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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-02-28

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] US praise for Cyprus
  • [02] President appeals to Denktash to build a common home
  • [03] New cabinet named
  • [04] President calls for constructive cooperation in cabinet

  • 1010:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] US praise for Cyprus

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- The US has praised Cyprus for its efforts to combat drug trafficking and other drug-related crimes and described the Republic's moves to curb money laundering as "encouraging."

    The State Department's International Narcotics Report for 1997 says "the (Cyprus) government enforces tough anti-drug laws," and noted the "excellent relations" it maintains with the US administration and other foreign government counterparts.

    The report praises the government for the introduction of legislation to implement the EU Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime, passed in April 1996.

    The US report remarks that Cyprus' success as an international offshore centre has made it vulnerable to international money laundering activities but adds that "the Central Bank's efforts in recent years are encouraging."

    The Laundering Investigations Unit, it adds, believes "Cyprus' efforts in this area have reduced money laundering activity" and there has been a "falloff in detected illicit financial activity on Cyprus during the past two years."

    Commenting on corruption, the report says "there is no evidence of senior or other officials facilitating the production, processing, or shipment of drugs or the laundering of drug-related assets."

    The government's aggressive advances on the anti-money laundering front and its excellent cooperation on drug law enforcement during 1997 warrant US government optimism for even stronger bilateral cooperation in 1998, the report says.

    The State Department says it will track closely government efforts to prevent the use of Cyprus' offshore sector as a money laundering centre and will be vigilant in further assessing the possible presence of organised crime on Cyprus.

    CNA DA/MM/GG/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1220:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] President appeals to Denktash to build a common home

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has called on the Turkish Cypriot leader to work together for a common homeland and unite this East Mediterranean island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    The President also stressed that Cyprus' increased defence capability should be seen as an adequate deterrent to avert the military option as a method of solving differences, noting that "it is absurd to talk about a balance of power."

    Speaking before the House of Representatives, at his investiture following his re-election, Clerides said his main objective is "to achieve progress in the efforts to secure a solution of the Cyprus question."

    He also said he would promote the Republic's application for accession to the European Union and utilise the dynamics created to reunify Cyprus.

    Moreover, Clerides stressed that he intends to maintain close cooperation with Greece, build the country's defences and implement the Cyprus-Greece joint defence doctrine.

    Turning to his "compatriot Rauf Denktash," the President said "I call on you to work with us for our common homeland. Let us start the process for creating a new Cyprus in a new century."

    He pointed out that "it is our duty to do so and it is the best gift we can give to our children and grand-children, to all Cypriot children."

    Clerides pledged he would "help Mr. Denktash to bring about together the new reality" and underlined that although third parties can help towards this goal, "a lot depends on us ourselves."

    "I look forward to cooperating with the Turkish Cypriot leadership in the coming months so as to turn this ideal into a reality in Cyprus," he added, noting the forthcoming period would be one of intensive consultations on the Cyprus problem and political activity behind the scenes.

    The President urged the Turkish Cypriots to "think about the future and bequeath to future generations a heritage of peace, not a heritage of confrontation and conflict."

    Acknowledging that both communities have suffered a lot and paid dearly for their mistakes, Clerides said a solution in Cyprus should have "a system ensuring that each community will manage its own affairs in absolute equality."

    Nevertheless, he stressed that Cyprus, as a united country, should be "one state, with a single sovereignty, single international personality and single citizenship, regardless of decentralisation and specific differences."

    A Cyprus settlement, he said, is "not difficult, provided there is goodwill on all sides."

    Referring to Turkey, which continues to occupy 37 per cent of the island, the President said it must realise that a solution in Cyprus "will give the necessary impetus, offering at the same time tremendous benefits."

    He called on Turkey to allow the Turkish Cypriots to "participate in the journey of no return" towards EU accession, or face the isolation of Turkish Cypriot community and an obstacle in the way of Turkey's own aspirations.

    "If the Turkish Cypriot community has the necessary political will, it would not be difficult to find ways for it to participate in Cyprus' accession course," the President said.

    Commenting on defence issues, he reiterated that "we have no intention of attacking anyone, our intention is to have an adequate deterrent to avert the military option as a method of solving differences.

    "It is absurd to talk about a balance of power. Turkey's advantage in having occupying forces on the island and the proximity of Turkey to Cyprus are well-known facts," the President underlined.

    He said the great strategic importance of this part of the world affects the vital interests of the international community.

    "Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean passes through a solution of the Cyprus problem - a solution which will contribute greatly to the improvement of relations between Greece and Turkey," Clerides remarked.

    The Cypriot President said "our primary objective continues to be Cyprus' accession to the EU the soonest possible."

    Clerides said he believed that a genuine effort to implement a UN- brokered agreement to ascertain the fate of missing persons will finally pave the way for an end of this humanitarian issue.

    On the homefront, the President promised to promote the principles of meritocracy and good government, maintain a strong and dynamic economy, upgrade the island's role as an international services centre and strengthen and upgrade democratic institutions.

    Clerides affirmed before the House and foreign diplomats faith to, and respect for, the constitution and the laws, the preservation of the independence and the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In his remarks at today's ceremony, House President Spyros Kyprianou noted that the President's responsibilities increase in view of anticipated critical and defining developments.

    Kyprianou called for unity and sincere cooperation within the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1240:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] New cabinet named

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides appointed today his new 11-member cabinet.

    The Ministers gave the prescribed affirmation before President Clerides, during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace.

    The new cabinet is as follows:

    Ioannis Kasoulides - Minister of Foreign Affairs

    Dinos Michaelides - Minister of the Interior

    Christodoulos Christodoulou - Minister of Finance

    Yiannakis Omirou - Minister of Defence

    Lykourgos Kappas - Minister of Education and Culture

    Leontios Ierodiaconou - Minister of Communications and Works

    Nicos Rolandis - Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism

    Costas Themistocleous - Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment

    Andreas Moushouttas - Minister of Labour and Social Insurance

    Nicos Koshis - Minister of Justice and Public Order

    Christos Solomis - Minister of Health

    Christos Stylianides was appointed Government Spokesman.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] President calls for constructive cooperation in cabinet

    Nicosia, Feb 28 (CNA) -- Newly-invested President Glafcos Clerides urged his new cabinet to work together in a constructive manner to the benefit of Cyprus.

    Clerides said the Council of Ministers embarks on its task at a time when "we anticipate significant developments in the Cyprus problem and our accession course to the European Union."

    Noting that cabinet members come from different political spheres, Clerides said "cooperation among all of us must be constructive for the good of Cyprus."

    He noted the selection of the cabinet was done with great care and expressed certainty that his ministers will respond in a satisfactory manner.

    Clerides thanked the parties which accepted to cooperate in a cross- party government.

    Replying on behalf of the cabinet, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, who kept his post, thanked the President for the trust he has shown in them.

    He said the times ahead for Cyprus are crucial as far as the Cyprus question and the island's European Union accession are concerned.

    "We shall overcome party lines and political ideologies to work together for the good of our country," Kasoulides pledged.

    After the affirmation, the cabinet held its first brief meeting.

    The new cabinet is as follows:

    Ioannis Kasoulides - Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Dinos Michaelides - Minister of the Interior
    Christodoulos Christodoulou - Minister of Finance
    Yiannakis Omirou - Minister of Defence
    Lykourgos Kappas - Minister of Education and Culture
    Leontios Ierodiaconou - Minister of Communications and Works
    Nicos Rolandis - Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism
    Costas Themistocleous - Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment
    Andreas Moushouttas - Minister of Labour and Social Insurance
    Nicos Koshis - Minister of Justice and Public Order
    Christos Solomis - Minister of Health

    Christos Stylianides is the new Government Spokesman.
    Pantelis Kouros retains his position as Under-secretary to the President.
    Spyros Arotis was appointed Press Spokesman for the President of the Republic.

    CNA MM/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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