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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-09-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 18 September 2002
 EU Commission remains committed to Helsinki conclusionsThe spokesman for the EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen, Mr. Jean Filori, has responded to a Reuters dispatch from Brussels, which was claiming that the EU Commission - in its progress report to be issued on 9 October - might omit Cyprus from the list of candidate countries ready to join, in order not to upset the political situation in Turkey in light of the November elections.
Mr. Filori has stated the following on this issue:
"The Commission categorically assures that there will be no differentiation about Cyprus regarding the process to be followed in relation to the progress reports. These reports will be published on 9/10/2002 and will be clear as to the European Commission's assessment on the candidate countries' capacity to complete or not the accession negotiations by the end of the year. The Commission will be clear, both about Cyprus as well as about the other candidate states. The Commission respects and applies the Helsinki decision on Cyprus, according to which the solution of the Cyprus problem will facilitate the accession of the island but it does not constitute a precondition, and all factors will be evaluated in the final decision at Copenhagen".
 Interior Minister at European conference on migrationCyprus' Minister of Interior, Dr. Andreas Panayiotou, headed the Cypriot delegation to the Seventh Conference of European Ministers Responsible for Migration Affairs, which took place in Helsinki, Finland, on 16 - 17 September.
The main aim of the Conference was the discussion of policy issues regarding the integration of migrants in their host societies. Additional issues discussed were the migration of foreign workers, asylum, illegal migration and human trafficking.
The Cypriot Minister, speaking about Cyprus' position on migration issues, said that the Cyprus Government, in its effort to harmonise with the EU acquis and other European and International agreements, has adopted measures to ensure the equal and fair treatment of migrants and their families, while trying to effectively combat illegal immigration and human trafficking. At the same time, "Cyprus must take the necessary steps to protect those who are in need of international protection due to fear of persecution in their country of origin", he added.
With regard to the issue of migrant workers, Dr. Panayiotou noted: "Since the mid-1990's, a more flexible policy was adopted in regard to the temporary employment of foreign workers, in order to alleviate the labour shortages in the sectors of tourism, construction, manufacturing and agriculture."
The Interior Minister also emphasized the important role Cyprus has to play - especially once a full EU member - in handling cases of illegal immigration, adding that due to its geographical position, "traffickers attempt to use Cyprus as a transit country for illegal immigrants en-route to Europe or as the country of their final destination".
 Cyprus-Syria sign cooperation protocolCyprus and Syria have signed a protocol aimed at the further strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, commerce, industry, tourism, energy, research and technology.
The protocol was signed by the Cyprus Finance Minister, Mr. Takis Klerides, on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus and his Syrian counterpart, Dr. Ghassan El-Rifai, in the framework of the Fourth Session of the Cyprus-Syrian Commission on Economic, Scientific, Technological and Industrial Cooperation, held in Damascus.
During the sessions of the aforementioned intergovernmental Commission, the two delegations reviewed the cooperation achieved so far and examined ways in which the existing friendly ties between the two countries could be enhanced, particularly in the fields of commerce, industry, energy, tourism, agriculture, services, research and technology, and health.
 Direct talks on Cyprus problem continueThe direct talks on the Cyprus problem continued yesterday morning with another meeting between the President of the Republic, Mr. Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, in the presence of the UN Secretary General's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto. Present at the talks were the members of each side's delegation.
The regular meetings between President Clerides and Mr. Denktash are taking place under the auspices of the United Nations, within the framework of direct talks for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/