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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-03-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 27 March 2000
 «Cyprus/ accession to the EU is the best way to guarantee security and prosperity», says VerheugenEU Commissioner responsible for enlargement Mr Guenther Verheugen stated last Friday that the island's accession to the EU «will be the best way to guarantee security, and prosperity for all Cypriots».
Speaking at a press conference after concluding his first working visit to the island, Mr Verheugen stressed that the Helsinki decision opened a window of opportunity for Cyprus and reiterated that a political settlement is not a precondition for accession.
The European Commissioner also noted that the Commission will provide the UN with technical assistance to ensure the coherence of the future political settlement with the acquis, adding that the peace process and the accession process can facilitate each other.
Commenting on the island's EU course Mr Verheugen said that «Cyprus is the leader of the rest of the candidate countries with eleven chapters of the negotiations provisionally closed».
«EU accession should benefit both sides, Turkish Cypriots should join the negotiations, Cyprus can only speak with one voice, no separate negotiations are possible and I have made that quite clear in my meetings», he said and expressed strong support for common projects with EU funding and enhanced information to the Turkish Cypriots.
Mr Verheugen was received by the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides earlier in the day. He also held meetings with Cyprus Chief Negotiator with the EU Mr George Vassiliou and with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktash.
 President Clerides: «Our efforts are geared towards accession to the EU of a reunited Cyprus»«The people of Cyprus are citizens of a common homeland, sharing a common vision for the future, namely to see our country becoming part of the European Union. Our efforts are geared towards accession to the European Union of a reunited Cyprus, and a potential guarantee for all Cypriots for a truly secure and prosperous future».
Pointing to the importance Cyprus attaches to its EU accession course as an additional dynamic and a pointer to the future, President Clerides noted that Cyprus seeks a solution «that will be consistent and compatible with effective participation in the EU and with fulfillment of all obligations as a member state».
Addressing the 9th Council Meeting of the European Federation of Green Parties on Friday 24, the President of the Republic noted that the environment plays a unifying role in bringing people together and referred to the solidarity between environmental organisations in Cyprus and in Turkey against the proposed construction of a nuclear power plant in a zone of southern Turkey which is prone to earthquakes.
«It is equally promising for our future in Cyprus to witness how the environment, as the primary area of common concern maintains bridges between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities. Our country and its environment is one and indivisible and no man-made barriers can dispute with this reality or ignore it», he concluded.
 Cyprus congratulates Greece on Independence DayThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides extended last Saturday his thanks to the Greek Government for its support and solidarity to the people of Cyprus in their search for a just and viable political settlement of the Cyprus problem.
In congratulatory messages to Greece's President and Prime Minister Messrs Constantinos Stefanopoulos and Costas Simitis on the occasion of Greek Independence Day, President Clerides expressed his gratitude for Greece/s unwavering support to Cyprus/ efforts to reach a political settlement and to join the EU.
 Cyprus to preside over UN Asian GroupCyprus/ Permanent Representative to the UN Mr. Sotos Zakheos was unanimously elected on 22 of March to preside over the Organisation's Asian Group for April 2000.
The geographic Group comprising 51 states, deals with issues related to elections and candidacies for the various UN bodies.
Mr Zakheos will act as mediator in negotiations between the Group member- states in an effort to reach consensus on the said issues. According to an official announcement, the election of Cyprus as President of the Asian Group reflects the respect of the Republic by Asian countries.
 Cyprus and the Republic of Nauru to establish diplomatic relationsCyprus/ Permanent Representative to the UN Mr Sotos Zakheos and Nauru/s Permanent Representative Mr Vinci Clodumar have agreed last Thursday to establish bilateral diplomatic relations.
Mr Zackheos stressed the importance of the cooperation between small states in view of dealing more effectively with common challenges, in particular in the fields of security and environment
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/