President Clerides' visit to China a success

June 30, 1999

President Glafcos Clerides, accompanied by an official delegation including three Ministers, paid an official six-day visit to China from 6 to 12 June. Before leaving Cyprus, President Clerides expressed the hope that his visit to China would be a "milestone" in the bilateral relations and give a "new impetus to the close and full cooperation in all fields" between the two countries.

On June 7, the Cypriot President met with the President of China Jian Zemin. The Chinese President reiterated that a solution to the Cyprus problem should be based on UN resolutions. The Cypriot President expressed satisfaction with the positions upheld by Chinese officials on the Cyprus problem.

On June 8, President Clerides, accompanied by the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Finance and Commerce and the Minister of Industry and Tourism met with the Chinese Prime Minister, Zhu Rong Ji. The Chinese Premier reaffirmed his country's steady support for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem, according to UN resolutions which provide for a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

Parallel to the meetings of the President, the Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides held separately a meeting with the Foreign Minister of China Tang Jian Xuan. During the meeting Mr. Xuan reiterated his country's support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Cyprus. He also said that UN principles and Security Council resolutions should be respected.

Ways of further developing trade and economic relations between Cyprus and China were also discussed between President Glafcos Clerides and the Chairman of the Chinese Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT), Yu Xia Song. After that meeting President Clerides delivered a speech at the China-Cyprus Economic and Trade Seminar, organized by the Council and the Cyprus Ministry of Commerce Industry and Tourism, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cyprus Central Bank.

Li Peng,Chairman of the National People's Congress after his meeting with President Clerides said that Mr. Clerides' state visit to China will contribute to further promoting Sino-Cypriot relations.

Upon his return from China President Clerides expressed satisfaction with the outcome of his six-day state visit to China, saying that "practical steps" were taken to boost economic and trade links.


On 20 June the leaders of the seven most industrialized nations plus Russia (G8) called on the UN to invite both sides in Cyprus to talks this autumn, noting that such negotiations should take full consideration of relevant UN resolutions and treaties on Cyprus. It also invites the two leaders to commit themselves to negotiate without preconditions on all issues and to commit themselves to continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached.

In their Statement on Regional Issues at the end of their three-day summit in Cologne, the G8 noted that "the Cyprus problem has gone unresolved for too long" and that "resolution of this problem would not only benefit all the people of Cyprus, but would also have a positive impact on peace and stability in the region."

President Clerides and the majority of the political parties welcomed the G8 statement on Cyprus. Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said the G8 for the first time offer their support to the mission of good offices of the UN Secretary-General. He also warned that if the Turkish side does not respond to an invitation for Cyprus peace talks the international community will have to undertake its responsibilities.


On June 30 the UN Security Council called for unconditional talks for a settlement in Cyprus with all issues on the table, endorsing a statement by the Group of the seven most industrialized countries plus Russia (G8).

The Security Council reiterated that a settlement on the island must provide for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as stipulated in its resolutions. The Council adopted two resolutions, one on Secretary-General Kofi Annan's good offices mission (1250/1999) and another on the extension for a further six-month period of the mandate of the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (1251/1999).

In a statement to the press Foreign Minister Kasoulides said that the UN Security Council Resolutions clarify the parameters in which the search for a Cyprus settlement will be conducted. He further added that the sides should exhibit good will and wait for the Secretary-General's invitation.


US President Bill Clinton on June 4, has reiterated his administration's resolve to continue being involved in efforts to promote a negotiated settlement in Cyprus under the UN auspices and in line with UN resolutions.

"The US remains actively engaged in efforts to promote a negotiated settlement to the Cyprus dispute, under UN auspices and on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal, federal solution," Clinton's bimonthly report to Congress on the situation in Cyprus says. In his letter to Congress, President Clinton notes, that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright underscored the US commitment to finding a comprehensive solution to Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides during their meeting in mid-February in Washington.


Cyprus will host the third Euro-Mediterranean Conference of Industry Ministers due to take place in June 2000. A proposal to host the meeting had been submitted by Cyprus' Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis, at the second Euro-Mediterranean Conference held in Klagenfurt, Austria, in October 1998, and was approved at the European Union -Euro-Mediterranean Committee held in Brussels earlier this week.


A European Union sponsored media workshop held on 25 June in Nicosia took place without the participation of Turkish Cypriot journalists, who were prevented from attending by the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus. Speakers at the three-day event, taking place at the Ledra Palace hotel in the UN controlled buffer zone, expressed regret at this development and said they hoped ways can be found to resume bicommunal contact, halted after the EU Luxembourg decision in 1997 which did not include Turkey in the list of candidate countries.

* * * * *