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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 99-10-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 4 October 1999
 P>"Maritime Cyprus" international Conference began in Nicosia yesterday in the presence of President Glafcos Clerides. One thousand representatives from 35 countries are participating in the 6th conference which takes place every two years and is internationally recognised as one of the most important shipping events.
The conference will deal with international brokering, ship finance, the tanker industry, maritime insurance, safety policy and use of information technology in shipping.
Opening the four-day conference Minister of Communications and Works Mr Averof Neophytou announced that on 1 January 1999 Cyprus will introduce a new policy for the registration of ships under the Cyprus flag, placing a new ceiling on the age of ships.
In the last five years, in an effort to improve quality, additional professional stuff have been appointed at the Department of Merchant Shipping and the network of independent surveyors has been extended, he said.
Mr Neophytou praised the role of the international Maritime organisation (IMO) which has achieved so much in the fields of maritime safety and the protection of the maritime environment through cooperation and consensus among member states.
He pointed out that the government has decided to allocate its resources in the next two years to safety, pollution prevention of the environment and adequate manning standards rather than growth.
In his speech the Permanent Secterary of the Ministry Mr Vassos Pyrgos said that Cyprus is determined "to steadily follow a the long voyage of excellence regardless of the anticipated short term negative consequences affecting the size of its fleet".
"Cyprus is convinced that it will remain among the leading open registries and we hope that in the long run the other partners of the industry will realise that our commitment really serves their interests" he said.
 P>"The anniversary of the Cyprus independence finds the Cypriot people still suffering after 25 years from the consequences of the illegal invasion and continuing occupation of the island's territory by Turkey", President Glafcos Clerides stated in his message on the occasion of Cyprus' Independence Day.
President Clerides pointed out that the Greek Cypriot's side's sincere and fervent desire is for a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible which "will reunite the divided island, restore the human rights of all Cypriots and guarantee the security of the Cyprus state."
"This state", he said, "will be called upon to play its own constructive role within the ranks of the European Union, contributing at the same time to peace, security and stability in the region".
President Clerides said that the US State Department Spokesman has reiterated that efforts will concentrate on persuading the two sides to enter into negotiations without preconditions under UN auspices within the framework of the relevant statement of the G8 and UN Security Council Resolutions 1250 and 1251.
The Greek Cypriot side, he said, has stated clearly and without reservation its readiness to enter into talks without preconditions and to negotiate with flexibility and courage within the framework laid down by the UN Security Council Resolutions.
He stressed however that "we shall not participate in any dialogue which, in order to bring the Turkish side to the negotiating table, will lead to any watering down of the relevant decisions of the G8 and the European Union or which will fall outside the parameters laid down in the relevant UN resolutions".
 P>Cooperation between Cyprus and Greece is "perfect", the Defence Ministers of the two countries said yesterday.
Cyprus Defence Minister Mr Socrates Hasikos and his Greek counterpart Mr Akis Tsohatzopoulos, who concludes a four-day official visit to Cyprus, told a press conference that Cyprus' defence capability is at a very high standard.
Referring to the efforts in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, the Greek Defence Minister said that any effort aiming at a just democratic solution in Cyprus is welcomed adding that "we have a responsibility to coordinate our moves".
Both Greece and Cyprus see the prospect of Turkey joining the European Union in a positive light provided Ankara contributes to the peace effort and paves the way for substantive negotiations leading to a solution in Cyprus, he said.
 P>The President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides took the salute of the military parade on Friday to mark the 39th anniversary of the independence of Cyprus.
Greece's Defence Minister, Mr Akis Tsohatzopoulos, Archbishop Chrysostomos, the President of the House of Representatives Mr Spyros Kyprianou, Cyprus Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos and other Government officials also observed the parade.
In a short statement afterwards President Clerides congratulated all those who participated in the parade and pointed out that the parade was "perfect" both in terms of excellent discipline and immaculate military hardware.
US President Bill Clinton and Greek President Costis Stefanopoulos were among the foreign Heads of State sending congratulatory messages to President Clerides on the occasion of the anniversary of Cyprus independence
In his message US President Bill Clinton said "the US remains committed to finding a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem that will reconcile the differences that have divided Cyprus for far too long."
"You can rely with trust on the solidarity and support of the entire Greek nation," the Greek President said in his congratulatory message, noting that the close bonds between the two countries were enhanced in the past 25 years.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/