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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-02-14
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 14 February 2002
 Foreign Minister returns from ConstantinopleThe Cyprus Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides returned yesterday from Constantinople, where he participated at the joint Forum of the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Conference.
Speaking to the press on his return, Mr Kasoulides expressed satisfaction for being given the opportunity to communicate directly with Turkish public opinion through the media and to express the Cyprus Government's views that are not so easily presented in Turkey.
On the sidelines of the Forum, Mr Kasoulides said he had the chance to have contacts with other Ministers, especially of member countries of the Islamic Conference and had the honour of being received by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. He also had a meeting with his Greek counterpart Mr George Papandreou, with whom he discussed important issues such as the efforts for finding a settlement of the Cyprus problem, Cyprus's accession to the EU, Turkey's effort to upgrade its status as a candidate country, the Greco-Turkish dialogue, and Greece's position regarding the Defence and Security Policy of the EU. He stressed that these issues are independent of each other, but added that progress in each of these matters may strengthen the others.
Invited to comment on the presence of the Republic of Cyprus on Turkish territory, Mr Kasoulides said that Cyprus participated as a candidate country for accession to the European Union as did the other candidate countries. He clarified that the Turkish Cypriot community participated in the Islamic Conference under the name "Muslim Turkish community of Cyprus" as an observer, adding that it was under this arrangement that the Turkish Cypriot community was represented by Mr Ertugruloglu and others.
Asked whether Turkey made any effort to downgrade Cyprus' official presence at the Forum, the Foreign Minister said that he did not notice an effort of this kind adding that the hospitality during his stay had been excellent and Turkey's behaviour towards the Cypriot delegation impeccable.
Mr Kasoulides underlined that "the international personality of Cyprus is represented by its legal Government" and pointed out that this is not the first time that this has happened in Constantinople. At the High Level Conference of the Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe, held in Constantinople in 1999, President Clerides represented Cyprus, he said.
Replying to other questions, Mr Kasoulides dismissed Turkish press allegations that Cyprus will purchase Russian fighter helicopters. Cyprus has not purchased any kind of weapon system in the past months, during which the Turkish side has indicated a willingness to negotiate for a solution to the Cyprus problem, he said.
Finally, invited to comment on a statement by Lord David Hanney yesterday that, during the year 2002, a solution of the Cyprus problem was expected, the Foreign Minister said that he also shares this hope but added that it is too soon to express optimism or pessimism. He also appealed to the people of Cyprus to be cautious in their expectations and without pre- empting anything, wait patiently for the outcome of the direct talks.
 President Clerides meets with Lord David HannayThe President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Glafcos Clerides received yesterday, Britain's Special Representative for the Cyprus problem, Lord David Hannay. Present at the meeting were the Attorney-General of the Republic Mr Alecos Markides, the Government Spokesman, Mr Michalis Papapetrou and the Under Secretary to the President Mr Pantelis Kouros.
In a statement to the press afterwards, Mr Papapetrou said that the course of direct talks between President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Rauf Denktash was reviewed during the meeting and that Lord Hannay had asked President Clerides for his evaluation of the course of the Cyprus peace talks on all issues discussed so far.
Asked whether Lord Hannay seemed to ascertain the gap between the positions of the two sides, the Government Spokesman said he was not authorised to say anything on the essence of the peace talks.
 First Cyprus Ambassador to El Salvador presents credentialsThe Cyprus Ambassador to Mexico Mr Antonis Toumazis presented his credentials on 12 February, to the President of El Salvador Mr Francisco Flores, as the island's first Ambassador to El Salvador.
During his private meeting with President Flores, Mr Toumazis briefed him on the recent developments in the Cyprus question, the island's European Union accession course and the prospects for further developing bilateral relations.
El Salvador's President stressed his country's unwavering support for a just solution to the Cyprus problem based on the relevant UN resolutions and international law. Mr Flores expressed the hope that reason would prevail and a settlement would be reached, that would allow all Cypriots to live in conditions of democracy. He also underlined his wish for strengthening relations with Cyprus in all fields.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/