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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-05-30
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 30 May 2002
 President Clerides addresses the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for EuropeThe President of the Republic, Mr Glafcos Clerides, addressed yesterday the opening ceremony of the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for Europe, which is taking place in Nicosia from 29-31 May, 2002.
In his address President Clerides pointed out that the basic mandate of FAO was to work in such a way as to free humanity from the problem of hunger and malnutrition. Looking back six years ago, to November 1996, one can say that a positive step to this direction was taken, he said adding that at that time the Heads of State or Government of almost all nations of the world, or their representatives, met in Rome and endorsed the "Rome Declaration on World Food Security" and the "World Food Summit Plan of Action" whose proposals they undertook to adopt and support to a successful conclusion. The objective of this Plan of Action is to eradicate hunger in all countries with an immediate view to reducing the number of undernourished people to about 400 million - by the year 2015, he said.
Referring to the contribution of agriculture in Cyprus' GDP, Mr Clerides said that agriculture has traditionally been one of the most important sectors of the economy of Cyprus. The importance of agriculture, however, he said, has gradually declined, both, due to the natural trend observed everywhere, as other sectors began to grow very fast, but also due to severe shortage of water, excessive land fragmentation and severe competition from tourism for scarce fertile land and labour.
Although in percentage terms there has been a decline of the contribution of agriculture in recent years, in absolute terms, there has been a remarkable growth, which has made it possible for the country to become self sufficient in a considerable number of agricultural products.
Cyprus continues to ascribe a great deal of importance to agriculture, not only because it continues to be an important sector of the economy but also because we believe in its major role in other aspects of our life, such as the social development of our people, the preservation of our cultural identity and civilization and the conservation and improvement of our natural environment, President Clerides concluded.
 Javier Solana : Cyprus will join the EUThe EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Mr Javier Solana said that the decision on how to handle the case of Cyprus has already been taken once and for all. If Cyprus will have concluded the accession talks in a satisfactory way, it will join the EU. The problem of division will not have been solved, but Cyprus will join the European Union, Mr Solana said.
Mr Solana made the above statement last week in Copenhagen, where he had meetings with the Danish Premier Mr Rasmussen and other government officials.
About a month ago, Mr Solana, in an interview with the Greek daily " TO VEMA", was quoted as saying that if there was no solution to the Cyprus problem, then only a part of the island would join the EU.
However, replying to a question by the Greek Euro MP Mr Alyssandrakis on his reported statements, Mr Solana said that his statements were misinterpreted, adding that he expressed concern that failure to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem prior to Cyprus' accession to the EU would mean that the Acquis Communautaire will not be implemented in the part not controlled by the Cyprus Government.
The Cyprus Government welcomed Mr Solana's statements. The Government Spokesman Mr Papapetrou said that these statements assume particular significance, because they follow, interpret and clarify completely a previous statement made by him with regard to Cyprus/ EU accession which has been an object of criticism and of press comments.
 Belgian Minister : Cyprus' perspective to join EU comes nearerThe President of the Republic, Mr Glafcos Clerides, received yesterday morning at the Presidential Palace the Belgian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Minister in charge of Agriculture, Mrs Annemie Neyts- Uyttebroeck, who is attending the 23rd FAO Regional Conference for Europe.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Belgian Minister said that the perspective for Cyprus to join the EU was coming nearer and nearer and expressed her admiration because Cyprus has successfully closed 28 chapters in the accession negotiations with the EU.
 Cyprus and Bolivia sign a Protocol of ConsultationsCyprus and Bolivia signed a Protocol of Consultations between their Foreign Ministries, an official press release says. The Protocol was signed by the Ambassador of Cyprus to Mexico, Mr Antonis Toumazis, who is also accredited to Bolivia, and the Bolivian Ambassador to Mexico, Mr Gary Prado Salmon.
Mr Toumazis availed himself of the opportunity to brief the Bolivian Ambassador on the latest developments in the direct talks on Cyprus.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/