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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-12-14

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus discussed on Monday the way forward as regards their direct negotiations, aiming to reach a settlement of the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

    In statements after a meeting held Monday between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, UN Secretary Generals Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer said the two leaders authorised him ``to say that they had a very productive meeting and what they talked about was the upcoming meetings which are going to occur over the next month``.

    He added that the discussion was with the objective of bridging differences on the issues that have already been covered in the negotiations up until now. The representatives will be meeting again on Thursday here to work out some of the details``.

    He added that the two leaders discussed the way forward, how they are going to handle meetings over the next few weeks, adding that it was a very productive and a very useful discussion.

    Asked if he is still cautiously optimistic, Downer said I wouldnt have taken the job if I didnt think there was any prospect of success. I remain cautiously optimistic. These talks have covered a wide area. There has been a lot of productive discussion. Theyve certainly moved forward a good distance and I remain cautiously optimistic.

    Asked if the UN Secretary General is planning a visit to Cyprus, Downer noted that no final decision has been made yet.

    I know the UNSG would like to come here at some time but obviously has a very full agenda. He has a large number of different issues to deal with. I met with the SG last week. He is very focused on the Cyprus question. He is very interested in the Cyprus question. I spent a good deal of time with him. He asked me a lot about it. He wanted to know the details of how it was working. He wanted to understand the different chapters that were being discussed and get a real sense of where the leaders are at. So it was an illustration of the very great interest the SG has in this issue, he added.

    Noting that the Secretary General has to deal with everything from the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference to Afghanistan and Iraq and fighting poverty in developing countries and so has a simply massive agenda, Downer said that in spite of that the Secretary General is very focused on the Cyprus issue. He would like to come here at some time and obviously that is something he and I will consult on, continue to consult on and I think we will find an appropriate time, but no final decision has been made on that.

    Asked about the leaders` next meeting, he said it is going to take place on December 21st.

    Replying to another question, Downer said it is very important to make sure that the way forward is clear and understood by all and agreed and so the representatives will be talking about this on Thursday and the leaders will hear what they have to say and what theyve agreed the following Monday.

    He also noted that the two leaders are certainly focused very much on bridging the differences in the areas they have covered.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island.


    The UN Security Council has adopted resolution 1898 on the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). The resolution was adopted Monday with 14 votes in favour and one against, that of Turkey.

    The resolution says that the Security Council welcomes the reports of the UN Secretary General of 25 November 2009 on the UN operation in Cyprus and of 30 November 2009 on his mission of good offices in Cyprus. It notes that ``the government of Cyprus is agreed that, in view of the prevailing conditions on the island, it is necessary to keep UNFICYP beyond 15 December 2009.``

    The Security Council echoes ``the Secretary General`s firm belief that the responsibility for finding a solution lies first and foremost with the Cypriots themselves,`` stresses that ``there now exists a rare opportunity to make decisive progress in a timely fashion,`` and reaffirms ``the primary role of the UN in assisting the parties to bring the Cyprus conflict and division of the island to a comprehensive and durable settlement.``

    It commends the leaders of the two communities for ``the political leadership they have shown,`` warmly welcomes the progress made so far and the leaders` joint statements, and urges the leaders ``to increase the momentum in the negotiations to ensure the full exploitation of this opportunity to reach a comprehensive settlement, based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation, with political equality, as set out in the relevant Security Council resolutions.``

    Furthermore, it emphasises ``the importance attached by the international community of all parties engaging fully, flexibly and constructively in the negotiations,`` and looks forward to decisive progress in the near future.


    Thirteen companies have shown interest to supply Cyprus with natural gas by 2014.

    Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides said Monday that the applications submitted would be examined and in two months, substantive negotiations will begin with some of those companies.

    The goal, he said, is to bring natural gas in Cyprus by 2014, or even earlier.


    Cyprus ranks first worldwide as regards the installation of solar systems for hot water and it is the sixth best performer among the 27 EU countries as regards installed capacity of photovoltaic systems per capita, with its total installed capacity reaching 3MW, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides has said.

    Addressing the 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Association of Wind Energy in Cyprus, Paschalides said that progress in renewable energy sources must be the result of consensus and collective action, adding that it is true that the licensing for the operation of wind farms is slow due to the large number of authorities involved.

    He assured that the Ministry of Commerce is making a systematic and concerted effort to reduce the time required for the full authorisation of such projects.

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