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Cyprus FM leaves for Brussels to attend EU meeting on Asia disaster
2005-01-07 10:21:13

Larnaca, Jan 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou left for Brussels today to take part in the extraordinary meeting of the General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels to address the consequences of the tidal wave in Asia.

Speaking before his departure, Iacovou said the aim of the meeting is to show the EU’s interest to the devastating disaster and its political will to help those affected and take action.

The Cypriot minister said the “government welcomes the peoples’ response” in the various fund raising events, noting it is not uncommon to see that the public’s contribution sometimes exceeding that of the governments.

“Therefore we are moved by this”, he said, adding that when he returns to Cyprus he will make sure that there is continued monitoring of the situation in south-east Asia both in the state and private sector.

“The south-east Asia issue is not a matter of days but years”, he said and referred to Australia’s contribution of 750 million dollars in the next five years, adding that this will contribute to the relief of these countries for many years to come.

“We will work together with our EU partners and the EU’s guidance”, the Cypriot minister added.

The Brussels meeting will be chaired by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg and current President of the Council of the European Union, Jean Asselborn.

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