American involvement facilitates
UN efforts in Cyprus

New York 15 July 1997

The US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Mr. Richard Holbrooke, believes it is "pretty clear" that there is a wide gap between the views of the two sides in Cyprus and considers that they have a long way to go before the two leaders agree on a joint declaration.

Talking to the press after an hour-long meeting on 15 July with Turkish Cypriot leader Mr. Rauf Denktash, Mr. Holbrooke also pointed out that the US efforts have already started and that they are in support of UN attempts to settle the Cyprus problem.

The US envoy also met President Glafcos Clerides, in New York, after the conclusion of the first round of direct negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, that took place in Troutbeck, July 9-12. A second round of talks are expected to take place near Geneva, August 11-16.

Asked if he shares the view of the Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Cyprus, Diego Cordovez, that there is still a wide gap between the two sides, Mr. Holbrooke noted he had not seen that statement but he thought that it was pretty clear.

Asked by Cyprus News Agency if efforts to solve the Cyprus problem are back to square one, the American Presidential Emissary said "you have to ask the two participants", adding, however, " I'm really glad the two leaders met with each other, that is a step forward."

To a question if one should expect a joint declaration to be issued during the Geneva talks, Mr. Holbrooke said this is something President Clerides and Mr. Denktash should reply to. " I think they have a long way to go before they agree on a declaration, " he added.

Invited to define the timing of the US intervention in the Cyprus peace process, Mr. Holbrooke said he was not going to intervene but to assist. he expressed the hope that the US is already facilitating by showing "a great deal of interest and keeping in involved with everyone."

"We are doing what we can but we are not going to be very visible right now, this is a UN show for the time being." he said.

Asked when one should expect to see the 'American show", he replied "obviously we are supporting the UN, we are part of the UN."

Replying to questions, the US envoy said he is leaving for Europe "to talk to the European governments about their views and particularly the European Union factor." However, Mr. Holbrooke made it clear that he is not going to "inform the European governments about the Troutbeck talks as they are informed directly by Mr. Cordovez."

EU Representatives were in Troutbeck during the talks, along with foreign governments envoys, and were briefed on their outcome by the UN Special Adviser who chaired the negotiations.


On July 15, the European Commission adopted a proposal recommending that accession talks to the European Union should start with Cyprus and five other nations.

The Commission's "Agenda 2000" document recommends that five Eastern and Central European Countries, namely Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Estonia and Cyprus should start accession talks next year.The document was formally agreed on July 15 without much discussion during a meeting of EU Commissioners in Strasbourg. On July 16, the President of the Commission, Jacques Santers, will formally present the decision to the European Parliament.

Cyprus was scheduled to start membership negotiations six months after the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), in accordance to an EU decision in March 1995.

Cyprus applied for EU membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a Customs Union agreement in 1987.

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