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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-01-08

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Cyprus Jan Bondy has described as a window of opportunity for the Cyprus solution the ongoing direct talks between the leaders of the two communities aiming at reaching a comprehensive solution to the issue.

    Speaking during a Press conference held at the EU Delegation Offices to Cyprus, in Nicosia to present the priorities of the Czech EU Presidency, and asked about the expectations of the Czech presidency regarding the ongoing direct talks, Bondy expressed the wish that the solution for Cyprus problem will be found soon.

    He noted that it is right good chance, we call it a window of opportunity, in these days and in these months, expressing hope that the solution will be find in the end of this year, hopefully, is my wish.

    Referring to the general framework of the Czech Presidency, he mentioned the current developments related to the financial crisis and the economic slowdown, the institutional issues linked to the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty and the European Parliament elections.

    Presenting the priorities of the Czech EU Presidency 2009, he said that these lie within the area of economy, energy and European Union in the World.

    In his remarks on the financial crisis, he said that the crisis and economic slowdown affect all of us, adding that the Czech Presidency should support all the measures and possible ways to reduce the crisis as much as possible.

    On the energy issue, he said that almost all European countries are facing the difficult energy situation, adding that almost the whole of Europe is relying and depending on one gas pipeline coming from Russia through Ukraine to the rest of Europe.

    Commenting on Russia`s decision to cut off natural-gas supplies to Ukraine, he said that the Czech Presidency has already began negotiations with both side, noting that the issue will be discussed next Monday in Brussels aiming to try and resolve the problem.

    On the third priority of the European Union in the World, he noted that we have a strong interest to support the Balkans states in their wish to be a member of the European Union, adding that we are supporting Turkey membership as well and we are supporting also better and stronger relation with Ukraine and with Caucasus states.

    Referring to Turkeys bid to join the EU, he said that similar to Cyprus we would like to see the Turley as a member of the European Union after fulfilling all EU criteria. There are many chapters that they are closed, there are some chapters that they are open and we would like to proceed with two chapters, taxation and social policy and employment.

    Invited to comment on the evaluation of Turkeys European course at the end of this year and its additional obligations towards Cyprus such as recognizing the Republic of Cyprus and signing the Protocol on Customs Union, he said the evaluation will take place in the second half of this year, under the Swedish Presidency, adding that we are focusing now on the negotiations between President Christofias and Mr. Talat.

    As he said some of the necessities and some of the topics they are (Turks) trying to connect with the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Commenting on the Gaza conflict, he noted that a dialogue between European Union, Israel and Palestinian Authorities is very -very important, stressing that the Czech Presidency and EU are already taking action so that the conflict to come to an end.

    The killing of the people is something which is not part of the European Union and the normal behavior, he added.

    Furthermore, Bondy stressed that it has been 5 years since the biggest enlargement in EU History, 20 years since the fall of Iron Curtain, 30 years since the first direct elections to European Parliament and 60 years since the founding of NATO.

    All these anniversaries are falling in the Czech Presidency, he added.

    He said that The Czech Presidencys motto is Europe without Barriers, underlining the need for removing existing internal barriers within the EU, which prevent full use of EU potential as well as removing external barriers of international trade and global economy (liberalization) as well as others in cooperation with EUs neighbours and strategic partners.


    President Demetris Christofias departed Thursday for Slovakia where he will attend the official ceremony for the adoption of the Euro by Slovakia as its official currency.

    The celebrations are entitled Goodbye Koruna, Welcome Euro!

    The President and the Prime Minister of Slovakia as well as EU and European Central Bank officials will attend the celebrations.

    President Christofias will return to Cyprus on Friday.


    With the aim to support all children with special needs in Cyprus and for the younger generations of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to come closer through humanitarian events, a bicommunal event entitled The Hoop of Love will take place on Friday, 9th January.

    First Lady Elsi Christofia told CNA on Thursday that the initiative aims to support all children with special needs in Cyprus, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot children and this idea began at our initiative and was welcomed with great interest by Oyia Talat. During the event, Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot children of the ages 10-15 will gather along the Venetian Walls in the heart of the capital to create a large hoop and scatter light with specially designed lanterns.

    In statements to CNA, Oyia Talat called on everyone to attend tomorrows Hoop of Love event. Talat underlined the significance of such humanitarian events, noting that children, no matter what language they speak or which religion they belong to, share the same dreams of future and have the same rights, particularly those with special needs.


    FIFA, UEFA, and a high-ranking delegation from the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) will discuss next Monday the prospects for the reintegration of Turkish Cypriot football clubs into CFA.

    Since Cyprus has been divided, following the 1974 Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of the islands northern part, the Turkish Cypriots have often claimed that ``a sports embargo`` is imposed by the government of Cyprus, which they do not recognise.

    The illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus wants to participate in international soccer matches and hold international football meetings, a move which seeks to bypass the CFA, the sole and only legitimate representative of Cyprus football in the world governing bodies of the sport, FIFA and UEFA. The CFA has proposed that the Turkish Cypriot football clubs join the Association and be allowed to hold football matches with clubs from other countries. Talks on the matter are continuing among interested parties.

    When the Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot football clubs were members of the CFA. Following intercommunal fighting in the early 1960s, the Turkish Cypriots withdrew from the government of Cyprus and its institutions.

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