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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-02-22
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 22 February 2002
 Foreign Minister in Malta for talksThe Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides, who is currently visiting Malta, was received yesterday by the President of Malta Mr Guido de Marco, to whom he conveyed a message from the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides.
During the meeting, Mr de Marco, who has been a friend of Cyprus and has good knowledge of the Cyprus problem, expressed his support for the people of Cyprus.
The Cyprus Foreign Minister then had a meeting with Malta's Prime Minister Mr Edward Fenech Adami, with whom he discussed the two countries' EU accession course in the light of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Conference next month. He also had talks and a working lunch with his Maltese counterpart Mr Joe Borg. The two Ministers gave a press conference, which focused on the importance of the accession of two small states, Malta and Cyprus, to the European Union and the role they could play as member states.
Mr Kasoulides also met with the Maltese leader of the opposition, former Prime Minister Alfrent Sant.
 Defence Ministers of Cyprus and Armenia sign agreementThe Minister of Defence Mr Socratis Hasikos and his Armenian counterpart Mr Serzh Sargsyan signed yesterday, an interstate agreement on military and technical matters.
Speaking after the signing of the agreement, Mr Hasikos expressed satisfaction with the agreement, which concerns military and technical matters, exchanges on a military level between the armies of the two countries and on the training of army officers. He also said that there would be a joint inter-governmental committee, which will undertake to implement the agreement.
For his part, Mr Sargsyan said that he was pleased with the signing of the agreement, which is very important for his country. The agreement will improve the level of training of the armed forces, he added.
 Luxembourg Premier stresses his country's stable support for Cyprus' EU accession"Turkey cannot use the solution of the political problem as a precondition for Cyprus' EU accession," the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Mr Jean-Claude Juncker has stated.
Speaking after a meeting with the President of the Greek Parliament Mr Apostolos Kaklamanis on 20 February in Athens, Mr Juncker reiterated Luxembourg's position that Cyprus must be among the first countries to accede to the European Union.
Mr Juncker expressed his country's strong interest in Cyprus' EU accession course as well as in the search for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. He underlined that any solution must respect, above all, the "dignity" of the Cypriot people and stressed that the possible acceptance of the position, that the solution of the political problem is a precondition for Cyprus' accession, would be tantamount to the EU giving Turkey a right of veto.
For his part, Mr Kaklamanis thanked Mr Juncker for his unwavering stance regarding Cyprus' EU accession, stressing that it is not possible for a Europe of democratic principles and inviolable human rights, as its people envisage it, to tolerate Turkish blackmails.
 Monetary Policy decisionsThe Board of Directors of the Central Bank of Cyprus, taking into consideration the suggestions of the Monetary Policy Committee, reached the following monetary policy decisions at its meeting yesterday:
The key official interest rates of the Central Bank, that is the interest rates of the marginal lending facility (Lombard) and the deposit facility remain unchanged at 5.5% and 2.5% respectively.
The reference value for the annual growth rate of the bank credit in 2002 is 11%.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/