- The Washington Times - Monday, September 2, 2002

Cyprus' 'tough choices'
The new U.S. ambassador to Cyprus believes the Mediterranean island has some "tough choices" to make as it prepares to join the European Union, even if the nation remains divided between ethnic Greeks and Turks.
Ambassador Michael Klosson did not elaborate about the decisions Cyprus faces when he presented his diplomatic credentials to President Glafcos Clerides last week. However, Mr. Clerides declared that his government will never accept any compromise that legitimizes Turkey's decision to deploy troops to protect Turkish Cypriots in 1974.
"Cyprus, itself, faces an auspicious and historic moment an unprecedented chance for a brighter future for Cypriots across the island," Mr. Klosson said. "I feel the weight of my responsibilities as I assume the duties of U.S. ambassador."
Mr. Klosson reiterated the U.S. support for a "bizonal, bicommunal settlement that meets the legitimate interests of both sides."
"However, tough choices must be made, and time is not unlimited," he added. "Such an opportunity must be handled with all possible urgency."
Mr. Clerides, whose Greek-Cypriot administration is the internationally recognized government of Cyprus, called on the United States to "exert the necessary influence on Turkey," which is the only nation to recognize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
"We are ready and willing to negotiate a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem within the parameters contained in the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions," Mr. Clerides said.
"However, we wish to declare emphatically that we will not accept any proposals which would be tantamount to legalizing the illegal and destructive invasion and occupation of Cyprus by Turkish forces since 1974 and would violate the human rights of all Cypriots."
Negotiations between Mr. Clerides and Turkish leader Rauf Denktash have been deadlocked for months. Mr. Denktash has demanded that his administration be given equal status with the Greek-Cypriot government and that a reunified island be a loose confederation between Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot communities.

New French envoy?
Is French Ambassador Francois Bujon de Estaing about to be replaced?
UPI Hears, a political gossip column on the United Press International wire service, reports that the new French government soon will announce the appointment of Jean-David Levitte to the Washington position. He is now France's ambassador to the United Nations.
Mr. Bujon de Estaing has been ambassador to the United States since December 1995.

Singapore picks adviser
Singapore has selected a former U.S. ambassador as its new adviser for relations with the United States.
Steven J. Green, who now holds the position of "honorary special adviser," served as ambassador to Singapore from 1997 until March 2001. He remained in Singapore after his term to serve as chairman and chief executive officer of a venture capital firm. Mr. Green served on President Clinton's Export Council from 1995 to 1997.

Diplomatic traffic
Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:
Wednesday
Estonian Prime Minister Siim Kallas, who meets President Bush to discuss the enlargement of NATO and the European Union. He holds a 4 p.m. news conference at the National Press Club.
Pat Cox, president of the European Parliament; Mary Harney, Ireland's minister for trade, employment and enterprise; and Sir Reg Empey, Northern Ireland's minister for trade, employment and enterprise. They are among the participants in the U.S.-Ireland Business Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building.
Thursday
Monsignor Mumbe, president of the National Conference of Congolese Bishops, and Jacques Depelchin, secretary-general of the Congolese Rally for Democracy-Liberation Movement. They address invited guests at Johns Hopkins University on the progress of peace agreements in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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