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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-09-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 27 September 2002
 Ministerial meeting of Laeken Group in WarsawThe Chief Negotiator for Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU), Mr. George Vassiliou, took part in the ministerial meeting of the ten candidate countries (also known as the Laeken 10 Group), in Warsaw on 25 September.
The Ministers for European Affairs and Heads of Delegations of the Laeken Group - comprising of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia - met in order to discuss the final phase of accession negotiations, including the financial framework for the Enlargement of the EU.
In a joint press release, issued after the meeting, the officials of the Laeken Group reaffirmed the determination of their countries to conclude accession negotiations by the Copenhagen European Council with the objective of becoming EU Member States by 1 January 2004. They also expressed "a strong expectation that the European Council in Brussels will present to the candidate countries a financial package which will reflect a fair balance between the rights and obligations of membership". "In the final phase of the negotiations, efforts should be made to fully explore all possibilities offered by Agenda 2000 in the most effective and constructive manner", the press release reads.
The Laeken Group officials assessed the progress achieved so far in the accession process and communicated their countries' appreciation to efforts made by the European Commission, the Danish Presidency of the EU and the Member States with a view to fulfilling the enlargement timetable. They also expressed "confidence that this constructive approach will prevail until the successful conclusion of the enlargement process".
Furthermore, the 10 candidate countries adopted a declaration on the Treaty of Nice, by which they reiterate the importance of the Treaty for the accession process and convey the belief that the Irish people, being fully aware of the new opportunities that the European integration process brings, will make the proper decision regarding the ratification of the Nice Treaty.
Finally, the European Affairs Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Laeken Group "recalled the statement made by the Foreign Ministers in Warsaw on 22 May 2002 and confirmed the need to continue exchanges of views between their countries in the final phase of negotiations".
On the sidelines of the meeting, Mr. Vassiliou had the opportunity to brief his counterparts on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, confirming their countries' solidarity toward Cyprus and their wish to see Cyprus acceding to the EU.
The Cyprus Chief EU Negotiator and his counterparts from the other candidate states met with the Polish Prime Minister, with whom they exchanged views on the Enlargement process.
 New Justice Minister sworn inThe newly appointed Minister of Justice and Public Order, Mr. Alecos Shambos, pledged to perform his duties responsibly, with a view to finding solutions for the problems facing the Ministry.
Mr. Shambos was sworn in yesterday, during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in the presence of the President of the Republic Mr. Glafcos Clerides, replacing Mr. Nicos Koshis who resigned on Tuesday.
President Clerides congratulated the new Minister and asked him to perform his duties based on the principle of meritocracy.
On his part, Mr. Shambos thanked the President and assured him of his intention to carry out his duties to the best of his ability and make every effort to be worthy of the President's expectations for the benefit of the people of Cyprus.
Mr. Alecos Shambos was born on 13 March 1939 in the village of Luvaras, in the Limassol district. After graduating from Lanition Gymnasium in 1959, following the end of the 1955-59 EOKA liberation struggle in which he participated, he studied Political Sciences at the Pantion University of Political Sciences (1960-1962) and Law at the Aristotelion University in Salonica (1963-1966).
He joined the Diplomatic Service of the Republic of Cyprus in 1967. Later on he won a Carnegie Foundation scholarship and completed postgraduate studies in Diplomacy, International Relations and International Law at the University of Columbia in New York (1968-1969).
He served as Secretary at the Republic's Embassy in Moscow (1969 - 1976), Director of the Minister's Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1978 - 1983), Coordination Director (1984 - 1985), High Commissioner to Kenya and Zimbabwe (1985 - 1987), Ambassador to Egypt, Oman and Sudan (1987 - 1990), Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe (1990 - 1993) and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (1993 - 1995).
He was the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1995 until 1999, when he retired from the public service.
 New Cyprus Ambassador in Latvia presents credentialsAmbassador Mr. Costas Papademas presented his credentials to the Latvian President Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Riga on 24 September, as the new Ambassador of Cyprus to that country.
Ambassador Papademas conveyed President Clerides' greetings to the Latvian President and referred to the friendly ties between the two countries, both of which share the objective of EU membership.
On her part, Dr. Vike-Freiberga made reference to the common EU accession course of the two countries, expressing the belief that Cyprus' accession to the EU would act as a catalyst for the solution of the political problem on the island. She also emphasised Latvia's support of a just, comprehensive and irreversible solution to the Cyprus problem, according to the principles of international law and the relevant UN Resolutions.
 Military parade on Independence Day AnniversaryThe Ministry of Defense informs that on Tuesday, 1 October, there will be a big military parade to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of Cyprus' Independence Day.
The President of the Republic, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, will receive the parade salute, together with the Defence Minister, Mr. Socratis Hasikos and the Chief of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Athanassios D. Nikolodimos.
The parade will pass by the Josef Hadjijoseph Avenue in Strovolos, and will start at 11:00am.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/