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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-01-03

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

Friday, 3 January 2003


CONTENTS

  • [01] Foreign Minister: Erdogan's statements signal end of Denktash era
  • [02] 2003 presidential elections are proclaimed
  • [03] Cyprus' demarche to UN Secretary-General for airspace violations by Turkish military aircrafts
  • [04] The Central Bank of Cyprus grants a banking business licence to BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd


[01] Foreign Minister: Erdogan's statements signal end of Denktash era

The Foreign Minister, Mr. Ioannis Kasoulides, said yesterday that the recent statements by the Turkish leader, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signal a change in the Turkish policy followed so far on Cyprus and confirm that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktash, is beginning to fade away as a political personality.

Mr. Kasoulides deemed Mr. Erdogan's statements as "very interesting", noting that they lead to one conclusion, namely that "Mr. Dentash cannot decide on his own on a very important issue that concerns the whole of Turkey", and that the issue of Cyprus "is neither his own nor Mr. Erdogan's, but a collective issue on which Turkey must decide".

The leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party was quoted as saying that he was "not in favour of following the policy that has been followed for 30 or 40 years on Cyprus", and that "this policy has failed and some people should undertake the responsibility for this failure".

The Cyprus Minister pointed out that these statements confirm the view that "the rigidity in Turkish policy has ended and the mirror has cracked…"

Asked by reporters to say how the Greek side could take advantage of such statements, Mr. Kasoulides noted that it should remain positive and constructive in its policy that had led Cyprus to the European Union and which "will definitely lead and to Cyprus' reunification".

Replying to another question, he expressed the view that the Greek Presidency of the European Union, during the first semester of 2003, had a major role to play in the next few months as regards efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.

"The Greek Presidency has already proven its good intentions towards Turkey, and this is quite reassuring for Turkey to be able to implement its new policies", Mr. Kasoulides added.

[02] 2003 presidential elections are proclaimed

The Interior Minister, Mr. Andreas Panayiotou, has proclaimed today the next Cyprus presidential elections, scheduled for February 2003.

In a decree, published in today's special edition of the official newspaper of the Republic of Cyprus, the Interior Minister has set the 17th of January 2003 as the final day for the submission of candidacies for the 2003 presidential elections.

In case that more than one candidacy is submitted, voting will be held on Sunday, 16 February 2003 and on Sunday, 23 February 2003, if a second round is necessary.

[03] Cyprus' demarche to UN Secretary-General for airspace violations by Turkish military aircrafts

The Cyprus Government, through its UN Permanent Representative Mr. Sotos Zackheos, has made a written protest last Monday to the UN Secretary- General Mr. Kofi Annan, drawing the latter's attention to the massive violations of the Flight Information Region (FIR) of Nicosia and the National Airspace of the Republic of Cyprus by military aircrafts of the Turkish Air Force, recorded during the months of August, September, October, November and December 2001.

In the letter, Mr. Zackheos cites all the airspace violations by Turkish military aircrafts during the aforementioned months and calls for their immediate cessation, as they violate international law as well as Security Council resolutions on Cyprus.

He also notes that these violations "are not conducive to the maintenance of the required positive climate", especially during the present important phase in the exercise of the UN Secretary-General's mission of good offices, as he claims.

Cyprus' UN Permanent Representative expressed hope that the Turkish Government "will show restraint, cease the violation of the airspace of Cyprus and, heeding the call by the Security Council, will assume its responsibilities towards the Turkish Cypriot leadership so that they will contribute to the efforts to find a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions".

The letter of complaint has circulated as a document of the UN General Assembly and of the Security Council.

[04] The Central Bank of Cyprus grants a banking business licence to BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd

The Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Mr. Christodoulos Christodoulou, acting under the authority vested in the Central Bank of Cyprus by the Banking Law of 1997, has granted on 31 December, 2002 a banking business licence to BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas S.A. of France, to carry on banking business in and from within Cyprus in the form of an International Banking Unit ("IBU").

BNP Paribas S.A. is the entity created after the merger of the two large French banks BNP and Paribas in May 2002. The Group's total assets amounted to €825 billion as at 31 December 2001. Today, BNP Paribas S.A. is the largest bank in France and in the EURO Zone by market capitalisation. It maintains a presence in 85 countries and is involved in the provision of a wide spectrum of financial services, through various subsidiary and associate companies in Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd will take over all the assets, liabilities and business operations of the existing branch of Banque Nationale de Paris Intercontinentale S.A. which has been operating in Cyprus in the form of an IBU since 1985. BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd will deal primarily in foreign currencies and transact business with natural or legal persons who are non- residents of Cyprus, situated either in Cyprus or abroad. As an exception, medium and long-term lending in foreign currencies to Cyprus residents (natural or legal persons) has been allowed, within the framework of liberalising Cyprus's financial system, as from 1 January, 2001. BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd will also be offering authorised investment services in foreign currencies to both residents and non-residents of Cyprus (natural or legal persons). BNP Paribas Cyprus Ltd will be subject to the supervision and inspection of both the Central Bank of Cyprus and the French Banking Commission.

The decision of BNP Paribas Group of France to upgrade its presence in Cyprus by setting up a subsidiary bank for the purposes of carrying international banking business is another indication of our country's success in attracting international banks and financial institutions as a result of Cyprus' international recognition as a reputable regional banking/financial centre and of the business opportunities which are expected to arise from the forthcoming full integration of Cyprus to the European Union.

Currently, there are 29 IBUs operating from within Cyprus and 3 representative offices of foreign banks in Cyprus. Other foreign banks have expressed a similar interest to establish IBUs in Cyprus and more banking business licences are expected to be granted in the near future.


From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/


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