Turkish Cypriot party leaders criticise regime
London, Jan 2 1998 (CNA) -- Two Turkish Cypriot party leaders have criticised the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus for its attitude towards the European Union and its decision to suspend bicommunal contact.
Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish party, and Alpay Durduran, of the New Cyprus party, aired their views on developments in Cyprus in an interview with the London Greek Radio (LGR).
Talat said Turkish Cypriot participation in EU membership talks "should reflect the political equality" of the island's two communities and called on their leadership to try and find a formula for this participation.
He said the Turkish Cypriot side does not accept participation in accession talks with the status of observer, but stressed that "one of the reasons for this difficulty is the reluctance of the Turkish side to participate."
Commenting on a proposal by the Cyprus government for the Turkish Cypriots to join the Cyprus delegation to negotiate with the EU, Talat described any move to start accession talks with the internationally recognised government of Cyprus as an "unfair approach because it does not represent the Turkish Cypriot community."
Talat said it would be "very difficult to find a way for Turkish Cypriot participation" in accession talks unless progress towards a settlement is achieved.
"If we try to achieve our goals by using the EU accession process, I think we will not be able to achieve anything and in the end both communities will be harmed," Talat told LGR.
He was very critical of Turkey's attempts to integrate Cyprus' occupied areas and described it as unacceptable.
"We are against integration with Turkey and Turkey knows that. Integration is taking place every day without our consent, we do not like it," Talat stressed, and advocated "self-government" for the Turkish Cypriot side.
"We believe this will not help reconciliation between the two sides, and we try to protect the interests of our community. We are struggling for reconciliation and the reunification of our island under a federation and equal rights of our communities," he added.
Referring to the suspension of bicommunal contact, Talat said such moves do not help and added "we criticised this approach and will try to do our best for bicommunal activities because we believe they help a lot towards reconcilitation and lasting peace in Cyprus."
On efforts to solve the question of persons missing in Cyprus, Talat said "we will try to convince our leadership to proceed on this because it is a very important, very emotional, and very sensitive issue."
On his part, Durduran said the problem with Turkish Cypriot participation lies with the inability of the Turkish Cypriot side to "accept Cyprus' accession to the EU."
"The problem is not finding a formula for participation but the decision to participate," he underlined, noting that if it is decided to accept the EU, then a formula can be found.
Durduran said integration with Turkey "is impossible under the present circumstances, because the world will not allow it and because it is not beneficial to the island and the Turkish Cypriot community."
He also argued against "very close contact with the Turkish economy" and described it as a "bad thing".
The leader of New Cyprus party said bicommunal contact is "very useful" and described the suspension of bicommunal activity as "a violation of the rights of the Turkish Cypriots."
Turkish Cypriot opposition leader backs peace efforts
Nicosia, Jan 8 1998 (CNA) -- A Turkish Cypriot opposition party leader today stressed the need for peace talks to settle the protracted Cyprus problem as this is long overdue.
Mustafa Akkinci, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), believes a solution to the Cyprus problem should be reached before European Union (EU) membership talks with Cyprus begin.
In an interview with the London Greek Radio (LGR), the Turkish Cypriot politician said the two sides in Cyprus should reduce their armed forces.
Akkinci expressed the hope that "a fruitful dialogue" would begin after the presidential elections to be held in the Republic in February and said "I think we have lost a lot of precious time".
Stressing the need for peaceful negotiations, the Turkish Cypriot politician said "we have to sit around the table and find a way out. The agreed framework so far, under the UN umbrella, needs to continue."
Akkinci said his party is "not happy" with an EU summit decision taken in Luxembourg last month, to open accession talks with Cyprus on March 30, 1998 and excluding Turkey, even though he noted that most Turkish Cypriots want EU membership.
He said there were two negative aspects from this decision, the first being that it encourages "one side to become a full member even without a solution in Cyprus.
I attribute a lot of importance to see a breakthrough first, and then the (EU) accession negotiations," he added.
The other negative aspect the CLP leader sees concerns EU relations with Turkey, which he believes should be improved.
"Unfortunately Turkey feels excluded from the enlargement process," he said, adding that "if you exclude Turkey totally from the European scene, it is very obvious she is not going to help for a Cyprus solution."
Akkinci said better EU relations with Turkey as well as the improvement of Greco-Turkish relations would help solve the Cyprus question.
He noted that the two sides in Cyprus were not the only protagonists in efforts for a settlement, but there should be positive contributions also from Ankara, Athens, Brussels, Washington and London.
Akkinci disagreed with threats from Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, not to participate in negotiations unless the illegal state established in 1983, in the areas occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion, was recognised.
He said that if the Turkish Cypriot side turned down an invitation from the UN to negotiate "again we are going to suffer for it".
Referring to the arms build up on the island, Akkinci said "we should come to a point to reduce forces because we do not need them at this level" and stressed the tension must stop.
He said "there is not end" to this arms race, describing it as a "vicious circle", which was going to trap both communities as well as Greece and Turkey.
"If the escalation continues, at the end of the day we might have an explosion," he warned.
Talat says Turkish parametres should not change
Nicosia, Jan 13 1998 (CNA) -- Turkish approach to the Cyprus problem should not change and Turkish Cypriots should take part in Cyprus-European Union accession talks on an equal footing.
This was stressed today by Turkish Cypriot politician and leader of the Republican Turkish Party, Mehmet Ali Talat, in a telephone interview with London Greek Radio (LGR).
Talat argued "parametres emerged in a very long period of time and after very long discussion" and rejected any ideas of changing them.
Stressing on the need for a speedy solution to the Cyprus problem, Talat claimed a change in the parametres would take a long time and "would not help reconciliation for a solution to the Cyprus problem."
"Time is the enemy in our problem, so we have to keep the parametres and continue to search for a solution," Talat added.
Referring to Cyprus-EU accession talks, Talat stressed the need for Turkish Cypriot participation which as he noted "can only take place on equal footing."
He criticised the decision taken at the Luxembourg Summit, saying that Turkish Cypriot participation "was not put as the essence of the issue."
Talat described the period right after February's presidential elections in Cyprus until April as "very crucial".
"This period is necessary to be used in the right way and find a formula for Turkish Cypriot participation (in accession talks)," he said and pointed out:
"Otherwise partition may become more permanent in the future and may be negotiations without Turkish Cypriot participation."
Turkey urged to meet EU criteria
London, Jan 16 1998 (CNA) -- A prominent British Labour Euro MP has called on Turkey to meet the criteria the European Union has set out for the country to facilitate closer ties with the EU.
Pauline Green, leader of the Socialist group at the European Parliament, has also called on Turkey to "stop playing games" and describes violations of air space (by Turkey) as "very dangerous."
In an interview with LGR (London Greek Radio), she said "nobody has given up on Turkey, the door is still open, the invitation is still there."
"What Turkey has got to do is meet the same criteria as everybody else, " Green said, pointing out that "the ball is very firmly in their court."
She acknowledged that Turkey feels "very hurt and angry" following the Luxembourg EU summit decision which did not include Turkey in the first group of candidate countries to begin membership talks in spring.
"I hope in the end Turkey will realise that we want them to come in, we want them to meet the criteria and it is in their best interest to do so," the Labour MP added.
Green underlined that the EU is not asking anything more of Turkey than what is expected from all candidate countries.
The Euro MP said violations of Greek and Cypriot air space by Turkish aircraft are "very unfortunate and very dangerous" and warned about possible panic by young and excitable pilots in the skies which is much too dangerous.
In the past several days, Turkish jets violated Cypriot and Greek sovereign air space, in what is believed to be a response to an announcement that an air base, on the western coast of Cyprus, would be delivered to the government later this month.
Tatar pledges maximum effort on missing
By Jean Christou
Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-01-31
THE TURKISH Cypriot side's representative for the missing yesterday pledged to exchange as much information on the issue as possible.
Speaking on London Greek Radio (LGR), Rustem Tatar said the missing issue was a humanitarian one, "and we should keep it to that confine and hopefully resolve it."
"Our aim is to exchange information a far as possible, and we expect things to be done reciprocally," Tatar said.
Last week, Tatar and Greek Cypriot representative Takis Christopoulos exchanged information on missing persons.
The exchange was part of an agreement reached last July between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for the exchange of information on the missing from both sides.
Christopoulos handed over information on 200 of 803 Turkish Cypriots missing since between 1963 and 1974 and received files from Tatar on 400 of the 1,619 missing Greek Cypriots.
Further meetings between the two are expected.
UN Permanent Representative Gustave Feissel yesterday said the missing issue would remain a top priority for the UN.
Feissel was speaking after a meeting with President Clerides and Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides.
The UN official refrained from commenting on Thursday's claims by a former Turkish soldier in Germany that he had seen 100 of the Greek Cypriot missing slaughtered in 1974.
"We will see what information is available. At this stage we cannot say anything," Feissel said.
The former soldier, a Kurd who now lives in Germany, told the pro-Kurdish daily _Oezguer Politika_ that around 100 Greek Cypriot civilians, mainly elderly men along with some women and children, were slaughtered and buried near Nicosia during the Turkish invasion.
According to the published report, 45-year-old Mustafa Ongan said he was serving in the Turkish army at the time of the invasion and was brought with his regiment to Cyprus.
He said Turkish and Turkish Cypriot army chiefs ordered the killing of fleeing civilians, who were later buried in a mass grave.
The government is taking the matter seriously.
Foreign Minister Yiannakis yesterday again said the matter would be thoroughly investigated.
"We will handle the matter with complete confidentiality and complete secrecy in order to secure the success of our efforts," Cassoulides said.
Major effort for Cyprus settlement, says Euro socialist leader
Nicosia, Feb 20 1998 (CNA) -- The international community is determined to make a major effort in solving the Cyprus problem, said the leader of the Socialist Group at the European Parliament, Pauline Green.
At the same time, she stressed that it is important for the island "to join as a whole country, a united Cyprus".
She told the London Greek Radio (LGR) today that she would encourage re- elected President Glafcos Clerides to find some sort of formula by which Turkish Cypriots could take part in the membership talks with the European Union (EU) scheduled to start on March 30, 1998.
Regarding the Cyprus problem, Green said "there is going to be a major drive... in the coming weeks and months to try and move forward".
Green referred to her recent meeting in New York with US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, who is looking at the Cyprus case "in very great detail".
The British Labour Euro-MP said she also had meetings with US State Department's Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Tom Miller, and other officials at the State Department and the National Security Council.
"They really do seem very determined that they will put their weight behind and move forward", Green added.
She also met in Strasbourg with Van den Linden, who has taken over the Turkey and Cyprus portfolios for External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek. The two discussed in detail the way the "EU will try and drive forward the process".
"Everybody is absolutely aware of the difficulties with which the solution is beset, but we are determined that we have to make a major effort", Green said.
Noting that "Cyprus' vocation is in the EU", Green stressed that it is important for the island "to join as a whole country, a united Cyprus".
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.
This east Mediterranean island applied for EU membership in July 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.
She said the comments coming from Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and Turkey are unhelpful at the moment.
"I think it is now down to all of us, with good will and wanting a solution, to demonstrate some visions for the future and some leadership", she said.
Regarding the participation of Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus' accession negotiations with the European Union, Green said President Clerides was "sympathetic to trying to find some sort of formula" by which they could take part.
"I would encourage him to keep thinking along that route", she said, noting that Clerides should pursue their participation "in an innovative way".
The Cyprus government has proposed Turkish Cypriot participation provided that the Turkish Cypriot side would accept the principle of Cyprus' accession to the EU and the Turkish Cypriot representatives would be part of the Cyprus Republic's negotiating team.
On Turkey's European role, Green said the "offer was always on the table to them. Turkey has to make up its mind whether the conditions are acceptable to it", she said.
However, Green emphasised there was no indication that the situation has changed.
Referring to the situation in Iraq, Green said there was a major discussion this week at the European Parliament with Doug Henderson, British European Affairs Minister.
Green said the European Parliament adopted a resolution which she introduced and was based on three strands.
"Saddam Hussein must conform with the UN resolutions because these weapons are desperately dangerous, and frankly they are dangerous for Cyprus as well because Cyprus is very close to where they are being stored and manufactured", Green added.
Green welcomes Clerides' proposal
London, Mar 13 1998 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has made a good offer to the Turkish Cypriots, concerning their participation in Cyprus' delegation for accession talks with the European Union, and now it is up to them to show the same goodwill and accept it.
This was stressed here today by the leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament Pauline Green, adding that she is very pleased that President Clerides has made an "open offer" which allows the full involvement of the Turkish Cypriots.
Speaking to the London Greek Radio (LGR), the British Labour Euro MP said clearly the details will have to be worked out, noting that it is important that the Turkish Cypriots themselves have the opportunity to determine the details with Mr Clerides.
"He (Clerides) has made a very good offer I think. It is now up to them (Turkish Cypriots) to show the same goodwill and openness and to accept it and I hope they will", she added.
Invited to comment on objections and concerns expressed by France, Green said "what we are hearing is a lot of attempts to keep international pressure to move and to drive forward a solution."
She reminded that the EU had made a statement to include Cyprus in the first six of the applicant countries and that "it would be quite unacceptable for anybody to ask that negotiations be frozen".
Noting that after the formal opening negotiations will become bilateral between the EU and each country, Green said Cyprus will be negotiating individually and that it would be hardly conceivable to her if the Union froze negotiations.
"That would be completely counter-productive anyway to pursuing a solution for the Cyprus problem which, in my view, if it has any hope of success must run parallel with negotiations of Cyprus to join", Green remarked.
Referring to Turkey, she said that dealing with cross border crime, drugs and common problems of the environment is very important and that she would be "very surprised and very disappointed" if the Turks are saying that such issues are not worth talking about.
"If they are serious about wanting to become full members of the EU this will be an ideal opportunity for them to begin that process", Green said.
The socialist leader expressed the hope that the Turks will realise that they have missed an opportunity and come back in the European Conference.
Describing the Turkish rhetoric in the last few weeks with regard to Germany as "completely unacceptable", she said it is a very strange position for a country that is trying to be a member of the EU.
"So, I hope that for the value of all of us, including the Turkish people, they will come and at least join in some of these discussions and the door is open to them", she added.
Asked about the meeting of the European Socialists which took place in London on the eve of the European Conference, Green said it was an "extremely good meeting" with representatives of the 35 Socialist, Social Democrat and Labour parties from around the European Union.
She mentioned that the meeting was joined by all colleagues, including Cyprus' socialist party EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides.
The largest group in the European Parliament will meet annually to take stock of progress on EU enlargement.
Furthermore, the group will set up a working team on enlargement, which will bring together the 35 parties and "look at practical steps on how we encourage progress."
She said a European Socialist delegation will begin a series of study visits to all the applicant states, including Cyprus.
"So that is a very lively and exciting new dimension to our work in the Party of European Socialists," Green concluded.
Clerides expresses optimism Denktash will attend talks
London, Mar 14 1998 (CNA) -- Cyprus President, Glafcos Clerides, expressed the view that there are many possibilities to curb the intransigence of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, and bring him back to the negotiating table.
However, he said that this depends very much on the position which the UN Security Council and Europe will adopt.
In an interview with London Greek Radio, (LGR) Clerides was asked whether he believes the upcoming visit to the region of UN Secretary- General's Special Advisor for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, will be successful.
The President said if Denktash does not seriously consider the appeal of the Security Council, then the "next step would be both the Secretary- General and the Security Council to consider whether they can continue the Secretary-General's mission of good offices."
They will also have to consider what measures should be taken against the Turkish Cypriot side, if it does not respond positively.
The UN Security Council yesterday expressed concern over the "high level of tension" in Cyprus.
Ambassador Abdoulie Momodou Sallah of Gambia, who chaired a Security Council meeting yesterday, said the members of the Council "call upon both parties to take the practical steps necessary to move the negotiating process forward in an effective manner."
President Clerides said the Cyprus problem is entering a phase in which Denktash cannot any longer declare he will not negotiate unless his pseudostate is recognised and the UN-led peace talks are held between two "independent states", as the Turkish Cypriot leader has said.
"This is outside the mandate of the Secretary-General's mission of good offices," he added.
The Cypriot President attributed Denktash's refusal of a proposal he submitted earlier this week to the British presidency of the European Union (EU) concerning Turkish Cypriot participation to the EU-Cyprus accession talks, scheduled to start on March 31.
The President said Turkey is upset following the decision of the Luxembourg European Council not to include it in the list of countries eligible to start accession negotiations.
Because of this, he noted, Turkey trying to create problems to the island's EU course and efforts to solve the long-standing Cyprus problem.
This is proved by the fact that "following specific orders, Denktash refused to meet Sir David Hannay, who was representing the EU British presidency and EU External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek," the President added.
The proposal was described as courageous by British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, who called on Denktash to accept it.
Clerides said that following the Republic's "generous proposal, the government was assured that the argument saying we should wait until the Turkish Cypriot side decides whether to participate in the talks is invalid."
He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots will participate as active members in the Republic's delegation and will not be observers.
Denktash described the proposal as a "Byzantine intrigue and trap" which, he claimed, "eliminated the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, as guaranteed by Britain in 1960."
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Clerides said "the solution is being pursued in another procedure, that of the bicommunal talks."
The President, who attended the European Conference earlier this week, returns from the British capital tomorrow afternoon.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.
Cordovez coming with no illusions
By Andrew Adamides
Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-03-15
UNITED Nations Special Advisor on Cyprus Diego Cordovez said yesterday he was determined to "help the interlocutors overcome the obstacles" when he arrives on the island on Tuesday.
He added, however, that he had "no illusions" about the current situation in Cyprus, and the "complications" brought about by the EU accession talks.
Stopping short of criticising the stance of Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash on this, the UN envoy noted that Denktash's position was "rigid". On a more hopeful note, however, he added that he was "encouraged" by Denktash's agreement to meet with him, and "heartened" by the general realisation on the island that this is "a time for quiet diplomacy".
Cordovez said he hoped to raise with Denktash the issue of his refusal to participate in further talks until his 'state' is recognised.
There would, he said, be little immediate pressure on Denktash to commit to any immediate talks.
Cordovez also spoke of possible uncertainty on behalf of the two sides as to the format of any eventual solution, saying he would have to establish whether or not both still wanted a bizonal, bicommunal federation.
Cordovez is expected to deliver personal letters from the UN Secretary General to both Denktash and President Glafcos Clerides.
Speaking on London Greek Radio on Friday, Clerides said that if Denktash did not seriously consider the Security Council appeal to be put to him by Cordovez, then "the next step would be for both the Secretary General and the Security Council to consider whether they can continue the Secretary- General's mission of good offices".
They would also have to consider what measures to take against the Turkish side, he added.
Clerides said the Cyprus problem was now entering a stage where Denktash could no longer refuse to negotiate.
President Clerides returns from London
Nicosia, Mar 15 1998 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides will return this afternoon from London where he attended the European Conference earlier this week.
Before flying to London last Wednesday, President Clerides paid a three- day visit to Athens, where he had talks with Greek Premier Costas Simitis on the proposal he was to submit to the British presidency of the European Union (EU) for the participation of Turkish Cypriots in the Cyprus Republic team during EU-Cyprus accession negotiations.
An informal EU Council of Ministers meeting unanimously decided yesterday that these negotiations will begin on March 31, as scheduled, irrespective Turkish Cypriot participation.
Clerides' proposal, submitted last Thursday to the EU British presidency, was described as courageous by British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, who called on Denktash to accept it.
In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR) yesterday, Clerides said that following the Republic's "generous proposal, the government was assured that the argument saying we should wait until the Turkish Cypriot side decides whether to participate in the talks is invalid."
He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots will participate as active members in the Republic's delegation and will not be observers.
British MPs slam Denktash
Cyprus Mail Wednesday, May 6, 1998
THE DENKTASH regime is illegal and will not be officially recognised by anyone, two British MPs said on London Greek Radio yesterday.
Labour MP Tom Cox and Conservative Sir Sydney Chapman also insisted that Cyprus' EU accession course would continue.
Commenting on recent statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash regarding his regime's official recognition and Cyprus' EU bid, the two said all member states had fully supported the accession bid; as such, "it will not be halted but it is going to be pursued".
Chapman added he did not believe the Europeans would accept any attempts by the US to delay negotiations.
Referring to President Glafcos Clerides' offer to the Turkish Cypriots to join the accession delegation, he said that Denktash's refusal to accept the offer reflected on him rather than on the Cyprus government.
Referring to the Turkish Cypriot leader's bid for recognition, Cox said he had no doubt that the vast majority of Labour MPs would "reject totally" the demands, pointing to the "clear evidence of abuse of human rights in the occupied areas."
He concluded by saying he wondered "who Mr Denktash really speaks for, the Turkish Cypriots or the settlers that he has brought into the occupied areas from mainland Turkey".
Hannay - S300 - negotiations - EU accession talks
London, Aug 5 1998 (CNA) -- The representative of the Austrian Presidency of the European Union (EU) and British Representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, repeated today his country's objection to the deployment of the S300 defensive system on the island, urging Cypriots to reflect on the issue.
In an interview to London Greek Radio (LGR), Sir David also said the idea of a moratorium of flights of military aircraft over Cyprus could be "a step in the right direction".
Stressing the need for resuming negotiations for a bi-zonal, bi- communal, federal Cyprus, Sir David suggested there could be ways of overcoming the demand by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for recognition of his pseudo state, unilaterally declared in the Turkish- occupied part of the island in 1983.
Asked to comment on the pressure experienced by the Cyprus government over its decision to deploy the Russian S300 anti-aircraft missile system, Sir David said Britain took a stand at the very early stages.
"We do not believe this was a helpful development, because we did not believe it really increased the security of Cyprus, which must obviously be the primary objective of any such purchase," he remarked, adding that:
"We think that the more sophisticated weapons become accumulated on the island the more risk there is of military action there."
Sir David said, "increased armament will inevitably be matched by increased armament on the other side, the classical situation that you have during an arms race".
He also claimed that "a very sophisticated system like this (S300) would probably increase the chances of Cyprus being drawn into any confrontation between Greece and Turkey".
"We believe the right way to increase the security of Cyprus is to get to the negotiating table and to get a reduction not an increase," he stressed.
Expressing respect for the Cyprus government's views, the British diplomat reserved his country's right "to have a different opinion about the value of that".
He also claimed that all UN members with the exception of "Russia, which benefits from selling the missiles, Greece and Cyprus which took the decision to buy them," agree with the British view on the issue.
Expressing the hope that "Cypriots would reflect a little bit", Sir David stressed the interest of countries opposing the S300 deployment for the security of Cyprus.
He pointed to their efforts in reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem and their contribution to peace-keeping troops helping to stabilise the situation on the island.
"The reason why we are doubtful about this particular development is, as I say, that we do not think it contributes to the overall objective which we share with the government of Cyprus to have a secure and if possible a reunited island in a bi-communal federal Cyprus," he said.
The Cyprus government ordered the S300 missiles last year in a bid to boost its air defence in view of the heavily armed Turkish troops occupying the island's northern third since they invaded in 1974.
Replying to another question, the British diplomat said that a moratorium on military overflights "would be a step in the right direction".
He noted that the idea of a moratorium was not a new one, "it was in fact applied in a very short time back in 1996."
"It could be re-applied again and it could be a major contribution in resolving some of the difficulties here," he added, pointing out, however, that the governments concerned should be prepared to observe it.
Stressing the need for resumption of negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, Sir David suggested there could be ways of overcoming the problem of the status of the two sides.
Asked to comment on Rauf Denktash's demand for recognition of his puppet regime in order to enter negotiations, Sir David repeated the UN Security Council position, stated last June:
"We want to see a negotiation being resumed. We do not believe the parametres have been fundamentally changed," he said adding that efforts will be made towards Denktash, Ankara and Athens to achieve this objective.
Referring to President Glafcos Clerides, Sir David, said "he does not need much persuasion because he wants to resume the negotiations".
Sir David said there could be ways in which negotiations could resume taking into account "the very juxtaposed views of the two sides about their own status and the status of the other party with which they are negotiating".
"We have to look carefully to see whether that fact can be taken into account when we resume the negotiation," he added and pointed out that:
"In other instances where international negotiations have been required you started without reconciling the views each has about status of the other, and I think you could perhaps use a little imagination in that context."
Refraining from commenting on Denktash's refusal to meet with him, the EU presidency representative expressed the view that "he looses from that" and remarked:
"The Turkish Cypriots do not have so many interlocutors that they can do with not having a dialogue with their friends."
He repeated, however, that it is very important to show that "the European Union has not stopped its dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots and will not stop it. We will try to sustain a dialogue with everyone and anyone who is prepared to talk with us," he said.
Pointing out that President Clerides' proposal for Turkish Cypriot participation in Cyprus-EU accession talks still stands and has been endorsed by the EU, Sir David said:
"We would like to see them at the negotiating table as soon as possible and we would like to see them taking a full voice in determining Cyprus' terms of accession."
The EU presidency representative, said Cyprus' screening process "is proceeding very smoothly" and expressed the view that "some time during the second half of the year it will be possible to move from what I call a pure technical screening exercise to a more substantive phase in which problems are actually addressed and the search for solution to them begin".
Cyprus began accession negotiations with the EU last March. It applied for full EU membership in July 1990.
Sir David refrained from commenting on the European Court of Human Rights decision to order Turkey to pay some 600.000 US dollars compensation to a Greek Cypriot refugee for depriving her the right to peacefully enjoy her property, but remarked:
"Pronouncements by a Court such as the European Court are extremely important and we give great weight to them".
He pointed out, however, that he did not believe
"the Cyprus problem is going to be solved in a Court of law,
I think the Cyprus problem going to be solved at the negotiating
Spokesman - Cyprus problem
London, Sep 29 1998 (CNA) -- The government believes the international community considers a Turkish Cypriot proposal for a Cyprus confederation as negative, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides has said.
"A joint statement by the permanent members of the UN Security Council and comments by US officials now indicate that the world community assumes a negative stance towards the unacceptable Turkish position", Stylianides told LGR, on his return to Cyprus from New York, where he accompanied the President for the UN General Assembly.
The UN members reiterated last week that a political settlement in Cyprus should be in accordance with the Security Council resolutions, which provide for a bicommunal, bizonal federation.
Referring to President Glafcos Clerides' meetings in New York, Stylianides said it was "an intensive week of meetings" the outcome of which will be assessed by the island's political leadership at a meeting of the National Council.
The spokesman refrained from commenting on the purchase of Russian anti- aircraft missiles, saying any comments would only serve the purposes of Turkish propaganda on the matter but acknowledged there is some concern about the issue.
He called on all those who want to help Cyprus to accept the President's proposal for the demilitarisation of the island.
Commenting on reports about an arms sales agreement between Turkey and Britain (two of Cyprus' guarantor powers), Stylianides said the two countries have a trade accord on defence matters, to which Cyprus does not object.
"What we are interested in is that Britain backs the UN resolutions and supports Cyprus' right to self-defence and Cyprus' right to move on with its accession course to the European Union", the spokesman added.
Green - Cyprus
Nicosia, Oct 23 1998 (CNA) -- British EMP, leader of the Socialist Party in the European Parliament, Pauline Green, has said today that the international community does not want to exert pressure on Turkey, due to it geostrategic importance.
In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR), Green commented on violations of Cyprus' airspace by Turkish warplanes, saying that they are dangerous stunts.
"My fear with overflying and things of this sort", she said, "is that you have very young men, often very excitable, in high technology aeroplanes, and sooner or later there is going to be a tragedy of awful proportions".
Green stressed that "the international community has an obligation to stop that and they know about it, they monitor it very clearly and it is my view they should be stopping it".
Asked why the international community is passive on this issue, Green said that "it is just a result of superpower priorities in the area", adding that "they don't care and they don't wish to exercise that sort of pressure on Turkey, which they fear is an important geostrategic country".
She furthermore pointed out that "this is one of the ways in which international politics is actually not fair, not just, it is quite disgusting".
Invited to comment on the pressure exerted on Cyprus regarding the deployment of the Russian S-300 missiles, Green said that this pressure "should be matched by pressure on Turkey" to stop the violations, which "do increase tension", if there is going to be "any equilibrium in reducing tension".
Green supported the right "of any state to defend itself" and said it was unfortunate talks on the Cyprus problem revolve around the S-300 issue "instead of the invasion and occupation of Cyprus". This, she said, "is a great pity".
The Cyprus government ordered the missiles last year in a bid to boost the Republic's air defence in case of a new Turkish offensive against Cyprus.
The US, Britain and other countries object to the planned deployment of the missiles.
The Cyprus government has said the missiles will be deployed unless there is substantial progress in the peace effort for a comprehensive solution or steps are taken towards the demilitarisation of Cyprus.
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of the island's territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.
'This could end in tragedy'
Cyprus Mail: Saturday, October 24, 1998
EURO MP Pauline Green warned yesterday that the violation of Cyprus airspace by Turkish warplanes could end in tragedy, but said the international community does not press Turkey on such matters due to its geo-strategic importance to the United States.
The leader of the Socialist Party in the European Parliament also told London Greek Radio (LGR), it was "a great pity" that the world's focus was on Cyprus' purchase of Russian S-300 missiles "instead of the (Turkish) invasion and occupation of Cyprus."
"My fear with (Turkish) overflying and things of this sort is that you have very young men, often very excitable, in high-technology airplanes, and sooner or later there is going to be a tragedy of awful proportions," Green told LGR.
"The international community has an obligation to stop that, and they know about it, they monitor it very clearly. And it is my view they should be stopping it," Green said.
Asked why the international community was passive over Cyprus, Green replied: "It is a result of superpower priorities in the area. They don't care, and they don't wish to exercise that sort of pressure on Turkey, which they fear as an important geo-strategic country."
"This is one of the ways in which international politics is actually not fair, not just. It is quite disgusting," Green said.
The collapse of communism in the former Soviet Union saw the United States emerge as the world's only superpower. Green's remarks clearly referred to US policy towards Turkey, which was geo-strategically important to Washington during the Cold War, and remains so, as a member of Nato in the troubled Middle East.
Green backed the right of a country "to defend itself" and said the pressure exerted on Cyprus about increasing tension by deploying the S-300 missiles "should be matched by pressure on Turkey" to cease its warplanes' provocative flights over Cyprus.
Such overflights "do increase tension," she said, and must stop if there is to be "any equilibrium in reducing tension" between Turkey and Cyprus.
Cyprus ordered the S-300 missiles early last year to boost the island's air defences. Turkey has a huge air force of powerful US-made jet fighters and helicopters. Cyprus has no jet fighters at all, and only a few helicopters and propeller planes.
The United States and Britain have opposed any deployment of the S-300 missiles as destabilising the already tense region.
The Republic has said the missiles will be deployed unless there is substantial progress towards a Cyprus solution, or steps are taken by both sides to totally demilitarise the island. The deployment has been postponed to a date yet uncertain.
Kasoulides - EU - missiles
London, Nov 6 1998 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has stressed that a decision by Cyprus' political leadership to deploy anti-aircraft defence missiles in Cyprus still stands, since there has been no development to justify annulment of the decision.
The Minister's comments were echoed in Nicosia by Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides, who pointed out that any change in the said decision rests exclusively with the National Council, chaired by President Glafcos Clerides and comprising party leaders, the Attorney General and Kasoulides.
The Council decided in the summer of last year to bring in the Russian missiles unless there is sufficient progress towards an overall settlement or towards the demilitarisation of the island.
"This decision continues to be valid and will be implemented if nothing happens to meet the security concerns of the people of Cyprus, which everybody has to take seriously into consideration", Kasoulides told London Greek Radio (LGR) while in London where he met his British counterpart.
The reaffirmation of the government's position came after a European Union Commission report on candidate countries said that the delivery of the missiles has been delayed on a number of occasions, most recently until spring 1999.
The report also notes the "serious concerns" of EU member states about the consequences of the possible deployment of the missiles on the search for a peaceful solution to the Cypriot question.
Kasoulides said the government would think about what to do in order not to undermine any effort that may be undertaken by anybody who wishes to work seriously with a view to dispel the feeling of insecurity people in Cyprus feel.
A large Turkish mainland force of about 35,000 troops has been occupying Cyprus' northern areas since 1974, backed by massive military hardware, and has refused to comply with UN resolutions to withdraw.
Referring to Cyprus' EU accession course, Kasoulides said he did not expect any problems to arise at next week's ministerial meeting as substantive accession negotiations begin with Cyprus and five other candidate countries.
He noted however recent attempts to link membership talks with the Cyprus question and added "if such a linkage is made, then Turkey would have an additional reason to continue being negative in efforts to settle the problem, something contrary to European interests which wants to see obstacles in Turkey's course to Europe removed".
Turkey objects to Cyprus' European aspirations and has called for the withdrawal of the country's application for accession.
Cyprus problem could threaten EU expansion
Cyprus Mail: Wednesday, November 11, 1998
THE CYPRUS problem threatened yesterday to derail negotiations with six front-running candidates, mainly in East Europe, for membership of the European Union.
In opening detailed negotiations with Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus, Slovenia and Estonia, the 15-nation bloc was hoping to send a sign of encouragement to former communist bloc countries as they carry out painful preparations to join the wealthy Western club.
But the negotiations remained marred by the concerns of four EU member countries about the problems which could result from the division in Cyprus.
However British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook told London Greek Radio yesterday that the island's accession should not be conditional.
"We do not believe that accession of Cyprus should be made conditional on a solution to the division of the island," Cook said, adding that membership for Cyprus should be considered on its own merits.
"The process of accession will help encourage a solution to the division," Cook said.
But yesterday the concerns expressed on Monday by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands were compounded by those of aspirant members who fear problems arising from the political situation in Cyprus could derail the EU's eastwards expansion entirely.
"I hope that the Cyprus problem will not cause a blockage of the expansion, " Polish Foreign Minister Bromislaw Geremek told a news conference in Brussels.
Greece has repeatedly said Athens would block the expansion completely if the island was kept out.
It issued the warning to its EU partners again yesterday, a stance welcomed by the government in Nicosia.
"The admission of other countries into the EU cannot proceed if the argument for not admitting Cyprus is the island's political problem," said Greek government spokesman Nikos Athanassakis yesterday.
"There is no way Cyprus will become a hostage of Turkey. The EU cannot accept a Turkish veto on the admission of Cyprus."
Greece's Alternate Foreign Minister George Papandreou said the Greek parliament would not permit Poland and the others to join if Cyprus was held back.
The EU has embarked on detailed talks despite most members' apparent lack of enthusiasm for speeding up expansion, because of the scale of the exercise and the difficulty of reforming the EU's financing and institutions to prepare it for a membership of 20 or more.
"Today we opened the actual negotiations. Nothing can stop the train," Austrian Foreign Minister Wolfgang Schuessel told a news conference as EU foreign ministers held individual meetings with the six.
"It's a very important day for Cyprus," Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides told a news conference in Brussels.
But he played down Monday's warning from the four member states.
"We agree with the fact there's a problem... The message should be addressed to the Turks. It should say that Turkey should not have a right of veto on Cyprus," Cassoulides said.
Cassoulides made extensive reference to what the government has done to promote Turkish Cypriot participation in the island's EU negotiations and regretted the fact there has been no positive response. "The invitation is still open," he said.
EU Commissioner Hans van den Broek also regretted the Turkish Cypriot side had not taken up the invitation, but he welcomed the progress achieved by Cyprus so far towards accession.
While Cassoulides and Geremek said yesterday they believed their countries could enter the EU in 2003, EU members, not least the new German government, are increasingly talking in terms of a first expansion in 2005 or 2006.
Green - Cyprus problem - EU
London, Nov 20 1998 (CNA) -- "A solution to the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for accession", to the European Union, European Socialist Party leader, Pauline Green stressed today, speaking to London Greek Radio (LGR).
Commenting on the position taken by Italy, Germany, France and the Netherlands regarding Cyprus' accession to the EU, Green said "the solution is not a precondition" adding that "these are tactics".
"I firmly believe that that is the position which the EU is committed to", she remarked.
Asked about Turkey's stance on the Cyprus issue, the Euro-MP stressed that pressure needs to be exercised on the government of Turkey "both for Cyprus and the Kurdish issue".
"The sort of behaviour we've seen in the last few days, the threats against Italy, let alone against little Cyprus, simply is not acceptable to a country aspiring to be part of the EU and that sort of pressure has got to be kept on them", Green stressed.
Commenting on the new initiative taken by the UN on the Cyprus problem as well as efforts made by the UN Secretary General's Resident Representative, Ann Hercus, Green said, "every effort should continue to be made".
She expressed confidence towards Hercus' efforts and pointing out that the new UN official "is quite a different style of UN representative".
"I hope that she succeeds, she knows that she has a difficult task but we must encourage her on that route", Green concluded.
British Shadow Foreign Secretary - Cyprus problem
Nicosia, Dec 2 1998 (CNA) -- The British Shadow Foreign Secretary stressed that no country outside the European Union has the power to veto membership of the Union and expressed support to the opening of accession talks with Cyprus.
In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR), Michael Trent backed efforts for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus and rejected a proposal from the Turkish side for confederation.
The Conservative MP underlined that Britain should play an active role in the search for a solution and said his party will support any attempt by the Labour government.
"The British Conservatives firmly support the EU's decision to open accession negotiations with Cyprus," Trent said, expressing the hope that "a solution can be found so that the whole island can join".
He added his party is "firm in our belief that no country outside the EU has the power to veto membership of the Union."
"The criteria for joining was set out and those countries which meet the criteria should be let in. This is a clear message from our party for those who may try to block the accession process and intimidate the recognised government of Cyprus from pursuing its application for membership."
The Turkish side has reacted negatively to the EU decision to open accession talks with the Cyprus Republic, while Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has demanded the withdrawal of the application if he is to participate in peace talks.
Trent rejected a proposal put forward by Denktash in August for the establishment of a "confederation of two states" in Cyprus, which is contrary to UN resolutions.
"We do not support the idea of a confederation proposed by Denktash and we don't see the essence in measures which would perpetuate rather than put right the present division of the island", he said, expressing support to a bizonal, bicommunal federation as stipulated in UN resolutions.
The Conservative MP expressed the view that "there is another round of increased tension right at the moment."
"We do not want to see at all further militirisation of the island. We think it is a step in the wrong direction. And our stand over the acquisition of missiles by the government and the response by the Turkish government are both disturbing," he added.
The Cyprus government decided to purchase the Russian-made S300 anti- aircraft missile system, to protect the free areas of the Cyprus Republic in case of a new Turkish offensive.
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.
Turkey has threatened it would not allow the deployment of the missiles in Cyprus.
Asked if London could play more active role in a solution in Cyprus, Trent said "we think that Britain should continue to be closely involved with the search for a solution. And we will support any real and genuine attempts to bring about a lasting settlement."
British Shadow Foreign Secretary - Cyprus problem
London, Dec 15 1998 (CNA) -- British Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Howard said that Turkey cannot veto Cyprus' application to join the European Union.
In an interview with London Greek Radio (LGR), the Conservative MP also said that protracted and slow negotiations are necessary in order to achieve a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution in Cyprus.
He expressed the view that the proposed installment of a surface-to-air missiles system by the Cyprus government would not have a positive influence on Ankara's attitude towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.
"We have put forward proposals. We favour a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution to the difficulties which presently exist, we still think this is the best way forward," Howard said.
Pointing out that the Conservative party had appointed Sir David Hannay as its special Cyprus envoy when it was in power, the Conservative MP expressed satisfaction with the fact that the present Labour government renewed his appointment.
"We hope that all the parties will cooperate with him to achieve a lasting, peaceful settlement," he added.
Invited to comment on Britain's role in the problems Turkey creates, such as the fact that it opposes Cyprus' EU accession and continues to keep more than 35-thousand troops on the island since its 1974 invasion, Howard expressed the view "it is much more than paying lip-service to it."
He underlined that "Turkey does not have a veto over which country becomes a member of the EU and when we were in government we made it absolutely clear that if necessary the application of Cyprus could and should be considered even if the island remains, as presently, a divided state."
At the same time he expressed the hope that there is a settlement in Cyprus.
Asked if Turkey's allies, who are pressuring the Cyprus government not to deploy the Russian-made S300 missile system, should also pressure Ankara to show more goodwill in a Cyprus settlement, Howard replied that he does not think "the installation of the Russian missiles would help matters at all."
"I don't think that they would have a positive influence on the attitude of Turkey, quite the opposite," he said, adding that he understands the frustration the people of Cyprus feel.
Howard said that "it would be a mistake to suppose that necessarily the best way of achieving a solution is through the exertion of pressure."
"What you need and this is what might do it in the end, is what happened in Northern Ireland, in Middle East and elsewhere, that is protracted, patient, slow negotiations, very unglamorous, very undramatic that would lead to any quick results," he added.
The Shadow Foreign Secretary said "that is the best way to have results that will last and we have done all that we can to encourage that process."
UK politicians - Cyprus - Iraq
London, Dec 18 1998 (CNA) -- Two prominent figures in the British political scene have voiced their concern about the inability of the international community to implement its decisions on Cyprus.
They also acknowledged that Britain did not act as it should have done, as a guarantor power of Cyprus' independence, and showed understanding towards the bitter feelings the people of Cyprus have because of the continuing occupation of part of their homeland by Turkey.
Britain's Liberal Democrats Party leader Paddy Ashdown, told London Greek Radio (LGR) in an interview that "we have not done enough to reinforce the UN Security Council resolutions."
He expressed regret about the flagrant disrespect Turkey displays towards UN resolutions on Cyprus, which call for the withdrawal of its occupation troops from the island.
"I would like to see the international community take a stronger action," he said but indicated that bombing Ankara is not on the cards.
Replying to questions, he noted the "very strong will" shown in the case of Iraq "will reinforce our capacity and self confidence to take action elsewhere as well."
"If we allow this to degenerate, then we will not have a framework to fall back on," he remarked.
He said the international community, including his own country, did not fulfill its obligations towards Cyprus.
Euro Labour MP Pauline Green recognised the injustice in Cyprus and acknowledged "we did not do what we should have done in Cyprus in 1974 and that was where the problem stemmed from."
"If we had been firmer, including military results then, we would never be in the position we are in now," she told LGR but explained that bombing Ankara 25 years later is not the right thing to do.
She said the Cyprus problem is part of efforts by the UN, the international community and the European Union.
Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per
cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated
UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.
Note: This site does not represent the
views of the staff, management or the owners of London Greek Radio.
Chairman: H Sophoclides. Managing Director: A Yerolemou. Programme
Controller: G Gregorious. Head of Sales: C Harmanda.