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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-03-14
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 14 March 2000
 "Proximity talks on Cyprus should be upgraded", says President CleridesPresident Clerides stressed yesterday the need to upgrade the proximity talks on Cyprus and added that they should focus on the substance of the Cyprus question.
Speaking at Larnaca airport, before his departure to Paris for a four-day working visit, President Clerides referred to his meeting earlier in the morning with Britain's Special Envoy on Cyprus Sir David Hannay, adding that Sir David "supports the idea that the talks must be upgraded and that there should be an exchange of ideas on the fundamental core issues of the Cyprus problem". "The message is clear", he said, "that the May 23 talks must be on the substance of the Cyprus problem, otherwise they can not go on".
President Clerides will meet in Paris with French President Jacques Chirac and will discuss the Cyprus problem with the National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee. He is also scheduled to meet with the President of the Cyprus - France Friendship Group Mr. Jean Fauve and the President of the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee of the Senate Mr. Xavier de Villepin.
 Cyprus is certain that the Commonwealth will continue to provide its support to the Republic's just causeCyprus President Glafcos Clerides expressed yesterday the government's sincere appreciation to the Commonwealth for the support if offers Cyprus in efforts to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.
In a statement made yesterday on the occasion of the Commonwealth Day, President Clerides said he is certain the organisation will continue to provide its support to the just cause of the people of Cyprus.
President Clerides further reiterated the government's deep appreciation for the valuable work which the Commonwealth is carrying out in the international scene.
He also thanked outgoing Commonwealth Secretary-General Mr.Emeka Anyaoku.
 Portugal unreservedly supports Cyprus' EU coursePortugal reiterated last Friday its unreserved support to the speedy enlargement of the European Union and Cyprus' EU course.
The statement was made by Portuguese Minister of Environment and Planning Mr. Jose Socrates during his meeting with Cyprus Ambassador to Portugal Ms Thalia Petrides. Mr. Socrates also expressed his ministry's willingness to offer pre-accession assistance to Cyprus in the field of environment and help with the island's harmonisation process with the acquis communautaire.
 France will try to promote Cyprus/ efforts to join the EUIn a statement released last Friday on President Clerides' four-day working visit to Paris, French Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said that the visit "takes place in a positive framework because of the resumption of UN-led talks on Cyprus."
In this prospect developments in the current process will be reviewed, the statement added. Referring to Cyprus/ course for EU accession, the Spokesperson said that France will try to promote Cyprus/ EU course and made reference to the European Council Helsinki conclusions last December.
Bilateral economic and cultural issues will also be discussed, the Spokesperson added.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/