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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-06-20
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Thursday, 20 June 2002
 Pseka Conference begins in WashingtonThe work of the 13th Annual PSEKA Conference on Cyprus began yesterday in Washington, with the participation of more than 100 delegates from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, Greece and Cyprus.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the President of the International Coordinating Committee-Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) Mr Philip Christopher stressed that due to the great progress made in Cyprus' EU accession course, in some US circles there is the wrong impression that the Cyprus problem has been solved. Of course, this impression has to change, he said, adding that during this critical period all overseas Greeks have to increase their efforts especially in the United States, which is the only superpower and the only country that can exert pressure on Turkey on the Cyprus problem.
The Cyprus Ambassador to the United States Mrs Erato Markoulli referred to the support given by Cyprus to the struggle against international terrorism and briefed the delegates on the important developments in the Cyprus problem and the island's European Union course.
Addressing the participants on the telephone the US Ambassador to Cyprus Mr Donald Bandler said that "some progress has been achieved," in the UN led direct talks between President Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash. 'However despite strong UN, US and EU encouragement, the pace is not really yet intense enough. "We are attempting to add urgency to the negotiations so a just solution can be found in the relatively short time it is available before the Denmark Summit the Copenhagen Summit," he said.
Mr Bandler said that the key short term goal of the United States 'is to engage into a dialogue particularly with the Turkish side", about the benefits a settlement provides to all parties in the hope that the negotiating process can be intensified. "That's why we distributed an economic study of Cyprus after a settlement to leaders all across the island here. The study projects significant economic benefits, especially in the north," he said.
The US diplomat pointed out that President Clerides has been very constructive in the talks' process so far and urged the participants to continue to support his efforts, noting that so far Greek Cypriot political leaders as well as Greek government have rallied behind President Clerides efforts and that Pseka also has been steadfast in its support both in America and on the island.
"Well I think we all know that it takes two to tango and we are focusing our efforts now on Ankara and Mr Denktash to take the talks into a higher gear. We need that, to turn these talks into the real negotiations needed to achieve a settlement and we recognise that this will entail the investment of greater political will and commitment. So everyone is going to be put to the test in a final push, if we get that political will, to make what has been a dream of a Cyprus settlement into a reality in the period just ahead of us," he added.
In his speech the US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Mr Marc Grossman, reiterated the support of the US government to the UN Secretary General's efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and expressed his country's support for Cyprus' accession to the EU.
"You know how much we care about getting a settlement to this terrible dispute," he said and expressed the belief that "this conjunction of time for the European Union to make its decision about new members is the biggest possible opportunity that we have in terms of incentives to solve this problem, to bring about a Cyprus that all we want to see".
"We want to work for that, we want to support that effort, we want to do all we can to support the United Nations and everyone who is trying so hard to bring this about", he said adding that he believed that the pace of these efforts would increase and increase over the coming months because the interests of Greece, of United States, of the European Union, of Turkey, of the Government of Cyprus and of the Turkish Cypriot community come to a big intersection.
Mr Grossman recalled the important recent statement on Cyprus by the G8 Foreign Ministers, who said that "they wanted to support a settlement in Cyprus, they want to support the work of the United Nations, they want to support the efforts of President Clerides and both communities on Cyprus, to come quickly to a solution."
 Cyprus and Egypt upgrade their cooperation in the fields of culture, science and technologyCyprus and Egypt signed yesterday in Nicosia a new cooperation programme in the fields of education, culture, press and information, youths and sports covering the period 2002 - 2005. The programme is considered an upgrade of an existing cooperation agreement between the two countries in the relevant fields.
The cooperation programme, signed by Cyprus Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Mr. Petros Kareklas, on behalf of Cyprus, and Egypt's Assistant Foreign Minister Mai Abu El Dahad, on behalf of Egypt, is based on an agreement of cultural, scientific and technical cooperation signed by the two countries in Nicosia on 20 December 1967, which is renewed every three years.
The new programme will upgrade the two neighbouring countries' cooperation in these fields, with the objective of further enhancing their relations in the future.
 Cyprus to host EU Ministerial Conference on EducationThe Minister of Education and Culture, Mr. Ouranios Ioannides, has represented Cyprus at the sixth conference of European Education Ministers at Bratislava, Slovakia, on 16 - 18 June. The conference, entitled "Education in the New Millennium", was organized by the EU Spanish Presidency, Slovakia and the European Commission. Participants included the 15 EU member states and the EU candidate countries, the three countries belonging to the European Economic Area and other Southeastern European countries. There were also representatives from the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Council, the European Commission, the OECD and UNESCO.
In the conference's press release it was announced that Cyprus has been chosen to organize the next annual conference of European Education Ministers within the framework of the Greek Presidency of the European Council during the first half of 2003. This is a major success for Cyprus since the conference is considered a leading event at a community level and it is also an opportunity to promote the achievements in our education system, the Cyprus problem and our EU accession course, an official press release says.
At the end of the conference, Mr. Ioannides expressed Cyprus' gratitude for the great honour and made the wish that next year's conference will take part in a country that is reunited and a full member of the EU. He also hoped that in realizing the above objectives Cyprus would have the support of all European countries.
The seventh European Education Ministers conference, which is to take place in Nicosia, has been set for 28 - 29 June 2003.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/