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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-08-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou confirmed on Friday that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had sent a letter to the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias regarding the latests proposals on the Cyprus issue, without revealing the content of the letter.

    In statements on the sidelines of the Overseas Cypriots` conference underway here and invited to comment on relevant press reports, Stephanou confirmed that the UN Secretary General has replied to President Christofias letter about his proposals concerning the Cyprus issue.

    Stephanou expressed Governments satisfaction over the fact that the UNSG has replied, though he avoided to make any further comments.

    He added that an evaluation is under way regarding the reaction of the international community to these proposals, while at the same time we are continuing our efforts in coordination and cooperation with Greece to further promote them.

    He also expressed governments belief that these proposals, which are based on UN resolutions, are balanced and realistic and can be put into practice and speed up the ongoing Un-led direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities bringing a new perspective to the solution of the Cyprus issue.

    Replying to another question, he said that continued efforts and initiatives are needed towards the goal of promoting Cyprus solution based on the UN resolutions on Cyprus, the principles of international and European law and the High Level Agreements providing for a solution of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    He noted that the efforts both to convince Turkey to accept these proposals and change its stance allowing toreach a solution would continue.

    Asked whether the results so far leave room for optimism about the progress in the talks, he said that as Presidents Christofias had said in his speech at the Overseas Cypriots` conference, despite the difficulties and problems at the negotiations we have no choice but to continue our efforts to solve the Cyprus problem with targeted actions in line with the principles of the Cyprus solution but also with realism in order to reach a settlement.

    Asked to comment on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clintons message at overseas Cypriots conference, Stephanou wondered whether Ms. Clinton has said nothing other than expressing U.S. formed positions.

    In conclusion, he called on U.S. to turn to Turkey and exert influence on her so that Turkey cooperates for a solution.


    Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II pointed out on Friday that Turkey is distancing itself from the basis of a federation solution in Cyprus and should probably be reported, and reiterated the Church`s position that foreign experts should be called in to draft a solution plan.

    The Archbishop was speaking after a meeting with Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Steven Vanackere, who earlier met head of the EU negotiating delegation Leopold Maurer and Head of the EU Representation in Cyprus Androula Kaminara.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos said he briefed the Belgian official on the Church`s positions regarding the Cyprus problem, noting that the Turkish side is speaking about ``two states, two governments and two peoples, which is not a federal basis.``

    ``The Church believes that we will not reach an agreement and in order to reach an agreement we must appoint independent experts, constitutionalists, sociologists, historians, and experts on Turkish issues from European countries, who respect human rights, who will work within the principles of the EU and the UN,`` he said.

    The Archbishop said that ``they should work in this context to present a proper federal solution, which will be functional in order to also be viable,`` adding that, ``if we do not work in this direction, I fear that a solution that our people will embrace will not be found.`` He said he explained to Vanackere that these principles concern human rights.


    Current developments in the Cyprus problem, EU issues and bilateral relations between Cyprus and Belgium were discussed on Friday during a meeting between President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium Steven Vanackere.

    Speaking after the meeting, Garoyian said that he briefed Vanackere on the positions of the Republic of Cyprus and explained that the Turkish side was responsible for the lack of progress in negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Garoyian said the aims of Turkey were well known and requested Belgium`s assistance in exerting pressure on Turkey to change its stance. ``Turkey must prove in practice that it is interested in a solution of the Cyprus problem the soonest possible,`` Garoyian said.

    He also noted that it was difficult for Cyprus to support Turkey`s EU accession course but did so to encourage Turkey to behave like a modern European state. ``Unfortunately, since 2005 Turkey has not met any of the obligations or commitments it took towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus,`` he said, and requested Belgium`s support in this direction.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has appointed Christos Christophides Director of the President`s Office. According to an official press release, Christophides will also be undertaking duties as Deputy Government Spokesman.

    Christophides was born in Morphou on 20 June 1974, and grew up in a refugee settlement since Morphou was occupied a few days later by the Turkish army during the invasion of the island.

    He is a graduate of the University of Cyprus and a post graduate of the University of Cyprus in Social and Political Theory and the Warwick University in the United Kingdom in Sociology. During his studies, he was an active member of the student society. Christophides was also Secretary of the Student Department of AKEL`s youth organisation, EDON, and then Central Organisational Secretary and General Secretary of the organisation. He was also a member of the Board of the Cyprus Youth Organisation.

    He is a member of the Central Committee of AKEL and is head of the Education and Rapproachment Department of AKEL and member of the Educational Office. He is also a member of the Nicosia-Kyrenia District Committee of AKEL.

    He is married to Rita Panaoura and they have two children.

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