Justice Minister pledges Cyprus' cooperation in combating terrorism
Brussels, Jul 14 - Cyprus' Minister of Justice and Public Order Doros Theodorou condemned terrorism and expressed the full support and solidarity of the Republic of Cyprus with the victims of terrorist attacks and their relatives. He also said that Cyprus was ready to cooperate in order to find new ways to combat terrorism on the EU level, simultaneously respecting the internal constitutional order of each member state.
Addressing the EU Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs extraordinary meeting, which took place in Brussels on Wednesday, Mr. Theodorou noted the need for international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and pointed out that prevention and facing the causes of terrorism was equally important as combating terrorism.
He also said efforts to combat terrorism should not harm the status of human rights in the member states, adding that attention should be given to the problems of the Moslem populations in Europe in order to avoid the recruitment of terrorists from those populations.
During the meeting, the Ministers agreed to promote common measures to effectively deal with terrorism on a community level, including the storage of telecommunications and electronic data, the harmonisation police identification security features, the inclusion of biometric data on visas for visitors from third countries, the cooperation between antiterrorist teams from the member states, and the exchange of electronic data regarding the security of ports and airports.
The European Commission will submit a proposal to control explosives within the EU, while pressure will be put on countries with favourable tax regulations to lift the confidentiality of bank accounts, and the directive on money laundering will be strengthened.
Other proposals concern electronic transactions, the freezing of property belonging to suspects related to terrorist acts, and the introduction of regulations providing for the better guarding and security of large infrastructure projects in the EU, such as power plants, nuclear plants, water supply businesses and any projects that could be a target of terrorist attacks.
Meanwhile, in Nicosia, Cypriots joined the other 24 European Union member-states in memory of the victims of last week's London bomb attacks.
At 1400 local time (1100 GMT) today, Cyprus' public services stopped working and observed a two-minute silence in memory of the victims of the bomb attacks in the British capital.