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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-03
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 3 April 2001
 President Clerides gives a press conferencePresident Glafcos Clerides has asked the UN Secretary General to assume a coordinating role, with the European Union (EU), in the direction of Turkey to convince Ankara that it is not possible to engage in peace talks on Cyprus outside the framework of the UN resolutions.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, he said he made proposals in the form of three letters to the Secretary-General, the Permanent Members of the Security Council and the EU President.
President Clerides referred to the Cyprus problem and on progress in Cyprus' application to join the European Union.
"I believe that the initiatives of the international community in conjunction with our accession course safeguard, through UN resolutions and the application of the acquis communautaire, what we have all strived for, namely a just and viable solution to the benefit of Greek and Turkish Cypriots," the President said.
He explained that the four pillars of his policy since being elected were to find a solution to the Cyprus problem through the UN Secretary-General and the relevant UN resolutions; to start negotiations for Cyprus to join the EU; to strengthen the island's democratic institutions and the economy so that the accession process can progress smoothly; to strengthen the island's defences through a close cooperation with Greece, in order to prevent Turkey implementing any expansionist policy against Cyprus.
He said a solution to the Cyprus problem should benefit both the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities and conform with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, Human Rights Treaties, and with International Law, as it exists in countries of the European Union, which Cyprus aspires to join.
"However, despite our honest and constructive efforts, the Turkish side has in fact refused to negotiate within the parameters set by the UN, even in the instances it did agree to sit round the negotiating table", he said.
President Clerides said that through the Helsinki agreement it was made clear that finding a solution to the Cyprus problem is not a prerequisite for Cyprus to join the EU and that Cyprus cannot remain a hostage to Turkey' s intentions.
"We have thus paved the way for Cyprus to join the European family. Cyprus is today on the threshold of the EU and despite Turkey's and Mr Denktash's wishes this course cannot be reversed", he added.
Replying to a question regarding Cyprus' participation in the European army, President Clerides stressed that he was in favour of the demilitarisation of Cyprus and therefore does not propose participation in any military contingents. He would, however, be prepared to offer the use of facilities, such as an airbase, air and sea monitoring systems, etc. As long as the National Guard exists, he added, Cyprus would be willing to participate in the European army with a small contingent.
 House President meets Danish parliamentary delegationThe President of the House of Representatives Mr Spyros Kyprianou had a meeting yesterday with the President and members of the European Affairs Committee of the Danish Parliament, who are currently on an official visit to Cyprus.
During the meeting, Mr Kyprianou briefed President Claus Larsen-Jensen and the members of the delegation on the present phase in the Cyprus problem and the island's European Union accession course.
Mr Kyprianou stressed that Cyprus has suffered and still suffers due to the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation. The situation in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus is indicative of Turkey's expansionist policy he said, adding that Turkey follows a policy of ethnic cleansing aimed at changing the demographic character, colonizing, and destroying the cultural heritage of the occupied areas of Cyprus.
Mr Kyprianou underlined that Turkey will not alter its policy on Cyprus unless it is forced by the international community to abandon its expansionist policy. The accession of Cyprus to the European Union is the only way out and could be a catalyst for a solution to the Cyprus problem, he said.
The President and members of the Committee expressed their solidarity with the efforts for finding a just settlement to the Cyprus problem and their support for the accession of the island to the European Union.
Later in the day, the Danish parliamentary delegation met with the Chairman of the Foreign and European Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, who briefed them, inter alia, on the progress made by Cyprus in the accession negotiations and the role played by the House in the adoption of the acquis communautaire.
 Cyprus will be one of the first countries to conclude its EU accession negotiationsThe President of the European Commission Mr Romano Prodi expressed great satisfaction with the way in which Cyprus' accession negotiations are proceeding. Mr Prodi was replying to a question on Cyprus after a meeting with the Prime Minister of Greece Mr Costas Simitis on 1 April in Thessaloniki.
Replying to the same question, the Greek Premier stressed that the Helsinki decision makes it absolutely clear that Cyprus will proceed in its accession course and that the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for Cyprus' EU accession.
Accession negotiations have reached a very good stage, and Cyprus is will be one of the first countries that will conclude them, he said.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/