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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-06-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    There is no scheduled meeting between the senior aides to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot leaders before they meet on Tuesday.

    Presidential Commissioner George Iakovou, top advisor to President Demetris Christofias, has told CNA that he is not planning to meet Ozdil Nami, the top advisor of Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, before Tuesday.

    After a general conversation I had with Nami in Oslo, this week, we believe that we must not raise expectations or encourage concerns with an additional meeting, he said.

    Regarding his meeting in Norway with Talats advisor, Iakovou stressed that it was informal encounter which took place on the sidelines of a conference on The network of mediators to which both had been invited.

    Asked if Christofias and Talat are likely to issue a joint statement after their meeting, Iakovou indicated that it might not be appropriate to issue a joint statement, especially if the issues under discussion continue to be fluid.

    There are other methods apart from a joint communiqu?. In any case, the decision on this issue rests with the two leaders at Tuesdays meeting. They may discuss some issues in depth and leave the rest for their next meeting or they might evaluate progress in the discussions at the Technical Committees and the Working Groups and continue at their next meeting, he explained.

    Regarding the Turkish Cypriot position on one sovereignty and one citizenship, Iakovou noted that the issue of having one sovereign state of Cyprus appears to be easy whereas the issue of a single citizenship is more difficult, in that the Turkish Cypriots quote the relevant reference from a UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan plan) which satisfies them but does not satisfy the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side. The plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots and approved by the Turkish Cypriots, in separate referenda in 2004.

    However, he expressed the expectation that both matters will be overcome, pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side has already accepted both notions.

    Christofias and Talat will meet on Tuesday for the third time since their first encounter in March this year, after Christofias was elected to the Presidency of the Republic. Following that meeting, six working groups and seven technical committees have been set up to discuss day to day concerns as well as core issues to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations between the two leaders towards a political settlement that will reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    The two community leaders met in late May and agreed to meet again at the end of June. Since then they have announced a meeting on July 1 and a planned meeting for later on in July.


    The number of households in Cyprus with internet access recorded a sizeable increase in 2007, according to a Eurobarometer survey, carried out in November and December of last year. According to the Eurobarometer data, Cypriot households with internet access reached 39% recording a 14-point increase compared to the 2006 survey. Despite the sizeable increase, Cyprus continues to lag behind the EU average, which stood at 49% in 2007.

    A total of 23% of Cypriots have broadband internet connections. Compared to the 2006 survey broadband connections increased by 16%, the third largest increase in the EU. Greece and Bulgaria came last in the EU survey with 22% of Greek households and 19% of Bulgarian households having internet access. The Netherlands recorded the highest internet access with 86%, followed by Denmark with 80% and Sweden with 78%. Furthermore, 99% of Cypriot households have landline telephony, which is above the EU average which stood at 95%.

    75% of households in Cyprus have both landline and mobile telephony, a percentage which places Cyprus in the fifth highest position in the EU, with Sweden ranking first with 88%. 84% of Cypriot households have landline telecommunications access, the third highest after Sweden (96%) and Luxemburg (95%). According to the survey, 17% of Cypriots are aware of the EU-wide emergency call (112).


    Cyprus` net contribution to the European Union budget reached 10.5 million euro in 2007, according to data published by the European Commission. EU funds allocated to Cyprus reached 126,8 million euro in 2007, while Cyprus contribution to the Community budget was 170,3 million euro. Due to the implementation of a compensation system, which has been implemented for the new member states which are net contributors, the final amount of Cyprus` net contribution was reduced to 10.5 million euro.

    Cyprus has absorbed 100 million euro from the European Agriculture Fund and 10 million euro from the Structural Funds.

    The Republic of Cyprus entered the EU in May 2004. Cyprus adopted the euro in January 2008.


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias is due to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on September 30, while Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat is expected to participate in a debate on Cyprus, head of the Cypriot delegation to PACE Antros Kyprianou has told CNA. ``President Christofias will address the Assembly on Tuesday, September 30 and Mr Talat has been invited to take part in the debate on a report by German rapportuer Joachim Horster entitled `The Situation on Cyprus`,`` Kyprianou said.

    Kyprianou said that Horsters report was discussed at a meeting of the PACE Political Committee. ``We are satisfied with the fact that (Horster) has tried, and I believe he was successful, to a large extent, in staying within the framework defined by UN resolutions and the Council of Europe decisions both as regards the substance and the terminology`` concerning the question of Cyprus, Kyprianou said. He also express satisfaction with attempts by the German rapporteur to avoid positions which could cause strong reaction either from the Greek Cypriot or the Turkish Cypriot community, adding that the Turkish side had reacted to the report during the Political Committee meeting.

    ``Overall, we are pleased with the report, but there are issues which could improve and we have told Horster that we will send him a memorandum with our views which he could take account,`` he added. Kyprianou pointed out however that it is not yet certain that Horster`s report will b debated in the next PACE session, since the German MP will have new consultations after the views expressed in the meeting of the Political Committee.

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