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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Friday that the Government has intensified its efforts, especially in the direction of the EU, to lift the illegal ban imposed by Turkey on ships flying the Cyprus flag from approaching its ports.

    Addressing a dinner hosted by the Cyprus Shipping Chamber in Nicosia, President Christofias said that the issue was raised at the last EU Council of Transport Ministers, where the Cypriot Government submitted a well-documented study and analysed the legal and financial aspects of the problem.

    ``We requested that actions be undertaken by the EU to lift the ban. This was recorded in the official minutes of the Council,`` he added.

    President Christofias said that the Turkish restrictive measures adversely affect Cyprus and its shipping, as well as EU interests, adding that the measures affect ships flying other European flags, which approach Cypriot ports or have any relation with companies in the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the sea trade between the EU and Turkey.

    He also noted that the lifting of the bans on Cypriot ships and airplanes by Turkey was part of its obligations towards the EU itself, adding that ``the implementation of Turkey`s commitments, emanating from the Ankara Protocol, is a matter of principle.``

    President Christofias pointed out that it was not possible for Turkey to proceed unhindered in its EU accession course while refusing to meet its commitments to normalise its relations with Cyprus and recognise an EU member state.

    Furthermore, President Christofias said the Government attributed great significance to the maritime sector, and referred to ``a great success,`` namely the approval by the European Commission of the new taxation framework, which enhances the competitiveness of Cyprus` maritime sector.

    He also expressed satisfaction that the Cyprus shipping industry has managed to successfully tackle the repercussions of the global financial crisis.


    The European Commission is expected to take its final decision on the registration of halloumi cheese as a product with Protected Appellation of Origin by the end of 2013, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Demetris Eliades said on Friday.

    Speaking during a press conference in Nicosia, Eliades said that his Ministry already asked the Commission to grant a five-year transition period, until 2018, in order to give time to Cypriot businesses to adjust to the rules of the new Regulation. The Minister said that, during the transition period, the production of halloumi containing up to 80% of cow milk will be allowed.

    Eliades also noted that the Ministry sent to the European Commission a folder, prepared by a Technical Committee, containing answers to technical and legal issues on halloumi cheese, in a factual and persuasive manner, for the registration request to be reviewed.

    In case of rejection of the application, the Minister noted that the consequences for Cypriot production of halloumi cheese would be severe, adding that the well-documented handling of the application is the only way to register halloumi as a Cypriot product in the EU.

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