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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The European Parliament Plenary is expected to discuss and adopt the 2010 Progress Report on Turkey in March.

    The Report was adopted yesterday by the European Parliaments Committee on Foreign Affairs and among other provisions it contains several references to Cyprus, calling on Ankara to withdraw its occupation troops from Cyprus, stop the influx of illegal Turkish settlers in Cyprus northern areas it occupies since 1974 and allow access to military areas for the exhumation of remains of missing persons, believed to be buried there.

    According to an official announcement issued here today, the Report underlines that the UNCLOS that is signed by the 27 Member States, the EU and all the other candidate countries, is part of the acquis communautaire and calls on the government (Ankara) to sign and ratify this Convention without further delay

    It also calls on the Turkish government and all concerned parties to actively support the ongoing negotiations, to contribute in concrete terms to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue and on the Turkish government to facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations by immediately starting to withdraw its forces from Cyprus

    In addition it strongly urges the two communities in Cyprus to work intensively as asked for by the SG of the UN to capitalise on the progress already made in the negotiations in order to reach a sustainable solution, in line with the relevant UNSC resolutions, and promoting, in particular, Resolution 550(1984), and the principles on which the EU is founded, to the benefit of the Cypriot citizens, the EU and Turkey.

    UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of the Turkish occupied town of Varosha (the fenced off area of Famagusta) by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN.

    Famagusta was captured by the advancing Turkish troops during the second phase of the Turkish invasion, in mid August 1974. Since then, it has remained sealed off, under the control of the Turkish military.

    The Report also encourages Turkey to intensify its support for the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, in particular by facilitating its access to military zones and archives and to take all other appropriate action, in accordance with the findings of the ECHR, on the humanitarian issue of the missing persons.

    It further calls on Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot authorities to refrain from any new settlements of Turkish citizens on the island as this would continue to change the demographic balance and reduce the allegiance of its citizens to a future common state on the basis of its common past.

    An additional mention on this issue calls on Turkey to address the issue of the settlement of Turkish citizens (settlers) on the island in accordance with the Geneva Convention and the principles of International Law.

    The report also contains a strong reference to the non implementation by Turkey of the Additional Protocol to its Association Agreement with the EU and deplores the fact that the Additional Protocol to the EC Turkey Association Agreement has still not been implemented by Turkey, which continues to affect the process of negotiations; calls on the government to fully implement it.

    On the subject of energy it takes note of the progress achieved by Turkey on the energy chapter and urges the Council once again to open negotiations on this chapter without any further delay.

    However it also calls on the Turkish government to step up its efforts in negotiations on joining the Energy Community Treaty; welcomes the ratification of the Nabucco Intergovernmental Agreement; and the signing of the memorandum of understanding for the operation of the ITGI natural gas pipeline, both of them important projects for the energy security of the EU.

    Finally it appreciates Turkey`s constructive engagement supporting the efforts of the transatlantic partners in Afghanistan and in the Balkans; regrets however that NATO-EU strategic cooperation beyond the Berlin Plus arrangements is blocked by Turkish objections.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. As a result of the invasion, 1619 Greek Cypriots were listed as missing, most of whom soldiers or reservists, who were captured in the battlefield. The number of Turkish Cypriots missing since 1974 and 1963/64 stands at 503.

    A constant stream of illegal Turkish settlers have been arriving in Cyprus since 1975 and are now estimated to be well over 100,000. Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to comply with EU decisions relating to Cyprus, with regard to Ankaras accession negotiations.

    President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu are currently engaged in UN-led negotiations with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.


    Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Demetris Droutsas will be visiting Cyprus on February 14, to discuss developments in the Cyprus problem and the next steps in the process for a solution. Droutsas is expected to be received by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou.

    On February 17, Droutsas will be flying to New York for a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. On their agenda will be the Cyprus problem, developments in the Middle East and the issue of the name of FYROM.

    In view of his meetings, Droutsas met in Athens with the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer, to hear his views and assessment concerning the Cyprus problem.

    According to Spokesman for the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs Gregoris Delavekouras, the purpose of Droutsas` meetings is to discuss the Cyprus problem and express Athens` concern over the slow pace of the talks for a settlement and the absence of any will on the Turkish Cypriot side for substantive talks.


    Members of the Organisation «Volunteer Doctors Cyprus» are currently in Kenya, offering children in need valuable medical assistance as well as presents from their Cypriot foster parents.

    More than 600 children participate in a programme the Organisation manages to find foster parents for them, while 80 more children will soon be added, since there is great interest from Cypriots to adopt them.

    In statements to CNA from Kenya, member of the Organisation, photo reporter and CNA photographer, Katia Christodoulou, said that education in Kenya is not free, adding that via the programme and the donations of Cypriots, Kenyan children can afford to go to school, where they are offered food.

    Children go to school because food offered there is an incentive for them. By this, they are given the opportunity to education, which they would not have had otherwise, since education in Kenya is not free, she pointed out.

    Christodoulou said that doctors and nurses of the Volunteer Doctors - Cyprus examined the children at the medical center, which the Organisation set up six years ago. The medical center includes a microbiology laboratory, dental facilities and a pediatric ward. Salaries of the local doctors who work there are paid by the Organisation through the donations of the Cypriot people.

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