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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 03-03-21

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/>

  • [01]Friday, 21 March 2003 Acting Cyprus President departs for Brussels Spring European Council
  • [02] UK says Cyprus is not directly affected by Iraq war
  • [03] No violation of Cyprus airspace by American fighter planes, says Communications Ministry
  • [04] Foreign Ministry announcement for Cyprus citizens living in Iraq wider region
  • [05] MacShane regrets failure to reach a Cyprus settlement
  • [06] Cyprus gives financial aid for Palestinian refugees

    [01] Acting Cyprus President departs for Brussels Spring European Council

    The Acting President of the Republic of Cyprus and House President, Mr Demetris Christofias, departed for Brussels yesterday afternoon to attend the European Council meeting with the ten acceding and three candidate countries. He was accompanied by the Foreign Minister, Mr Georgios Iacovou and the Finance Minister, Mr Markos Kyprianou. The meeting will be held today in the form of three separate lunches on the levels of Heads of State and government, Foreign Ministers and Finance Ministers, and will cover the Cyprus problem, Iraq, the Middle East, North Korea, the Lisbon process and the European Convention for the Future of Europe. Speaking yesterday, upon departure at Larnaca airport, Mr Christofias said that his trip to Brussels was taking place at a difficult period, amidst the Iraqi war, and added, "I want to express my regret and the Cyprus Government's and House of Representatives' great concern over the declaration of this war, which has not been authorized by the relevant body, namely, the UN Security Council, and which does not comply with the norms of international law." He further said that he joined the voices of opposition expressed by leaders of States that are members of the UN Security Council, as well as of other states worldwide, calling for an end to the war. As regards the European Union, Mr Christofias pointed out that it was going through difficult times, as it had not managed to formulate a common position on foreign policy issues, and particularly on the Iraqi situation. Replying to a question on the approval by the Cyprus Council of Ministers, earlier yesterday, of a US request to allow American aircrafts to use Cyprus' national airspace during their military operations in Iraq, Mr Christofias said that the particular decision was "entirely European", and that it was the "minimum" the Republic could do to fulfill the US demands. On his visit to Brussels, he noted that he would hold talks with the Greek Prime Minister and EU President, Mr Costas Simitis, the Greek Foreign Minister, Mr George Papandreou and the European Parliament President, Mr Pat Cox.

    During all the meetings to be held in Brussels, Mr Christofias said, the Cyprus delegation would try to convey the position that the UN Secretary- General's peace efforts in Cyprus failed due to the intransigent stance of the Turkish side, and to reiterate that "despite the fact that war is appalling and something to which we resist, the Cyprus problems will still be there on the following day". He also said that a report on Cyprus by the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council would soon be submitted. Mr Christofias stressed that he was in close contact with the President, Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, regarding the deliberations to take place in Brussels. President Papadopoulos is currently in the US for medical reasons.

    [02] UK says Cyprus is not directly affected by Iraq war

    "Cyprus is not directly affected by the situation in Iraq. We therefore see no reason for holiday plans to be changed", the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has stated. In an update of its travel advice on Cyprus, posted this week on their official website, the FCO noted that "the vast majority of visits to Cyprus are trouble-free" and that "the terrorist threat is low".

    [03] No violation of Cyprus airspace by American fighter planes, says Communications Ministry

    "There was absolutely no violation of Cyprus' national airspace by American fighter plans or a landing by American military planes at the illegal airport of Lefkoniko", the Cyprus Ministry of Communications and Works stated yesterday, contradicting reports by the media on that issue. The press release, issued by the Ministry, further noted that on Wednesday, two Turkish military planes and six civil planes landed at the illegal airport of Lefkoniko. The Communications Ministry called on journalists to be more careful in transmitting information that could possibly harm the image of the Cyprus Republic.

    [04] Foreign Ministry announcement for Cyprus citizens living in Iraq wider region

    Due to the Iraqi crisis, citizens of the Republic of Cyprus living in the wider region, and particularly in locations where the Republic does not maintain diplomatic missions, can appeal to the diplomatic missions of the European Union member states for assistance. The Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs urges all citizens who are directly affected by the situation in Iraq to contact the Ministry at the following telephone numbers: During working hours: 22 300709

    Outside working hours: 99 660129

    [05] MacShane regrets failure to reach a Cyprus settlement

    The British Minister for Europe, Mr Dennis MacShane, expressed his regret that a comprehensive Cyprus settlement, in time for a reunited island to sign the Treaty of Accession with the EU on 16 April, could not prove possible, noting at the same time that Cyprus would accede to the EU with the acquis suspended in the north of the island, as was decided by the Copenhagen European Council last December. Replying to a question posed before the House of Commons last Wednesday by Labour MP, and a friend of Cyprus, Mr Tom Cox, as to what discussions the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs planned to have with EU member states on the role the Union would play in future negotiations regarding the island, Mr MacShane said that "the UK and the EU remain committed to efforts to achieve a comprehensive settlement within the framework of the UN Secretary- General's proposals of 26 February". "The Commission will, in consultation with the government of Cyprus, consider ways of promoting economic development of the northern part of Cyprus and bringing it closer to the Union", the British Minister added. Expressing his regret on the failure to reach a settlement at the meeting in The Hague, he pointed out that "as Mr Annan made clear in his concluding statement in The Hague, an opportunity like the one so recently missed is unlikely to recur for some time."

    [06] Cyprus gives financial aid for Palestinian refugees

    The Republic of Cyprus offered financial aid amounting to $27,750 to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), as a token of its support to the Palestinian people and in response to their increasing needs due to the continuing isolation of the Palestinian areas. The cheque of $27,750 - almost double the amount of last year's contribution - was handed by Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos, to Mr Nasser Maher, representative of the UNRWA. In a short speech, Ambassador Zackheos conveyed Cyprus' sympathy towards the Palestinian people for their economic plight and hoped that the peace process would be resumed.

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


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