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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-06-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Republic of Cyprus strongly supports Serbia`s efforts to join the European Union, President Demetris Christofias, said on Monday, expressing the hope that there will not be any new excuses to delay the commencement of Serbia`s EU membership talks.

    After official talks with Serbian Prime Minister Mirko Cvetkovic, who is paying an official visit to Cyprus, Christofias wished that the arrest of Ratko Mladic by Serbian security services and his extradition to the war crimes court in Hague, would contribute to reconciliation in the Balkans.

    The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on the issue of the European integration of Serbia.

    The President also stressed that the Republic of Cyprus does not recognize and will not recognize Kosovo.

    The solution must be based on mutual bilateral consultation which will lead to an agreed settlement which will respect the territorial integrity of Serbia and will be adopted by the UN Security Council``, he said.

    At the same time, he expressed deep gratitude to Serbia for the based on principles it maintains regarding the Cyprus problem and its firm support, saying that the countrys positive contribution is expressed through participation in the peacekeeping force of the United Nations in Cyprus.

    The positions of Serbia on Cyprus problem he said, ``are based on the respect for international law, the United Nations Charter and the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council. ``

    Christofias briefed the Serbian Prime Minister on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem and the forthcoming meeting with UN Secretary-General on 7 July. He also expressed hope that during the meeting Turkey will move from theory as to its political will to support the ongoing talks aiming to a solution of the Cyprus problem, to practical steps on the negotiations table.

    On his part, Cvetkovic underlined the importance Serbia attaches to its cooperation with Cyprus and expressed the hope that this cooperation will further develop in the future.

    He also said he hopes that Cyprus will be able to help his country on the road to the European Union, especially during its Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012.

    Cvetkovic expressed his country`s gratitude for Cyprus principled position on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija and stressed that Serbia supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus and the efforts of President Christofias for a solution of the Cyprus problem based on the principles of international law.

    Furthermore, Cvetkovic referred to the economic cooperation between the two countries, saying that it should be promoted in order to become more efficient in the future. He added that tomorrow`s meeting of businesspersons from both countries will help to strengthen bilateral economic relations in areas such as tourism and construction industry.

    Asked if the arrest of Ratko Mladic has helped accelerate the integration process of Serbia to the EU, the Serbian Prime Minister said that his country wants above all to join the EU and expressed hope that they could be much more optimistic in the future.

    Ratko Mladic, the former Bosnian Serb army commander, was captured in Serbia after 16 years on the run. He is accused of orchestrating the massacre of 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica during Bosnia`s war in 1995. Mladic`s arrest was a condition the EU had set Serbia on starting EU pre-membership talks.

    Cyprus was divided after the 1974 Turkish invasion. UN led talks are underway between President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in an effort to reunite the island under a federal roof.


    Cyprus was the first European country that formally expressed its support to the candidacy of Ban Ki-moon for a second five-year term as Secretary-General of the United Nations.

    Cyprus participates in the Asian group of the United Nations that unanimously backed UN Secretary Candidacy on Monday. As Ban comes from the Asian group, he informed early in the morning the countries of the group about his candidacy.

    In an intervention, Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN Minas Hadjimichael said he is happy to be the first representative of a European country stating support to the nomination of UN Secretary-General.

    Ban Ki-moon announced Monday his candidacy for a second term during a press conference, at the UN Headquarters. ``I would be deeply honored to serve once more,`` Ban said. The UN Security Council will be asked to decide on the candidacy of the Secretary General by the end of the month, while General Assembly will vote after September.


    The sustainability of member states health systems, childrens vaccinations and public health issues in light of the large population movements from North African countries were amongst the issues discussed at the Council of EU Health Ministers, in Luxembourg. Cyprus was represented by Health Minister Christos Patsalides. During the Council conclusions discussion concerning childrens vaccination, all the Ministers stressed the importance of preventing infectious diseases, and measles in particular.

    Patsalides, in his intervention, referred to the high degree of vaccine coverage of the infant population in Cyprus and pointed out that the World Health Organization has also set the fight against measles as a target. The Minister also stressed the importance of information-sharing and intelligence, not only among EU member states, but also with the countries bordering the EU.

    The Cypriot Minister pointed out that health spending should be regarded as an investment, while he stressed the importance of investing in prevention of disease and primary health care. He added that European countries should invest in their health systems, by making use of the Structural Funds, and called on the European Commission to make funds available for investments in revising the health system and making use of innovative means.


    The Committees on Missing Persons (CMP) Anthropological Laboratory is being extended thus enabling the Committee to increase the number of scientist working there aiming to expedite the process of identification.

    According to an announcement issued here, the CMP is currently optimizing its operational structure and procedures, in order to further expedite the process of identification while preserving scientific quality. Changes include the extension of the Anthropological Laboratory and the increase in the number of scientists, review of working methods, and the appointment of an Identification Coordinator, with the task of expediting the identification process.

    The Anthropological Laboratorys extension, the CMP says, will enable the increase of the number of scientists working there, thus speeding up the laboratorys rate of analysis of remains, which constitutes a very time-consuming process. Moreover, it is added that CMPs working methods have been reviewed by various international forensic experts over the past months and the CMP will now proceed with their recommendations.

    According to the announcement, a scientific advisory group composed of international experts from various scientific disciplines will be created to help both the CMP Anthropological Laboratory (CAL) and the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics (LabFoG) of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING) to implement the agreed procedures. The extension of the CMP Anthropological Laboratory and the accompanying increase in the number of scientists should be completed by the end of July, the announcement says, adding that the scientific advisory group will then be convened in order to assist in the identification process and provide answers more quickly to the grieving families about the fate of their missing loved ones.

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