|Thursday, 22 February 2024
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Foreign Minister says there are hopeful signs but initiatives must be substantive and co-ordinatedCyprus' Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides believes that the near future carries hopeful signs which encourage the government to work even harder towards a settlement of the protracted Cyprus question.
He cited these as being the start of EU accession negotiations, in early 1998, unprecedented increased interest by the international community in finding a Cyprus solution, the US' active engagement in the peace effort, and US-European co-operation.
In an address at a seminar on "National Strategy and Cyprus", held at the University of Athens, the Minister said that while it was all very well to encourage all sides and to obtain interest, it remains to be seen whether the initiatives that will emerge will be substantive and co-ordinated. He added that in this respect the next few months were crucial.
Mr Michaelides added that Cyprus and Greece must act in concert in their future moves to push for a solution and promote Cyprus' bid for EU membership.
Outlining past experiences as regards the Cyprus problem, he said that successive initiatives resulted in failure.
"This is why we decided that any new initiative should be aimed at reaching a comprehensive solution, namely there should be agreement on crucial issues", Mr Michaelides said.
Moreover, he added, the government recognised that the UN Secretary- General's initiatives failed because they lacked the necessary political backing to overcome Turkish intransigence, so sought the active involvement of the US.
"What Cyprus needs is not to increase its collection of UN resolutions but to have the existing resolutions implemented," Michaelides told his audience.
Referring to the latest developments in Brussels which led to the postponement of the meeting on the structured political dialogue, the Foreign Minister was particularly critical of the action of certain EU member-states.
"Irrespective of intentions, unfortunately such actions only serve to encourage Turkish intransigence instead of contributing to a solution", he said.
Mr Michaelides is in London today for a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind.
 1995 labour statisticsThe higher rate of economic growth in 1995 compared to 1994 had a favourable impact on the labour market, according to the latest labour statistics (1995) released by the Department of Statistics and Research. Employment increased by 3,4 per cent, the largest increases being recorded in the wholesale and retail trade sectors. Unemployment remained at the previous year's level and standing at 2,6 per cent of the economically active population. However, the number of foreign nationals working in Cyprus stood at a high level, estimated at around 24 thousand persons, who accounted for 8,5 per cent of the working population. Domestic servants constituted the largest occupational group of foreigners, numbering about 4 thousand persons.
 Cyprus discussed at UNAccording to the Spokesman of the United Nations, the Cyprus problem was among issues discussed last Friday (28.2.97) by the UN Security Council at informal talks behind closed doors. Security Council sources said that after Russia's request to the UN Secretary General to be briefed as regards Turkish threats to settle Varosha, a spokesman for the Secretary-General attended the talks on Friday and briefed the Council accordingly. The same sources said the UN Spokesman told the Council that the UN holds the Turkish government responsible for the state of the fenced-off area of Varosha and also that the UN had received assurances from the Turkish side that the protest marches that were due to take place in the occupied area towards Famagusta would not now be taking place.
 Cypriot newspapers on-lineThe English language daily, the Cyprus Mail, the oldest newspaper on the island, has gone on-line (http://www.cynews.com.cy).
It joins another English language newspaper, the weekly Financial Mirror which is already on the Internet (http://www.cfm.cy.net).
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/