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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-02-23

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus will be ready in time to hold a successful presidency of the EU, Head of the Secretariat for the Cypriot Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012, Andreas Moleskis, reassured Wednesday.

    Moleskis attended on Wednesday a meeting at the Presidential Palace, under Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, in the presence of Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and other technocrats, with a view to examine the course of preparations for the Cypriot EU Presidency.

    ``We have covered in detail both political issues as well as organizational matters and I would like to express my satisfaction as all the Ministries are in a position to cover the time remaining until our term as the Presidency of the EU so that we would be ready to hold a successful Presidency,`` Moleskis said in statements after the meeting.

    Responding to a question with regard to specific decisions made at the meeting, Moleskis said that by the end of March the Ministries and the Secretariat would be properly staffed.

    Asked whether the Secretariat is ready for a Presidency with the Cyprus problem solved, Moleskis said from an organizational point of view, the Secretariat is ready for both scenarios. He pointed out that the Secretariat already employs a small - for the time being -number of Turkish Cypriots, whereas the Secretariat`s website is in four languages, Greek, Turkish, English and French.

    UN-backed talks between the leaders of the two communities began in September 2008 aiming at reaching a mutually agreed settlement to the Cyprus problem. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.


    The first Cypriot evacuees from Libya arrived Wednesday evening in Cyprus via Malta.

    In statements at Larnaka airport, the four Cypriots, who were working for a Cypriot company in Libya, said that all Cypriots in Libya are well and said their families should not worry.

    Replying to questions, they said that they felt no fear since clashes were taking place in other areas.

    They added that more Cypriots who work in Libya expect to be evacuated.

    The Director of the Crisis Management Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andreas Zenos told CNA earlier that the Greek C-130 are prepared to fly to Libya to collect Greek and Cypriot nationals, pending permission from the Libyan authorities.


    Cyprus Minister of the Interior Neoclis Sylikiotis attended a meeting with his counterparts from the EU Mediterranean member-states of France, Spain, Greece, Malta and Italy, held in Rome Wednesday, with a view to discuss the situation stemming from the increased immigration flows as a result of the upheaval in countries of the Middle East and North Africa.

    The Ministers of the six EU - Mediterranean countries adopted a joint declaration which will be submitted in the EU Justice and Home Affairs Council, to convene in Brussels.

    ``The ongoing events in Northern Africa represent deep and dramatic social and institutional changes, which cause profound concern about the possible effects on our countries and on the entire European Union,`` the communique says.

    In his intervention, the Cypriot Minister noted that the EU member states should coordinate efforts to tackle illegal immigration flows, but by taking into consideration the humanitarian aspect of those in need.

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