Media Contact: Ben Anderson
(Washington) - The United States Helsinki Commission will conduct a briefing to explore the renewal of talks on Cyprus between Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. The briefing will feature United States Special Coordinator for Cyprus Ambassador Thomas G. Weston.
Current Developments in Cyprus
Tuesday, December 4, 2001
10:00 AM to 11:30 AM
340 Cannon House Office Building
Ambassador Weston will discuss the developing talks between the two leaders; the current status of the United Nations sponsored talks; implications of European Union expansion; and the leadership on both sides of the Cyprus issue and where the respective leaders stand on the issues. Cyprus was an original signatory to the 1975 Helsinki Final Act and is a participating State in the 55-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash have agreed to meet in Nicosia on Tuesday, December 4, 2001 with talks reportedly aimed toward resolution of the longstanding conflict on the island.
Britain’s Lord Hannay and United Nations envoy Alvaro de Soto will travel to Cyprus in an effort to advance the peace process. Hannay is expected to visit Ankara, Athens, and Nicosia next week. De Soto is expected to arrive in Athens December 2, for the meeting at the residence of U.N. Representative Zbigniew Wlosowicz. President Clerides has reportedly indicated he is prepared to meet with Denktash to lay the groundwork to resume U.N.–brokered talks which Denktash abandoned last year.
Ambassador Weston was named Special Coordinator for Cyprus in August 1999. As mandated by the President, the Special Coordinator for Cyprus is dedicated to facilitating a permanent settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Ambassador Weston, a Minister-Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service, most recently served as Special Coordinator for Summits in the Bureau of European Affairs. Prior to his service as a Senior Inspector in the Office of the Inspector General in 1998, he was Charge d'Affaires to Canada. Before going to Ottawa in June 1996, Weston was Director of Studies at the Institute for the Study of Diplomacy at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
In 1993 –1994, Weston served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs, responsible for multilateral diplomacy with Europe including U.S. participation in NATO, the OSCE, and the OECD and U.S. relations with the European Union, the Western European Union, and the Council of Europe. Prior to that he served at the U.S. Mission to the European Union as Deputy Chief of Mission and had tours in Bonn, Bremen, and Kinshasa.
The United States Helsinki Commission, an independent federal agency, by law monitors and encourages progress in implementing provisions of the Helsinki Accords. The Commission, created in 1976, is composed of nine Senators, nine Representatives and one official each from the Departments of State, Defense and Commerce.