President Clerides' statements on Cyprus ahead of NY meetings
Nicosia, Oct 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides has stated that,
according to what the Greek Cypriot sides knows, the UN Secretary-General
will not submit any written thoughts or ideas for a solution to the Cyprus
problem during the New York talks on 3 and 4 October.
Clerides, who spoke last night before his departure to London on his way to New York, also said it seems the island's accession to the European Union (EU) will take place without any problems and the direct talks for a Cyprus settlement will continue even if no solution is achieved before accession to the EU.
The President, who will hold talks tomorrow and Friday with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, said "the fact that the talks will continue if there is no solution after we enter the EU, is not only the Secretary-General's position but also the position of the EU".
He said EU officials have said they will suggest a continuation of the talks after December. "From what it seems, our accession course will take place without any problems", he added.|
Asked what he expects from the New York meetings, Clerides replied "it is difficult to foresee", adding however that "the positive thing we know is that the UN Secretary-General will not submit any written ideas or thoughts for a Cyprus settlement". Clerides further said Kofi Annan has not indicated a settlement but had "expressed some views on several issues which we took into consideration".
Regarding statements made Tuesday by Turkish Premier Bulent Ecevit on Cyprus that although Turkey would not like Greek Cypriots to join the EU, it will not be such a big deal and that Cyprus is of vital strategic importance for Turkey and there will be two "separate states" on the island, Clerides replied "this was and continues to be the Ecevit policy".
However, as the Turks are progressing towards general elections, "we do not know which will be the policy of the new government which will be elected", Clerides added.
The UN Secretary-General is expected to meet UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto today to "discuss developments in Cyprus and set up a schedule for the talks" to be held Thursday and Friday.
Clerides arrives in New York at 09.30 local time and will hold meetings later in the afternoon with US State Department Special Coordinator on Cyprus Thomas Weston and British Envoy for Cyprus, Lord David Hannay.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the island's northern third. The UN-sponsored direct talks which began last January have reached a stalemate due to Denktash's insistence for recognition of two "separate states", contrary to UN resolutions calling for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.