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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-03-29
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 29 March 2002
 Cyprus participates in International Trade Fair in MoscowThe Government of Cyprus averted the official presence of the pseudo-state in the International Trade Fair of Moscow MITT-2002. The efforts of the pseudo-state to participate in the fair, which opened last Wednesday, failed, after the active intervention the Cyprus Authorities, supported by the relevant Ministries of the Russian Federation.
In the exhibition, which is the largest of its kind in the Russian Federation, 2.300 companies from 103 countries are taking part. Cyprus participates with an impressive kiosk and the dynamic presence of dozens of tourist agents and hoteliers.
The Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr Nicos Rolandis, who was present at the opening of the fair, had a meeting with major travel agents in Moscow. Speaking afterwards, Mr Rolandis said that the number of tourists from Russia to Cyprus is expected to increase this year by 10-15%, compared with last year. He also pointed out that Cyprus aims at creating those preconditions necessary for granting visas for Cyprus in the shortest possible time by simplifying procedure and using modern technology.
During his stay in Moscow, Mr Rolandis also had a meeting with his Russian counterpart, whom he briefed on the current phase of the Cyprus problem and the efforts made to reach a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.
 The Vice President of the German Bundestag visits CyprusThe Vice President of the German Bundestag, Mrs Petra Blaess, who is on an official visit to Cyprus, had a meeting yesterday with the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives Mr Nicos Anastasiades.
During their meeting Mr Anastasiades thanked Mrs Blaess on behalf of Cyprus for Germany's active interest in the search for finding a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem and its support for the island's European Union accession course.
For her part, Mrs Blaess congratulated Cyprus for the good progress made in its harmonisation process with the acquis communautaire and said that Cyprus' EU accession course will continue regardless of the prior solution to the Cyprus problem. She also made a wish for substantial progress to be made in the direct talks by June and expressed the readiness of the Bundestag to contribute in every possible way to the achievement of that goal.
 British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs refers to Cyprus' EU accession courseThe British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Mr Jack Straw replying to questions put forward by members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on 13 March 2002 also made a reference to Cyprus.
Asked whether the British Government's position is that "the accession of Cyprus in its present divided state should take place at the earliest possible opportunity, assuming Cyprus meets the requirements of the chapters, regardless of whether or not settlement negotiations may be in train at the time", Mr Straw replied as follows:
"Our position on Cyprus' accession is that Cyprus should be treated in the same way as anybody else in accordance with that text that I read out earlier from Copenhagen from June 1993. So that sets out the template. Cyprus, as you will be aware, has closed more chapters than any other accession applicant. That process continues on a track which is separate from negotiations, if any, about a political settlement. That is where we are".
Asked what the effect on opinion in Turkey will be, if a divided island of Cyprus were to be taken into the Community, provided that Cyprus is likely to be very much in the first wave of those countries being accepted in the Union, Mr Straw said:
"Everybody in Turkey I have ever met, who takes an interest in these things understands that Helsinki raises the possibility of a divided Cyprus, or part of Cyprus essentially, being admitted to the European Union, that is just a reality, it could happen, it is there in the texts. I do not presume to speak for the state of public opinion or governmental opinion in Turkey about that, and you may have greater insights than I do".
"I think everybody is aware of this, not the apocalypse or the catastrophe but the fact that the Republic of Cyprus, the geographical island of Cyprus, could be admitted to the European Union is a reality and it is a possibility and they have got to work around that" he added.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/