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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-08-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Ghana supports every initiative that aims at promoting a peaceful settlement of the Cyprus problem, President of the country John Evans Atta Mills said, referring to the proposals submitted by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias in the framework of efforts to reach a settlement to the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.

    Mills was talking during a meeting he had with the new High Commissioner of Cyprus to Ghana, based in Cairo, Costa Leontiou, who presented his credentials on August 5.

    According to an official press release issued here, the ceremony of credentials took place at the Golden Jubilee House in Accra, where Leontiou was received at a private hearing by Mills.

    During their meeting, the President and the Ambassador referred to the friendly ties between the two countries and expressed the mutual will to enhance them further.

    During his stay in Accra, Leontiou met with the Foreign Minister of Ghana Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni, the European Affairs Director of the countrys Foreign Ministry and other officials, as well as the Archbishop of Ghana Damaskinos

    The three-tier proposals the President has submitted at the negotiating table during the UN-led talks are as follows: the first suggests linking discussions on property to territory and immigration, citizenship, aliens and asylum. Property and territory are considered to be two of the most hotly contested issues at the talks President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu are engaged in.

    The second proposal calls for the implementation of Security Council resolution 550 which provides for the return of the fenced off area of Varosha, now under Turkish occupation, to the UN. The objective of the proposal is to restore the town and return it to its legitimate inhabitants. The proposal envisages also the opening of the citys port for trade for Turkish Cypriots, under EU supervision, as well as the restoration of the walled city of Famagusta (old part of the city).

    The third proposal relates to convening an international conference on Cyprus, once the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side are within reach of an agreement on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem. This conference must be called by the UN, and apart from the Republic of Cyprus and the islands two communities, the EU, the five permanent members of the Security Council and Cyprus three guarantor powers will attend (Greece, Turkey and Britain are the guarantor powers according to the 1960 Constitution).


    Health Minister Christos Patsalides has said Wednesday that his Ministrys services are monitoring the developments regarding the West Nile Virus (WNV) and are on the alert to confront immediately any incident, if a WNV case appears in Cyprus.

    In statements to the Press, in connection with the appearance of cases of WNV in neighbouring countries, Patsalides said the Ministry of Health has given all necessary instructions to the hospitals while the sanitary services are intensifying their efforts to eliminate mosquito which are mainly responsible for the transmission of the virus to man.

    It is preferable to be ready and to take prevention measures than to try to tackle any incidents, Patsalides noted adding that the virus can be confronted. He concluded saying that the sanitary services should be ready to face any incident, especially since the disease has appeared in neighbouring countries.


    The EU is working towards a full short-stay visa waiver for European citizens to Brazil. Once the agreement enters into force, it will have a real positive impact especially for the citizens of Cyprus, Malta, Estonia and Latvia who still need a visa to travel to Brazil. According to a press release by the European Commission, the Commission has adopted draft decisions on signature and conclusion of the short-stay visa waiver agreements with Brazil for holders of ordinary passports and for holders of diplomatic, service and official passports. Existing bilateral agreements between Brazil and EU countries will remain in place.

    ``Once these agreements enter into force, they will have a real positive impact on the everyday life of our citizens, especially of the citizens of Malta, Estonia, Cyprus and Latvia who for the time being still need a visa to travel to Brazil``, Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Home Affairs Commissioner has noted. She added that the Commission will make every effort in order to enable the signature and ratification of these agreements at the earliest possible occasion. The EU-Brazil visa waiver agreements will give reciprocal access to visa-free travel for all Brazilian and EU citizens, including the nationals of the four Member States (Malta, Estonia, Cyprus and Latvia) not enjoying visa-free travel to Brazil at present.

    The agreement for ordinary passport holders covers travel for the purposes of tourism and business. At the same time it provides that the bilateral agreements concluded between Brazil and the Member States including categories not covered by the EU-Brazil agreement continue to apply. This way EU citizens willing to travel for reasons other than tourism and business will continue to benefit from the visa waiver under these bilateral agreements. The decisions on signature have to be approved by the Council, which will enable the signature of the two agreements by the contracting parties.


    The members of the Cypriot national skeet team returned to the island on Wednesday satisfied with their performance at the 50th ISSF World Championship, which took place in Munich, Germany, having won the gold medal at the Championship with 364 hits out of 375 targets. With its victory, the team, comprising George Achilleos, Antonis Andreou and Kyriacos Christophorou, has secured Cyprus two places in the next Olympic Games, to take place in London in 2012.

    On behalf of the three athletes, Achilleos, who also secured the bronze medal in men`s skeet, said ``the whole team gave its best and we managed to win the gold medal,`` adding that there was enough time to prepare for the Olympics and that ``the whole time will continue to give its best performance.`` Chairman of the Cyprus Shooting Federation Demetris Lordos said the fact that two out of the six best athletes in the world in skeet were Cypriots was a significant achievement.

    Lordos also pointed out that the national junior team finished fourth in the Championship in Munich, competing with very strong teams, and the fact that George Kazakos secured the bronze medal for Cyprus in men`s skeet junior. Cyprus Sports Organisation (CSO) Sports Director Philippos Sophocleous congratulated the athletes and assured them of the CSO`s support in their endeavours.

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