Government welcomes invitation to direct talks

June 30, 1997

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has extended invitations to President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Dentkash to participate in direct negotiations on the Cyprus problem, to begin July 9, in Amenia, New York.

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides commenting on the invitation stressed that the Greek-Cypriot side will participate in the direct talks in a positive and constructive way in order to achieve the island's reunification the soonest possible. He further noted that if the other side comes with a similar spirit then we may be able to celebrate the reunification of the country and the reconciliation of all Cypriots.

Meanwhile, Government Spokesman Manolis Christophides underlined that July 9 is the beginning of a new effort towards finding a Cyprus solution and it will last as long as necessary.

While in Amsterdam for the EU summit on 27 June, President Clerides stated to the press that as he approached the forthcoming UN sponsored direct talks in New York, his aim remained an early solution to the Cyprus problem and noted that a settlement must be based on the two High Level Agreements, UN resolutions and fundamental EU principles.

The Security-Council in its resolution 1117, adopted on 27 June, called upon the two leaders "to commit themselves to this process of negotiations, including participation in the first session of such negotiations to be held 9-13 July 1997, urges them to cooperate actively and constructively with the Secretary-General and his special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Diego Cordovez, to that end, and stresses that full support of all concerned is necessary for this process to produce results."


Britain will play a leading role towards a Cyprus solution and the island's bid to join the European Union (EU) during its presidency of the Union, the first half of 1998, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said.

The British Premier on 24 June, referred to the Cyprus problem and the Republic's EU accession course during a debate in the House of Commons, on the Denver G8 summit meeting, replying to questions put forward by MP John Taylor.

"The conclusions of the Denver summit underline the importance that the international community attaches to the issue and I hope that we can move forward on it," Blair added.

Blair also referred to the appointment of Richard Holbrooke as US Presidential Emissary and Sir David Hannay as Britain's Special Representative for Cyprus and expressed the hope that "their appointment will assist the process and help to develop even greater urgency in the search for a settlement."


The US administration and in particular Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, strongly support the direct negotiations United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has scheduled for next month, US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill, said in Nicosia in mid June.

"At this point, it's very clear that the US, the administration as a whole and Ambassador Holbrooke in particular, want to support the UN Secretary-General's efforts in New York for the talks that he has scheduled. We're very supportive of that and nothing that we do will be anything other than supportive," Brill said.


Russia has reiterated its firm support for a solution to the Cyprus problem and pledged to help the current UN initiative on Cyprus.

The Russian position was reiterated in June during a meeting in Moscow between the Foreign Ministers of Russia and Cyprus, Yevgeni Primakov and Ioannis Kasoulides.

Primakov expressed the hope that a Cyprus solution would be reached soon, within the framework of relevant UN resolutions.

He reaffirmed his country's readiness to play a substantial role, contributing to the success of the UN Secretary-General's ongoing mission of good offices.

The Russian Minister expressed the hope that the forthcoming direct talks between President Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash would yield positive results.


China has expressed its intention to play a more active role in efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Ji Peiding who in June paid a three day visit in Cyprus said that China, as well as the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, have always been concerned about the Cyprus problem and that they hoped a rapid solution can be brought about through the efforts made by the international community and the UN in particular. China, he said, has always maintained that the independence. sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Cyprus should be fully protected.

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