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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-10-03

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/>

Wednesday, 3 October 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cypriot Foreign Minister: Cyprus is far away from harbouring terrorism
  • [02] Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations spoke for the combating of terrorism
  • [03] Commissioner Verheugen/s reference on Cyprus


[01] Cypriot Foreign Minister: Cyprus is far away from harbouring terrorism

The US government has assured Cyprus that it is far from being included in the State Department/s political list of countries harbouring terrorism, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides stated on 2 October 2001 adding that "a technical list" issued by the American Civil Aviation named countries, including Cyprus, which are vulnerable to terrorists/ infiltration. Speaking to the press, Mr Kasoulides said that the government of the Republic of Cyprus has protested the island/s inclusion in this "technical list" and that the possibility of excluding Cyprus from the list was "under investigation". The Foreign Minister added that the list is regarded as a "technical" one and it included countries like Israel, Saudi Arabia and Malta providing more than anything else the countries' geographical position which makes them susceptible to terrorists' infiltration.

Mr Kasoulides furtheron stated that Cyprus has the obligation and the duty to align with all states struggling against terrorism. "Cyprus has a three- fold role to play in this field: to combat the financing of terrorism, reinforce security measures in its airports and ports and secure cooperation with the security services of other countries", Mr Kasoulides stated, inter alia. "If we suceed in these areas, Cyprus can only be considered as a cooperating country in the international community's effort to combat terrorism", the Foreign Minister concluded.

[02] Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations spoke for the combating of terrorism

"The solution of the Cyprus problem will restore stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, usher in a new era of Greco-Turkish relations and thus strengthen the anti-terrorist struggle", the Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations, Sotos Zakheos stated, inter alia, in his speech to the UN General Assembly on 2 October 2001.

Mr Zakheos added that the government of the Republic of Cyprus had aligned itself with the conclusions and plan of action of the extraordinary European Council meeting of 21 September 2001, and it shared the view of the European Union and others for the necessity of a global mobilization against terrorism under the aegis of the United Nations.

Referring to the issue of financing terrorism, Mr Zakheos stated that the Council of Ministers in Cyprus approved on 20 September 2001 a comprehensiveproposal for the establishement of a task force to combat international terrorism, including illegal arms sales and brokerage. This unit will, inter alia, have the authority to investigate upon information and/or suspicion the activities, books and dealings of companies registered in Cyprus and the assets and accounts of any individuals that might be involved in the sponsorship of terrorism, including, for example, illegal arms sales, financial involvement and transshipments.

In conclusion, Mr Zakheos reiterated the determination of Cyprus to support the universal fight against terrorism and in order to safeguard civilization all countries must stand shoulder to shoulder in this common struggle.

[03] Commissioner Verheugen/s reference on Cyprus

European Commissioner, Gunter Verheugen, replying to a question, on 1 October 2001, concerning Turkey/s threat that if there is no political solution to the Cyprus problem then Cyprus/ accession to the EU will be impeded, made the following statement:

"The position of the European Union since Helsinki cast it clear that we are continuing with the accession process, we are continuing with the negotiations and we believe that the accession negotiations facilitate the efforts of the United Nations to find a political solution and a political settlement is the preferred option. The European Union is saying that we want to have the accession of Cyprus after a political settlement, without that being a political precondition and the member states will make a decision, while taking into account all the relevant factors. But today, it is certainly too early to foresee what type of relevant factors we have. What I can foresee is that negotiations with Cyprus will continue to run smoothly. I do not see very serious problems for the negotiations with Cyprus in the remaining time. I think I can expect that the negotations with Cyprus will be concluded in the second half of the next year and therefore we see a clear window of opportunity for a political settlement and I can only ask all relevant, involved parties to engage constructively in that process and do everything to find a political settlement.

I do not think that it is useful to comment on individual statements, which are made here or there. The best thing we can do is to maintain a really clear and reasonable position".


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


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