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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-24

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, 24 April 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Clerides inaugurates new desalination plant
  • [02] Foreign Minister meets with Israeli counterpart
  • [03] Cyprus protests against illegal visit of Turkish Foreign Minister to the occupied areas


[01] President Clerides inaugurates new desalination plant

The President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides inaugurated yesterday the second seawater desalination plant, built in the eastern coastal town of Larnaca. The Archbishop of Cyprus, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Mr Shimon Peres, members of the Cyprus Council of Ministers, the Government Spokesman, Members of Parliament and other officials were present at the ceremony.

In his address, President Clerides said that a new era begins for Cyprus with the completion and operation of this unit, which is the largest that has been planned by the government.

"After many long years of hardship caused by the well known water cuts, this unit has enabled us to lift the restrictive measures in the provision of drinkable water. Every household in the free areas of Cyprus has at last a continuous supply of water", he said.

President Clerides said that the Government's water policy was not restricted to constructing only desalination plants. He explained that the use of other, non-traditional, water resources is also promoted such as the treatment of waste water for irrigation purposes, the enrichment of aquifers, the exploitation of subterranean brackish water, the restructuring of agricultural cultivations and the promotion of cultivations which require less water to flourish.

Furthermore, the government has established a water development unit, has promoted water saving measures and has created awareness among the public for the proper use of water, he said.

The President said that the capital cost of the desalination plant, which was constructed by a Cypriot-Israeli joint venture and financed through the system of self-financing, was approximately 20 million pounds. "Cyprus and Israel had cooperated magnificently for the completion of the project," he said.

The Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Mr Costas Themistocleous said that the desalination plant is environmentally friendly and can produce 52 thousand cubic metres of water per day. He also stressed that the water supplied from dams, desalination plants and from all Government water works is completely safe. "The water treatment is done according to European standards and those of the World Health Organisation. It is anticipated that due to the fact that there is no water rationing any more, the water quality will improve even further", he said.

Mr Themistocleous also said that the government would continue to support the agricultural sector, which would probably continue to depend on rainfall for some years to come.

[02] Foreign Minister meets with Israeli counterpart

Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides had a meeting yesterday with the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel Mr Shimon Peres, who is on a two-day official visit to Cyprus, at the invitation of Mr Kasoulides.

Speaking to the press after official talks with his Israeli counterpart, Mr Kasoulides said that discussions focused on the efforts for finding a lasting peace in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean, the Cyprus problem and the island's EU accession course.

In his statement, Mr Peres said that Israel and Cyprus are united by the vision to democratise, to pacify and to Europeanise the Middle East.

"I think that all these go together because peace and freedom and a connection with Europe and following the European model, where political conflicts were solved by economic framework, is very much attractive to all of us. We are very much encouraged by the closeness of Cyprus to enter the European Union. I think it will enrich the European Union and the Middle East with a new model and experience and experiment," he said.

Replying to a question as to whether Cyprus could play a role in the efforts to solve the Middle East problem, Mr Peres said that Cyprus could contribute to bridging differences, bringing the two sides together, which is very hard to achieve. "We trust the good will and discretion of Cyprus, he added.

Invited to comment on the statement by the Turkish Foreign Minister that Turkey will react with no limits to the accession of Cyprus to the European Union, Mr Peres said:

"Your neighbour also wants to become a member of Europe so you will meet in Europe. You will agree to be members of Europe and you will agree to Europeanise your differences".

Earlier in the day, Mr Peres had a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides. Cyprus and Israel are both working to Europeanise the Middle East, Mr Peres said after the meeting. He described relations between the two countries as extremely good and stressed that he looked forward to Cyprus hosting further peace meetings for the Middle East peace process.

[03] Cyprus protests against illegal visit of Turkish Foreign Minister to the occupied areas

Upon the instructions of the Cyprus Government, the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations Ambassador Sotos Zackheos strongly protested yesterday to the United Nations Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan against the illegal visit of Turkey's Foreign Minister Mr Ismail Cem to the occupied areas between the 16 and 18 April 2001.

In his written letter, Mr Zackheos drew attention to "the provocative public statements" made by Mr Cem, which further exacerbate the situation on the island and obstruct the UN Secretary General's efforts to continue the process of the talks for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

"The arrival of the Turkish Foreign Minister to the occupied areas through an illegal point of entry constitutes a clear manifestation of the contempt of the Republic of Turkey for the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, for the relevant resolutions and decisions of the United Nations, and furthermore violates international law", he said.

Ambassador Zackheos pointed out that instead of promoting a climate of reconciliation and encouraging Mr. Denktash to abandon his well-known intransigence and return to the negotiating table with the necessary political will for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, based on Security Council resolutions, Mr. Cem used the opportunity to unleash a torrent of provocative and threatening statements.

"The international community expected a completely different approach from the Turkish Foreign Minister and more specifically the announcement of the reversal of the decision, adopted in Ankara last November at a meeting of the political and military leadership, to abandon the talks under your auspices," he said.

On the contrary, Mr Cem reiterated his country's unacceptable demand for "a confederal solution, based on equal sovereignty and on two states", he said adding that this position is contrary to the agreed parameters for the solution of the Cyprus problem, adopted and repeatedly reaffirmed by the Security Council and other international organizations.

Mr Cem's statements that Turkey's reaction to Cyprus' European Union accession will have no limits, "constitute a deliberate attempt at blackmail toward the EU and intimidation of and threat of use of force contrary to Article 2 paragraph 4 of the UN Charter against the sovereignty and political independence of the Republic of Cyprus" Mr Zackheos said.

Ambassador Zackheos also referred to the practice followed by Turkish politicians every time they illegally visit the occupied areas, to use the island as a platform from which to engage in "poisonous rhetoric and presentation of their chauvinistic credentials in order to reinforce their position within the Turkish political system."

He underlined that Mr Cem totally disregarded "the ever increasing voices of desperation of the Turkish Cypriots, who are the ultimate victims of Turkey's military occupation of the northern part of Cyprus and its policy of integrating the occupied area with the faltering Turkish economy, which is the source of the malaise of the Turkish Cypriots".

Concluding, the Cypriot diplomat pointed out that, once again, Turkey's policy despite its public pronouncements "overlooks the best interests of the Turkish Cypriot community, by denying them the opportunity to share the obvious social, economic and political benefits of the accession of Cyprus to the European Union".

Furthermore, Cypriot Member of Parliament, Mr Takis Hadjidemetriou also protested against the Turkish Foreign Minister's statements at yesterday's session of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg.


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


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