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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-12-07

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 <>

Tuesday, 7 December 1999

  • [01] Proximity talks continue with the two sides elaborating on their positions
  • [02] Statement by the UN Secretary General's Spokesman
  • [03] Papandreou: Turkey's candidacy should be substantial
  • [04] Cyprus strongly protests to UN against repeated violations of its airspace


    The proximity talks on the Cyprus problem continued yesterday at the UN headquarters after a weekend break, with the second meeting between UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and his Special Advisor Alvaro de Soto and Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and his delegation. The meeting started at 11.00 (New York time) and lasted one hour. President Clerides did not make any statements to the press either before or after the meeting.

    UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and his special Advisor met with the Turkish Cypriot delegation headed by Rauf Denktash at 12:15 (New York time).

    Replying to journalists' questions after the meeting with the UN Secretary- General, Mr Denktash said that an effort is underway "to make the ground for progress", adding that during the talks the discussions had gone beyond the four fundamental aspects laid out by the Secretary General.


    The UN-led proximity talks on Cyprus will go on until the two parties involved either feel they can no longer make progress or they have a breakthrough to announce, the UN Secretary General's Spokesman Mr Fred Eckhard stated yesterday, in his daily press briefing.

    "There is a news blackout and so we cannot talk about the substance of the talks. I expect they will continue to take place on a daily basis with meeting first one party and then with the other and that we'll go on until they feel they can no longer make progress or until they have a breakthrough to announce", he said.

    Mr Eckhard added that there is a tentative schedule for ten days, which will be extended if necessary.


    "Greece is not content to give a positive signal to Turkey's candidacy so long as open issues remain regarding Greek-Turkish relations, the Cyprus problem, Cyprus' progress towards EU accession and the consolidation of human rights in Turkey, which should be included in the final decisions in Helsinki," Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou stressed yesterday.

    Speaking at a press conference in Brussels after a session of the 15 EU Foreign Ministers, Mr Papandreou reiterated that the Greek government had not yet decided whether to grant approval for such a candidacy, saying that negotiations were continuing until the last moment, with all issues "open".

    He warned that Greece's EU partners would be responsible for any possible failure at Helsinki on account of "not properly assessing the significance of the issues we raised".

    Mr Papandreou emphasised that all candidate countries should be treated on the same criteria.

    "We must not use double standards in judging candidate countries," he said adding that the conditions that apply to the other candidate countries must also apply to Turkey.

    Greece, he stated, is in favour of Turkey's candidacy if it is a substantial candidacy. If the European Union registers a commitment to deal with such problems in the decisions of the Helsinki summit, Turkey could be recognised as a candidate country, otherwise there will be deadlock, he concluded.


    Cyprus strongly protested to the UN Secretary General against violations of its air space by Turkish warplanes on the eve of the start of the UN-led proximity talks aimed to prepare the ground for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    In a letter to the UN Secretary-General dated 30th November 1999, Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Sotos Zackheos stated that new violations of the Flight Information Region of Nicosia and the Republic's national air space by Turkish military aircraft, were recorded on 11,14,16, 17, 21,22, 23, 24, 26, and 27 November 1999.

    Mr Zackheos stressed that these new provocative acts by Turkey demonstrate once more Turkey's blatant disregard of international law, the UN Charter and all the relevant UN decisions on Cyprus.

    "Such actions" he pointed out, "take place at a time when the international community is expecting a positive attitude from the Turkish side, on the eve of the talks in New York on 3 December, in order to prepare the ground for meaningful negotiations, leading to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem."

    The letter circulated as an official document of the General Assembly and of the Security Council on 6 December.

    From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

    Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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