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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-06-05

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

Wednesday, 5 June 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Clerides returns from Denmark
  • [02] The Greek Cypriot side is committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that the Cyprus problem is resolved
  • [03] Statement by Foreign Minister after a meeting with Gunter Verheugen
  • [04] Cyprus and Germany initial Protocol for the mutual recognition of Higher Education qualifications


[01] President Clerides returns from Denmark

The President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides returned from a visit to Denmark yesterday at the invitation of the Danish Prime Minister Mr Anders Fogh Rasmussen on the occasion of Denmark's taking over the rotating Presidency of the European Union for the second half of 2002.

Speaking on arrival at Larnaca Airport, President Clerides said that with the Danish Prime Minister they had discussed issues concerning Cyprus' EU accession course and the recent developments in the UN-led direct talks on Cyprus. The President underlined that as far as the accession of candidate countries to the EU was concerned, it was confirmed that the aim was to conclude negotiations with up to 10 candidate countries at the Copenhagen Summit in December.

President Clerides noted that Mr Rasmussen repeatedly stressed, during their meeting as well as during their working lunch, that the solution to the Cyprus problem, although it would be an advantage, was not a precondition for Cyprus' accession to the EU. He also said that Mr Rasmussen congratulated him on the stance the Greek Cypriot side was maintaining at the UN - led direct talks on the Cyprus problem.

On the issue of Turkish threats against Cyprus' accession course, Mr Rasmussen stressed that Europe would not allow Turkey to have a veto on Cyprus' EU accession, the President said.

Referring to a statement by the Danish Prime Minister that the European Union would be reluctant to accept unsolved border problems within the Union, President Clerides explained that Mr Rasmussen was replying to a question on border problems in general and that he did not refer specifically to the Cyprus problem but to the fact that some EU candidate countries of Central Europe had such problems with neighbouring states. President Clerides stressed that the Danish Prime Minister had made it clear that he did not mean that the European Union would not accept Cyprus as a member.

Replying to a question on whether during his talks it was made clear that Denmark, would be promoting Cyprus' accession, President Clerides said his conclusion was that the Danish Presidency would be promoting all ten candidacies.

Asked whether the direct talks would be extended until December President Clerides said that everything would depend on whether there was substantial progress in June.

[02] The Greek Cypriot side is committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that the Cyprus problem is resolved

The Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides speaking yesterday at the European Policy Centre in Brussels on "Cyprus in the New Europe" said that Cyprus's vision is one of a Europe that is strong, democratic, stable and prosperous, able to play a leading role in international politics and one that is capable of dealing with the challenges of growing globalisation.

"We want a Union that will be able to safeguard peace, security and sustainable development for its members and their citizens and one where the fundamental principles of human rights are respected", he said and added:

"We also envisage a Union that, through the rich and diverse plethora of languages, cultures, nationalities, ethnicities and ideas that compose it, can create a common European identity and a sense of belonging to the same European family, with shared moral and political values while, at the same time, upholding and preserving the different cultures, nationalities and identities that compose it."

Mr Kasoulides pointed out that as the European Union stands on the threshold of its most important enlargement, which will heal the wounds of an artificially divided Europe and consolidate peace, stability and reconciliation, "in the same way, Cyprus stands firmly on the same threshold, negotiating its own future, in the hope that its own artificial division and the painful wounds of the past will soon be healed".

"We are fully committed to doing everything necessary to ensure that the political problem that has bedevilled our island for the past 28 years is resolved the soonest possible in a just and lasting way, on the basis of the relevant UN Resolutions, the Decisions of the ECHR and the acquis communautaire, so that all Cypriots will be able to enjoy the benefits of accession and live together in peace and harmony in a re-united home, as members of the enlarged European family of nations", he concluded.

[03] Statement by Foreign Minister after a meeting with Gunter Verheugen

The European Union Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Gunter Verheugen has assured Cyprus' Foreign Minister Mr Ioannis Kasoulides that Cyprus would be included in the ten applicant countries, which would be able to accede to the European Union, following the decision of the Copenhagen European Council in December 2002.

Speaking after a meeting yesterday with the European Commissioner, Mr Kasoulides said that Mr Verheugen reaffirmed that the Helsinki decision with its three considerations was still valid without any specific emphasis given to any of the three. Mr Kasoulides explained that at present the relevant factors relate to the attitude of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides at the peace talks aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr Verheugen was very clear with regard to the Helsinki decision, he said.

Mr Kasoulides also said that he had discussed with Mr Verheugen ways in which the European Union could contribute to the success of the direct talks adding that the EU Council at Seville would also take a stance on Cyprus.

Finally, the Foreign Minister pointed out that the only way that Turkey could halt the accession of a divided Cyprus to the EU was to contribute to the accession of a reunited Cyprus.

[04] Cyprus and Germany initial Protocol for the mutual recognition of Higher Education qualifications

Cyprus and Germany initialled yesterday a Protocol of Cypriot - German Consultations on the mutual recognition of the equivalence of Higher Education Qualifications.

The Protocol was initialled by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture Mr Petros Kareklas on behalf of Cyprus and by the German Foreign Ministry official Mr Rolf-Dieter Schnelle on behalf of Germany.

Both sides said that the Protocol would particularly contribute to Cyprus' European Union accession course.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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