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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-02-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 18 February 1999
 Kassoulides-Albright discuss prospects for moving forward on a Cyprus settlementCyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides and his American counterpart Madeleine Albright held a meeting in Washington yesterday in order to discuss "ways through which the American administration can work actively for the implementation of the last Security Council resolutions on Cyprus".
Describing his meeting with Ms Albright as "very useful and very productive, "Mr. Kassoulides stated to the press that the two Ministers discussed "a number of tracks that have to be followed in order to achieve progress in the efforts for a settlement of the Cyprus question".
On her part, the US Secretary of State pointed out that we "share a critical interest in bringing about a diplomatic resolution to the Cyprus problem, for we cannot meet our broader goals as long as the Cyprus issue remains unsolved".
Reiterating her country's firm support to all UN efforts for a solution based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation in Cyprus, Ms Albright urged both sides to work with Dame Ann Hercus, in order to put the Secretary General's initiative into action.
Moreover she reaffirmed that the US "will continue to work with both sides in public and in private encouraging both to negotiate creatively and flexibly".
 US Senators wish to promote peace and stability in the Eastern MediterraneanA delegation of US Senators is visiting Cyprus in a bid to understand better "a long-standing, major point of dispute between two NATO allies, Greece and Turkey".
Speaking to the press yesterday, after a meeting with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides, Republican Senator Bob Berenter said that the objective of the American delegation's visit to Cyprus is to examine ways of consolidating peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Mr. Berenter also noted that the "US appreciates the increased degree of co- operation with the Republic of Cyprus in many fields" and pointed out that the two countries have mutual interests in fighting terrorism and drugs trafficking and in protecting each country's intellectual property".
 Britain reaffirms commitment to a UN-based solution in CyprusThe British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Ms Joyce Quin reaffirmed her country's firm commitment to "a solution to the Cyprus problem based on UN Security Council resolutions for a bi-zonal, bi- communal federation".
Replying to relevant questions on Cyprus, during a debate at the House of Commons on February 16, Ms Quin reiterated that "we welcome UN Security Council resolution adopted on 22 December 1998, which sets out clear and far-reaching objectives for reducing tension and for progress towards a just, comprehensive and lasting settlement in Cyprus".
 Stolen Byzantine icon returned to CyprusA section from a Byzantine icon looted from the church of Antifonitis, in the Turkish occupied area of Kyrenia, was returned to the island yesterday. Cyprus Honorary Consul to the Hague and Representative of the Church of Cyprus for Stolen Arts, Tasoula Hadjitofi, brought the icon back to Cyprus.
Speaking on her arrival at Larnaca airport, Ms Hadjitofi said that the icon had been found in the possession of Greek collector Marianna Latsi, who willingly returned it to the Church of Cyprus when its origins were made known to her.
Ms Latsis' collection came to light during the recent trial of a Dutch couple, who had tried to sell four Byzantine icons, stolen from the same church.
The Dutch court recognised that the icons had been taken from the church of Antifonitis, in occupied Kerynia, but ruled they could not be returned to Cyprus because the Netherlands had not enacted the 1954 Hague Convention on the return of artefacts stolen during war. Ms Hadjitofi repeated that the church will appeal against the recent Rotterdam court decision.
 Moscow talks concludedNegotiations on the contract of purchase of the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missiles between the Republic of Cyprus and Russia were concluded in Moscow yesterday.
The talks that were held between the two countries' delegation took place on 16-17 November in the Russian capital. Cyprus Defence Minister Yiannakis Chrysostomis and the Russian Director General of Rozvoruzheniye (the missiles manufacturing company) discussed modifications of several provisions of the contract with regard to the new destination of the missiles.
According to the additional contract, signed yesterday, the missiles will be sent to the Greek island of Crete.
 Statement by Government SpokesmanThe police investigation regarding a report by a Turkish TV station that the Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan was holding a Cypriot passport, has almost been completed and will be submitted to the Attorney General early this afternoon, the Government Spokesman
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/