Clerides flies to Athens to discuss various scenarios
Larnaca, May 22 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has said he
would discuss with Greek Premier Costas Simitis the various scenarios, in
case the four core issues of the Cyprus question as set out by the UN
Secretary General Kofi Annan (governance, security, territory and property)
are not covered by June.
Speaking at Larnaca airport, prior to his departure for Athens, where he will have consultations with Simitis and other Greek officials, Clerides said that the Cyprus government has certain thoughts on this issue. He did not elaborate.|
"We have looked into various scenarios, we have exchanged various views and we are going to Athens to listen to the views of the Greek government concerning these scenarios or these issues and others," he added.
Invited to say whether there has been a change of climate in the ongoing UN- led peace talks, after Annan's recent visit to the island, Clerides said that "it is still early to tell whether acceleration of the talks process has been achieved," adding that this will be ascertained during the talks, that will follow in June.
Asked whether the Greek Cypriot side expects that within June responsibilities will be attributed to the intransigent side at the talks, Clerides said "this is an issue to be decided by the Secretary General himself."
He added that Annan drew the two sides' attention to the need for achieving progress.
Asked to say whether he shares concerns expressed for possible problems that might come up the last moment, in Cyprus' bid to join the European Union, President Clerides said he did not adopt this view and that "for the time being we are not facing any problems."
Asked about the possibility of Turkey creating tension in the summer, as it has threatened, in case Cyprus joined the EU prior to a solution of the Cyprus problem, Clerides said that measures are taken even if this possibility is far off.
On his departure from Cyprus, where he paid last week a 48-hour visit the UN Secretary General urged the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, to focus on the core issues of governance, security, territory and property, during talks to solve the Cyprus problem.
He also noted that despite their differences on substance and on the timeframe, he was still convinced that between now and the end of June they could resolve all the core issues provided they go about their task decisively and with the necessary political will.
Clerides and Denktash have been engaged in UN-led direct talks since mid January this year, with a view to negotiate until a settlement is reached. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
President Clerides is accompanied to Athens by his Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and his aides at the UN-sponsored peace talks.
Clerides will meet at noon Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos and have talks with Premier Costas Simitis tonight. He will be back home tomorrow afternoon.