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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-03-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 23 March 2000
 Gunter Verheugen in Cyprus for talksThe European Union Commissioner in charge of enlargement Mr Gunter Verheugen will be visiting Cyprus from 23 to 25 March for the first time since his appointment.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the European Commission in Brussels, Mr Verheugen will voice strong support for the current UN proximity talks towards a political settlement on the Cyprus problem. He is also expected to reiterate that "accession negotiations and progress towards a political solution will continue to reinforce each other".
The Commission's statement notes that "the Helsinki European Council concluded that a political settlement will facilitate EU accession for Cyprus but that the Council's decision on accession will be made without a settlement being a pre-condition".
The statement says that during his visit in Cyprus, Mr Verheugen will exchange views with both sides on the enlargement process, he will "explain the particular potential benefits of EU membership and encourage a two-way flow of information on EU matters, including the establishment of people-to- people projects involving representatives from both communities". It also notes that "a new financial regulation adopted by the Council of Ministers on 13 March 2000 makes financial support for such projects possible".
Moreover Mr Verheugen will discuss with the Cypriot authorities the progress made in the negotiations to date, including further efforts to be made to achieve timely transposition and implementation of the 'acquis'.
"The Commissioner will be holding talks with President Clerides, government ministers, leading parliamentary figures, business representatives, officials and representatives from the civil society. During the course of his two-day visit Commissioner Verheugen will also meet Mr Denktash, representatives of different political parties and other representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community", the statement concludes.
 Presentation of credentialsThe President of the Republic, Mr Glafcos Clerides, received today at separate formal ceremonies at the Presidential Palace, the credentials of the new Ambassadors of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Yemen.
Presenting he credentials the new Russian Ambassador Mr Vladimir Pavlinov said that his country's firm and consistent support of the efforts to achieve lasting and just solution of the Cyprus problem continues to be an important element in Russia's relations with Cyprus.
"We intend to contribute actively in the future to the promotion of the inter-Cypriot dialogue, which has been resumed under the UN auspices, and we consider its soonest transformation into direct negotiations between the leaders of the two Cypriot communities to be extremely important", he added.
Mr. Pavlinov also expressed support for President Clerides' initiatives on the demilitarisation of the Republic of Cyprus.
He referred to the frank and friendly ties that exist between Cyprus and Russia and noted that the development of political dialogue between the two countries is accompanied by further expansion and strengthening of relations in the sphere of economy, science, technology and culture.
Presenting his credentials the new Ambassador of Yemen, Mr Ahmet Abdullah Al Basha said that the people of Yemen have a great respect for Cyprus and expressed the wish that President Clerides' efforts to peacefully reunite Cyprus will succeed.
He assured that he would do his best to enhance and strengthen the friendly relations that already exist between Cyprus and Yemen.
 China will never grant legality to the illegal entity in CyprusChina follows closely the recent developments in the Cyprus problem and will never grant legality to the illegal entity in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.
The Foreign Minister of China Tang Jiaxuan stated the above at a meeting with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Andreas Pirishis, who is in China on an official visit.
During the meeting the two Ministers discussed issues of mutual interest with emphasis on the Cyprus problem and the issue of Taiwan. The Cyprus Ambassador to China Mrs Loria Markides was also present at the meeting.
The Chinese Foreign Minister stressed that the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus must be respected and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus must be applied.
Finally Mr Jiaxuan assured that China as a Permanent Member of the Security Council will continue to work with the international community towards finding a just solution to the Cyprus problem.
On his part Mr Pirishis, referring to developments in Taiwan, reiterated the Cyprus government's position on the issue, that it supports "one China" on the international and bilateral level, a stance that is based on the principle of the territorial integrity of states.
 Cypriot merchant fleet ranked sixth in the world in 1999At the end of 1999 the Cypriot merchant fleet ranked sixth in the world with 2686 ships amounting to a gross tonnage of 26,8 million.
According to a press release on the activities of the Department of Merchant shipping during 1999, the Department of Merchant Shipping inspected 365 vessels under the Cyprus flag, a number that represents a significant increase in comparison with the corresponding figures of 1998 and 1997.
The Department of Merchant Shipping, in its effort to increase the safety standards on board Cyprus ships, formed an ad hoc working group for the harmonization of national legislation with EU legislation in the field of maritime training and certification.
To improve the safety record of the Cyprus merchant fleet and its image the Cyprus Government revised its policy on the registration of ships in the Cyprus Register of Ships and decided to amend it in a way that serves its objectives better.
This policy entered into force on 1 January 2000. According to the new policy the age of ships, which may be registered in the Cyprus Register of Ships has been reduced from 17 to 15 years provided that they comply with the provisions of the merchant shipping legislation.
New measures have been also introduced for fishing vessels. All Cyprus flag fishing vessels will be required to obtain a license from the Fisheries Department irrespective of whether they fish in or outside the territorial waters of Cyprus.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/