07 April, 2004
Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis on Tuesday briefed a high-ranking government session over recent developments regarding the Cyprus issues, especially the closely watched UN-backed negotiations late last month in Switzerland.
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis chaired the session, essentially a mini Cabinet meeting.
According to Molyviatis, Greece does not retain a role as negotiator; instead, it is providing its coo-peration, as requested by UN Chief Kofi Annan.
“It (Greece) neither has the ability or the desire to enforce a solution,” he added.
According to sources, Karamanlis will send a letter to the president of the republic requesting the convening of a political party leaders’ council, with the date left to the discretion of President Kostis Stephanopoulos.
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis, accompanied by New Democracy (ND) party Central Committee Secretary General Vangelis Meimarakis, arrived here early on Tuesday afternoon to be briefed on the views and positions of the political leadership of the Republic of Cyprus, in light of the results of the Cyprus talks in Lucerne last week and in view on the referenda which will take place on April 24 on the acceptance or not of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's final plan for a solution to the Cyprus problem. Valinakis was briefed by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and by former president Glafcos Clerides, while meetings are also scheduled with the leaderships of all the political parties of Cyprus.
Following a meeting he had with President Papadopoulos at the Presidential Mansion, Valinakis told reporters that ''I had the opportunity of meeting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papandreou and being briefed directly on his thoughts and views following Lucerne on the Annan plan and of course in view of the referenda on April 24. I will continue my briefing meetings with the leaderships of all the political parties of Cyprus. As you know, I have already met with former president Glafcos Clerides. I am certain that the Cypriot people in a calm climate, with sobriety and responsibility, without dramatisations and tensions, will take their decision. Decisions which will be respected by all.''
In statements on arrival in Cyprus, Valinakis said that his presence on the island confirms the fact that the Greek government is at the side of Cyprus.
''My presence here confirms, yet again, that the Greek government is at the side of Cyprus,'' he said, adding:''it is a time of responsibility and assessment of the facts and prospects. Common concern is not the tomorrow of Cyprus, but also the day after. The final judge is the Cypriot people and their decision should be respected.''
On his part, Meimarakis stated that ''our presence here not only shows the interest we have but also our active participation.'' The New Democracy party, Meimarakis added, being a member of the European Peoples' Party, wants to know every detail so that it can be able in Europe to support the just causes of the Cypriot people.
Source: Athens News Agency