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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-10-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>Δευτέρα, 23 Οκτώβριος 2000
 House of Representatives calls on President Clerides to demand full correction of UN Secretary-General's statementThe Cyprus House of Representatives discussed at an extraordinary session on 21 October, the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and in particular the fourth round of proximity talks. In a resolution it adopted, it concluded that the opening statement of the UN Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan falls outside the letter and spirit of the framework of the talks and the basis of a solution of the Cyprus problem as determined by the UN principles, decisions and resolutions.
The House established that the non-papers which the UN Secretary-General's representative Mr de Soto presented to the representatives of the two communities contained ideas and proposals which were not in line with the framework of principles and UN resolutions.
The House of Representatives also reiterated its firm insistence on a solution of the Cyprus problem based on the UN resolutions and the 1977 and 1979 high level agreements.
In its resolution, the House points out that "a bicommunal, bizonal federation constitutes the ultimate and painful concession" of the Greek Cypriot side and not a starting position for negotiations aimed at finding a «middle-of-the-road settlement". It also stresses that the solution must safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots and envisage the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus and the withdrawal of the occupation troops and settlers.
It calls upon President Clerides to continue and intensify his efforts in the direction of a full correction of the situation created by the UN Secretary-General's opening statement and of reaffirming the basis of the talks and the framework for a solution, as these are determined by the resolutions and decisions of the United Nations and the two high level agreements.
(The full text of the resolution can be found at the Special Issues section)
 National Guard is well prepared to face threats and dangersThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides watched on Friday 20 October, the Cyprus National Guard military exercise Nikiforos 2000, which was carried out with the participation of the Greek navy and air force. Archbishop Chrisostomos, members of the Council of Ministers, Members of the House of Representatives, a Representative of the Greek Embassy, the Commander of the National Guard Evangelos Florakis and other officials were present at the military manoeuvres.
Speaking after the exercise President Clerides expressed satisfaction at the exercise which, he said, proves that the National Guard is very well prepared to face threats and dangers.
The President pointed out that the participation of the Greek navy and air force in the framework of the Cyprus-Greece joint defence pact is of utmost importance to Cyprus' defence since it covers sectors the National Guard could not cover on its own, like the air and sea.
The Greek Defence Minister Mr Akis Tsohatzopoulos, arrived on the island on Saturday to observe the final stages of the exercise. He also visited together with the President of the Republic and the Cyprus Minister of Defence Mr Socratis Hasikos, the Paphos airbase.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Cypriot counterpart, afterwards, Mr Tsohatzopoulos said that the airbase was an important step in safeguarding the security of the Republic of Cyprus.
He stressed that strengthening the island's defence capability upgraded the island's prospects for joining the European Union, as Cyprus could be included in the group of countries that play a role in security and peace.
The future of the Republic of Cyprus is in the common organizations of security, defence and economic cooperation of the countries of the European Union, South Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, and this is a realistic target, he added.
 Cyprus-Greece joint defence pact is of great strategic significanceThe joint defence pact between Greece and Cyprus is of great strategic significance to the island's defence, and at the same time reinforces the Greek Cypriot side's negotiating position in its efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem through peaceful means, President Clerides, stated on Saturday.
Decorating the Greek Defence Minister, Mr Akis Tsohatzopoulos with the highest award of the Republic, the Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III, President Clerides praised the Greek Minister for his personal contribution to the upgrading of the military cooperation between Greece and Cyprus, in the context of the joint defence pact. He also expressed the gratitude of the people of Cyprus for the invaluable assistance Greece offers to various sectors.
President Clerides pointed out that over the past four years, Greece has sent over 400 million pounds worth of military equipment to Cyprus. Moreover, the Greek government covers the annual training costs of about one thousand officers of the National Guard, amounting to millions of pounds, he said.
He thanked Mr Tsohatzopoulos for his Ministry's constructive cooperation with the Cyprus Defence Ministry in the island's participation in the Common European Security and Defence Policy of the European Union.
President Clerides stressed that Cyprus gives great importance to its full participation in European security institutions. "Apart from human resources and military equipment, we are ready to offer the European Union the capability to benefit from the strategic importance of Cyprus in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, to serve the noble common goals of its member states", he added.
Receiving the award, Mr Tsohatzopoulos said that the common security and defence of Cyprus and Greece is a sound base on which to depend, in the island's course towards the European Union.
He pointed out that Cyprus' participation in all European institutions is a reality and that cooperation between Greece and Cyprus signals a new prospect for the Republic of Cyprus.
These defence efforts do not go against the important efforts of the Cyprus Government to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem, he said.
He expressed the belief that the two go together and that Cyprus' defence and European accession prospects are an extra element strengthening Cyprus's capability to successfully tackle this new challenge.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/