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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-10-22

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/>

Monday, 22 October 2001


CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Minister attends European Conference on Terrorism
  • [02] National Guard's Nikiforos 2001 military exercise ends
  • [03] Presentation of Credentials
  • [04] Gunter Verheugen: a solution to the Cyprus problem will facilitate the development of EU-Turkey relations
  • [05] Turkish violations of Cyprus' airspace


[01] Foreign Minister attends European Conference on Terrorism

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides returned from Brussels yesterday, where he attended the enlarged European Conference on Terrorism convened on 20 October by the Belgian Presidency of the European Union.

The conference was attended by EU member countries, associated candidate countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Yugoslavia, Croatia, FYROM and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Representatives of Russia, Ukraine and Moldova attended the working lunch that followed the Conference.

In his speech at the Conference, Mr Kasoulides referred to the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September, stressing that 'the sheer unprecedented scale of those repulsive and barbaric acts that caused so much death and destruction, had a profound effect on human consciousness".

"No cause can justify, in any way, the acts of mass murder that were an assault not only against the United States but on our core moral values. They were an assault against those fundamental values that we jealously guard: democracy, human rights freedom and the rule of law," he said.

Terrorism and the serious threat it poses to international peace and security has been catapulted to the top of the international agenda, he said and stressed the need for collective action to tackle a phenomenon, which transcends borders, religion, cultures and civilisation.

Mr Kasoulides noted that a global mobilisation against terrorism spearheaded in the United Nations has gained added urgency and said that, in this regard, Cyprus supports India's proposal for a United Nations Convention against international terrorism.

Cyprus has been reviewing its security measures and recalibrating them to take into account the situation that has developed, he said. Moreover, it fully recognises the decisive factor of choking and cutting the funding of terrorism.

"Our fight against terrorism is not against culture or religion or between cultures and religions. Cyprus therefore wholeheartedly endorses the statement made at the extraordinary European Council rejecting any equation of groups of fanatical terrorists with the Arab or Muslim world," he said.

Mr Kasoulides pointed out that the perpetuation of the Palestinian issue and the Middle East conflict serves the extremist elements that find fertile ground to promote their warped position and underlined the urgent need to prevent and solve regional conflicts.

"Cyprus supports the recent statements made by President Bush and Prime Minister Blair and others in favour of a Palestinian State which, I believe, will create the conditions for true peace and security among the countries of the region, solving other regional problems, including the Cyprus problem, will strengthen the cohesion of the international coalition in the fight against terrorism", he said in conclusion.

[02] National Guard's Nikiforos 2001 military exercise ends

The President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides watched on Saturday 20 October, the annual Cyprus National Guard military exercise code - named Nikiforos 2001. Cyprus Defence Minister Mr Socratis Hasikos, Greece's Deputy Defence Minister Mr Demetris Apostolakis, Armenia's Deputy Defence Minister,Lieutenant General Mikael Grigoryan, Members of the House of Representatives, the Greek Ambassador Mr Christos Panagopoulos, the Commander of the National Guard Evangelos Florakis and other officials, were present at the military exercise.

Speaking afterwards, President Clerides said that the impressive military manoeuvres have proved the Cyprus' National Guard's readiness to defend the freedom of Cyprus.

Invited to comment on the absence of Greek warplanes in this year's exercise, President Clerides explained that the exercise code-named "Toxotis", which was Greece's participation in the National Guard exercise "Nikiforos", was not cancelled but it would take place at a later stage. The governments of Greece and Cyprus, due to international developments, jointly decided the non-participation of Greece, he said.

In his statement, Cyprus' Defence Minister Mr Sokratis Hasikos said that through deterrence, peace and stability would be safeguarded on the island and in the region, conditions, which are important for Cyprus' European Union accession course.

A strong sense of security is essential for progress and would also strengthen Cyprus' negotiating position in the search for a peaceful solution to its political problem, he said.

Referring to the visit to Cyprus of Armenia's Deputy Defence Minister, Lieutenant General Mikael Grigoryan, to watch the last phase of the military exercise, Mr Hasikos said that it underlines the willingness of the two countries' defence ministries to cooperate in the field of defence and enhance their existing strong relations.

For his part Greece's Deputy Defence Minister Mr Demetris Apostolakis said the exercise was "impressive", and underlined the "great ability of Cyprus' armed forces to fight under any conditions."

[03] Presentation of Credentials

The President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides received at separate formal ceremonies, the credentials of the new Ambassadors of the State of Qatar Mr Mohamed Bin Hamad Mubarak Al Khaa, and of the Sultanate of Oman Mr Abdulaziz Bin Zaheer Al-Hinai.

Presenting his credentials Ambassador Mohamed Bin Hamad Mubarak Al Khaa said bilateral diplomatic ties would contribute towards the development of cooperation and promote existing friendly relations.

"Qatar and Cyprus are small countries but active in the economic and political field, therefore we should intensify our contact and coordinate in many fields for the interest of both Qatar and Cyprus," he said.

For his part, the new Ambassador of Oman Mr Abdulaziz Bin Zaheer Al- Hinai said that relations between Oman and Cyprus are of longstanding friendship and mutual respect and cooperation in numerous fields, bilateral as well as multilateral.

Moreover he assured President Clerides that he would "spare no effort to find ways and means to further strengthen the already existing bonds of friendly relationship and cooperation between the two countries and discover further areas of cooperation, particularly in the fields of economy science and culture".

[04] Gunter Verheugen: a solution to the Cyprus problem will facilitate the development of EU-Turkey relations

The European Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Gunther Verheugen, speaking at the inauguration of the EU-Turkey Centre in Brussels on 17th October, made the following reference to Cyprus:

"On Cyprus, we hope that the UN sponsored process will resume as soon as possible. Turkey has expressed support for this process but there is a strong expectation in the EU that these expressions of support will contribute to concrete actions to facilitate a settlement.

The accession process with Cyprus and several other candidates is reaching its concluding stages. It is, therefore, particularly important that all parties concerned should take advantage of the window of opportunity to reach a political settlement. The elements for a solution, which take into account the interests and concerns of all the parties, are well known. What it takes now is the political courage to seize this opportunity to resolve once and for all the Cyprus problem. A solution will also greatly facilitate the development of EU - Turkey relations."

[05] Turkish violations of Cyprus' airspace

The Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos, has strongly protested to the UN against new recent massive violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus and of the Flight Information Region of Nicosia by Turkish military aircraft.

In his letter addressed to the UN Secretary General on 16 October 2001, Ambassador Zackheos underlined that such actions violate international law as well as Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and called for their cessation. The Ambassador noted that these violations are taking place at a time when the international community expects Turkey to reverse the decision of refusing to attend the next round of negotiations under UN auspices.

Moreover Ambassador Zackheos stressed that the government of Turkey should abide by the UN Charter and respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and contribute towards a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the United Nations resolutions.


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


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