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FM represents Cyprus at Commonwealth summit

04/03/2002 09:40
Foreign Minister of Cyprus Ioannis Kassoulides is currently in Australia, representing President Clerides at the 35th Commonwealth summit, attended by 53 countries. Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth for the past fifty years, declared the commencement of works of the meeting on Saturday.

Following a meeting with Mr. Kassoulides, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer stated that his country considers Cyprus accession to the EU as an important development and that Australia supports a just settlement for Cyprus. Mr. Kassoulides has been having meetings with senior officials attending the summit, outlining the progress of the talks between President Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Raouf Denktash.

According to an official announcement, speaking during the Ministers meeting which discussed issues concerning the smaller member-states of the Commonwealth, Mr. Kassoulides underlined that matters pertaining to taxation should not be confused with those concerning money laundering, supporting the International Monetary Fund’s proposal for scrutiny of all international business centres. Other issues included in the discussions were problems faced by small countries resulting from globalisation, climate changes, natural disasters as well as events of the 11 September in the USA.

Today, the debate begins, at senior officials level, on the paragraph on Cyprus to be included in the final communiquι of the summit. The summit will be concluded tomorrow.