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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-03-22
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 22 March 2002
 Portugal has consistently supported Cyprus' candidacy to the EUThe President of the Republic, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, received yesterday at formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace the credentials of the new Ambassador of Portugal, Mr Antonio Tanger Correa.
Presenting his credentials, the new Portuguese Ambassador said that as he assumes the responsibility of representing his country in Cyprus, he is strongly committed to foster the relations between Cyprus and Portugal, both on the bilateral level and in the perspective of the future of Cyprus as a Member State of the European Union.
"In the framework of the EU, Portugal and Cyprus will share similar experiences, mainly those that derive from the peripheral location of both countries in Europe", he said and added: "Portugal strongly supports the process of enlargement of the EU to the East and to the South. Regarding Cyprus, my country has consistently supported its candidacy to the EU and will continue to do so in order to guarantee that your country will become a full member of the EU as soon as possible".
Referring to the Cyprus problem, Mr Correa expressed the hope that “the conflict will come to a peaceful and satisfactory solution in the very near future, and that all Cypriot citizens will finally be able to dedicate their energies to the fulfilment of their dreams of a united country, within the framework of the European Union”.
Receiving the new Ambassador's Letters of Credence, President Clerides said that his Government attaches particular importance to further strengthening and enhancing the close and friendly ties of partnership and cooperation that exist between Cyprus and Portugal. These bonds are firmly based on the two countries' common adherence to the lasting principles of justice, respect of human rights and the rule of law, principles which form the foundation of European civilization, which both countries share.
"I am fully convinced that the future membership of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union will further strengthen and give new scope and impetus to our relations" the President said, and expressed the belief that Cyprus can continue to rely with confidence on Portugal's valuable support to the steady course of Cyprus towards accession to the European Union, for which the Cyprus Government is grateful. "We are also grateful for the support your country extends to us for the attainment of the long overdue solution at the Cyprus problem," he said.
 New Ambassadors of Morocco and Korea present their credentialsThe Kingdom of Morocco and Cyprus share the same vision for a future based on the strong desire to make the Mediterranean a region of understanding, cooperation, solidarity, security, peace and democracy, the new Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Cyprus, Mr Mohamed Lutfi Aouad said yesterday.
Presenting his credentials to President Clerides, Mr Aouad expressed admiration for the remarkable steps Cyprus has taken in the social and economic fields and said that Morocco follows with interest the example of the peaceful, lively and dynamic democracy of Cyprus.
Replying, President Clerides said that the Moroccan Ambassador's presence in Cyprus confirms in the most emphatic way possible, the strong and unbreakable bonds of friendship that exist between Cyprus and the Arab world. For decades Cyprus's relationship with all the Arab countries in the area of the Middle East has been characterized by genuine friendship and close cooperation in the political, economic and cultural fields, he said.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, the President stressed the need to reunify the country, to restore the fundamental freedoms and basic human rights, which are being violated by Turkey and transform Cyprus into a place of peace, stability, security and prosperity to all its citizens. He noted, however, that "we are not willing to consider, let alone accept, conditions set on the negotiating table which are tantamount to legalizing the illegal- secessionist entity that Turkey set up in July 1974 and continues to sustain ever since via the force of arms."
He also expressed the hope that Cyprus' accession to the European Union "will greatly assist the efforts of bringing all the Cypriots together again, thriving and working rigorously for the benefit of its future generations".
Moreover, President Clerides received at a separate formal ceremony the credentials of the Republic of Korea's new Ambassador to Cyprus Mr Han Tae Kyu.
Presenting his credentials the Korean Ambassador said that Korea and Cyprus are the rare divided countries in the present world, that share the same agony and aspirations and are working hard for reconciliation and eventual unification, which makes their mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation more special.
The Korean Ambassador wished the President and the people of Cyprus, every success for the ongoing dialogue for the unification and the joining the European Union in the very near future. "On your success, I hope the people of Cyprus remember that the Korean friends do not want to remain as the only divided nation in the world" he added.
For his part President Clerides expressed hope that "in the near future we will again be living in a united country that is a full member of the European Union, thus initiating a new era in Cyprus history, perhaps its most important one" adding that "this development will undoubtedly add a new dimension to our international relations and bring our friends closer to us and to the EU as well."
 EU Commissioner for Enlargement meets with Greek Foreign MinisterThe timetable and process of the European Union enlargement, Cyprus' EU accession course and the direct talks on the Cyprus problem, were among the issues discussed, at a meeting in Athens yesterday, between the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Gunter Verheugen and the Greek Foreign Minister Mr George Papandreou.
In a statement after the meeting, Mr Verheugen welcomed the ratification of the Nice Treaty by the Greek Parliament and expressed the hope that the enlargement negotiations would be completed by the end of this year.
Referring to Cyprus, Mr Verheugen noted that the principles that were established at Helsinki continued to apply, and underlined the European Union's support for the UN-led direct talks on Cyprus.
Replying to a question on whether it was possible for the EU to start accession negotiations with Turkey in the event that the Cyprus problem was not solved, Mr Verheugen reminded that Turkey would have to meet the political criteria that had been set before negotiations could start, something that has not yet been done. Consequently, he said, the timetable for Turkey's accession process is fully in the hands of Turkey.
Mr Verheugen also underlined that Turkey's accession negotiations and the Cyprus problem are two different issues and should not be related. The European Union, however, expects Turkey to play a constructive role in the current negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem, he added.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/