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IMO General Secretary: Cyprus is a great maritime power worldwide
2005-09-27 12:43:11

Nicosia, Sept 27 (CNA) --- The Republic of Cyprus is a great maritime power worldwide, General Secretary of the International Maritime Organisation Efthimios Mitropoulos stressed here today, adding that Cyprus has an excellent record of adopting and implementing international conventions that are drafted under the IMO auspices.

Mitropoulos, who is attending the ''Maritime Cyprus 2005'' Conference, noted that the Conference ''has established Cyprus as a big shipping power, which it is'', adding that ''Maritime Cyprus holds a leader position in the world shipping''.

IMO General Secretary was speaking after a meeting here with Cypriot Minister of Communication and Works Haris Thrasou. Later on Mitropoulos was received by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

Referring to Turkey's denial to fully implement the Customs Union Protocol as far as Cypriot ships and airplanes is concerned, Mitropoulos said that the issue has not yet been discussed by the IMO.

''The issue has not been discussed yet, so the Organisation has not taken any position on the matter. I would wish, since Cyprus and Turkey are IMO members, that the issue is resolved as soon as possible, so that both sides can secure their own interests'', Mitropoulos said.

In his statements, Cypriot Minister noted that the meeting was very useful and that they discussed relevant issues in the light of the IMO Meeting due to take place this November in London.

IMO General Secretary also noted that Cyprus has ''an excellent record of adopting international conventions that are drafted under the IMO auspices'', adding that Cyprus holds the presidency of one of the most important Committees of the Organisation, the one regarding the protection of sea environment, and also holds a high position in the Organisation's Secretariat, at the Directory of maritime safety.

Mitropoulos also thanked Cyprus for its support as regards the drafting and implementation of new international conventions on maritime safety and environment protection.

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