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Government is Cautiously Optimistic but Warns Against Euphoria
2001-12-08 13:36:18

Statements /Reactions to the developments in Cyprus

Nicosia, Dec 6 (CNA) -- The government is "cautiously optimistic" in view of next month's start of direct talks on the future of the divided island of Cyprus but has warned against harbouring great expectations, saying things will become clearer as the dialogue on substantive issues progresses.

Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou pointed out that at this stage there are no indications that Turkish policy on Cyprus has changed and added that the government has already prepared a package of confidence building measures for the President to bear in mind and apply as appropriate at the talks.|

"We must not allow euphoria to be created as this is not justified by political developments. Everything will be judged in the future when the dialogue on issues of substance begins," Papapetrou said after today's cabinet meeting.

Euphoria cannot be justified, he said, adding that the government is "cautiously optimistic that with the start of a new process there will be a different political will which will offer the possibility of a solution."

"Nobody can claim that there are signs that Turkish policy on Cyprus has changed or that it was expected to change simply because the President of the Republic met the Turkish Cypriot leader for an hour," Papapetrou said.

This is something to be seen and proven at the negotiating table, he added.

The government wishes to put to good use the prevailing "good climate" in order to assist the UN process that begins in January.

Asked whether the euphoria is created by the President, Papapetrou said "President Clerides is bolstering this good climate and the overall atmosphere which he believes can help the process of negotiations."

Last night the President attended a dinner in Turkish occupied Nicosia, hosted by Rauf Denktash at his residence, a move that sparked criticism from various quarters.

The dinner took place only a day after Clerides and Denktash agreed at their face to face meeting in four years to begin direct talks, under UN auspices, in mid January without any preconditions, with all issues on the table and with a view to negotiate until a comprehensive settlement is reached.

Replying to questions, the spokesman did not rule out the possibility of seeing an agreement on confidence building measures, should the talks show signs of making some progress.

"I would not exclude the possibility of either leader announcing measures for the other side," he said.

The President has always in mind certain gestures towards this direction for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots, adding that there is already a package of confidence building measures.


Statements /Reactions to the developments in Cyprus

Government is cautiously optimistic but warns against euphoria

Nicosia, Dec 6 (CNA) -- The government is "cautiously optimistic" in view of next month's start of direct talks on the future of the divided island of Cyprus but has warned against harbouring great expectations, saying things will become clearer as the dialogue on substantive issues progresses.

Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou pointed out that at this stage there are no indications that Turkish policy on Cyprus has changed and added that the government has already prepared a package of confidence building measures for the President to bear in mind and apply as appropriate at the talks.|

"We must not allow euphoria to be created as this is not justified by political developments. Everything will be judged in the future when the dialogue on issues of substance begins," Papapetrou said after today's cabinet meeting.

Euphoria cannot be justified, he said, adding that the government is "cautiously optimistic that with the start of a new process there will be a different political will which will offer the possibility of a solution."

"Nobody can claim that there are signs that Turkish policy on Cyprus has changed or that it was expected to change simply because the President of the Republic met the Turkish Cypriot leader for an hour," Papapetrou said.

This is something to be seen and proven at the negotiating table, he added.

The government wishes to put to good use the prevailing "good climate" in order to assist the UN process that begins in January.

Asked whether the euphoria is created by the President, Papapetrou said "President Clerides is bolstering this good climate and the overall atmosphere which he believes can help the process of negotiations."

Last night the President attended a dinner in Turkish occupied Nicosia, hosted by Rauf Denktash at his residence, a move that sparked criticism from various quarters.

The dinner took place only a day after Clerides and Denktash agreed at their face to face meeting in four years to begin direct talks, under UN auspices, in mid January without any preconditions, with all issues on the table and with a view to negotiate until a comprehensive settlement is reached.

Replying to questions, the spokesman did not rule out the possibility of seeing an agreement on confidence building measures, should the talks show signs of making some progress.

"I would not exclude the possibility of either leader announcing measures for the other side," he said.

The President has always in mind certain gestures towards this direction for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots, adding that there is already a package of confidence building measures.

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