|Friday, 13 December 2019|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-06-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 President Clerides in AmsterdamPresident of the Republic Glafcos Clerides left for Amsterdam Thursday (26.6.97) to attend a briefing Friday by the European Commission to candidate countries for EU accession, following the completion of the Intergovernmental Conference.
The briefing will be conducted by Dutch Prime Minister Win Kok and Foreign Minister Hans van Mierlo.
Other countries attending the briefing are, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Turkey.
 Intervention by H.E. The President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Glafcos Clerides at the special meeting on the results of the Intergovernmental ConferenceMr. Prime Minister, Mr. President of the European Commission,
I would like to extend my appreciation to the Dutch Presidency for their invitation to this meeting of great significance. Allow me to seize this opportunity to praise the dedication, commitment and hard work of those who contributed to the success of the Intergovernmental Conference. Moreover, I would like to convey my thanks for the regular briefings on the progress of the Intergovernmental Conference.
The European Council meeting in Amsterdam has made an important step forward.
First, the effort to make Europe more relevant to its citizens has resulted in placing the emphasis on issues that matter most to them, such as greater security, solidarity, employment, consumer protection and environment.
Secondly, as a future member of the Union we welcome the measures taken in order to promote effectiveness in formulating the Union's external policy.
Thirdly, we welcome the efforts for reform of the institutional framework of the Union which is very much linked to enlargement and we remain confident that the new moves in this field which began to gather pace at Amsterdam, will lead to a timely compromise, in view of the next enlargement.
Last but not least, it is with great satisfaction that we take note of the fact that the new Treaty clearly proclaims the common European values and prinicples on which the Union is founded, namely, liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and that it stipulates that any state applying to join the Union should respect them.
Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. President of the European Commission,
We are especially pleased to note the clear position expressed by the Amsterdam European Council that the way is now open to proceed with the enlargement process in accordance with the conclusions of the Madrid Summit. We, therefore, in line with the above conclusions, look forward that by December the precise date for the beginning of accession negotiations will be fixed.
With regard to the enlargement, I would like to reiterate my Government's appreciation and support to the determined efforts of the Central and Eastern European countries and the Baltic States for accession to the European Union. All of us, together with the 15 countries of the European Union, in a spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding, will face the challenge of the enlarged European family of the third millennium.
Cyprus is ready to face successfully the challenge. Harmonisation with the acquis communautaire is being steadily and successfully carried out and will be to a great extent completed by the time of the commencement of accession negotiations. Furthermore, the healthy state of the economy of the Republic of Cyprus and its compliance with the Maastricht convergence criteria, prepares the ground for the timely conclusion of negotiations.
We are therefore confident that, in conformity with the conclusions of the European Council at its Corfu and Essen meetings, the next phase of enlargement of the Union will include Cyprus.
It is common knowledge that Cyprus' irreversible accession course opens a unique window of opportunity to the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem. I wish to reiterate that as we approach the forthcoming UN sponsored direct talks in New York, our aim remains an early solution of the Cyprus problem in accordance with the High Level Agreements, the relevant United Nations Resolutions and the fundamental principles governing the European Union. We look forward to a continued substantial and sustained engagement of the Union in our efforts.
Mr. Minister, Mr. President of the European Commission,
It is, I believe, important as the Union approaches the next enlargement that we reflect upon the future face of Europe and the Union, its preparedness to meet the challenges of the future, its image and relevance in the eyes of the citizen as well as its ability to be a leading actor in the global scene.
 Opposition parties decide on common candidate for 1998 presidential electionThe three main opposition parties have reached an agreement on Thursday (26.6.97) to support a common candidate for the next presidential elections in February 1998.
After months of haggling and juggling on policies and personalities, the three leftist parties, communist party AKEL (33.03% in 1996 elections), Socialist party EDEK (approx. 9%) and the United Democrats (approx. 5%) decided to field Mr. Marios Eliades, a lawyer and a former Minister of Communications and Works as their common presidential candidate.
The major policy differences among the three parties focus on EDEK's radical stance on a Cyprus solution, compared to the moderate positions of AKEL and the United Democrats, who have more in common with President Clerides's policies. They also differ on the question of the "joint defence doctrine" with Greece.
An election pact has, however, been agreed and according to EDEK leader Vassos Lyssarides, the three parties have "reached agreement on the basic agenda issues".
Meanwhile, leaders of the government partnership of the Democratic Rally (34.5%) and Democratic Party (16.4%) are negotiating over continued co- operation.
President Glafcos Clerides said he will announce his decision about seeking reelection by autumn.
 Cyprus Minister at U.N.'s Earth Summit IICyprus Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources Costas Petrides addressed the international Earth Summit II at the United Nations on Wednesday (25.6.97) and assured Cyprus's commitment to policies for safeguarding the environment and promoting sustainable development.
Petrides outlined the steps Cyprus has taken in this area, including participation in the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island States, the Tunis MED Agenda 21 of Mediterranean Countries and the Council of Europe's Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy.
"Cyprus is well aware," he told delegates at the UN Earth Summit, "how agreesion and occupation can bring about immense suffering, destruction of economic resources and irreparable damage to the environment."
The Minister also said Cyprus was "gravely concerned about plans for the construction of a nuclear power plant in an area of high seismic risk" on the southern coast of Turkey, a mere 40 miles from Cyprus.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/