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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-02-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The European Parliaments resolution on Turkeys progress report for 2009, which was approved Wednesday, constitutes a clear message to Ankara to immediately implement its obligations which concern the Republic of Cyprus.

    This was stated Thursday by Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, noting that the EPs resolution is the most powerful one which Cyprus has achieved lately.

    The resolution, he said, is one more political tool for the Greek Cypriot side in the struggle for the achievement of a solution in Cyprus that would end the Turkish occupation and reunify Cyprus and its people.

    The resolution underlines the need for Turkeys active support for the achievement of an overall settlement of the Cyprus problem. Basically, the European Parliament urges Turkey to contribute actively to the solution of the Cyprus problem, reviewing its Cyprus policy so far, he underlined.

    It is clear, he said, that the EP gives a strong message to Turkey: Smooth continuation of its EU accession negotiations and membership mean meeting its obligations and solving the Cyprus problem.

    The EP, he said, deplores the non-implementation of the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement for the fourth consecutive year and warns that failure to implement fully and without delay, in a non discriminatory way, the Additional Protocol to the EC-Turkey Association Agreement could seriously affect its accession negotiations.

    Moreover, Stephanou said, the EP calls on the Turkish government to contribute in concrete terms to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation, in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded.

    He noted that for the first time in an EP resolution it is stated that the solution would be based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    The Spokesman said that the resolution urges Turkey to facilitate a suitable climate for the Cyprus negotiations by immediately starting to withdraw its forces from Cyprus, by addressing the issue of the settlement of Turkish citizens on the island and by enabling the return of the sealed-off section of Famagusta to its lawful inhabitants in compliance with resolution 550 (1984) of the UN Security Council.

    He also welcomed the fact that the resolution urges Turkey to safeguard the respect of human rights of the enclaved persons, who live in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, including the rights of religious minorities.

    Furthermore, he said, the resolution urges the Turkish government to stop hampering non military vessel from conducting research for oil on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    He thanked the Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP, NL) for drafting the report, as well as the Cypriot MEPs for their efforts and the Permanent Representation of Cyprus at the EU in Brussels for its work.

    Replying to questions he said that the resolution includes some negative points but he described them as not that important.

    What we want to say, is that the resolution is the most powerful resolution we have had at least in the last few years, he noted.

    Asked whether the government would use that resolution at the negotiating table for the Cyprus talks, he said that the resolution would help the Greek Cypriot side to better promote its positions.

    Invited to comment on Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis` statements on the issue, Stephanou said that Bagis reaction shows that Turkey is disturbed by such developments and has to realize that it has to meet its obligations, including the solution of the Cyprus problem, in order to continue with its EU accession course.

    Regarding the EU Turkey negotiating chapter on energy, he said that the position of the government of Cyprus is that that chapter will not open unless Turkey commits itself to stop harassing ship and allow the Republic of Cyprus to continue unhampered its research for hydrocarbon reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and since then occupy its northern third.

    The Republic of Cyprus entered the EU in May 2004.

    Ongoing UN led peace talks between Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began in September 2008 with an aim to reunify the island.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias continues his efforts to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem always with consistency on principles, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.

    Asked whether Social Democrats Movement EDEKs withdrawal from the government coalition would cause problems at the negotiating table for a Cyprus solution, Stephanou said that the President continues his efforts for a Cyprus solution with consistency on principles, bearing in mind the mandate he has from the people.

    Stephanou was invited to comment on the letter sent Monday by the leader of the Group of Socialist and Democrats in the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, to the leader of the Social Democrats Movement EDEK, Yiannakis Omirou, urging him to reconsider his intention to withdraw from the government coalition, as such move could cause destabilization in Cyprus during this crucial period of the Cyprus talks.

    I would not like to comment on that. But given the opportunity, I would like to express the gratitude of Cyprus and the government towards the Socialists Group at the European Parliament as well as towards Martin Schulz to the efforts we make to reach a solution.


    The leader of the Group of Socialist and Democrats in the European Parliament Martin Schulz announced on Thursday that he intends to visit Cyprus soon, to meet the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities and to express the support of the S & D Group of the EP for their commitment and courage to find a solution in the Cyprus problem.

    Schulz made a strong appeal to both President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, to continue and, where possible, further intensify their efforts to achieve a negotiated solution for the Cyprus problem.

    Finding a solution to the Cyprus problem is of the greatest importance, not only for the people of Cyprus but also for the stability and the peaceful development of the whole of the European continent, said Schulz according to a written statement of his group.

    At the same time he expressed his groups satisfaction with the progress achieved so far by the two leaders during the intensified negotiations of the last month.


    Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland Leon has described the destruction of Cyprus religious and cultural heritage in the islands northern Turkish occupied areas as inhumane and regrettable.

    He also expressed hope that Europe must understand that it is impossible to have part of its European territory under occupation.

    Speaking during a press conference, Leon, who is paying an official visit here at the invitation of Archbishop Chrysostomos II, said that he is well aware of the problem of the destruction of Cyprus heritage in the occupied areas, noting that it is inconceivable that this is happening.

    ``We know that they have destroyed archaeological buildings, that they have stolen works of art, sold some of them abroad, icons or mosaics have somehow come back to the Church of Cyprus,`` he said.

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