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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-10

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/>

Tuesday, 10 April 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus Foreign minister meets with US Secretary of State
  • [02] Mr Vassiliou briefs President Clerides on his meetings abroad
  • [03] The EU presidency replies to a question on the illegal embargo by Turkey against ships that have visited ports in Cyprus
  • [04] 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva
  • [05] Cyprus and Lebanon sign agreement


[01] Cyprus Foreign minister meets with US Secretary of State

Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides had a meeting yesterday at the US State Department with the US Secretary of State Mr Colin Powell.

In a statement to the press afterwards, Mr Kasoulides said that his meeting with the Secretary of State was productive, very cordial and pleasant.

"I have been able to explain to him how our government views the efforts for resolving the Cyprus problem and in particular the pending decision for the accession of Cyprus to the European Union and the importance it has in connection with the efforts to solve the problem," he said.

Mr Kasoulides said that he also had the opportunity to discuss a number of other international issues of interest, including the situation in the Balkans and the Middle East and other issues of the region.

Invited to comment on Greco-Turkish rapprochement, Mr Kasoulides stressed the necessity for rapprochement to go forward and not to be interrupted.

Replying to other questions, Mr Kasoulides stressed the importance of finding a solution of reunification and not partition and separation, noting that partition "means a permanent source of friction between Greece and Turkey."

On Cyprus' prospect for EU accession, Mr Kasoulides said, "we have to do everything we can in the next 18 months in order that Cyprus joins reunited the European Union. Otherwise, the Helsinki decision will apply".

The EU Summit at Helsinki had said that the solution of the Cyprus problem was not a precondition for Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

[02] Mr Vassiliou briefs President Clerides on his meetings abroad

The Head of Cyprus' Negotiating Team for European Union accession, Mr George Vassiliou, had a meeting at the Presidential Palace yesterday with the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides, whom he briefed on his recent visits to Brussels, Athens and Ireland.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Vassiliou said that during the 11th Meeting of the Inter-Governmental Conference at deputy level in Brussels, the chapters on the free movement of capital and transport policy were closed. Great progress was made on the chapters of free movement of citizens, and freedom to provide services, which are expected to close in May, he added.

Mr Vassiliou expressed the hope that on the chapter on energy, a transitional period of five years would be given to enable Cyprus to increase its petrol reserves. On the chapter on environment, he said an agreement was to be reached regarding the pending issue of pollution from the electricity power station at Vasiliko. Under the agreement the two power units at Vasiliko would be allowed to operate but the government would make a commitment that all future power units would fulfil the European criteria, he said.

Referring to his visit to Athens Mr Vassiliou said he was greatly satisfied with his meetings there, as well as with the assistance offered by Greece in this field.

During his meetings in Ireland, Mr Vassiliou said that the political leadership of the country, the government, the Prime Minister and the opposition, all expressed support for Cyprus' EU accession, and their readiness to provide any practical or other assistance needed.

[03] The EU presidency replies to a question on the illegal embargo by Turkey against ships that have visited ports in Cyprus

Replying recently to a written question by British Member of the European Parliament Mr Brian Simpson on what action the European Council intends to take against Turkey to secure the lifting of the illegal embargo by that country against any merchant ships that have visited ports in Cyprus, the Eu ropean Union Presidency stated the following:

"The Council is perfectly aware of the specific issue raised by the Honourable Member, which moreover, concerns not only the relations governed by agreement between the EU and Turkey, but also other international obligations on the part of Turkey. As early as 1998, the Presidency of the Union raised this problem with the Turkish side in the margins of the meeting at the OECD. Likewise, the matter is regularly on the agenda for the proceedings of the Joint committee of the Customs Union bringing together the EU and Turkey and in particular was discussed at the committee's meeting on 8 December 2000".

The Council also stated that the EU Commission raised the matter regularly in its periodic reports on the progress made by Turkey towards accession.

In addition, the Council reminded that "in its address before the UN General Assembly on 12 September 2000, the Presidency, speaking on behalf of the Union, considered that the status quo in Cyprus was unacceptable and stated that it supported the UN Secretary General's efforts to reach a negotiated, overall, just and lasting settlement in line with the Security Council's resolutions."

[04] 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva

During the 57th Session of the UN Commission on Human Rights, representatives of different countries and organizations condemned the continued violation of human rights and basic freedoms in Cyprus, by Turkey.

The Representative of the Commission of Churches on International Affairs, Mr John Rumbiak, made reference to the Commission's repeatedly expressed belief that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable.

H.E. Amina C. Mohamed, Ambassador/ Permanent Representative of Kenya said, inter alia: "We would like to encourage the partners in Cyprus to find a settlement within the framework of UN Security Council and General Assembly resolutions".

The Permanent Representative of Paraguay spoke of his country's concern regarding the violation of Human Rights in Cyprus, despite the numerous UN Resolutions that unfortunately have not been implemented, yet.

The Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia Mr Karen Nazarian made a reference to the Armenians living on the island. He reminded the participants of the genocide during the Ottoman Empire at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, saying that the Armenians are living a repeated tragedy and continue to have their human rights violated.

Finally, the representative of the Marangopoulos Foundation for Human Rights referred to the extended and sad outcome of the Turkish invasion, stressing that the occupation of the northern part of Cyprus is a violation of many fundamental principles of international law.

[05] Cyprus and Lebanon sign agreement

The Finance Ministers of Cyprus and Lebanon, Mr Takis Klerides and Mr Fouad Siniora, respectively, signed yesterday, an agreement for the protection and promotion of investments aimed at further developing bilateral economic relations between the two countries.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Mr Klerides said the bilateral agreement was a very important step for the promotion and protection of investments between two neighbouring countries, such as Cyprus and Lebanon.

Mr Klerides pointed out another aspect of the meeting, which was the cooperation between the two countries vis-a-vis the entry of Cyprus to the EU and the fact that Cyprus would then be the EU's easternmost point, and the one closest to Lebanon.

Mr Siniora said that the agreement is "an important step in the direction of the enhancement of our bilateral relations" adding that he and Mr Klerides had discussed the possibility of cooperation between the two countries on the promotion of tourism, education and trade.


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


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