April 30, 1998
President Glafcos Clerides has warned that the Turkish side's attempt to change the basis of the negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem will have consequences not only for Cyprus but for the whole region.
In a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 2 April, 1998 the Cypriot President called on the Security Council to urge the Turkish side to return to the negotiating table.
"The Turkish attempt to change the basis of the negotiations strikes at the heart of the negotiating process with unforeseen consequences not only for Cyprus but for peace and stability in the region," President Clerides said.
After a decision by the European Union to open accession talks with Cyprus (March 31, 1998), the Turkish Cypriot side told the UN it would not participate in negotiations to settle the Cyprus problem unless the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus was recognized.
Its leader Rauf Denktash had said he wanted a change of the bicommunal basis on which the negotiations took place until today and wanted to participate as the leader of his illegal "state" unilaterally declared in 1983 and recognized only by Turkey. "We feel that the Security Council, which has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and stability, should reconfirm its commitment for a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of its own resolutions and the high level agreements and, in this framework urge the Turkish side to return to0 the negotiating process," the President said.
Two high level agreements were signed by the two sides in 1977 and 1979 that provide for the establishment a bicommunal, bizonal federation in Cyprus.
According to UNFICYP spokesman Waldemar Rokoszewski "the governments of Britain and the Netherlands have concluded that one company, which is approximately 100 men, of Dutch peacekeepers would replace one company of British soldiers serving under UN flag."
He explained that the Dutch peacekeepers will be "incorporated" in the British contingent, which will comprise two companies of British soldiers and one Dutch company, which might become a separate unit in the future.
On the other hand, about 1500 Turkish Cypriots visited during the month the Mosque of Hala Sultan in the government controlled areas of the Republic, on the occasion of the religious Moslem feast of the Eid El Adha (Kurban Bayram).
Presenting his credentials on 7 April, 1998 to President Glafcos Clerides, new Finnish Ambassador to Cyprus, Pasi Patokallio, described relations between Finland and Cyprus as "excellent" and contacts as "manifold".
"Finland looks forward to welcoming Cyprus as one of its partners in an enlarged EU," he said, expressing the hope "accession negotiations with Cyprus will progress well on the basis of December 1997 conclusions of the European Council in Luxembourg".
Also Norway on 7 April, 1998 reaffirmed its support to a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem and expressed the wish negotiations for Cyprus' European Union membership will be conducive to that effect.
Presenting his credentials to President, Glafcos Clerides, new Norwegian Ambassador to Cyprus, Svein Ole Saether, stressed excellent bilateral relations, pointing out "they have been enhanced over the last years, not at least due to tourism".
Saether stressed the great importance Norway attaches to efforts for a Cyprus settlement "through negotiations and an open active dialogue".
Expressing his country's full support to the UN Secretary-General's efforts for a durable negotiated settlement, he pointed to Norway's substantial financial support to the UN Peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and to humanitarian work for the refugees. President Glafcos Clerides said a peaceful settlement in Cyprus would ensure equal dignity and the common interests of Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike. He also underlined the need to establish peace, security and stability in the world at large on the basis of justice and equity.
Receiving the new Pakistani High Commissioner Aneesuddin Ahmed on, who is based in Beirut, the President said "I wished I could welcome you today to a unified Cyprus" and expressed regret that several Commonwealth and Non-Aligned Movement decisions called for respect of the independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus remain unimplemented.
In a written, statement released in Nicosia, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the deal shows that "wherever there is a political will by the parties involved, as well as international support, long-standing and difficult problems can finally be resolved to the benefit of peace and prosperity for all."
"After achieving the accord on North Ireland, a continuation of present situation in Cyprus and the occupation of 37 percent of the island's territory by Turkey, constitutes an historic anachronism and poses a great responsibility for everyone of us in resolving the Cyprus problem".
The Cypriot Foreign Minister expressed hope that the international factor, will now decisively turn its attention towards Cyprus, in reaching a just solution.
In an announcement of the Ministry of Communications and Works points out that April 18 has been designated by the International Council of Monuments of States (ICOMOS) as international day for monuments.
It notes that out of 774 listed monuments, 197 are situated in the northern part of Cyprus, under Turkish occupation since 1974 when Turkey's troops invaded the island.
Jacovides is one of sixteen high-level international arbitrators appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Independent Claims Resolution Foundation, headed by Paul Volcker, former chairman of the US Federal Reserve.