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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-11-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus government works hard to turn to advantage the conjuncture of Turkeys EU accession course, to promote the solution of the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said. In addition, he recommended patience regarding the comments on the Draft Conclusions of the European Council.

    In statements to the Press on Friday, Stephanou said that the Draft Conclusions of the European Council has just been under discussion by the Permanent Representatives Committee (COREPER). However, some are hurrying to forejudge the outcome of the procedures, as well as the stance the Republic of Cyprus will keep on the issue, he added.

    Stephanou said that the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus issue, will reach a decision on the Cyprus stance towards the evaluation of Turkey by the EU, collectively on December 4.

    For turning to advantage the conjuncture of Turkeys accession course, for the promotion of the solution of the Cyprus problem, which is our strategic target, the government is working hard for a long time, updating continuously the European counterparts on the course of the negotiations, and underlining at the same time, the need for Turkey to fulfill its obligations, he stressed.

    Furthermore, Stephanou noted that the European Union is aware of the intentions of the Republic of Cyprus for taking measures against Turkey, in case Ankara does not comply with its EU obligations.

    Replying to a question on the stance of the Republic of Cyprus in the framework of COREPER, Stephanou said We are guided by the position that Turkeys obligations have to be fully met, that there should be strong messages on behalf of the EU towards Turkey, and that there should be practical measures for Turkeys compliance.

    This is the position of Cyprus at the discussions and this position will continue to be held within the EU, he concluded.

    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.

    After Cyprus` accession to the EU, Turkey refused to extent its Customs Union to Cyprus, a commitment known as the Ankara Protocol, to open its ports and airports to vessel and aircraft bearing the Cypriot flag and to normalise its relations with the Republic of Cyprus.

    The EU expects Turkey to implement the protocol in its entirety and in a non-discriminatory manner, and emphasizes how necessary it is that Turkey recognize Cyprus.

    The EU will assess Turkey`s progress at the December EU Council.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has said the government remains vigilant and continues taking measures having as its ultimate goal to further enhance the Cypriot economy and minimise the impact of the world economic crisis.

    Addressing Friday the Annual General Conference of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Famagusta, the Cypriot President noted that the impact of the world economic crisis on Cyprus is much milder in comparison to other countries, due to Cyprus economic system and its strong institutional framework, which work as a shield for its economy.

    In his address, read out by Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides, President Christofias said that today, apart from the problem of occupation and its negative social and economic consequences in our country, we are faced with even harder economic conditions due to the world economic crisis, which affects negatively all areas of international economy.


    President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian has said that sanctions should be imposed on Turkey, since this country refuses to fulfill its EU obligations, including the ones concerning the Republic of Cyprus.

    Garoyian, who received Friday Armenian officials from Lebanon, headed by Hagop Pakradounian, MP and leader of the Parliamentary Group of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Party (Dashnaktsutyun), noted during the meeting that pressure should be exerted on Turkey to comply with its EU obligations ahead of the EU Council in December that will assess Ankaras progress.

    Referring to the ongoing UN led Cyprus talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, he said that Ankara holds the key for the solution of the Cyprus problem, pointing out that Turkish troops control 37% of the Republic of Cyprus territory since 1974. Results so far, he said, are not encouraging, since there has been no substantive progress at the negotiating table, due to the Turkish intransigence and the promotion on behalf of Ankara of positions which lead to confederation and a solution of two separate states on the island and not to a bicommunal, bizonal federation which is the agreed basis for a solution between the two communities.


    Androulla Vasiliou has received the portfolio of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth in the new European Commission announced Friday by Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso.

    Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth is considered as one of the biggest portfolios in the new Commission, created after the merger of Directorate Generals of Education-Culture and Multilingualism and the inclusion of the European Research Institute and the Marie Curie research programme.

    President Barroso said ``this College will implement the political guidelines that I presented to the European Parliament. I am confident that this College will be decisive in steering Europe towards recovery and a sustainable social market economy that works for the people``.

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