of the Turkish Cypriot community and protecting the rights of the Turkish settlers illegally brought in the Turkish-occupied part of the island.
The Turkish premier said a new road map for Cyprus has been drawn in Burgenstock, adding that now we are ready to bring about our responsibilities regarding this plan.
He said the Turkish government will make the necessary evaluations about this issue (the plan) and the issue will be presented to the Turkish Grand National Assembly on time.
Erdogan said Turkey will undoubtedly respect the will presented by the two peoples of Cyprus through the referenda.
He called on Greek Cypriot and Greeks to walk together on the path of peace started here in Burgenstock. We are taking the necessary steps together, let us continue taking those steps, he said.
 Alvaro de Soto: plan in the hands of the people
Alvaro de Soto: plan in the hands of the people
By Maria Koniotou, Athina Arsalidou
Burgenstock, Apr 1 (CNA) -- UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto said here tonight that the final plan for a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus was now in the hands of the people, but the leaders had an important responsibility to explain the plan to the people.
He told a press conference at the conclusion of the talks held here in the past week that the plan was considerably improved in many ways in terms of how the machinery of the United Cyprus Republic would operate.
He said he would be in New York (April 2) to brief the Security Council in order to prepare them about a concrete proposal that would be presented on behalf of the leaders by the Secretary General for the considerable transformation of the UN peace keeping operation.
 Colin Powell gives seal of approval to Cyprus solution plan
Colin Powell gives seal of approval to Cyprus solution plan
Nicosia, Apr 1 (CNA) -- US Secretary of State Colin Powell has said he supported a UN proposed plan for a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus, saying it was a compromise in which no party got everything they wanted.
In a statement issued in Berlin, Powell said the US was ready to support the full implementation of a settlement and would make a substantial contribution to a pre-donors conference to help implement the solution.
''I support the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem that UN Secretary General Annan presented today in Switzerland,'' Powell said, pointing out that this was the culmination of decades of UN-hosted talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots as well as Greece and Turkey.
He said this was an historic moment and a powerful signal of reconciliation which offered a settlement that opened the door for a united Cyprus to secure its future in Europe on May 1.
The Secretary of State said the solution offered the way for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to set aside the bitterness of the past, move forward in peace, prosperity and partnership, and share together in all the benefits of European Union membership.
Reiterating the words of the UN Secretary General to the leaders of the two Cypriot sides, Greece and Turkey, he said that the outcome ''was necessarily a compromise in which no party got everything it sought.''
The final text, he noted, was "fair" to both sides and the final settlement met the core interests of the people on both sides and provided a secure framework for a common future.
''The choice is now in the hands of Cypriots. We know they will make this choice with the future of all Cypriots in mind. As they make their decision, they should know the United States is committed to support full implementation of this settlement,'' Powell said.
 Solution plan would be null and void if rejected, says Alvaro de Soto
Solution plan would be null and void if rejected, says Alvaro de Soto
by Maria Koniotou
Burgenstock, Apr 1 (CNA) -- If either side in Cyprus rejected UN Secretary General's plan for a settlement, that would be the end of the plan and it would be null and void, UN Secretary General's Special Adviser Alvaro De Soto has said.
''I know it is going to be an uphill struggle but I am counting on the leadership of the leaders and on their vision and I just hope that people won't be acting short-term,'' De Soto said, noting that ''this is a carefully written and balanced solution.''
 CNA Website - Annan Plans
 Enlargement Commissioner: Cyprus talks have not failed
Enlargement Commissioner: Cyprus talks have not failed
by Maria Fili
Strasbourg, April 1 (CNA) EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said that the terms of a Cyprus settlement could be accommodated with the acquis communautaire without permanent exemptions from the body of EU law.
 Weather and Temperatures for Cyprus
 Solana says future of Cyprus in hands of its people
Solana says future of Cyprus in hands of its people
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Apr 1 (CNA) - EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana said the future of Cyprus now lies in the hands of the people of the island themselves and of their leaders, adding that all Cypriots should now raise to the challenge.
 PACE President urges Cypriots to seize opportunity for solution
PACE President urges Cypriots to seize opportunity for solution
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Apr 1 (CNA) - Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly President Peter Schieder today called on ''all Cypriots to seize the historic opportunity of the 24 April referendum to reunite the divided island of Cyprus before it joins the EU on 1 May.''
In a written statement, Schieder urged ''the leaders of both communities, as well as the Greek and Turkish governments, to act with the utmost responsibility and rally all Cypriots in support of the revised UN plan.''
 Cypriot President returns home after UN-led Cyprus talks
Cypriot President returns home after UN-led Cyprus talks
Larnaca, Apr 1 (CNA) - Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos returned to Cyprus tonight from Switzerland, where UN-led talks were held to solve the Cyprus problem.
The Cypriot President was welcomed at Larnaca Airport by the members of the Council of Ministers, the Bishops of Paphos and Kition, the Chiefs of the National Guard and the Police, the Presidential Commissioner, members of parliament, representatives of political parties and other dignitaries.
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