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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-04-22

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT - COMMITTEE - REPORT ON TURKEY
  • [02] EDUCATION MINISTER - GREECE - COOPERATION
  • [03] CY - TRADE UNIONS - AGREEMENT
  • [04] CYRPUS - GREECE - WATER

  • [01] EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT - COMMITTEE - REPORT ON TURKEY

    European Parliament committee has called on Turkey to help find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus and use the current window of opportunity to this effect.

    The Committee has also warned Ankara that non-fulfillment of its commitments to the European Union will continue to seriously affect the process of accession negotiations.

    The Committee on Foreign Affairs approved on Monday by 53 votes in favour, two against and four abstentions a report on Turkey by Dutch Euro MP, rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten.

    The report said that Turkish occupation troops must withdraw from Cyprus to facilitate the negotiation of a political settlement, that will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    In its 2007 progress report on Turkey, the Committee notes limited progress achieved on political reforms in 2007 and points out that Turkey has yet to implement the provisions stemming from the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and its Additional Protocol, which calls for the opening of Turkish ports and airports to vessels and aircraft carrying the Cyprus flag.

    The report points out that full compliance with all the Copenhagen criteria and EU integration capacity remain the basis for accession to the EU

    The Committee stresses the need to arrive at a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question; calls on both parties to use the current window of opportunity with a view to achieving a comprehensive settlement within the UN framework, based on the principles on which the EU is founded; in this regard, recalls its previous resolutions stating that the withdrawal of Turkish forces would facilitate the negotiation of a settlement.

    Euro MPs also approved an amendment to the report welcoming last months agreement between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat to appoint technical committees and working groups to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations, leading to an overall settlement.

    They also adopted another amendment encouraging Turkeys political leadership to formulate its policies on its own, without the interference of the military.

    It urges the Turkish government to implement fully and without delay the provisions stemming from the EC-Turkey Association Agreement and the Additional Protocol thereto and recalls that non-fulfillment of Turkey`s commitments will continue to seriously affect the process of negotiations.

    The Committee welcomes the establishment of a financial support instrument to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community; calls once again on the Commission to report specifically on the implementation and effectiveness of that instrument.

    Furthermore, the report recalls Turkeys commitment to good neighbourly relations, and stresses its expectation that Turkey will refrain from any threats against neighbouring countries and resolve all outstanding disputes peacefully in accordance with the UN Charter and other relevant international conventions.

    It also welcomes the recent official visit to Turkey of the Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis, which it points out gives hope for further improvement of bilateral Greek-Turkish relations, in particular the peaceful settlement of all issues highlighted in Parliament`s previous resolutions, on the basis of international law and in compliance with the commitments entered into in the Negotiating Framework.

    The Committee acknowledges Turkeys role as an important partner of the EU with a view to the realisation of EU foreign policy goals in the Black Sea region, Central Asia and the broader Middle East and calls on the Commission and the Council to better exploit the potential of close EU-Turkey relations in these regions.

    On immigration, the report points out that one of the main immigration routes to Europe from the broader Middle East and South Asia passes through Turkish territory and notes the limited progress achieved in the field of migration management.

    To this effect, it calls on the Commission and Turkey to intensify the negotiations on a readmission agreement, with a view to concluding it without delay and urges the Turkish government to implement properly the existing bilateral readmission agreements and protocols with EU member states.

    Most of illegal immigrants who arrive in Cyprus southern government controlled areas originate from Turkey, which does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to cooperate with Nicosia.

    The Committee urges the Turkish government to carry out as a priority the repeatedly promised reform of Article 301 of the Penal Code, reiterates its call for the immediate opening of the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary, calls for a political initiative to find a lasting settlement of the Kurdish issue and a full investigation into the murders of Hrant Dink.

    In addition, the Committee welcomes progress achieved on protecting women against violence, expresses concern about the level of corruption and appeals to Ankara not to engage in any disproportionate military operations violating Iraqs territory.

    [02] EDUCATION MINISTER - GREECE - COOPERATION

    Cyprus and Greece have agreed to intensify their cooperation in educational matters with a view to improve services in this field.

    Cypriot Minister of Education and Culture Andreas Demetriou and Greek Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs Evripidis Stylianidis have looked into ways to intensify and encourage cooperation among the higher education institutions of the two countries.

    Speaking in Athens on Monday after the meeting, Stylianides stressed that discussion was steered to encourage higher education institutions to cooperate systematically on the undergraduate and postgraduate level and coordinate efforts to improve education services both in primary and secondary level.

    [03] CY - TRADE UNIONS - AGREEMENT

    National carrier Cyprus Airways and trade unions SEK and PEO signed an agreement on Monday concerning the transfer of the ground handling services at Larnaca and Paphos Airports to the Swissport GAP Vassilopoulos (Cyprus) Ltd joint venture.

    The signing ceremony took place in the presence of Ministers of Labour and Social Insurance, Sotiroula Charalambous and Finance Charilaos Stavrakis.

    In her statements, Charalambous said that a problem that was troubling Cyprus Airways labour relations had been resolved and the agreement is in the interest of both sides, helping Cyprus Airways proceed with its plans and benefiting workers.

    [04] CYRPUS - GREECE - WATER

    Water from Greece could arrive in Cyprus in as little as one month, according to Ocean Tankers president, Michalis Ioannides, whose company has been chosen by the government to import drinking water to offset the effects of the severe drought that has hit the Mediterranean island.

    Ocean Tankers and the government of Cyprus signed on Monday the contracts for the import of eight million cubic metres of water from Greece to temporarily alleviate the water crisis.

    Agriculture and Natural Resources Minister Michalis Polinikis said Cyprus needs 16 million cubic metres of water by the end of the year, but Greece said it was ready to provide more if necessary.


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