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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-02-25
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 25 February 2002
 Finland unreservedly supports Cyprus' EU membershipThe Chief negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr George Vassiliou returned to Cyprus from Finland on Saturday, where he had a series of meetings with the Finnish President Mrs Tarja Halonen, the Foreign Minister Mr Erkki Tuomioja, the Minister in charge of enlargement and various parliamentary officials. He also presented Cyprus' candidacy at an event jointly organised by the delegation of the European Commission in Helsinki and the Finnish government.
Speaking at the event, Mr Vassiliou pointed out that Cyprus' EU prospect has changed the scene around the Cyprus problem and that from the moment that it became clear that Cyprus would become a member of the European Union, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash realised they had to resume talks on the Cyprus problem.
The Finnish Member of Parliament Mr Jaakko Laakso, who is also Vice President of the Parliamentary Friendship Group with Cyprus and Rapporteur of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on settlers in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, stressed the importance of Cyprus' accession to the EU. He pointed out that Cyprus' accession would give the European Union a presence in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as contribute to stability, the solution of various regional problems, and the effective handling of illegal immigration.
He described the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the events that followed as "ethnic cleansing" and stressed that Turkey has not yet complied with the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. He also expressed the hope that Cyprus' accession course would contribute to a successful conclusion of talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash.
Finland's President Mrs Tarja Halonen said that her country fully supports Cyprus' accession to the EU and the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions and the acquis communautaire. She also expressed Finland's commitment to the European Council decision at Helsinki that Cyprus would accede to the European Union irrespective of the solution of the Cyprus problem.
 Cyprus ratifies the Convention for the protection of the individualThe Cyprus Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Ambassador Christoforos Yiangou handed, on 21 February in Strasbourg, the instrument of ratification of the Convention for the protection of individuals from the automatic processing of personal data.
The aim of the Convention is to safeguard, irrespective of nationality or place of abode, each person's rights and fundamental freedoms and in particular the right to the respect of privacy, with regard to the automatic processing of personal data.
The Convention is already in force in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In Cyprus it will enter into force on 1 June 2002.
 UN Secretary General's financial performance report on UNFICYPThe UN Secretary General's financial performance report of the United Nations peacekeeping force UNFICYP for the period from 1 July 2000 to 30 June 2001 circulated on 21 February 2002, as an official document of the UN General Assembly.
The report noted that the General Assembly, by its resolution 54/270 of 15 June 2000, appropriated an amount of $43.422.065 gross, for the maintenance of UNFICYP. The Cyprus Government contributed one third of this amount i.e. 13.801.375 US dollars, while an amount of 6,5 million dollars was provided by the Government of Greece, through voluntary contributions. An amount of 23.120.690 US dollars gross was assessed on member states for the period.
 Event in London on the Cyprus problemThe London School of Economics Cypriot Society organised on 19 February, an event entitled "New Dynamics to a prospective solution. What the Friends of Cyprus can do," with main speakers the President and Vice President of the Friends of Cyprus, Lord Corbett and Mr Andrew Dismore.
The Cyprus High Commissioner to London Mrs Myrna Cleopa and a number of Greek and Turkish Cypriot students attended the event.
In his speech on the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, Lord Corbett described the current direct talks as the most promising so far. He pointed out that the solution of the Cyprus problem should first of all safeguard the security of the two communities, which, could be achieved with the presence either of a United Nations' or a European Union force. Secondly, there should be full respect of human rights throughout the island. The third issue that must be dealt with is the demographic change in the occupied areas of Cyprus in view of the large number of colonists and the emigration of Turkish Cypriots abroad. Any solution, he said, should deal with the issue of the colonists, who have married and live in Cyprus for the last 28 years. Finally, there is the right of the refugees, which nobody can doubt, he added.
Lord Corbett also referred to Cyprus' EU accession course, and pointed out that Cyprus's accession prospects have influenced to a large extend, the Turkish Cypriot leader's decision to return to the negotiating table.
The Vice President of the Friends of Cyprus, Mr Andrew Dismore said in his speech that finding a solution to the Cyprus problem would be for the benefit of Turkey, because the Cyprus problem constitutes a substantial obstacle to Turkey's European Union accession. Furthermore, the accession of a united Cyprus to the EU would mean the presence of Turkish Cypriot ministers in the European Union and the adoption of the Turkish language as an official EU language.
In the event that Cyprus accedes to the EU without a political solution, it will be very difficult for Turkey to succeed in its goal, namely to become a full member of the European Union, he said.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/