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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-10-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis said on Thursday that the government maintains its hope and optimism that Turkey`s EU accession negotiations will continue, noting that Turkey, so far, is undermining this hope with its behaviour.

    Asked after a cabinet meeting if there were any developments regarding the Finnish EU presidency`s proposals, Pashiardis said ``the only development concerns the remarks of the Finnish Prime Minister, who expressed hope and optimism that a solution would be found.``

    ``Our side maintains the hope and optimism that the accession negotiations will continue with Turkey, even though Turkey, at least so far, is undermining this hope and optimism with its behaviour,`` he said and pointed out that the Finnish presidency was working hard on a reasonable solution.

    Pashiardis assured that the government was working and cooperating with the Finnish presidency so that the initiative it has undertaken will have a positive outcome but noted that this outcome dictated that ``the Turkish side must maintain a reasonable stance and behaviour.``

    ``We do not know if the intransigent and negative stance of the Turkish side has changed but we cannot doubt the hope and optimism of the Finnish presidency,`` he added.


    Foreign Minister George Lillikas has said he was particularly satisfied with a meeting in Paris with French Minister Delegate for European Affairs Catherine Colonna, adding that France supports the Finnish Presidency initiative to avert a crisis in EU-Turkey relations.

    In statements on his return at Larnaca Airport, the Foreign Minister said that they discussed developments in Cyprus and Turkeys relations with the EU.

    Lillikas expressed the hope that Turkey will meet the obligations it has undertaken towards the 25 EU member states and stressed that it is not an end in itself for Cyprus to create a crisis in Turkey`s relations with the EU.

    Cyprus, he added, has not set out to interrupt Turkeys EU accession negotiations, which will come under review in a Commission report, due in early November.


    Chairman of the Cypriot Air Crash and Incidents Investigation Committee Costas Orphanos raised three disagreements with the report of the Greek Air Accident and Incidents Investigative Committee under Akrivos Tsolakis regarding the cause of the Helios Airways air crash in August 2005 that killed all 121 people on board.

    The disagreements of Orphanos, who testified on Thursday before the Cypriot Commission of Inquiry under Panayiotis Kallis, concern the adequacy of the Civil Aviation Department (CAD), in cooperation with the advisors of the Civil Aviation Authority, to carry out an efficient control of flight safety, Tsolakis` decision not to attach to the report Helios Airways` views, and the ``omission`` on behalf of Tsolakis to make recommendations to Helios Airways when he has been making recommendations to Boeing.

    The first disagreement arose from Orphanos` response to Kallis that the CAD, with the help of British advisors, if a proper job was being done, could carry out efficient control of flight safety, while Tsolakis referred to a weakness.

    Regarding the second disagreement, which arose after Tsolakis` decision not to include the views of Helios Airways in annex 5 of the report, Orphanos said there were some points that could have been accepted and should have been evaluated.

    On the third disagreement, Orphanos referred to remarks by Tsolakis that he did not make recommendations to a company that did not exist, since Helios Airways had changed its name to Ajet.

    Orphanos said he did not agree with Tsolakis, noting that Helios Airways did exist and the fact that it had changed its name was irrelevant.


    Cyprus Airways has expressed concerns over operating costs from the new Larnaca and Paphos airports, which will be transferred to the passengers and may adversely affect Cyprus` competitiveness as a tourist destination.

    Speaking at a press conference ahead of the national air-carrier`s general assembly, Chairman of the Board of Directors Lazaros Savvides said Cyprus Airways looked forward to the timely construction and delivery of the new airports, which should be functional and meet the needs of an EU member state.

    He called on strategic investor Hermes Airports Ltd and the government to discuss the issue with a view to reaching mutually acceptable arrangements that would maintain competitiveness.

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