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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-01-30

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The momentum in the ongoing talks between the leaders of the two communities on the island has allowed them to move onto the chapter of property, having reached substantial agreement on governance and power-sharing, said UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun.

    He was addressing the presentation of a report, entitled, The Day After II: Reconstructing a Reunited Cyprus, published on Thursday, by the Cyprus Centre of the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) and funded by the British High Commission. The presentation was held at Ledra Palace in the UN controlled buffer zone in Nicosia.

    Just over 1 billion euro will be needed from donors to help fund a solution to the Cyprus problem, according to new research by the team economists Praxoula Antoniadou-Kyriacou, Ozlem Oguz and Fiona Mullen.

    Referring to the research, Zerihoun said that it makes an extremely valuable contribution to public debate and the ongoing negotiations aimed at finally resolving the longstanding division of the island.

    The negotiations, as you know, have been making progress since they were launched in early September of last year. This momentum allowed the leaders yesterday to move onto the chapter of property, having reached substantial agreement on governance and power- sharing, he told the gathering.

    The report, he added, builds on the launch less than a year ago of the first ``Day After`` report, in which the three authors assessed the many commercial opportunities available to Cypriot businesses and families, following a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    The follow-up research now adds flesh to the authors initial assessment by extending the forecast to the entire economy, estimating the dynamic impact on jobs, said Zerihoun.

    At the same time, in doing so, it examines how much the implementation of a solution will cost -- and its clearly affordable; and investigates how it can be financed using both local and international resources. Thus, it is extremely useful not only for those who will seek in the future to govern this common island. It will also act as an important reference for the international community and potential donors who stand ready to help facilitate the settlement.

    Zerihoun said that the details of a future settlement are not yet known. The authors have therefore necessarily based their forecasts on a range of different scenarios, and made them in such a way that they can be applied to any scenario. In this way, their research may well serve as a valuable tool for the leaders and their expert advisers during the ongoing negotiations.

    Quoting the authors of the report, Zerihoun said the best environment in which to address the concerns of Cypriots is one based on rational debate, information and facts. The research they have undertaken allows just that, confirming that the solution is affordable and manageable, adding that the work they are doing is vital to the understanding of the challenges and opportunities of peace and development in Cyprus.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has said that an investigation is underway concerning the issue of a Cypriot flagged ship that has docked at Limassol port, adding that an inspection is underway.

    According to press reports, the ship is carrying arms that originated from Iran and was forced by an American military vessel to dock at Limassol port.

    President Christofias said the government is handling the issue responsibly but refrained from giving further details, noting more problems could be created.

    It is a problem for us that we are forced to accept a ship under the Cypriot flag which is carrying whatever is carrying, which is contrary or in conflict with Security Council resolutions, President Christofias underlined.


    Turkey is wielding the scepter of human rights violations for 2008 among the 47 member-states of the Council of Europe, with 257 convictions against it, followed by Russia with 233 convictions, Romania with 189, Poland with 129 and Ukraine with 110.

    These figures were presented on Thursday by the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Jean-Paul Costa at a press conference held in Strasbourg on the occasion of the Courts 50th anniversary since its establishment.

    He called upon the member states of the Council of Europe to reaffirm their commitment to human rights and their support for the Courts work, while at the same time reflecting with the Court on how to adapt the protection mechanism to the needs of the 21st century.

    He stressed the size of the current caseload (nearly 100,000 cases pending), which is constantly increasing, and noted that, regrettably, the various reform proposals had reached an apparent impasse, even if he remained hopeful that the different obstacles could be surmounted.


    Cyprus will offer all its support in European Union efforts to help issues concerning South Caucasus, said here Friday Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou.

    Speaking after a meeting at the ministry with Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus, the Minister pointed out however that countries like Azerbaijan should respect international law and maintain law and order as far as handling Cyprus and the northern Turkish occupied areas of the Republic is concerned.

    In remarks after his talks with Semneby, Kyprianou said he was informed on various issues that concern South Caucasus, noting that countries in Caucasus are friendly towards Cyprus and we are interested to see that the so-called frozen conflicts are solved the soonest possible because sometimes they turn to heated conflicts, such as what happened in the summer in Georgia.

    Minister Kyprianou said that Cyprus, as a member of the EU, will support all EU efforts to solve these issues and support these countries.

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