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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-10-02
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 2 October 2002
 Cyprus Independence Day celebrated with military paradeThe 42nd anniversary of the Independence Day of the Republic of Cyprus was celebrated yesterday on the island with a grand military parade.
The parade salute was received by the President of the Republic, Mr. Glafcos Clerides, the Defence Minister, Mr. Socrates Hasikos and the National Guard Commander, Lieutenant General Athanasios Nikolodemos.
The Greek government was represented by the Greek Deputy Defence Minister, Mr. Lazaros Lotides, who is on an official visit to Cyprus.
President Clerides said this year's military parade left the "best impression about the National Guard and Cyprus' defence forces."
The President defended his decision for the non participation of the new Russian made MIL-Mi35 helicopters at this year's military parade, by saying the helicopters are on the island and will be showed if and when necessary.
On his part, the Defence Minister Mr Hasikos, stated that the military parade had demonstrated once more that the National Guard was well prepared. He added that the arms displayed were a means through which Cyprus could defend its freedom and should constitute a deterrent.
National Guard Commander Lieutenant General Athanasios Nikolodemos expressed his content for the parade characterising it as "bright and excellent."
The Greek Deputy Defence Minister, Mr. Lazaros Lotides, commented positively on the potential of the Defence Forces of the Republic, adding that the Cyprus problem is in a critical phase at a time when the circumstances are particularly favourable for Cyprus/ accession to the EU. He also emphasized that the Greek Government supported the Cyprus Government's efforts in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and hoped that Cyprus would soon be a full member of the EU.
 Foreign Minister's speech at Intergovernmental Conference for Cyprus in Brussels"Our preference and first choice remain the goal of a reunited federal Cyprus, member of the European Union with all the safeguards of a modern, democratic and effective state, able to speak with one voice within the Union and effectively implement the acquis in the whole of its territory".
Cyprus Foreign Minister, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, outlined the above vision for Cyprus at the Tenth meeting of the Intergovernmental Conference for the Accession of Cyprus to the EU at a ministerial level, which took place in Brussels yesterday.
In his speech, Mr. Kasoulides referred to the continuous work being carried out by the Government, Parliament and civil society in order to render Cyprus ready for the Copenhagen European Council, and emphasized that Cyprus had an additional reason to be ready on time and join the EU, namely that the "accession to the Union would have a catalytic effect on the settlement of the Cyprus problem".
With regard to the UN-led peace talks, the Cyprus FM said that no breakthrough had been achieved and cited the UN Security Council's reaction of last July, which observed that the Turkish side was less constructive in the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Mr. Kasoulides also made reference to the EU harmonisation process, saying that "Cyprus has indeed made very considerable progress not only in the accession negotiations, where only two chapters remain to be finalized, but also more generally in its efforts to comply with all the requirements in order to be an effective member of the European Union".
Speaking on the Chapter of Agriculture in particular, the Cyprus Minister communicated his satisfaction for the provisional closing of a part of that chapter, on the veterinary and phytosanitary sectors, and expressed confidence that Cyprus would be able to quickly proceed with the agreement on all outstanding issues, once the EU concludes its new Common Position on Agriculture.
On the Chapter of Environment, which constitutes the second chapter remaining to be finalized, Mr. Kasoulides assured of Cyprus' intention to honour its commitments pertaining to that particular chapter.
Besides Mr. Kasoulides, present at the meeting were the Chief of the Negotiating Team for Cyprus' accession to the EU, Mr. George Vassiliou, Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the EU, Ambassador Theophilos Theophilou and other officers of the negotiating team.
On the EU camp were, the Danish FM, Mr. Per Stig Moller, acting as the President of the European Council, the Enlargement Commissioner, Mr. Gunter Verheugen, the Director General of the Enlargement D-G, Mr. Eneko Landaburu, the Head of the EU negotiating team with Cyprus, Mr. Leopold Maurer and other officials.
 Annan: Peace talks will continue if no solution is found by DecemberThe UN will continue its effort towards the attainment of progress to the Cyprus problem, said UN Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan, replying to press questions at the UN headquarters on Monday.
Mr. Annan said he expects President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to meet with him on 3 and 4 October in New York for an assessment of the progress that has been made since their last meeting in Paris.
Replying to a question on what will happen if Cyprus enters the EU without the participation of the Turkish Cypriots, the Secretary General said that this would make things more difficult since the problem of the divided island would persist, such that, there would have to be a continuation of the efforts for a solution. "If a solution is found, then the EU must decide on its action", he added.
Regarding whether the instructions he gave the two leaders in Paris have been perceived and if there has been some progress, Mr Annan stated that he would have a better sense after the briefing by his Special Adviser on Cyprus, Mr. Alvaro de Soto. Mr Annan expressed, however, the hope that the two leaders had made some progress and that at the next meeting with him, they would be able to inform him on how the process should be continued.
 Verheugen: Progress Report will be positive for CyprusEU enlargement Commissioner, Mr. Gunter Verheugen, expressed the opinion that the Progress Report on Cyprus, which will be issued by the European Commission on 9 October will be positive, and confirmed that Cyprus meets the political as well as the economic criteria for accession to the EU.
Mr. Verheugen stated the above in a meeting he had in Brussels with the Cyprus Foreign Minister, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides and the Chief Negotiator for Cyprus/ accession to the EU, Mr. George Vassiliou.
The Commissioner said that the EU would stick to the timetable it has set out on membership talks and enlargement. The next step, he said, will be the publication of the Commission's annual progress reports on 9 October for all applicant countries. The European Council in late October in Brussels will invite the ten most advanced applicant countries to conclude their membership talks by December, he added.
Mr Verheugen also said that Cyprus would be judged like all other applicant countries on the basis of its achievements and progress in the accession negotiations, without any distinction.
 President appoints new Chief and Deputy Chief of PoliceCyprus President Mr. Glafcos Clerides has appointed, on Monday, Mr. Tasos Panayiotou as the new Chief of Police and Mr. Andreas Stephanou, as the new Deputy Chief of Police. Mr. Panayiotou, who until now had served as Deputy Chief, succeeds Mr. Andreas Angelides who resigned on 25 September.
The newly appointed Police Chief thanked President Clerides and assured him of his intention to carry out his duties for the benefit of the Cyprus people and be worthy of the President's expectations.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/