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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-05

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>

News Update

Wednesday, 05/03/97


  • [01] Cyprus Foreign Minister in London
  • [02] Albright to meet Pangalos
  • [03] New guidelines to combat money laundering being prepared

[01] Cyprus Foreign Minister in London

"Very important and constructive" was how Cyprus' Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides described the hour-long meeting he had in London yesterday with British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind.

Cyprus' Foreign Minister said the discussion had focused on the urgent need to intensify interest in solving the Cyprus problem and for co-ordinating efforts to reach a settlement.

He stressed, however, the Cyprus government's insistence that common ground on the fundamental aspects of the problem should first be found between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides before direct negotiations begin in order to ensure their success.

Mr Michaelides also said that Mr Rifkind had explained the British government's aim in trying to include Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus' accession talks with the EU was to enable them to be informed as to the benefits they would have from joining Europe.

Earlier in the day Mr Michaelides met Shadow Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, who outlined the Labour Party's positions regarding Cyprus.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Cook said he had assured the Cyprus Foreign Minister that Labour supports Cyprus' application to join the EU, that it does not consider a Cyprus settlement as a precondition for the island's accession, and that it has committed itself to have Cyprus in its priorities, if it comes to power, and to back UN efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

[02] Albright to meet Pangalos

US State Department Spokesman Nicholas Burns announced yesterday that the US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, will be meeting with Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos tomorrow.

"They will discuss the full range of bilateral and regional issues with an emphasis on the Aegean and on Cyprus", he said.

[03] New guidelines to combat money laundering being prepared

The Central Bank of Cyprus is preparing a set of guidelines to be issued to banks, which, when implemented, will rank Cyprus amongst the front line countries in applying measures for combating money laundering.

These guidelines, concerning customer identification, record-keeping, staff training, and internal control procedures, come on top of already existing measures that the government is taking in this area and which were cited in the recent report by the US State Department on International Narcotics Control.

The Central Bank, in a statement it issued yesterday on the report, which upgrades Cyprus to the category of high risk area for money laundering practices, says that Cyprus' strategic position and its success as an international off-shore centre, are what, according to the report, have made it vulnerable to money laundering activities.

"The report, does not cite inadequate legislation, or regulatory measures, or even inadequate preventive measures as reasons for upgrading Cyprus to this category", the statement says.

On the contrary, it adds, the report in fact states that the authorities in Cyprus are fully aware of the dangers of the use of the island's offshore status for money laundering and are taking all necessary measures to tackle the problem.

The report praises Cyprus' new anti-money laundering law (adopted in April 1996) as representing one of the first steps against such practices taken by a government in the Middle East.

In addition, the Cyprus government has set up a money laundering investigations unit, comprised of representatives of the Offices of the Attorney General, Director of Customs and Chief of Police, whose function is to gather, classify and evaluate information relevant to money laundering offences, and to conduct investigations if warranted.

The report says that Cyprus aggressively pursues drug seizures, arrests and prosecutions for drug violations, that the Cypriot police is generally effective in its law enforcement efforts and that both the Cyprus police and Cyprus customs officials maintain excellent relations with the corresponding US authorities and other international services.

From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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