|Sunday, 3 March 2024
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Talks on Cyprus between EU and envoys from the UN, US and UKEU Commissioner Hans van den Broek had meetings on 14 March in Brussels with Mr Carey Cavanaugh, the Director of the Office of Southern European Affairs at the US State Department, Professor Han, the UN Secretary- General's Special Representative for Cyprus, and Sir David Hannay, the UK Foreign Secretary's Special Representative for Cyprus. Mr Heaslip participated in the meetings on behalf of the EU President.
The main objective of the meetings was to exchange experiences and impressions of their recent visits to the island. They discussed ways in which the UN, the US and the EU can help the two communities on the island to find a long term solution.
Commissioner van den Broek expressed the hope that the EU's commitment to open accession negotiations with Cyprus six months after the conclusion of the IGC would give a new impetus to the search for a solution of the Cyprus question.
Discussions also focused on ways to ensure that the activities of the various actors could be mutually reinforcing.
Speaking to the press Mr Van den Broek said that an interesting exchange of views had taken place and that we are entering an important phase during which we all hope to see the start of talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
He added that everyone who can help should do so, particularly Mr Han Sung- Joo. He said this was why they were exchanging views and briefing each other. As President Clerides said, he added, there may be too many cooks in the kitchen, but if they co-operate we may have a good result.
Mr Cavanaugh said that their discussions had focused on the informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers, which was due to take place over the weekend in the Dutch town of Apeldoorn.
 EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee meetingThe 11th meeting of the European Union-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) starts in Nicosia tomorrow.
Subjects to be discussed during the two day meeting will include EU-Cyprus relations, Cyprus' application for accession to the EU, the condition of the enclaved in the Turkish-occupied part of the island, free movement of peoples, social policy, education and the environment.
European Parliament representatives at the meeting will include JPC Co- President, Phillipe Monfils, First Vice-President, Mechtild Rothe, leader of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, Pauline Green and Euro- MP's Jan Willem Bertens, Francoise Grossetete, and Helena Vaz Da Silva.
Representing the House will be Co-President, Tassos Papadopoulos, First Vice-President Nicos Anastasiades, Second Vice-President, Andreas Christou and MP's George Vassiliou, Yiannakis Omirou, Katerina Pantelidou and others.
The Dutch Presidency of the European Council will be represented by Ambassador J.M.V.A. Count de Marchant et d'Ansembour, the European Commission by the head of the Commission in Cyprus, Ambassador Gilles Anouil and the Cyprus government by Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides.
Also present at the meeting will be Special Representative of the Presidency-in-Office of the Council of the EU on Cyprus, Kester Heaslip.
 EU official visits CyprusThe EU Commissioner responsible for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME's), Energy and Tourism, Christos Papoutsis, paid a three-day official visit to the island on 13-15 March, at the invitation of the Cyprus government, in order to discuss developments and possibilities of further EU-Cyprus co-operation in areas of his responsibility.
During his stay, the EU Commissioner was received by President Glafcos Clerides and House President Spyros Kyprianou.
He also met with Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Kyriacos Christofi with whom he discussed the prospect of Cyprus' accession to the EU and its preparations for the accession negotiations, particularly in the fields of SME's, energy and tourism.
Mr Papoutsis also met with political party leaders, the President and the Executive Committee of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), as well as the Presidency of the Cyprus Co-operative Confederation.
 National Council agrees on proximity talksNational Council members agreed that the Greek Cypriot side should proceed with the UN-sponsored proximity talks which started last Monday.
Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides told reporters at the end of the National Council meeting on Friday "that there is no disagreement on whether the proximity talks should take place."
Cassoulides said President Clerides, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides and Attorney General Alecos Markides, had briefed the members of the National Council on their recent contacts and talks on Cyprus.
The National Council is the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus problem and is made up of the five parliamentary parties.
 Cyprus Defence Minister in IndiaCyprus' Defence Minister Costas Eliades, who is in India on an official visit, met on 13 March with his Indian counterpart Mulayam Singh Yadav. The two men agreed on closer co-operation between their two ministries.
 Attorney General on US Narcotics ReportThe Attorney General of the Republic Alecos Markides, issued a statement on 14.3.97 in response to the US State Department's International Narcotics Control report, "in order to put right any misconceptions at the expense of Cyprus that may have been created".
He says that rating Cyprus as a high priority country is not based on any specific evidence but on criteria which in themselves neither prove nor indicate that Cyprus is in fact a country where extensive money-laundering activities are taking place.
He says that when the report mentions that Cyprus' strategic location makes it a convenient stopover for drugs traffickers from Lebanon and Turkey, it probably has the occupied areas in mind.
"If that is the case, then it should have been mentioned", he says.
He adds that there is no specific evidence to prove or lead to the conclusion that there is a serious money laundering problem as the report tries to make out.
Furthermore, the Attorney General points out that the report also makes positive comments about Cyprus' efforts to combat money laundering.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/