|Friday, 15 November 2019|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-06-02
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Date for Cyprus peace talks provisionally setJuly 9th appears to be the likeliest date for the beginning of direct talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash under United Nations auspices.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to issue invitations to the two leaders in the coming days.
UN Secretary-General's spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said Friday (30.5.97) "July 9 is a ballpark estimate" not an "official date", he noted, "until invitations are sent out and accepted by the parties".
"We expect the first round to be in the New York area", Eckhard added.
Sources close to the deliberations said the uncertainty over the exact date was due mostly to the logistics involved in organising the presence of all the relevant observers and special representatives during a July round of talks.
The logistics are somewhat more complicated than usual because of the number of observer-participants involved, as well as the increased interest and direct involvement in the Cyprus problem in recent months by the US, the European Union (EU) and European countries individually, and the seeming proliferation of special envoys with a "Cyprus portfolio".
The key players in the Cyprus problem, including Greece, Turkey and Great Britain (the three guarantor powers) as well as the EU and the US will "need to be present in the wings" for consultations, UN Under Secretary- General for Political Affairs, Sir Kieran Prendergast, had declared earlier.
 Cyprus will initiate closer co-operation with other candidate countries for EU accessionCyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides said on his return from Brussels on Friday (30.5.97) he will soon undertake closer contacts with the governments of the other ten candidate countries for EU accession.
Following meetings he had in Brussels with European Union officials, Kasoulides underlined that "all candidate countries should consider one another as partners and not as competitors, in our course for accession to the EU".
He said Cyprus and Greece will support candidate countries' bid to join the EU and noted Cyprus will benefit from establishing new relations with some of these countries.
The Cyprus Foreign Minister met during last week with EU Commissioner for External Affairs Hans van den Broek and the President of the European Parliament Jose Maria Gil-Robles, with whom he discussed developments on the Cyprus problem and the preparations ahead of the island's EU accession talks.
The President of the European Parliament assured Mr Kasoulides that the EU body will continue to support Cyprus in its bid to join the EU and in efforts to resolve its political problem.
He added that for the European Parliament, the settlement of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for EU accession.
Also in Brussels Cyprus Foreign Minister had a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece, Yiannos Kranidiotis, with whom he discussed the upcoming direct talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish leader Rauf Denktash, early July near New York, as well as Cyprus' course for EU accession.
 European Greens join protest against military exercises in AkamasThe Parliamentary group of the Greens in the European Parliament have sent a letter to British Prime Minister Tony Blair protesting "against the continuation of the British military exercises in the Akamas peninsula", located in the northwestern part of Cyprus, and demanded that they "be stopped immediately". The letter was co-signed by German Co-Chair of the Green Group, Claudia Roth, Belgian Co-Chair Mahgda Aelvoet and Italian member of the Environment Committee, Gianni Tamino.
The environmentally sensitive Akamas peninsula, an area approximately 250 square kilometers, is home to 530 different plants, including 39 rare endemic plant species, 168 kinds of birds, 20 kinds of serpents, 12 different mammals and 16 kinds of butterflies.
The peninsula is also the reproductive ground for "Chelonia mydas" and "Caretta caretta", two species of turtles that have been identified as nearly extinct in the Mediterranean.
Military exercises in the Akamas have prompted a bitter row in recent months between local environmentalists and British military authorities of the two sovereign bases Britain has retained on the island since it granted Cyprus its independence in 1960.
Environmentalists say the exercises cause irreparable damage to the Akamas, while British authorities counter that every precaution is being taken by soldiers to protest the region from harm.
The Cyprus government, caught in the middle, wishing to keep to its formal obligations towards the British and also avert environmental damage, has promised to allocate another area for the British Bases exercises, a move to which the Bases authorities have agreed.
 Diplomatic ties between Cyprus and Uzbekistan formally agreedCyprus and Uzbekistan have agreed to establish formal diplomatic relations. A protocol was signed on Friday 30.5.97 during a ceremony at Uzbekistan's Embassy in Moscow by the two countries' Ambassadors to Russia, Platon Kyriakides and Shamansur Shakhalilov. Uzbekistan's Ambassador called it a historic event, since Cyprus becomes the 101st state to have diplomatic ties with his country.
 Cypriot Studies Institute at Munster UniversityGermany's Munster University has established an Institute for Interdisciplinary Cypriot Studies. Cyprus Minister of Education and Culture, George Hadjinicolaou, was present at the inauguration ceremony and in a speech he pointed out that "the establishment of the Institute is culturally a natural sequence to the academic and educational relations with a united Europe and especially with Germany, the motherland of great scholars and admirers of Greek culture".
The Institute, apart from academic studies, will participate in international scientific conferences with lectures, which will promote the cultural and scientific work achieved in Cyprus. It will also organise and host symposia and seminars on special topics for the Greeks of Cyprus.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/