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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-08-24

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/>

Friday, 24 August 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cooperation between Cyprus and Malta
  • [02] Cyprus and Malta in the first wave of accession countries
  • [03] Cyprus and Greece to launch satellites
  • [04] Existance of oil reserves in the Mediterranean sea.
  • [05] Vassiliou meets with British MPs
  • [06] Presentation of Credentials


[01] Cooperation between Cyprus and Malta

Cyprus Finance Minister, Mr Takis Clerides met on 23 August 2001 with his Maltese counterpart, Mr John Dalli to discuss economic issues of mutual concern.

Mr Dalli, who is on a four-day visit on the island, discussed with Mr Clerides the economic problems the two countries are facing in their accession course to the European Union and expressed hope that their countries will close all negotiating chapters with the Union by the end of next year.

Speaking after the meeting, the Cypriot Finance Minister stated that "Cyprus and Malta will cooperate in various fields in relation to the EU accession negotiations and in the field of health" adding that both countries share "common economic problems" with regard to the harmonisation process of the acquis communautaire.

[02] Cyprus and Malta in the first wave of accession countries

The Chief Negotiator and Coordinator of the Harmonisation Process for Cyprus' Accession to the EU, Mr George Vassiliou, met with the Maltese Minister of Finance, Mr John Dalli, on 23 August to discuss ways of exchanging ideas and know-how between the two countries with regard to their accession to the EU.

Mr Dalli expressed the hope that Malta will be among the first wave of accession countries to the EU together with Cyprus, acknowledging that Cyprus has made more progress than his country in its accession course. "We made an unfortunate political decision in 1996 which froze our application for two years and in that period Cyprus has progressed more than we did", the Maltese Finance Minister noted.

On his part, Mr Vassiliou stated that the two men had discussed issues relating to the two countries/ accession course as well as the General Health Scheme, recently approved by the House of Representatives, adding that Malta has expressed great interest in introducing the same scheme.

Cyprus' Chief Negotiator said that they had also exchanged views on issues regarding the operation of international businesses in Cyprus and Malta in relation to the acquis communautaire, adding that a three-day special meeting scheduled for three days, beginning on the 24 August, at the Ministry of Finance will address the issue.

[03] Cyprus and Greece to launch satellites

Cyprus and Greece signed an agreement on 23 August 2001 to launch the first of two satellites that will provide communications and broadcast services to 28 regional countries in time for the 2004 Olympic games.

The deal was signed by the Cypriot Minister of Communications and Works, Mr Averof Neophytou, and the Greek Transport Minister, Mr Christos Verelis and the Cyprus-based Hellas Sat Consortium Ltd.

The two Ministers noted that the cooperation between their Ministries was multi-folded, essential and fruitful and this project is the outcome of hard work by all those involved.

Under the deal, Greece abd Cyprus will cede 40 frequencies to the consortium for 20 years for use in a geosynchronous orbit at 39C East. Among other things, Greece will receive three transponders for government and military use.

"Our efforts will continue and we will work hard to reach our next goal, which is the materialization of the cooperation between Cyprus, Bulgaria, the Vatican and Greece", Mr Neophytou noted.

The first of the two satellites will be launched at the latest by 31 August 2002 and the second by the 31 March 2004.

[04] Existance of oil reserves in the Mediterranean sea.

A Committee of Ministers was convened on 23 August 2001 for the third time to discuss the issues related to the existance of oil reserves in the Mediterranean sea.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Mr Nicos Rolandis, who presided the Committee stated that a technical committee had been created which will submit proposals on many issues including the appointment of experts on the matter.

The Minister added that a meeting with Syrian officials was held earlier on and they had expressed their willingness to cooperate with the Cypriot side. Moreover, Mr Rolandis said that in Spetember the Oil Minister of Egypt is expected to visit the island, whilst communication has been established with the Lebanese government. The government is also planning to contact the Israeli government, Mr Rolandis noted.

[05] Vassiliou meets with British MPs

The Chief Negotiator and Coordinator of the Harmonisation Process for Cyprus' Accession to the EU, Mr George Vassiliou had a meeting yesterday with the President of the House of Commons Parliamentary Committee for European Affairs Mr J. Hood MP and member of the Committee Mr B Tynan.

During the meeting, Mr Vassiliou briefed the British Members of Parliament on Cyprus' EU accession negotiations. They also exchanged views on the forthcoming UN sponsored talks aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The British parliamentarians stressed that Cyprus will be among the first countries to accede to the European Union irrespective of the outcome of the UN sponsored talks. They also underlined that Cyprus' EU accession will finally act as a catalyst for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

[06] Presentation of Credentials

Cyprus' Ambassador Mr Sotos Liasides presented his credentials yesterday to the Governor - General of Australia, ex Anglican Church Archbishop Dr Peter Hollingworth, as Cyprus new High Commissioner to Australia.

After the official ceremony, Mr Liasides had a private meeting with the Governor-General, during which he briefed him on the Cyprus problem. Mr Liasides underlined that, following the Turkish invasion in 1974, the number of Turkish Cypriots in the Turkish - occupied area of Cyprus has been substantially reduced while the number of Turkish settlers has increased to the extend that they now constitute a majority.

The new High Commissioner stressed the need for a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, where all citizens irrespective of origin or religion would enjoy all basic human rights. He cited Australia as a perfect example of a federation, where all inhabitants as Australian citizens, irrespective of their nationality or religion, live in harmony.

For his part, Dr Hollingworth expressed a wish for a solution of the Cyprus problem and pointed out that different religious and national groups should live as equal citizens, while keeping in parallel their traditions and religion. Australia, with its multi-number immigrants from all the parts of the world, has managed to achieve this, he added.


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


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