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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-07-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 23 July 1999
 Cyprus to take part in Conference for the Rebuilding of the Balkans"Cyprus has been invited to participate in the International Conference for the rebuilding of the Balkans, which will take place in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on July 30. The Republic of Cyprus will be represented at this Conference," Government Spokesman Costas Serezis said yesterday.
In a statement to the press at the beginning of his daily briefing, Mr Serezis said President Clerides may be able to participate and in this case he will return to Cyprus the same day, otherwise Cyprus will be represented by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
The Government Spokesman pointed out that it is of great importance that Cyprus has been invited to participate in this conference for the region.
 New American Ambassador to Cyprus"The President and Foreign Secretary are among those who believe that the people of Cyprus have the vision and determination to find a just and equitable settlement based on a bizonal bicommunal federation", US Deputy Secretary of State Mr Strobe Talbott stated last Wednesday.
Speaking at the officiating ceremony for the new US Ambassador to Cyprus Mr Donald Bandler at the State Department, Mr Talbott said that Cyprus is a sovereign country in the Eastern Mediterranean with which the United States enjoys excellent relations.
Mr Donald Bandler, the new US Ambassador to Cyprus referred to American efforts to build trust and understanding between the island's two communities and underlined their importance in order to overcome the consequences of decades of division.
He described these efforts as complimentary to US diplomacy which aims to get comprehensive negotiations started without preconditions.
"The goal", he said "is to find a fair and durable settlement that ends the political division of the island" and promised to work closely with the leaders on Cyprus to that end.
The new Ambassador said that achieving a settlement is not a simple matter, but expressed the hope that the Cyprus problem can be solved bearing in mind "the enormous progress" that has been achieved in the settlement of the problems in South Africa, the Middle East as well as the reunification of Germany, problems that that seemed equally or more intractable than the Cyprus problem.
Mr Bandler, who is expected to take up his duties in Cyprus in mid-August, will be replacing Mr Kenneth Brill.
 "Justice for Cyprus Day"The Governor of the State of New York Mr George Pataki presented the Cyprus Ambassador to Washington, during a special ceremony on July 21, with a proclamation according to which the 20th of July, is proclaimed as "Justice for Cyprus Day."
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Pataki pointed out that it is important for the United States and for all of us to acknowledge that the anniversary of the Turkish invasion is a sad day and expressed the hope that it will be "the beginning of the end of the illegal Turkish occupation and the beginning of the reunification of the Cyprus Republic and its people".
The proclamation notes that "the events that unfolded on July 20th 1974, were profoundly tragic for the proud population of the Cyprus Republic when their island was invaded by Turkish armed forces , contradicting the will of the Cypriots and ignoring the world community".
"The citizens of the Empire State recognise the noble cause of the Cypriot and Greek-American communities on their collective call for justice and an end to the threat of war in the region and a return to the Republic's former glory and grandeur," the proclamation concludes.
 Joyce Quin: full support to UN Secretary General to get negotiations underwayThe British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Ms Joyce Quin replying to a question in the House of Commons on 21 July, on confidence building measures and discussions between the two communities in Cyprus, said that "in line with the UN Secretary General's initiative of 30th September 1998, his Special Representative Dame Ann Hercus , has been conducting a process of on-island contacts with the leaders of the new communities aimed at reducing tensions and promoting progress towards a just and lasting settlement."
Ms Quin also pointed out that the UN Security Council in its resolution 1250 (1999) of 29 June , welcomed these contacts and urged the UN Secretary General to invite the two leaders "to enter without preconditions into comprehensive negotiations" starting in autumn.
"We have confirmed to the UN Secretary General that he will have our full support in his efforts to get negotiations underway", she added.
 Economy expected to show satisfactory growth in 1999The Cyprus economy is expected to register a satisfactory growth in 1999 and it is anticipated that there will be an improvement in external demand for goods and services.
According to the annual report issued by the Central Bank of Cyprus for 1998, the major positive characteristics of the Cyprus economy in 1998 were a strong growth performance associated with declining inflation and low unemployment.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rose last year to 5,0 per cent in real terms compared to 2,5 per cent growth rate recorded in 1997. The GDP growth in 1999 is expected to reach about 4,0 per cent.
In 1998 unemployment on the whole fell to 3,3 per cent of the economically active population, from 3,4 per cent in 1997. This unemployment ratio compares favourably with the European Union's average, which was estimated at 10,2 per cent in 1998, as well as with the average in the euro area which stood at 11,6 per cent.
The Central Bank report notes that prospects for the tourist industry in 1999 are very encouraging, with tourist arrivals expected to grow by about 7,1 per cent. Exports of goods are also expected to recover in 1999, while inflation is expected to remain in the range of around 2,0 per cent, while full employment conditions will continue to prevail.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/