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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-08-30

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The President of the Republic Demetris Christofias resumes Tuesday, after a brief summer recess, direct negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, within the framework of the UN-sponsored direct talks for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Moreover, Tuesday evening, the President will host a dinner at his holiday residence in Kellaki village, in Limassol district, for Eroglu and his wife, in return for a dinner Eroglu hosted on July 28 for the President and his spouse Elsi at his house in northern Turkish occupied Nicosia.

    The previous meeting between the President and the Turkish Cypriot leader was held on August 10. After the conclusion of that meeting, President Christofias stated that he expects to see whether there are going to be any convergences on the property issue in the forthcoming meetings.

    Meanwhile, President Christofias has recently put forward a three-tier proposal in a bid to help make headway at the talks.

    The first proposal provides for 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.

    The second proposal calls for the implementation of Security Council resolution 550 which provides for the return of the fenced off area of Varosha - under Turkish occupation since 1974 - 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 the Turkish Cypriots, under EU supervision, as well as the restoration of the walled city of Famagusta (old part of the city).

    The third proposes the convening of 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. The conference is to 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).

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks began in September 2008 and continue to this day to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country under a federal roof.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has dismissed comments by the Turkish Chief of Staff that there are two republics in Cyprus, pointing out that the only internationally recognised state on the island is the Republic of Cyprus, a UN member and an EU member since 2004. Stephanous remarks came in response to recent statements by the new Turkish Chief of Staff General Isik Kosaner that a future comprehensive agreement on Cyprus will have to reflect the partnership between two constituent states, two peoples, two republics, as well as the continuation of Turkeys guarantees.

    Unfortunately, the Turkish Chief of Staff reiterates the same positions that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has also brought up, Stephanou said. There are no two republics and two peoples on the island, he pointed out.

    There is only one Republic, the Republic of Cyprus, which is recognised by all states (except Turkey) Stephanou said, adding that there is the Cypriot people, consisting of two communities - the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot - which through a bi-communal dialogue are trying to find a solution to the domestic aspects of the Cyprus problem.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus northern part since 1974 when they invaded, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.


    New analytical programmes will be introduced in primary and secondary education this year, as part of educational reforms to upgrade the educational system. The Minister of Education and Culture, Andreas Demetriou, has said that the coming school year is very crucial as the new analytical programmes are being introduced in primary and part of secondary education.

    Demetriou received the new analytical programmes concerning primary and secondary education until the first grade of lyceum by the President of the Commission, charged with preparing the programmes George Tsiakalos.

    Speaking at a press conference on the occasion of the official delivery of the programmes, the Minister of Education said that the final programmes evolved out the initial texts delivered last spring as well as from the public dialogue that followed with all interested parties. Twenty one sub-committees, consisting of fifty three academics from Greece and Cyprus and more than four hundred teachers, had been invited to draft the new study programmes.


    Minister of Interior Neoklis Sylikiotis and his Chinese counterpart Minister of Civil Affairs Li Liguo have discussed in Beijing ways to further promote a bilateral agreement on Civil Defence and Local Authorities electoral matters. They also decided to continue and expand on current practices of exchange of know-how and expertise, as well as organise personnel visits and training seminars on volunteering.

    Sylikiotis thanked the Chinese political leadership for its consistent support of Cyprus in various international fora, particularly at the UN Security Council and towards Cyprus efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem and reunite the country, which has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. He also briefed Liguo of current developments in the UN-led talks between President Demetris Christofias and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu, which are underway in an effort to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country.

    Sylikiotis reiterated the support of the Republic of Cyprus to the One China Principle and expressed the solidarity of the Cypriot people towards the affected people in China in light of the recent destructive floods in the region.

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