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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-03-11
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 11 March 2002
 Cyprus must be one state with one internationally recognised personalityThe European Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Gunther Verheugen had a meeting on Friday with the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides.
In a statement to the press afterwards, the European Commissioner said that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the direct talks on Cyprus and that he believed the efforts made by the two leaders engaged in the talks to be serious.
He pointed out that during the meetings he had with President Clerides and the Cypriot leader Mr Denktash, he had made it clear that time was a crucial factor and encouraged them to continue their talks with the aim of reaching a settlement by June. The European Union's responsibility lies in organising the accession of Cyprus in a way that would benefit both communities, he said, adding that the solution to the Cyprus problem was not a precondition for the island's EU accession, but the way the talks were held would be one of the relevant factors the EU would take into account in taking its final decision.
Mr Verheugen expressed the hope that the two leaders would continue their talks and eventually find a solution, adding that the EU was ready to organise the accession of Cyprus in a smooth and successful way.
Replying to a question he stressed that “Cyprus must be one state, with one internationally recognised personality” but its component entities or component states cannot be sovereign in the sense that they will be internationally recognised and independent in legal terms. Cyprus should be in a position to speak with one voice in the European institutions, and there must be a central authority, which will have the power and authority to implement the European principles, he added.
The European Commissioner also had meetings with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Ioannis Kasoulides and with the Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr George Vassiliou.
 Cyprus and Ireland sign agreement on combating crimeThe Minister of Justice and Public Order Mr Nicos Koshis and the Irish Minister of Justice, Equality and Law Reform Mr John O'Donoghue signed on 8 March, an agreement of cooperation in combating illicit drug trafficking, money laundering, organized crime, trafficking in persons, terrorism and other serious crimes.
The agreement provides for the exchange of information and experience in combating organized crime and lays the foundations for enhancing relations between the two countries and cooperation in the field of police training.
In his remarks during the signing ceremony, the Irish Minister of Justice expressed his country's support for the enlargement of the European Union and welcomed the progress made by Cyprus in its accession negotiations and in closing the chapter on “Justice and Home Affairs”.
Finally, Mr O'Donoghue said he looked forward to a closer cooperation between the governments of Ireland and Cyprus within the framework of the EU, of which he expected Cyprus to be a member soon.
 Cyprus ratifies Rome Statute of the International Criminal CourtThe Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos deposited on 7 March 2002, the instrument of ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
In his remarks, during the ceremony, Ambassador Zackheos said that the ratification was in line with Cyprus' long-held policy of support for the establishment of an effective permanent International Court, which would be a major contribution to the strengthening of international law. "It is imperative in today's world to ensure that the international system is based on respect humanitarian values, a prerequisite for the prevalence of universal justice peace and legality,' he said.
He pointed out that 'the establishment of the International criminal court will constitute a fundamental tool in the fight against genocide war crimes and crimes against humanity", and expressed the hope that it "will bring an end to a culture of impunity, which has encouraged the perpetration of heinous crimes that have caused untold suffering throughout human history.
Cyprus is the 55th country to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which will enter into force when 60 countries ratify it.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/