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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-11-12

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has stated that "we noted positively the offer made by Britain to the United Nations, concerning part of the territory of the British Bases" to a unified Cyprus, in the event of a solution to the Cyprus problem. In a statement after meeting British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London, President Christofias said he expects that "the United Kingdom will assist towards a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem, based on the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding" signed by Christofias and Brown on 5 June 2008.

    The Cypriot leader said the Memorandum was wide-ranging and set the tone for the relations between the two countries. "The agreed provisions are constructive towards the improvement of the relations between the two countries. We reconfirmed the content of this Memorandum of Understanding", he continued. President Christofias said he briefed the British Premier about the intercommunal talks under the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General. He said he informed Gordon Brown about some progress achieved in his talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the issues of governance and EU matters.

    "It is with deep regret that we had to note that in the area of the economy, in spite of early promises, the progress has been minimal as the Turkish Cypriots have reneged on earlier commitments. I was sorry to have briefed the Prime Minister that no progress, whatsoever, has been recorded in the fields of property, security, territory and the settlers` issue", the Cypriot President added.

    President Christofias said that Turkey claims publicly that it supports the UN process while it pretends to lament the fact that no solution will be reached by the end of the year. "I consider Turkey to be responsible for the lack of sufficient progress. At the same time, Turkey has failed to implement its commitments towards the EU regarding the Ankara Protocol. Time is running out for Turkey on this issue", he added.

    President Christofias underlined that Turkeys help is needed in order to push Mehmet Ali Talat in the direction of achieving progress that would benefit both communities in Cyprus and put an end to this tragedy. The Cypriot President expressed satisfaction "with the level of interest and understanding we have found at 10 Downing Street and I thank the Prime Minister for that".

    According to a written statement issued by the British Prime Ministers office, Brown noted that this is a critical time for a settlement. It said that President Christofias has shown enormous courage and determination in progressing discussions, adding that both leaders in Cyprus are fully committed to finding a solution. Brown urged President Christofias to exploit this unique opportunity and move to resolve the issue to the benefit of all Cypritos, it added.

    It is important that the solution to the Cyprus problem is a Cypriot one, a solution by the Cypriots for Cypriots, Brown pointed out. The British Premier confirmed that an offer has been made to the UN to make available just under 50% of the territory of the UKs Sovereign Base Areas to a unified Cyprus in the event of a solution. It will be up to the two leaders to negotiate what happens with this land", he stressed adding that the British Bases would be able to function as normal within a reduced land area.

    Today, my message to Cyprus leaders and to their people is: you can make history. Be bold, be courageous. The UK will support you, Gordon Brown said.

    London has renewed an offer to the United Nations «to cede a portion of its territory in the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) to a reunified Cyprus».

    The land that would be ceded amounts to 45 square miles, just under half the total land area of the SBAs.

    ``The offer, identical to one made in 2003, is conditional on a comprehensive settlement being agreed by the leaders of the two communities and then accepted by a majority of their populations and formally ratified by both sides``, the British government said.

    Turkey refuses to extend its Customs Union with the EU to include Cyprus, an EU member-state since 2004, as provided by an additional protocol to the Ankara Agreement, and to open its ports and airports to vessel and aircraft bearing the Cypriot flag as well as to normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    In 2006, the EU decided to freeze eight of the 35 EU Turkey negotiating chapters due to Ankara`s refusal to comply with its EU obligations.

    EU leaders will assess Turkey`s progress course at their December summit in Brussels.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their immediate withdrawal.


    Greece and Cyprus said that the December European Union Summit should evaluate strictly, whether Turkey fulfilled its commitments as an EU candidate state. Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas met today with Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou in Athens. Speaking in a joint press conference with Kyprianou, Droutsas reiterated his country`s ``absolute backing to the efforts of President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the talks he conducts with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mr. (Mehmet Ali) Talat.`` ``I reiterate our clear position that we want a solution on the basis of the UN decisions on the basis of the treaties and principles of the EU and, above all, with the full respect of the acquis communautaire.``

    Regarding to the December EU Summit, Droutsas said that ``Turkey will be evaluated by the EU objectively and strictly on the basis of its actions and of its response to the commitments undertook towards the EU and its member-states for the good neighbourliness and the respect of the territorial integrity of Greece, the respect of the human rights of minorities, the protection of religious rights, combating illegal immigration and of course the implementation of the Ankara protocol and the normalization of its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus problem.`` On his part, Kyprianou said that Greece and Cyprus share the same views on the Cyprus problem, adding that what is important is a ``viable solution with no suffocating timeframes which would not contribute, on the contrary would be counterproductive.``

    ``Turkey has a very important role to play because it is not a mere spectator in this issue, is not a third country. Turkey created the Cyprus problem, it is a key player and it must have a practical positive stance``, he added. Referring to initiatives taken by Turkey, Kyprianou said that Cyprus waits ``to see Turkey proceed with practical specific gestures and not just expressions of intent.`` With regard to the December landmark, Kyprianou recalled that ``Cyprus supports the capability of Turkey to join the EU with not discounts, not a la carte, but with full compliance with its obligations.`` ``Exactly because Cyprus, and I would like to stress that, desires a European Turkey not jut Turkey in the EU; a Turkey which would act and think in a European manner and not just a guest in the EU, as, perhaps it seeks,`` he added.

    President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in talks since September 2008 with a view to find a mutually acceptable solution that will reunite the country, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islands northern third. The EU will assess Turkey`s progress at the December EU Council.


    The renewal of Cyprus Airways` fleet is continuing in an effort to increase efficiency, company`s Spokesperson Kyriacos Kyriacou has said. Speaking to CNA, Kyriacou said the company is planning to acquire four new Airbus and sell three others from its old fleet.

    The new airplanes, one Airbus A319 with capacity of 128 seats and three Airbus A320 with capacity of 160 seats are to be acquired with the method of long-term leasing. One Airbus 320 will be delivered in the next few days to an American company and two others in the coming January.

    Two new Airbus 320 to replace the old ones, will be delivered to Cyprus Airways in February and March 2010. Cyprus Airways fleet comprises today 11 aircraft, three A319s, six A320s and two A330s.

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