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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Flurry of diplomatic activity ]

Flurry of diplomatic activity

THE INTERNATIONAL community is pulling out all the stops to help keep up the new momentum on the Cyprus issue with three official foreign visits in the last ten days and another four coming up.

On top of what a UN official said in New York on Thursday that the UN Secretary General has discussed developments in Moscow and asked for the support of President Vladimir Putin, similar talks were held in Bucharest by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Since the start of the month UN Undersecretary General Lynn Pascoe visited the Nicosia, Athens, Ankara triangle. There has been a visit by the Serbian Foreign Minister, and yesterday French Minister of State, responsible for European Affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet, held a round of contacts on the island.

Next week Britain’s special envoy for Cyprus Joan Ryan will be on the island, as will Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov and Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

Another expected visitor is US Undersecretary of State Matthew Bryza who was in Athens over the past few days for meetings with the Greek leadership. Titov has also been in Athens.

All visiting officials have spoken of the new chance for progress and the window of opportunity this year for a solution.

“Clearly there is an interest with the new mood and with the progress that has been made,” said one diplomat commenting on the flurry of activity.

“The international community sees this as an encouraging time to make progress so that would be one of the reasons why we are seeing this.”

Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou told state radio yesterday the current momentum is being seen as an historic chance by the international community. ‘This historic chance has come with the election of President Demetris Christofias and they don’t want to lose this chance,” he said.

Iacovou said however that, although the support of the international community would be needed in the months ahead, the negotiations would be a Cypriot affair.

This was reiterated by Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou yesterday. Stefanou said the last UN resolution on Cyprus was clear that the initiative was to be between the two communities. No interventions would be allowed, he said.

“The initiative is in the hands of Cypriots and as the President often says the two communities must prove that they want to, and can resolve the Cyprus issue in such a way that would serve the interests of the Cypriot population.

“The momentum by the international community is a result of the climate that has been created and the renewed interest from abroad after President Christofias` election.”

The international community, Stefanou said, should focus their energies on bringing Turkey on board.

Visiting French Minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet whose country takes over the next EU six-month presidency said yesterday Paris’ position was that Turkey could not join the bloc unless it recognised Cyprus.

“The President of the French government has expressed his position on the subject with great clarity. Turkey will not enter the EU unless it recognises Cyprus”, Jouyet said.

“France fully supports the procedure which began after the election of President Christofias. We have stressed that France will continue to support this process. The French EU presidency, which will begin July 1st, will support all efforts in the framework of this process which will last three months and we will monitor the progress,” he added.


(Source: Cyprus Mail)



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