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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-06-19

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias has said he would be having two meetings with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, one towards the end of June and one in July.

    Speaking at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, President Christofias said that the next confidence building measures should include the disengagement of the old town of Nicosia and the opening of a crossing point to and from the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus at Limnitis village, on the northwest.

    Military exercises in the area must be avoided as part of these measures, he added.

    The President expressed hope that the Turkish army would not obstruct the implementation of these measures.

    In his address, President Christofias elaborated on his vision for a reunited Cyprus under a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    ``My vision is the reunification of the island, a federal bizonal, bicommunal Republic of Cyprus, and I believe that this vision is also the vision of every Cypriot, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, who loves his country,`` he said.

    The President said he was optimistic that the future of Cyprus will be ``bright and peaceful.``

    The Christofias Talat meetings are part of an ongoing process to help resume direct negotiations between the leaders of the islands two communities, in a bid to reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    In the past several weeks, bicommunal teams of experts have been meeting to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations.


    House of Representatives President Marios Garoyian will be briefing parliament presidents of EU member states on the recent developments in the Cyprus problem, on the sidelines of the meeting of EU Presidents of Parliament in Lisbon. Speaking at Larnaca Airport before departing for Lisbon, Garoyian said the meeting would provide the Republic of Cyprus with useful conclusions and valuable experience.

    He added that the main issues to be discussed concern the Lisbon Treaty and the new responsibilities of the national parliaments, as well as the new partnership with the European Parliament, especially after the Lisbon Treaty. They will also discuss the role and responsibilities of women in politics and the issue of the EU`s relations with Russia. On the sidelines of the meeting, Garoyian will be meeting counterparts from other EU member states to brief them on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and also issues concerning the House and the respective national parliaments.

    ``I believe this meeting will be beneficial and creative, and we will draw useful conclusions and valuable experience, which will help us in our efforts to further improve our own national parliament and establish better connections with other parliaments, on the basis of the new challenges and the new huge opportunities offered to the national parliaments and our peoples,`` he said.


    Fire fighting services continue efforts to extinguish completely the fire, which broke out Wednesday morning, in Limassol and Larnaca districts, on the south, burning holiday homes, trees and wild bushes. A spokesperson for the Fire Department has told CNA that 50 vehicles and 261 persons are involved in the battle against the flames.

    Yesterday we put the fire under control; today we are trying to fully extinguish the fire. People worked throughout the night and since five this morning aircraft have returned to the area, Liza Kemidzi said. Chief of Police Iacovos Papacostas told CNA that with the first light fire fighting aircraft was on site throwing water on any location where flames flare up again, in Larnaca and Limassol districts.

    On Wednesday, according to Kemidzi, all but one firemen, who were injured during fire fighting, have been discharged from hospital. One of them, who was seriously burnt and suffered shoulder injuries, continues to receive medical care. The Director of the Forestry Department Aristos Ioannou said fire-fighting forces would stay in the area today and tomorrow to make absolutely sure that flames do not flare up again.


    Cypriot swimmer Karolina Pelendritou, gold medalist in the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, has won the 2007 Commonwealth Prize. The award was given at an event in Glasgow in the presence of sports personalities from all over the world, on the sidelines of a meeting on the development of sports in the Commonwealth.

    The Cyprus Olympic Committee was represented at the meeting by Nicos Markoullides, member of the Executive Council.

    Pelendritou won the title of top athlete with a handicap in the Commonwealth, along with archer Daniela Brown. The two athletes shared the prize for their exceptional achievements during the year 2007.

    The Cypriot athlete, who won six gold medals and broke six world records during major sports events, said the prize was a great honour for herself, her family and Cyprus. Cypriot shooter George Achilleos and field and track athlete Antonis Aresti were nominated for prizes.

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