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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-05-08
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 8 May 2002
 Italian Minister of Community Policies visits CyprusThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides received yesterday, at the presidential palace, Italy's Minister of Community Policies Mr Rocco Buttiglione, who arrived in Cyprus for a two-day official visit. Present at the meeting were the Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides and the Under- Secretary to the President Mr Pantelis Kouros.
Mr Buttiglione then held talks with Mr Kasoulides, in which members of both countries' delegations participated.
In statements to the press afterwards the Italian Minister said that the level of cooperation between Cyprus and Italy was good on all issues and in particular on the issue of combating illegal immigration, which was a very important matter for Italy as well as for many other European countries.
Mr Buttiglione said his country wishes to fight illegal immigration and to make it impossible for illegal immigrants to reach Italy because illegal immigrants often get involved in organised crime, prostitution and other illegal activities.
He also underlined Cyprus' good will to participate in a European Union common policy against illegal immigration.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, the Italian official expressed his government's warm support for the direct talks currently underway and hope for a reunified Cyprus to join the EU in which two different communities would live together in freedom, peace and mutual respect, working together for the common benefit of the island.
Replying to a question on whether Cyprus would be among the first countries to accede to the European Union he said it was very likely, pointing out that Cyprus has already completed 27 chapters in the accession process.
Mr Buttiglione added that he could not see any major objections, although there were some problems that had to be solved and that if I had to bet he would bet in favour of Cyprus.
 Cyprus signs the protocol for the abolition of death penaltyCyprus and 35 other countries, among which all European Union members and all candidate for EU accession countries, except Turkey, Bulgaria and Slovakia signed Protocol 13 to the European Convention of Human Rights, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances.
The signing of the Protocol took place before the opening of 110th Council of Europe session in Vilnius, Lithuania on 2nd and 3rd May.
The Head of the Cyprus delegation to the 110th session of the Council of Europe, Ambassador Andreas Georgiades signed the protocol on the part of Cyprus.
 Statements by the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser for CyprusFollowing his briefing of the members of the UN Security Council on May 2, on the course of the direct talks on the Cyprus problem, the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser for Cyprus Mr Alvaro De Soto, replying to press questions on Cyprus said that Kofi Annan's intention to visit Cyprus is sending a message to the two leaders that they need to step up their efforts towards a negotiated settlement.
"The Secretary General is concerned at the slow pace of progress in the negotiation and his purpose in visiting the island and meeting with the two leaders is to urge them to step up the pace and to discuss with them what they can do further to bring it forward. Of course he doesn't want the acceleration of the process to wait until he arrives to the island. There will be a meeting on Tuesday afternoon and he very much hopes that there will already be a significant picking up of the pace by the time he gets there," he said.
'His purpose is not to cut a Gordian knot but to urge on the process, it sends a political message, we hope that it will be received by the two leaders and the people, that the international community cares and very much wants a solution or at least the outline of a solution to emerge by the end of June," he added.
Replying to questions on the major problems that prevent a settlement, he said: "We feel that solutions are available for all the issues that divide them if there is a spirit of compromise and if they engage in the negotiations with a sense of give and take. We are there to help them if they are unable to work it out amongst themselves directly; we feel that international circumstances that exist now should actually favour their reaching a settlement. This is why I am talking about a window of opportunity".
Asked about June being a possible deadline, he said this is "a target date rather than a deadline.'
"It is not as if everything were over if we don't achieve the result by the end of June. What we are hoping for is that by the end of June they will be able to essentially crack the central problems on all the core issues leaving only for negotiation, following that, legal drafting and details to be worked out. This fits in rather well with the aspiration, which both leaders support that a reunified Cyprus should accede to the EU in the forthcoming wave of enlargement and for that some negotiation needs to be carried out and therefore June is a true condition date to set".
Mr de Soto also said that the international community "feels that it has a say in ensuring that a settlement is brought about in order to ensure stability in the region and the recovery of a situation that is stable and the reunification of Cyprus".
 EU goal is to include Cyprus in the ten countries to accede in DecemberThe President of the European Commission Mr Romano Prodi, replying to a question on enlargement during a press conference in Washington on 2nd May stressed that the goal and strategy of the European Union is to include Cyprus among the ten countries that would accede to the EU in December.
Mr Prodi also said he hoped that this goal could be achieved in a spirit of cooperation, adding that Europe must have a role to play in the Mediterranean region at these difficult times.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/