|Monday, 18 November 2019|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-09-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Security talks are opportunity for progress, says Cyprus Government SpokesmanThe government said yesterday that the security talks to be held between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash create a new climate which appears to have good prospects for progress.
Cyprus Government Spokesman Manolis Christofides said that the agreement, announced by US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, also underlines the keen interest of the United States in a settlement.
"The intervention of the United States has never been so decisive," he said.
He added that the agenda for the talks was open and without conditions and would touch on any issue raised that was connected with security.
"The Cyprus problem will be resolved through peaceful means, and this position is strengthened by the agreement to hold talks on security issues, " he said, adding that the climate of tension and threats has gone on for too long.
Asked what the next step was, Christofides said it was now up to the UN Permanent Representative Gustave Feissel to make arrangements with the two leaders for talks to start.
Moreover the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a statement yesterday welcoming the agreement between President Clerides and Mr Denktash to meet soon and discuss security issues.
"The UK noted that the proposed meeting had real potential to reduce tensions on the island if it was put to good use by the leaders of the two communities", it said.
Greece yesterday also welcomed as a "positive development" the announcement.
Greek Government Spokesman Dimitris Reppas and Foreign Under-secretary Yiannos Kranidiotis both reiterated that Greece's central stance is that Turkish troops should leave the island and that Cyprus should be demilitarised, and expressed the hope that discussions on disarmament "will be a first step in that direction".
 Feissel hopes security talks will start next weekUN Permanent Representative Gustave Feissel hopes the first meeting on security issues between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will take place early next week.
Feissel said yesterday he had already set up meetings with both leaders. Today he will meet President Clerides and tomorrow Denktash "to fix a date for the beginning of next week. It's important this process begin as quickly as possible. Hopefully the two leaders will agree to have the first meeting as quickly as possible."
He added that the meeting would take place in Nicosia in his presence and that the two leaders would "see the issues without any preconditions or agenda".
Feissel said the new agreement "is another step in the right direction. And of course we appreciate the efforts the United States made in supporting our common goal."
 Australian MPs believe there will be progress in CyprusAustralian Federal MP and Labour Party Shadow Foreign Minister, Laurence John Brereton, and Federal Senator and Labour Party Shadow Attorney General, Nick Bolkus, currently visiting Cyprus, met yesterday with House President Spyros Kyprianou, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and were received by President Clerides.
Speaking after the meetings, Mr Brereton said that the events of the last twenty-four hours have encouraged him to believe that there will be some progress in the Cyprus problem.
He said that the international community has a duty to help find a just settlement to the Cyprus problem so that justice and peace may prevail.
On his part Senator Bolkus said that Australia watches developments in the Cyprus problem with interest and that the Labour party has a clear stand on the issue steadfastly supporting the island's right to remain undivided, independent and sovereign.
He also recalled that when three years ago President Clerides had visited Australia they had jointly put forward a draft resolution for the demilitarisation of Cyprus and added that, after the US Congress, the Australian parliament was the second to approve such a resolution.
Moreover, speaking after a meeting with the President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, Brereton made a special note to good bilateral relations and stated his intention to press on the Australian government in assisting efforts towards a Cyprus settlement.
The Cyprus problem "should be kept in the spotlight" and "on the top of the agenda at every opportunity," Brereton said, adding that a strong resolution on Cyprus will be entertained at the Labour Party National Conference.
 Cyprus becoming a reputable offshore financial centreThe Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Mr Afxentis Afxentiou, yesterday granted a banking business license to the First Investment Bank Ltd of Bulgaria to carry on banking business from within Cyprus on an offshore basis.
The presence of the First Investment Bank in Cyprus is another indication of Cyprus' success in attracting international banks and financial institutions and of the island's growing recognition among such institutions as a reputable offshore financial centre.
So far 33 offshore banking business licences have been granted to a respective number of international banks and 8 permits have been issued for the establishment of representative offices of foreign banks in Cyprus.
 Cyprus on UN General Assembly agendaThe Cyprus problem is to remain on the agenda of the 52nd Session of the UN General Assembly which began yesterday.
 Cartographic meetingThe European Committee of State Cartographic Organisations, (Comite Europeen de Responsables de la Cartographie Officielle) CERCO, will be holding its 20th General Assembly in Nicosia on 22-25 September.
The meeting, which will be hosted by the Department of Lands and Surveys in its capacity as permanent member of the committee, will examine issues concerning CERCO's efforts to establish a common European geographical data framework, as well as enabling Cypriot delegates to promote the island's cartographic services.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/