|Sunday, 18 April 2021|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 02-08-27
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESIt's time for the news and we begin with the headlines:
The government spokesman said difficult and very serious decisions will be taken on the Cyprus issue over the next crucial four months,
Greece and Cyprus signed bilateral agreements on the high-tech, industry and energy sectors that have been heralded as opening a new chapter in relations between the two countries,
Akis Tsohatzopoulos was honoured this morning, for his contribution to the island's defence during his tenure as Greece's defence minister,
Pro-Denktash Turkish cypriot parties boycotted a debate over the imprisonment of Turkish Cypriot journalists Sener Levent and Memduh Ener,
AND A bomb exploded at the Constantinople offices of Turkey's far-right Nationalist Action Party.
 papapetrouGovernment Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the next four months will be absolutely crucial the island, during which difficult and very serious decisions will have to be taken.
Speaking on CyBC radio this morning, Mr. Papapetrou said this would be the apex of Cyprus settlement efforts and called on political parties to ensure that these efforts will not be sacrificed at what he called the altar of pre-election wranglings.
Mr. Papapetrou said it is expected that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will submit a Cyprus solution plan and that both sides gone to great lengths to make sure the plan is closest to the positions of either.
The government spokesman said Mr. Annan's basic aim during the September six Paris meeting is to secure the approval of both sides to submit a plan.
But he added regardless of the outcome, the UN will press ahead with submitting such a plan, with or without approval.
Mr. Papapetrou stressed that President Clerides is sending a clear message that he is entering this crucial period with the same flexibility and determination to reach an honourable compromise solution, on the condition that the basic parameters outlined by the UN, the European Union's Acquis Communautaire and European court decisions are not thrown out the window, but instead comprise the tools for reaching such a settlement.
He added that it is the UN's obligation to proceed within the framework the world body has itself set.
 talksPresident Clerides and Rauf Denktash this morning resumed face-to-face Cyprus settlement talks following the summer recess.
The new round of talks is highlighted by the September six meeting in Paris between the two leaders and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
UN Cyprus envoy Alvaro De Soto yesterday held separate meetings with President Clerides and Rauf Denktash to guage reaction to a UN-rafted Cyprus settlement plan expected to be submitted by Mr. Annan at the Paris meeting.
However, it remains unclear when exactly Mr. Annan will choose to submit the plan.
 tsohatzopoulosGreece's Development Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos and Trade Minister Nicos Rolandis this morning signed a bilateral agreement for cooperation in the high-tech sector.
The two ministers also signed agreements on industry and energy. A separate cooperation protocol was signed between the Cyprus Tourism Organisation and its Greek counterpart.
Mr. Rolandis called the agreements "historic" for relations between the two countries given that development is the life-blood of both economies.
He added that according to the high-tech agreement, scientists will work together on ideas whose practical uses could be adapted to different sectors of the economy.
On his part, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos said the agreement opens a new chapter in bilateral relations, particularly for Cyprus which is now at the doorstep of the European Union.
The Greek Development minister added that both countries should work hand-in-hand to carve a niche in the highly competitive environment of the European Union.
 tsohaMeanwhile, Mr. Tsohatzopoulos was honoured this morning at a special House Defence Committee meeting for his contribution to the island's defence during his tenure as Greek Defence Minister.
In his address, House Defence Committee Chairman Yiannakis Omirou praised Mr. Tsohatzopoulos' hard work and appreciation for Cyprus.
He added that the honour expresses the sentiments of gratitude Cypriots feel for Mr. Tzohatzopoulos' multifaceted contribution to bolstering the island's defencive capabilities and the joint defence pact between Cyprus and Greece.
Referring to Turkish threats against Cyprus, Mr. Omirou said he is hopeful that the island will join the European Union, despite Ankara's reactions.
Also present at the ceremony were Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos and National Guard Chief Athanasios Nikolodemos.
 leventIn the Turkish occupied north, the so-called parliament convened in an extraordinary session to debate the imprisonment of opposition journalists Sener Levent and Memduh ener.
The illegal parliament had convened on Wednesday, but the issue was not raised because quorum had not been reached.
The issue was tabled for debate by the Social Liberation and Republican Turkish parties.
The only so-called deputies to appear at the debate were the 11 MPs who belong to the two parties.
A total of 35 others from the National Unity and Democratic parties, as well as four independents, did not appear.
According to the occupation regime's self-styled constitution, an issue is considered closed without any further possibility of debate if quorum is not reached in two successive sessions.
 blastIn Turkey, a bomb exploded at the office of the far-right Nationalist Action Party.
The state-run Anatolian news agency reported that the blast smashed windows and damaged walls, but caused no injuries or deaths.
Police confirmed there had been a blast but did not provide any further details.
Anatolia said two unidentified people had tossed a homemade pipe bomb at the party office in the Kartal district of Istanbul.
The MHP is presently parliament's largest party in the run-up to a November 3 election.
 mideastThe Israeli army said it would relax restrictions on some Palestinians entering Israel from Bethlehem after "relative quiet" took hold in the West Bank city under a new security plan.
The United States urged the Israelis and Palestinians to renew efforts to revive the stalled Gaza-Bethlehem plan, which has been seen as a test case for a wider truce in the 23-month Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
Palestinians have called for the plan to be implemented in the Gaza Strip and hope it will end curfews and closures imposed on other West Bank cities, where Israel sent troops in June after suicide attacks.
Under the plan, Israel ended military operations in Bethlehem last Tuesday but kept its troops on the outskirts.
More than 150,000 Palestinians live in Bethlehem and the adjacent towns of Beit Jala and Beit Sahour.
 earthActivists at the Johannesburg Earth Summit criticised organisers for restricting their access to talks on the fate of the planet and said ordinary people were being sidelined in favour of big business.
Delegates from non-governmental organisations said they were told yesterday they needed tags, as well as normal passes, to get into the summit.
Activists said only 1,000 of their number were allowed into the summit conference centre of 6,000 delegates.
The campaigners accused the World Summit on Sustainable Development -- which aims to find ways of halting damage to the environment and tackling poverty -- of ignoring the voices of the very people it is supposed to help.
Meanwhile, business has come to Johannesburg in force. Some 200 corporations are represented by business lobby group Business Action for Sustainable Development which insists it has no more influence than any other of the U.N's consultation partners.
 weatherThis afternoon will be mainly fine with some scattered clouds.
Winds will be northesterly to southwesterly light to moderate, force 3 to 4, with slight seas.
Temperatures will reach 35 degrees inland, 33 on the southern coast, 30 on the western coast and 26 in the highest mountains.
Tonight will be fine with the chance of some isolated fog patches and low cloud.
Winds will be northwesterly light, force 2 to 3, with slight seas.
Temperatures will drop to 23 degrees inland and the southern coast, 21 on the western coast and 19 in the highest mountains.
A reminder that the fire hazard is extremely high in all forest areas.