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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-02-06
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 6 February 2001
 Cyprus and Lebanon to strengthen relationsCyprus and Lebanon wish to further strengthen their already excellent bilateral relations, Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides said yesterday.
Speaking on his return from Lebanon, where he met with his Lebanese counterpart Mr Emil Lahoud, President Clerides said that during his visit he briefed Mr Lahoud on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and exchanged views on issues relating to the region. He also said that Mr Lahoud accepted an invitation to visit Cyprus.
Replying to a journalist's questions, President Clerides referred to Cyprus' EU accession course, and said that Cyprus' neighbouring countries that cannot accede to the European Union are very much interested in Cyprus' accession and their relations with the island in view of this prospect. Moreover, these countries wish to utilise Cyprus' EU prospect, an interest that may facilitate the efforts in finding a solution to the Cyprus question, he said.
Asked to comment on a letter by the Turkish Defence Minister to the Secretary General of the EU Common Foreign and Defence Policy Mr Javier Solana protesting against Cyprus' participation in the European army because it is contrary to the Zurich Agreement, President Clerides said that the Turkish allegations are unfounded.
He pointed out that that the European Union has already replied to these allegations by saying that the Turkish claims were not based on correct legal positions, that Cyprus could accede to the EU and that the Zurich- London Agreements are not an obstacle to Cyprus' accession. "This has already been decided and that is why we are proceeding with our accession course", the President added.
Regarding Cyprus' participation in the European army, the President reiterated that the Cyprus Government did not request to participate with a regiment because its position is that Cyprus must be a demilitarised country.
Cyprus can provide telecommunications, medical and other auxiliary services, and also bases, which however will not be sovereign, the President added.
 Cyprus and Mauritius sign a diplomatic relations protocolCyprus and Mauritius have signed a protocol for the establishment of diplomatic relations between them. The Permanent Representatives of the two countries to the UN, Ambassadors Sotos Zackheos and Anund Priyay Neewoor signed the protocol on 2 February, at the Cyprus Permanent Mission in New York.
The two Ambassadors stressed the importance of cooperation between small island states in facing common problems and challenges. They also exchanged views on how to strengthen bilateral relations in the political, economic and trade fields.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/