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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-07-03

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/>

Wednesday, 3 July 2002


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus Government is doing all it can to protect the rights of its citizens
  • [02] Theresa Villiers demands answers from British Foreign Secretary over Lord Hanney's comments
  • [03] Cyprus and Iran sign a cooperation agreement
  • [04] Cyprus and Iran to cooperate in the fields of energy and tourism
  • [05] Exclusive Economic Zone to be demarked between Cyprus and Egypt
  • [06] Continuation of Direct Talks for the Cyprus Problem
  • [07] Cyprus party to the Convention on Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods


[01] Cyprus Government is doing all it can to protect the rights of its citizens

"The Cyprus Government, taking into consideration the provisions of the Treaty of Establishment of the Republic of Cyprus and the attached Agreements, has done all it could to protect the rights of the Cypriot citizens and their interests at the British Bases".

The above was noted in a statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to the decision of the British government to install a new antenna at Akrotiri Salt Lake, within the area of the British Bases.

The statement said that the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment had a meeting in the morning with the British High Commissioner in Nicosia, to express the Cyprus Government's positions on the matter, in the light of the report prepared on the issue by an independent team of international experts.

The position of the Cyprus Government focused on the consequences to the environment from installing a new antenna at Akrotiri Salt Lake, an area that has been designated to be included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention. The Ministers also stressed that the Cyprus Government considers it would be preferable that the British Bases did not proceed with installing the new antenna, because it would seriously harm the environment.

The British insisted on continuing works to install the antenna but promised to cooperate with the competent authorities of the Republic, in order to reverse as far as possible any adverse effects on the environment.

In a statement on the issue, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Ioannis Kasoulides said that the British position had always been that it was not up to the Republic to decide whether the Bases will install their antenna or not.

The Government repeated an earlier proposal for the antenna to be installed within the British Bases but outside the wetland, but the British dismissed the proposal as "unrealistic", he said.

Regarding the health risks from the antenna, Mr Kasoulides said that the Government was fully satisfied that there would be no problem, because the measuring conducted by the French experts indicated that emissions were 76 times less than the ceiling set by the European Union.

Replying to questions, the Foreign Minister said that the Treaty of Establishment, which provides for the presence of British Bases on the island, creates some weaknesses regarding the Cyprus Republic's ability to dictate what can or cannot be done on the land of the British Bases. He also noted that the British Bases have an obligation to promote the conservation of the site.

Finally, Mr Kasoulides noted that the Cyprus Government had succeeded in including the Acrotiri Region in the Bern Convention and the Akrotiri Salt Lake in the list of Wetlands of International Importance of the Ramsar Convention. He added, however, that the Government had expressed its disagreement because the particular area where the antennae would be installed had been exempted from the Ramsar Convention.

[02] Theresa Villiers demands answers from British Foreign Secretary over Lord Hanney's comments

The Deputy leader of the Conservatives in the European Parliament and MEP for London Mrs Theresa Villiers has written to the British Secretary of State Mr Jack Straw, demanding an explanation of comments made by the Labour government's Special Representative for Cyprus Lord David Hannay.

In her letter dated 27th June Mrs Villiers demands that the Foreign Secretary urgently clarifies the position of the Labour government on Cyprus, in view of the recent comments made by lord Hannay with which a number of Cypriots in her constituency are deeply concerned.

"I am informed that in an interview with the Turkish media, Lord Hannay predicted the creation of a 'new state quite different from the old one, which will not be called the Republic of Cyprus'," she said.

"A common sense understanding of Lord Hannay's statement is that he believes that the state of Cyprus should cease to exist. This would be a disturbing and radical departure from the position supported by the Conservative Party (and also the US government and UN), that a solution to the Cyprus problem should be achieved by creating a bizonal, bicommunal federal system within the existing Republic of Cyprus," she added.

Mrs Villiers also expressed the hope that the British government had not "departed" from the internationally agreed consensus on the Cyprus problem.

Referring to Lord Hannay's remarks on the existence of two 'peoples' in Cyprus, Mrs Villiers expressed the hope that Lord Hanney was not giving way to the sectarian view that Greek and Turkish Cypriots cannot live together. She stressed that "there are two distinct communities in Cyprus, but they make up a single Cypriot people and country."

"It must be the aspiration of us all to help reconcile Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Lord Hanney's comments would seem to give comfort to those who want to see a permanent division between Cypriots and the break up of the Republic of Cyprus," she added.

[03] Cyprus and Iran sign a cooperation agreement

The Republic of Cyprus and the Islamic Republic of Iran signed an agreement for cultural, educational and scientific cooperation. The agreement was signed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Ioannis Kasoulides and his Iranian counterpart Mr Kamal Kharrazi, who is currently paying an official visit to Cyprus.

Speaking to the press after signing the agreement, Mr Kasoulides described their talks as "very constructive and very interesting" adding that they focused on bilateral relations, which he said were steadily improving.

Mr Kasoulides stated that they had common views on many issues and he availed himself of the opportunity to thank Iran for its solidarity and support on the issues of territorial integrity, and international legitimacy of the Republic of Cyprus in all international fora.

For his part, Mr Kharrazi agreed with Mr Kasoulides that their talks were constructive, adding that the bilateral issues discussed included cooperation on economic issues, trade, businesses, investments and trilateral issues between Iran, Cyprus and Central Asian countries.

Finally, Mr Kharrazi said that they had decided to set up a Joint Committee, which would investigate the possibilities of cooperation between the two countries, as well as the role they could play in the region.

[04] Cyprus and Iran to cooperate in the fields of energy and tourism

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr Nicos Rolandis had a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Mr Kamal Kharrazi who is currently on an official visit to Cyprus.

After the meeting came to an end, Mr Rolandis referred to the many years of friendship and cooperation that bond Cyprus and Iran, adding that he and Mr Kharrazi had agreed to look into the establishment of a Joint Committee, which would address various issues such as the two countries' relations in the fields of energy, commerce, tourism and reciprocal investments.

The Iranian Minister said they had reviewed the different areas of cooperation between Iran and Cyprus especially in the fields of tourism, trade and business and underlined that prospects for cooperation were very promising.

[05] Exclusive Economic Zone to be demarked between Cyprus and Egypt

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr Nicos Rolandis presided over a Ministerial Committee meeting yesterday, which focused on the issue of the demarcation of the Exclusive Economic Zone between Cyprus and Egypt.

The meeting was attended by the Minister of Finance Mr Takis Klerides, representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, as well as other government officials.

Mr Rolandis said that the talks with Egypt on the issue of the Exclusive Economic Zone were at an advanced level.

The Commerce Minister noted that the government would proceed with negotiations with other countries of the region, as well. He indicated that at the present stage, there were some problems with Eastern Mediterranean countries, which did not allow an agreement to be reached on the issue of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

[06] Continuation of Direct Talks for the Cyprus Problem

The direct talks between the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Glafcos Clerides and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rauf Denktash, on the Cyprus problem continued on 2 July 2002, in the presence of the Special Advisor of the UN Secretary General for the Cyprus problem, Mr Alvaro de Soto. Members of the delegations of each party were present at the talks.

The regular meetings between President Clerides and Mr Denktash are taking place under the aegis of the United Nations in the framework of the direct talks for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

The next meeting will be taking place on Tuesday, 16 July 2002.

[07] Cyprus party to the Convention on Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods

The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations, Ambassador Sotos Zackheos, submitted yesterday the official document for the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the International Convention on the Harmonization of Frontier Controls of Goods, which was concluded in Geneva on 21st October, 2002.

So far 41 countries have become parties to the Convention.


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


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