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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-08-07
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 7 August 2000
 Proximity talks to resume on September 12President Clerides arrived in Cyprus last Saturday after the conclusion of a third round of UN-led proximity talks, scheduled to resume on September 12 in New York.
Speaking to the press on arrival at Larnaca airport, President Clerides described the work done in Geneva as «useful», noting however that the two sides have not yet entered into negotiations.
President Clerides said that the Greek Cypriot side has indicated to foreign diplomats that talks on Cyprus could not continue to take place without negotiations being held between the two sides.
He reiterated that useful work was done in Geneva and that the Greek Cypriot side gave a detailed analysis of its positions on the distribution of powers, the territorial issue, future security, refugees, missing persons and property.
In a press conference given on Friday August 4, UN Special Adviser for Cyprus Mr. Alvaro de Soto said that the goal of the talks is a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Mr. De Soto clarified that «what do we mean by this one might ask and I should say that one that comprises everything that must be settled in order to put an end to the problem, leaving nothing to be negotiated afterwards. Something that is essentially self-implementing and that is something with binding timetables of implementation of all of its aspects and also accompanied by independent mechanisms for verification of compliance with agreements and that of course is an ambitious goal». He added that «since the basis is that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, it's quite possible that you will not be seeing evidence of progress as we go along in dribs and drabs, but rather you will have to wait until everything is concluded. Now, especially if you consider that Secretary General's strongly expressed wish, which I reiterated not for the first time to both sides to essentially observe a blackout in information about the talks in all aspects not just the substance but also the procedure because, of course, behind the procedure lurks the substance».
 Cypriot maritime administration improves the quality of the Cypriot registryAccording to a press release issued by the Cyprus Department of Merchant Shipping, covering the period between April - June 2000 «By the end of March 2000 the Cypriot merchant fleet ranked sixth in the world with 2675 ships of a gross tonnage exceeding 26,6 million».
The report also notes that during the second quarter of 2000, the surveyors and inspectors of the Department of Merchant Shipping inspected 109 vessels under the Cyprus flag.
The improvement of the Cypriot flagged vessel detention ration is reflected in worldwide statistics, particularly in the US Coast Guard 1999 statistics (declined from 10.87% in 1997 to 4.52% in 1999) in the Paris MOU statistics, as well as the Tokyo MOU statistics. More specifically, according to Paris MOU statistics, Cypriot flagged vessels detention ratio declined from 12.32% in 1996 to 9.97% in 1999. As far as the Tokyo MOU is concerned, Cypriot flagged vessels detention ratio declined from 3.67% to 5.35% during the same period. These figures show the effectiveness of the efforts that the Cypriot maritime administration has made on improving the quality of the Cypriot Registry.
In the report, it is also noted that during the second quarter of 2000, the Government of Cyprus signed a Bilateral Agreement on Merchant Shipping with the Republic of Cuba, increasing the number of such agreements to nine. A new shipping agreement was also signed with Sri Lanka. These agreements aim at promoting friendly relations between Cyprus and other countries exploring areas of cooperation related to shipping which could benefit the economic development of both countries and facilitate seaborne trade and employment of seamen.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/