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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-06-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni has stressed that only a bicommunal bizonal federation can help bring peace and security to Cyprus.

    Speaking after talks with her Cypriot counterpart Markos Kyprianou, she also said that the road to a reunited, peaceful and prosperous Cyprus is not a bed of roses but it can be achieved.

    The Minister expressed hope that sufficient progress is made at the ongoing talks between representatives of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to allow substantive negotiations to begin, leading to a mutually acceptable solution.

    «Only a bizonal, bicommunal federation can open widely the prospect of a settlement and provide the necessary momentum for a common, better future, for peace, development and security in Cyprus, without the illegal presence of the occupation troops, and without the right of intervention and the outdated system of guarantees by third countries,» Bakoyianni stressed.

    The solution, she noted, must be in line with Security Council resolutions and EU principles. The road to achieve this goal, a reunited, peaceful, stable and prosperous European Cyprus, is not a bed of roses. We both believe in the struggle for a just, functional and viable settlement, she added.

    Referring to the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, Bakoyanni expressed hope for progress at the joint teams of experts (the working groups and the technical committees), to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations, leading to a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The Greek Foreign Minister reiterated the support of Greece to Cyprus. «Athens, as always, supports the efforts of the Republic of Cyprus, President Christofias and the Cyprus political leadership», she said.

    On Ankaras role in the Cyprus peace effort, she had this to say: Ankara has a very important role to play, to encourage actively the Turkish Cypriot leadership to move in the right direction, that of moderation and constructive attitude.

    Turkey cannot use domestic political concerns as an alibi for maintaining its long standing positions of suspicion and intransigence. No internal issue must be presented as an alibi for the absence of a substantive effort towards Cyprus settlement, she said.

    Replying to questions about the right of guarantee in Cyprus, she said, A European united Cyprus has no need for old-fashioned guarantees and rights of intervention. Turkey, whose troops continue to occupy Cyprus northern part, is one of three guarantor powers of Cyprus independence. The other two are Greece and Turkey.

    Regarding the Turkeys EU course, she said that Turkey has the opportunity to join the EU, provided it fulfills all the criteria and the prerequisites set out by the Union.

    In his remarks, Kyprianou noted the pivotal timing of Bakoyiannis visit, the first since the election of the present government to power, and said they had a very constructive discussion.

    Greece affords Cyprus continuous political support, in practice, in particular on the question of Cyprus. We had the chance to discuss this national issue and other European matters we deal with, he said.

    Nicosia and Athens, he said, agreed on further cooperation and coordination on various issues, especially within the EU context.

    Later on, Bakoyianni met the leaders of parliamentary political parties.


    The government intends to set up a committee of inquiry into last nights incident, in which part of the roof of the capitals Municipal Theatre collapsed, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has announced. Nobody was at the theatre when the roof collapsed. The cause of the incident is not yet known.

    The President of the Republic Demetris Christofias will table, at the next Cabinet meeting, a recommendation to set up a committee of inquiry to examine the collapse of the roof of the Municipal Theatre of Nicosia, Stephanou said in a written statement. The government, he added, is in touch with the Cyprus Scientific and Technical Chamber (ÅÔÅÊ) and the Law Office of the Republic on the matter.

    Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou told a press conference today that the Municipality will ask the Cabinet to appoint a committee of inquiry to conduct a full investigation into the cause of the incident and to apportion blame where it is due. We are shocked at the scale of the destruction but we are also relieved that nobody was injured, Mavrou said, adding that President Christofias conveyed to her last night his grave concern and relief that there were no injuries. The Theatre was revamped three years ago at an estimated cost of nearly six million euro and was handed to Nicosia Municipality in December 2005.


    The UN Security Council has called on the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to begin expeditiously fully-fledged negotiations towards a political settlement. The Council, in a draft resolution on the renewal of the mandate of the UN peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), welcomes the analysis of developments on the ground over the last six months in the Secretary-Generals report. It urges the parties to build on the present momentum and continue their efforts to identify to the greatest possible extent areas of convergence and disagreement, while preparing options where feasible on the more sensitive elements, and to work to ensure that fully-fledged negotiations can begin expeditiously and smoothly, in line with the agreement of 21 March and the Joint Statement of 23 May, which the two community leaders have concluded.

    The Council reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 (1999) of 29 June 1999 and subsequent resolutions. It expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 15 December 2008, the draft text says. Furthermore, it calls on both sides to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency and while respecting UNFICYPs mandate, in consultations with UNFICYP on the demarcation of the buffer zone, and on the United Nations 1989 aide-memoire, with a view to reaching early agreement on outstanding issues.

    The Council calls on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia, on the east of the country, the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000. Turkish occupation troops have violated the military status quo in this area and refuse to comply with repeated calls to return the situation to what it was before June 2000. The draft resolution requests the Secretary-General to submit a report on implementation of this resolution by 1 December 2008 and to keep the Security Council updated on events as necessary.

    The Council also welcomes the agreement of 21 March and the Joint Statement of 23 May 2008 which, inter alia, have demonstrated a renewed political willingness to support and engage fully and in good faith with the UNs efforts, reaffirmed the commitment of the leaders to a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions, and to consider further civilian and military confidence building measures.


    The European Commission is launching a 2,500,000 euro grant scheme to strengthen civil society in the Turkish Cypriot community and to foster trust, dialogue and co-operation between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities. According to a press release, issued by the European Commission, this is the second call for proposals under the Cypriot Civil Society in Actionprogramme.

    The grant scheme is open to proposals from Turkish Cypriot civil society organisations in partnership with Greek Cypriot civil society organisations in areas such as culture, economic development, social inclusion, social dialogue, human rights, gender, reconciliation and academic research. The creation of linkages between these projects and wider European Union networks will also be supported. The European Commission is willing to consider any activity with the potential of bridging the two communities and supporting contacts between them.

    Projects may include some infrastructure investments too (e.g. community centers, joint project in the field of conservation, revitalisation, renovation activities of cultural heritage sites, etc.). Grants will be provided for projects that will strengthen the development of a more vibrant civil society in the Turkish Cypriot community. Grants will also be provided for seed funding for new civil society organisations and for promoting their development.

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