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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-09-30
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 30 September 2002
 Finance Minister holds contacts in New York"The forthcoming accession of Cyprus into the EU will enhance its position as a reputable international financial and business centre and open promising business opportunities for dynamic and outward looking enterprises from the United States", Cyprus Minister Mr. Takis Klerides noted, speaking at a meeting of the Hellenic American Bankers Association, at the Princeton Club of New York on Friday night.
The Finance Minister, who spoke on "Cyprus' EU Accession: Opportunities for dynamic investors", expressed optimism that there will be a positive assessment for Cyprus by the European Commission as well as a confirmation of this assessment by the European Council at Copenhagen, by the end of this year. "The most likely date of accession of Cyprus into the EU is 1 January 2004", Mr. Klerides said.
With regard to the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, the Finance Minister referred to the intransigence of the Turkish side, which prevents all efforts for finding a solution, and communicated the Cyprus Government's determination to work hard towards achieving a settlement. "We do hope that Turkey will change its stance and work towards a solution of the Cyprus problem under an EU framework, thus facilitating also the realisation of its own strategic goal for integration into the EU", he added.
In his speech, Mr. Klerides also referred to Cyprus' attractiveness as a business location, adding that "Cyprus' economy has proven itself capable of successfully coping with the emerging challenge of globalisation and intensified competition" and that "it has also coped, in a satisfactory manner, with the deterioration of the external environment during 2001, after the September 11 events".
In addition, he pointed out that Cyprus-USA economic relations are limited but "there is substantial potential for further development", particularly in the areas of digital economy, tourism, university and college education and tertiary health.
Mr. Klerides also made reference to international terrorism, reiterating the Government's commitment to the struggle against this phenomenon.
While in New York, the Finance Minister visited Wall Street, where he met with the Vice President of the New York Stock Exchange Mr. George Eugeu and the Managing Director for International Relations Mr. George Sierrant.
On Saturday, he departed for Washington D.C. to attend, on behalf of the Cyprus Government, the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund.
 Defence Minister meets with Greek Deputy Defence MinisterCyprus Defence Minister, Mr. Socrates Hasikos, had a meeting yesterday with the Greek Deputy Defence Minister, Mr. Lazaros Lotides, who is in Cyprus on the occasion of the anniversary of the Independence of the Republic.
The two men had the opportunity to discuss bilateral cooperation on defence matters, within the framework of the Joint Defence Pact. They also exchanged views on Cyprus' EU accession course and the latest developments in the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, in light of the impending New York meeting between President Clerides and Mr. Denktash, under the auspices of the UN.
After the meeting, Mr. Lotides praised the excellent relations between the two countries and the two Ministries, and noted that the implementation of the Joint Defence Pact is moving in the right direction.
Regarding Cyprus' accession to the EU, the Greek official expressed certainty that Cyprus would soon join the Union, during the Greek Presidency of the EU, since it fulfills all the relevant criteria.
 House President meets with Swedish AmbassadorThe President of the House of Representatives, Mr. Demetris Christofias, met on Friday with the Ambassador of Sweden to Cyprus (stationed in Tel Aviv), Mr. Anders Liden. The two men discussed, inter alia, Cyprus' EU accession course and the current phase of the efforts to find a solution to Cyprus' political problem.
Mr. Christofias noted that the latest developments do not leave room for optimism due to the intransigence of the Turkish side at the UN-led direct peace talks. "Turkey, with its arrogant attitude, supports Mr. Denktash's negative stance, and its threats to create a crisis are not to its own benefit", he added.
The House President also referred to the oppression of Turkish Cypriots by the Denktash regime in the occupied areas, adding that those Turkish Cypriots who speak against the regime are being silenced.
The Swedish Ambassador had the opportunity to brief Mr. Christofias on the recent elections held in his country.
 British Minister replies to questions on CyprusThe British Minister for European Affairs Mr. Peter Hain, replying to a written question by Andrew Love MP (Lab) on the Cyprus problem on 19 September in the House of Commons, said that the framework for the current UN-led direct talks on the Cyprus issue is defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1250 (1999), which calls upon the two leaders to commit themselves to the principles of "no preconditions, all issues on the table, commitment in good faith to continue to negotiate until a settlement is reached, and full consideration of relevant United Nations resolutions and treaties."
Replying to another question put forward by Mr Love on the issue of Cyprus' accession to the European Union, Mr. Hain stated the following:
"In order to accede to the EU, each candidate country must comply with the EU's accession criteria as set out by the Copenhagen European Council in 1993. In respect of the accession of Cyprus, the UK and EU position remains as set out in the Conclusions reached by the1999 Helsinki European Council which stated that: 'A political settlement will facilitate the accession of Cyprus to the European Union. If no settlement has been reached by the completion of accession negotiations the Council's decision on accession will be made without the above being a precondition. In this the council will take account of all relevant factors.'"
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/