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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-20
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 20 April 2001
 Cyprus Foreign Minister meets with Czech counterpartCyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides had a meeting yesterday withthe Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Mr Jan Kavan, who isvisiting Cyprus at Mr Kasoulides' invitation.
Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Mr Kasoulides said thatwith Mr Kavan they discussed ways of enhancing and developing cooperationbetween their two countries, a cooperation that has been on an excellentbasis for many years, but which now opens new perspectives in view of thetwo countries' European Union membership.
In his statement, the Czech Foreign Minister said that discussions hadconcentrated on issues, which strengthen and deepen trade relations. In thiscontext, he expressed the desire of the Czech Republic to deepen therelationship, form joint ventures if possible and sign an Agreement on theProtection of Mutual Investment as well as an Agreement on the Avoidance ofDouble Taxation.
"These two agreements create a useful framework within which entrepreneursof both countries can be encouraged to work, to find out more about eachother's markets and to increase trade," he said. He also expressed hiscountry's interest in strengthening the Educational Agreement that existsbetween the Czech Republic and Cyprus and in participating in themodernization of the Cyprus Chemical Industry or in projects concerning theprotection of the environment.
Referring to the two countries' efforts for EU membership, Mr Kavan said: "We've agreed that we both have the opportunity of concluding negotiationsduring 2002 and make full use of a window of opportunity between 2003 andJanuary 2004 to become full members, and thus take part in the EuropeanParliamentary directions in 2004 and also in the IntergovernmentalConference."
He also expressed the belief that Cyprus' accession to the European Unioncould accelerate a solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that his countrywould like to see "an early peaceful solution in line with the UnitedNations resolutions".
The Czech Foreign Minister also had a meeting with the Head of theNegotiating Team for Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr George Vassiliou withwhom he discussed the two countries joint efforts for EU membership.
He also met with the Acting President of the Republic Mr Spyros Kyprianou.Mr Kyprianou expressed satisfaction with the meeting during which theyexchanged views on the two countries' joint efforts to accede to theEuropean Union.
For his part, Mr Kavan said that he looked forward to a closer cooperationbetween the two countries particularly in the fields of trade, tourism andeducation.
Replying to a question in relation to Cyprus' EU membership, he said hecould not foresee any danger in Cyprus' EU accession course, and stressedthat the European Union has already made it clear that the solution of theCyprus problem is not a precondition for the island's EU accession.
 Reactions to Turkish Foreign Minister's threatsCyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides said yesterday that thethreats made by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem that Cyprus'accession to the European Union would be a "Pyrrhic victory" constituteAnkara's "trump card" in its effort to obstruct Cyprus' accession.
He described Mr Cem's statements, made after the latter's illegal visit tothe Turkish-occupied areas of the island on 18 April, as "a kind of threatand intimidation" against the Cyprus government and the EU itself that wouldnot be accepted.
Mr Kasoulides stressed that Mr Cem is well aware that if there is apolitical will, there is ample time until the second half of 2002 to find asolution of the Cyprus problem based on UN resolutions, otherwise theHelsinki decision will apply and Cyprus will join the EU.
Commenting on Cem's view that Cyprus' accession would bring new suffering tothe Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities, Mr Kasoulides called on theTurkish official not to speak on behalf of the Greek Cypriots. "Regardingthe Turkish Cypriots, he said that he was satisfied that Mr Cem had realisedthe harm both Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash were causingthem by placing obstacles to the effort for a mutually acceptable settlementthat would lead Cyprus into the EU united, which would also rid the TurkishCypriots of their economic dependency on Turkey.
Cyprus Government Spokesman Mr Michalis Papapetrou stated that theGovernment considered the Turkish Minister's statements "condemnable andunacceptable" These positions were in contrast with international law anddid not contribute to the attempts for a permanent solution of the Cyprusproblem, he said.
Meanwhile, replying to a question during a press briefing in Brusselsyesterday, European Commission Spokesman Mr Jean-Christophe Filory said hewas not aware of Mr Cem's statements. He said that Cyprus is proceeding withits EU accession negotiations and that this process cannot be changed. TheEuropean Council would decide on Cyprus membership when the negotiations areconcluded, he added.
 President Clerides meets Egyptian President Mr Hosni MubarakThe Government Spokesman briefed the mass media on President GlafcosClerides' personal visit to Egypt. The President had a half-hour meetingyesterday morning with the Egyptian President, Mr Hosni Mubarak inSharm-el-Sheikh.
During the meeting, bilateral relations were discussed. The two sidesagreed that the Middle East peace process must resume immediately and thatthe use of violence cannot lead the problem anywhere. As far as the Cyprusproblem is concerned, both sides agreed that the reunification of Cyprus isof utmost importance and that talks must continue in search of a solution ofa bi-zonal bi-communal federation and one that is in accordance with the relevant Security Council Resolutions.
The Spokesman referred to President Clerides' week-long visit to Egypt asone of utmost importance for the further development of bilateral relationsbetween the two countries.
 French officials: Solution is not a precondition for EU accessionThe Greek Minister of Defence Mr Akis Tsohatzopoulos who is currently inParis on an official visit had a meeting with his French counterpart MrAlain Richard. In a succeeding press conference, Mr Tsohatzopoulos saidthat France had a clear position on the accession of the Republic of Cyprusto the EU. The Defence Minister said that the Greek side was interested infinding a political solution, but this could not be a precondition forCyprus' accession to the EU.
During his visit to Paris, Mr Tsohatzopoulos also had a meeting with theFrench Minister Delegate for European Affairs, Mr Pierre Moscovici.Addressing the Greek mass media, Mr Tsohatzopoulos said that Mr Moscovicihad assured him that Cyprus's accession negotiations would proceed accordingto the Helsinki Conclusions and irrespective of the solution of the Cyprusproblem. Mr Tsohatzopoulos found this very important and he said thatFrance supports Cyprus' unobstructed EU course.
 Cyprus and Lebanon sign agreement in the field of medicineThe Minister of Health Mr Frixos Savvides signed an agreement in the fieldof medicine between the Republic of Cyprus and the Lebanese government.
The cooperation agreement in the sectors of public health and medicalscience provides for exchange of information of scientific and technologicalnature, exchange of special missions in the sector of public health andmedical science, common research, symposiums advising meetings andworkshops.
Finally, the agreement provides for free medical care in cases of severeillnesses. Both sides are to provide free medical care
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/