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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-03-19

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

Monday, 19 March 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus should be part of the first wave of countries to accede to the EU
  • [02] Finance Minister's visit to Washington
  • [03] EU statement on the issue of Simic


[01] Cyprus should be part of the first wave of countries to accede to the EU

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Ioannis Kasoulides had a meeting on 16 March with the British Shadow Secretary of State, Conservative MP Mr Francis Maude.

In a statement after the meeting, Mr Maude said that he had a very useful, friendly meeting with Mr Kasoulides, during which they talked about a range of issues including the accession of Cyprus to the European Union.

"It's the policy of my party that the first wave of accession to the European Union should take place not later than 2004 and that Cyprus should certainly be part of that first wave, Mr Maude said adding that "Cyprus should join the European Union sooner rather than later".

As Cyprus and Malta will join the European Union they will bring an extra dimension through belonging to the Commonwealth, Mr Maude said. He also referred to the growing role that the Commonwealth can play in the world as a global organization comprising of some 30% of the world's population.

Mr Maude expressed concern for the fate of Greek Cypriot Panicos Tziakourmas, who was illegally abducted and detained for the past three months by the Turkish occupation forces, and said that he should be returned to his family as soon as possible. "It is intolerable he has been abducted in the way that he has, and he should be returned immediately," he added.

[02] Finance Minister's visit to Washington

The Minister of Finance Mr Takis Klerides had meetings in Washington between 15-16 March with US government officials as well as officials from the business and financial world, whom he briefed on Cyprus' economy and its European Union accession course.

On 15 March, Mr Klerides had a meeting with Mr William Repack, Associate Director for Banking Supervision of the US Federal Reserve Bank, with whom he discussed issues relating to money laundering and Cyprus' cooperation with the Yugoslav authorities. The following day he had separate meetings with Assistant US Trade Representative for European and Middle Eastern Affairs, Mrs Catherine Novella and with the Director of the European Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund Mr Jacques Artus.

During a meeting with members of the US government, the Congress and the business world on 16 March, Mr Klerides stressed the Cyprus Government's determination to combat money laundering, including claims regarding Yugoslav companies based on the island.

The Finance Minister said that Cyprus is cooperating closely with the Yugoslav authorities to assist them in their efforts to find hidden accounts belonging to former President Slobodan Milosevic. He also noted that the Governor of Yugoslavia's Central Bank had said during a visit to the island last week, that Cyprus was the first country to offer specific cooperation on this matter.

Moreover, the Cyprus Government has advised the Yugoslav authorities that information must be channelled through the International Tribunal, with which Cyprus is cooperating, or be reported to the Economic Crime Investigating Unit, the Finance Minister said.

The Cyprus economy is developing well Mr Klerides said and noted in particular the low inflation and unemployment figures and the decrease in the public deficit. Referring to the island's European Union accession talks, he said that Cyprus has managed to close 17 out of the 29 chapters and is therefore ahead of other candidate countries for EU accession.

[03] EU statement on the issue of Simic

The Presidency of the European Union in statement issued in Brussels on 14 March expressed satisfaction regarding the declaration by the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, the countries associated with the European Union, and EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, on the appearance at the ITCY of Mr Blagoje Simic.

The declaration states the following:

"The Central and Eastern European countries associated with the European Union, the associated countries Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, and the EFTA countries, members of the European Economic Area, declare that they subscribe to the declaration by the European Union on the appearance at the ITCY of Mr Blagoje Simic, published in Brussels and Stockholm, 12 March 2001. The European Union takes note of this commitment and welcomes it".


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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