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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-25
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 25 April 2001
 Commonwealth Secretary General Donald Mr McKinnon visits CyprusThe Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Mr Donald McKinnon, who is currently in Cyprus on an official visit, was received yesterday by President Glafcos Clerides.
After the meeting, Mr McKinnon told the press that he had discussed with President Clerides issues concerning the Cyprus issue as well as Cyprus' accession course to the EU.
Mr McKinnon assured him that the Commonwealth strongly supports efforts towards finding a just and comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem within the framework of UN resolutions.
The Commonwealth Secretary General was also received by the President of the House of Representatives, Mr Spyros Kyprianou. The House President briefed Mr McKinnon on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, placing special emphasis on Turkey's intransigence.
During his visit, Mr McKinnon also had a meeting with Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides. Ms Myrna Kleopa, the High Commissioner of Cyprus to Great Britain, the Director of the Foreign Minister's Office Mr Minas Hadjimichael and other officials were also present at the meeting.
After the meeting, Mr Kasoulides spoke of the importance Cyprus attaches to its membership of the Commonwealth. He added that the Commonwealth is giving Cyprus the opportunity to cooperate and take part in issues that concern the whole globe.
The Foreign Minister said that he and the Commonwealth Secretary General discussed international issues that concern the Commonwealth, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. Furthermore, as Mr Kasoulides said, he had the opportunity to brief Mr McKinnon on developments in the efforts to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus and on Cyprus' expectations regarding the traditional support of the countries of the Commonwealth.
 Takis Klerides participates at Finance Ministers' meeting of the candidate countries for EU accessionThe Minister of Finance Mr Takis Klerides had a meeting in Sweden last week with the Finance Ministers of the other 12 candidate countries for European Union accession.
During the meeting, the Ministers discussed various issues of high importance including the candidate counties' budget contribution and harmonisation cost. They also had the opportunity to exchange views and experiences on financial issues, which are common to all countries in the process of EU accession.
Mr Klerides explained that the Government of Cyprus had helped finance the costs as required by the European Union Pre-Accession Strategy relying to a large extend on the private financing initiative and on the contribution of the private sector in the financing of infrastructure works.
Furthermore, he made a special reference to the construction of two desalination units, which serve as apt examples of this approach. These works follow European Union standards and the same approach will be adopted in the construction of the two new airports as well as in the handling and processing of waste, he said.
The Ministers of the candidate countries for EU accession described their meeting as very useful. Their next meeting will be in November 2001 in Slovakia.
 Finance Minister addresses 10th Annual Meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and DevelopmentThe Minister of Finance Mr Takis Klerides addressed on 24 April in London, the 10th Annual Meeting of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), of which Cyprus is a founding member.
Representatives from 60 member countries and other international organizations participated at the meeting. The EBRD finances the development programmes of countries of Central and Eastern Europe and of the former Soviet Union. Furthermore, it provides consultation services and technical assistance.
In his address, Mr Klerides warmly welcomed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's membership to the EBRD, which is an important step in its reintegration into the world economy and will be of considerable help to the country in its effort to overcome its difficult problems.
Commenting on the Bank's performance in the year 2000, Mr Klerides said that the results of the Bank both in terms of operational and financial results were excellent. He congratulated the management of the Bank for achieving a great success in increasing business volume and in substantially strengthening the Bank's projects pipeline.
The Minister welcomed the Bank's new Energy Operation Policy approved last year and expressed the confidence that it would "succeed in meeting the objective to increase efficiency of energy at all stages, from primary conversion to end use". In parallel, he encouraged the Management of the Bank to be "more vigorous in identifying appropriate investment opportunities and give due consideration to demand side energy efficiency and emphasis on the renewable sources of energy".
Mr Klerides said that the work on decommissioning nuclear rectors in the countries of operations and on improving safety standards in those that are not yet about to be closed, must continue to have high priority. He said, however, that the financing of nuclear power stations for primarily political reasons and in contradiction to agreed bank policies, which would achieve a safety level comparable to western standards, raises great concern.
The Minister noted with great satisfaction the enhanced cooperation between the EBRD and the European Union and expressed the hope that in the coming few years Cyprus, among other candidate countries, will become a full member of the EU.
 Meeting of the European Affairs' Parliamentary Committees of the candidate countries for EU accessionThe Chairman of the Foreign and European Affairs' Committee of the Cyprus House of Representatives Mr Tassos Papadopoulos participated on 23 April at the 6th Meeting of the European Affairs' Parliamentary Committees of the counties of the Luxembourg Group, in Budapest.
During the meeting the Chairmen of the European Affairs' Parliamentary Committees of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia reviewed "the status of the accession negotiations, the new elements in the enlargement strategy i.e. road map for the negotiations, and the expectations towards the programme of the Swedish Presidency".
The Chairmen adopted a joint statement calling for the accession negotiations to be concluded by the first half of the year 2002 at the latest.
In their statement, the Chairmen acknowledge the progress made by members of the group in the accession negotiations and expect that a new impetus will be given to the enlargement process in the course of the Swedish Presidency.
Moreover, they welcome the initiative of the European Union to include applicant countries in the debate on the future of the European Union and believe that such participation would lead toward the creation of a stronger and better Europe.
The next meeting of the European Affairs' Parliamentary Committees of the candidate countries for EU accession will take place in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in the autumn of 2001.
 Written question addressed to the Council of Europe on Tsiakourmas' releaseCyprus Member of Parliament Mr Takis Hadjidemetriou, addressed the yesterday following written question to the Chairman-in-Office of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Mr Indulis Berzins:
"Considering that since 12 December 2001, the Greek Cypriot civilian Mr Panicos Tsiakourmas who was abducted by Turkish occupation troops within the British Sovereign area of the Republic of Cyprus, is held illegally in a prison at the occupied area of Cyprus awaiting 'trial' on fabricated charges, an event which caused the strong reaction of both the Government of Cyprus and of the British Government,
Taking into account the fact that Mr Tsiakourmas' health has worryingly deteriorated since then as he suffers from diabetes.
Mr Takis Hadgidemetriou, MP from Cyprus, asks whether the Committee of Ministers has acted upon the case towards Turkey, a member state of the Council of Europe, which controls the occupied part of Cyprus, in order to secure Mr Tsiakourmas' immediate release and his reunification with his family and especially his gravely ill mother".
 Minister of Justice Mr Nicos Koshis meets with his Irish counterpartThe Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr Nicos Koshis had a meeting with his Irish counterpart, Mr John O' Donnoghue, during the latter's visit to Cyprus.
During the meeting, the two Ministers exchanged views on the possibility of cooperation between Cyprus and Ireland in the fields of justice and internal affairs.
Mr O' Donnoghue assured the Cypriot side that Ireland supports Cyprus in its EU accession course and its entry to the EU without conditions.
The Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry of Justice and Public Order and of the Ministry of Interior as well as other officials were also present at the meeting.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/