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Media Watch 2003

09 June 2003
Source: Simerini
Comment: The following article appeared Simerini of Nicosia on 9 June 2003.
Diplomatic efforts centred on USA

The government’s diplomatic efforts focus on USA. The Foreign Minister, Yiorgos Iakovou started contacts in the United States as of Sunday.

Nevertheless, the government’s attention is also focused on Europe, due to the measures in favour of the Turkish-Cypriots and to EU Commissioner, Gunter Verhoigen’s visit to Cyprus on June 17th. At the same time, Turks continue to provoke in the Aegean Sea with their continual violations of the Greek national airspace realised within the aeronautical drill “Thalassolycos”. In fact, today, the “Ephesus” drill begins, which will cover the northern part of the Aegean and will end on June 13th – that is, the day of the arrival of the US Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Weston – with a virtual occupation of a Greek island.

Mr. Weston in his interview to the newspaper Simerini, shut the door to the recognition of the pseudostate and to Mr. Denktash’ demand for negations outside the framework of UNO. Mr. Weston said that there was not a new formula for the Cyprus issue and that the USA supported the good offices provided by UN Secretary-General and the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations and settlement of the Cyprus issue in accordance with the EU acquis.

At the same time, Foreign Minister, Yiorgos Iakovou was departing for the United States, where he is to have important contacts with the Vice President, Dick Cheney, US State Secretary, Colin Powell and the US National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice. In addition, he is to meet with the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan and Mr. Alvaro de Soto. Mr. Iakovou stated that his visit’s goals were: Firstly, to outline the views of the Cypriot government, which desires and is ready to resume the negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the Annan plan aiming at a functional solution compatible with the EU acquis. Secondly, to make perfectly clear that the Cyprus issue remains unsettled due to the Turkish side’s intransigence. Therefore, USA should turn to Ankara and to Mr. Denktash for the settlement of the issue until Cyprus becomes a full member of the EU in May 2004.

Relevant to the Cyprus issue was the position of Mr. Iakovou regarding the EU measures for the Turkish-Cypriots. According to the Foreign Minister, there was never an issue for the reopening of the port in Ammohostos by the EU and pointed out: a. the trade of the Turkish-Cypriot products would be realised only through ports controlled by the Republic of Cyprus. b. The port of Ammohostos could operate again only when it would be returned to the Republic."