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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 02-03-14
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Cyprus pays last respects to former President
Cyprus pays its last respects to former President
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus bids its final farewell today to Spyros Kyprianou, former President of the Republic, who died on Tuesday of cancer aged 69.
His body is now lying in state at the church of Panayia Evagelistria, in Nicosia, where hundreds of people are filing past to pay their last respects.
The coffin, carried by former bodyguards who served during his tenure in office in the 1980s, was draped in the Cyprus and the Greek flags.
His bereaved wife and two sons walked behind the coffin as it was led into the church.
Flags are flying at half mast at the church and all government buildings as well as in many other places, a military guard of honour is outside the church and a three-day mourning is observed.
 Weather forecast for Cyprus
Weather forecast for Cyprus
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- The Meteorological Office at Larnaca International Airport has issued the following weather forecast for Cyprus:
Friday and Saturday:15/03/2002 to 16/03/2002
Weather: Mainly fine and sunny. The winds light to moderate. The temperature between 9C min and 21C max.
Outlook on Sunday and Monday: 17/03/2002 to 18/03/2002
The weather continuing mainly fine and sunny but with an odd shower on Monday. The winds light to moderate. The temperature between 9C and 21C max.
Sea Temperature: 18C
CNA/GP/2002 ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
 Cyprus has huge potential for progress in e-commerce
Cyprus has huge potential for progress in e-commerce
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) - Cyprus has achieved noticeable progress in the area of electronic commerce mainly on account of private initiative, but there is huge potential for further progress, Minister of Finance Takis Klerides stated here today during the opening ceremony of the 3rd South Eastern European Conference on e-Commerce.
 Tributes from abroad for former President Kyprianou
Tributes from abroad for former President Kyprianou
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Representatives of the Greek government and Greek parliament, the Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and all Africa and the President of the World Federation of Cypriots Abroad today paid tribute to former Cyprus President Spyros Kyprianou, who died of cancer on Tuesday, at the age of 69. They also signed a book of condolences opened at the House of Representatives.
 President Clerides delivers funeral oration
President Clerides delivers funeral oration
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- A visibly emotional President Clerides told his long time associate and friend, former president Spyros Kyprianou who died Tuesday, that his legacy will stay on among the people of Cyprus and vowed that he would continue to fight for a free Cyprus.
The President said that Kyprianou has left an indelible mark in the island's political history and served his country from various posts over the past forty years.
"History will judge you, as it will judge all of us. We all bear witness to the sincerity of your intentions and the lofty objectives you have served," the President said, as he bid a final farewell to Kyprianou, in a church that proved too small to cover under its roof all those who wanted to pay their last respects to him.
Clerides, in a somber mourning black suit, reassured his friend Spyros, that "we will continue the struggle to turn into reality our common vision, a vision that has so far eluded us: to ensure that you will turn your eyes towards the East and see the flowers blossoming and the waves breaking throughout our beloved Cyprus."
He expressed "deep sorrow" for Kyprianou's death and told him that his "temporary journey through the vanity of this world was identical with the journey of the people of Cyprus through history, with all the suffering, all the risks and all the hopes that go with it."
"The destination of your journey was the freedom of our country and you set off on this journey a long time ago," the President said.
Referring to Kyrpianou's long career in politics, the President said the deceased served as foreign minister, House president and President of the Republic. He represented Cyprus in numerous meetings at home and abroad and during his presidency the customs union agreement with the European Community was signed, a move that paved the way for the application for accession.
President Clerides paid special tribute to Kyprianou's contribution to the effort for reconstruction after the devastating blow Cyprus suffered in the summer of 1974 when Turkish troops invaded.
"You leave behind a legacy that will help us. The mark of your political presence shall remain indelible," the President said.
Kyprianou, Clerides said, cannot be forgotten, as he offered a lot to Cyprus at a time of trouble when our democratic principles and our very survival were being tested.
"He offered in a passionate way, as a true patriot, even as he was fighting cancer. It is true to say that your Ithaka (destination) was in fact the destination of our people," Clerides said, quoting a famous poem by renown Greek poet Konstantinos Kavafis.
Addressing Kyprianou as "dear Spyros," the President said today he closes his own chapter in the country's modern political history.
"History will be your judge, as it will judge all of us, we shall not write history today but today we, the political leadership and the people of Cyprus, are witnesses to the sincerity of your intentions and your lofty ideals which you served," Clerides said.
"As you start your new journey, you leave behind you not only your own history but also a people who appreciate your contribution, you leave behind friends and family, your beloved wife and sons," he said.
 Cyprus Stock Exchange
 Verheugen expresses optimism for workable Cyprus solution
Verheugen expresses optimism for workable Cyprus solution
Brussels, Mar 14 (CNA) -- The European Union Commissioner responsible for Enlargement Gunther Verheugen appeared optimistic before the European Parliament yesterday, for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
He said he was satisfied with the result of his recent meetings in Cyprus with Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.
 House pays tribute to Spyros Kyprianou
House pays tribute to Spyros Kyprianou
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus was Spyros Kyprianou's great love and freedom from Turkish occupation was his great passion, House President Demetris Christofias told the House Plenary, which held an extraordinary meeting here today to honour the late Kyprianou, who passed away on Tuesday after a long battle with cancer.
Deputies of all persuasions had one thing in common to say about Kyprianou - nobody disputed what the House President said about Kyprianou: he had a passion in his fight for a free Cyprus and he was determined to defend his homeland against all the odds.
"Spyros Kyprianou, a friend and an associate, was over and above any political consideration a patriot, who also had an immense reserve of human feeling," Christofias told the House.
He expressed pain for the loss of a great man, who contributed to a significant degree to the reconstruction of the country, in the mid 1970s after the devastating blow Cyprus had suffered from the 1974 Turkish invasion.
"We owe him a lot, he led the country through very difficult times and because he stood by his principles he paid the cost. His confrontation with the Greek military junta resulted in his resignation in May 1972 from the post of foreign minister," Christofias recalled.
He said Kyprianou was democratic in his dealings with all the parlamentary parties.
"Cyprus and its people was Kyprianou's great love. His great passion was to see Cyprus a free country again and his great pain as he leaves this world is that he did not live long enough to see his vision come to life," Christofias said.
Christofias said that history, a strict judge of people, will be fair to him.
"He fought his illness with dignity and with dignity he died. We express out deepest condolences to his family and bid him farewell and we promise that we shall be the guardians of Cyprus, which he loved with such passion," Christofias said.
Kyprianou served two terms in office as President of the House, first elected in 1976 and then twenty years later.
 Weather and Temperatures for Cyprus
 Kasoulides expresses reservations about a solution in 2002
Kasoulides expresses reservations about a solution in 2002
Larnaca, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides expressed reservations about the prospects of a Cyprus settlement this year, saying that optimism at this stage is not justified.
Speaking to the press prior to his departure for an EU summit in Barcelona, Kasoulides said he too wished to see a united Cyprus joining the EU, a view shapred by EU Commissioner for enlargement Gunter Verheugen.
 The role of journalists in promoting peace and cooperation in the Mediterranean
The role of journalists in promoting peace, security and cooperation in the Mediterranean
by Gregoris Savva
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA) -- "In the mainland around the Mediterranean, which is full of ruins of ancient civilizations, human beings and Gods founded western civilization." So said Fernand Braudel, the French historian and his words still echo today to remind us that the Mediterranean and its peoples are unique, in that they have over the centuries formulated, developed and influenced cultures and civilizations through their writings.
And writing is what journalists do or are expected to be doing best. This is why journalists living and working in the countries of the Mediterranean basin, a region of the world which bears witness to many conflicts, have a very special role to play in the combined effort to bring about peace and stability through cooperation.
As the former foreign minister of Cyprus George Iacovou put it at the Fourth Conference of Journalists of the Mediterranean Region held in Nicosia on March 8 and 9, "Journalists from the Mediterranean countries have the power to influence events through public opinion in their countries."
Some may question the validity of these words in the belief that differences in culture, tradition, religion and politics cause more problems than they solve and stir passions among the people of the Mediterranean. Does this belief, however, reflect reality? Let us seek the answer by looking at the situation in the region today.
The history of the Mediterranean, the most ancient known sea, is one of the richest in the world. Europe owes its culture to the Mediterranean. Over the centuries, a number of civilizations blossomed and developed ideas that guided Europe out of the Middle Ages. Arts and sciences flourished in the Mediterranean long before Europe had fostered any philosophical tradition and the Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilizations, to mention but a few, were a beacon for European philosophers in the theories they developed.
The Mediterranean Sea is a natural common border among the countries of the basin, separated but not divided by religion, culture, economic factors, political and philosophical ideas. With this in mind, one might be forgiven for thinking that the people of the Mediterranean are at pains to live peacefully together, cooperate and prosper, thus promoting security and stability for everybody.
In this respect, journalists can and should bear the brunt of the burden of promoting through their work, which is none other than to seek and tell the truth, peaceful coexistence. Their daily communication with people via newspapers, radio, television and the Internet can influence public opinion and help formulate social, cultural and even political thinking, that is essential in the overall effort to promote cooperation. The mere presence of the media in a country is telling proof that a healthy and democratic society is functioning. The multifaceted role of the media focuses on promoting democratic principles through responsible and factually correct reporting.
In a world where political considerations seem to take centre stage, as is the case in the Mediterranean, journalists have an additional responsibility: to ensure that they do their job with the utmost care and accuracy; not to incite public feelings; and not to derail, through irresponsible reporting, any possibility for peace, be it in Cyprus, the Middle East or elsewhere.
The ongoing conflict in the Middle East, a scourge that continues to affect the lives of most people in the eastern Mediterranean one way or another, has provided a testing ground for journalists in that it has brought people from different backgrounds and cultures together, at times under dire circumstances, and it has brought both the best and the worst in people.
The case of Palestinian journalist Na'im Toubassi is a deplorable one that shows the difficulties journalists have to endure in order to do their job. Toubassi himself told the Nicosia conference that he had to walk for seven hours, carrying his luggage, to go to Jerusalem and from there to the airport, because Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint would not allow him to cross a bridge over the Jordan river. Odd as it may seem to some, this incident was not a case of journalistic dissent among participants to the Conference. You could sense a feeling of solidarity with Toubassi.
As Andreas Kannaouros, president of the Cyprus Union of Journalists said at the meeting, "the Middle East problem brings journalists closer together; they inform public opinion in their countries, thus contributing towards ways of dealing with this problem, as well as towards the broader effort of making the Mediterranean a bridge of peace, security and cooperation".
There are many other cases where conflict and political concerns have drawn journalists together in a sense of "camaraderie". Take for instance the recent war in Afghanistan, where the killing of an American journalist brought condemnation from a wide spectrum of the journalistic profession.
"Solidarity among journalists could play a major role in closing the gap between the countries of the Mediterranean south and the Mediterranean north," Kannaouros said, "where there is a discrepancy in education, technology and economic prosperity".
However, differences in whatever area, be it religion or the economy, need not divide people; in fact, they may offer the chance for discussion and help journalists focus on what unites instead of what divides. At the United Nations, the European Union, the Council of Europe and other international institutions, journalists, be they Muslim, Christian or Buddhist, work together sharing ideas and thoughts.
This unity can easily be filtered through to people and this is where the media are called upon to play a major role. Beaming across the world pictures of celebrations for the holy Muslim feast of Ramadan is definitely one way of informing non Muslims about the importance of this faith, its teachings and beliefs, in order to help them understand the Muslim world better and in order to prevent people from equating Muslims with terror, especially in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
"Religion cannot be an obstacle to the cooperation of journalists. They should join hands for the common vision of peace. Peace is the main goal of all religions," Kannaouros said. And he should know, coming from a country that has seen its people, including journalists, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, forced to live apart but continuing to strive for peace and reunification.
"Turkey, Greece and Cyprus could cooperate and live in peace. There should be no boundaries between us", said Ercan Ipekci, a Turkish journalist from Anatolia News Agency, expressing the feelings of many journalists who believe in cooperation and peace, the goal that brought together in Cyprus some 37 journalists from 15 Mediterranean countries.
"The conference of journalists of the Mediterranean region leads the way in the effort to set up an institution to bring journalists' unions in Mediterranean countries closer, with a view to focus on the problems of the region, like the violation of freedom of speech", Kannaouros believes.
Setting up such an institution is a very good idea, but is it good enough? One may wonder whether two days of talks is adequate time to educate journalists about other people, different cultures and various ways of thinking. According to Kannaouros,"in the Mediterranean region we need more regular contact and increased cooperation on a multilateral and bilateral level of a more consistent nature, to ensure that what we preach is applied."
In this respect, Cyprus and Italy took the lead by signing during the conference a twinning and cooperation agreement between their national unions of journalists, which pledged to establish contact, exchange visits, host training seminars, introduce competitions, and award prizes.
However, journalists living and working in the Mediterranean often fail to participate in international competitions, such as the ones organized by the International Federation of Journalists (IFEX). During the Nicosia conference Antonio Velouto, coordinator of the Italian syndicate of journalists, urged other national unions to join the IFEX and to partake in its activities.
Technological advancement in the workplace for journalists is a fine instrument at our disposal which if exploited, can indeed lead to closer ties among journalists, both on a professional and on a personal level. Video-conferencing, the Internet, chat forums, mobile phones, even the old fashioned fax machine can help frequent contact among journalists and promote understanding and rapprochement.
Cyprus and Italy have set an example. Others could follow suit. Journalists in the Mediterranean need to meet more often, it was stressed at the conference. Another idea put forward was to establish a "Mediterranean Pulitzer prize" for reporting. Why not follow the example of IFEX and encourage journalists to write about racism, xenophobia and other matters concerning humanity? We could easily tackle other topics like promoting ties between religions in the Mediterranean and think about improving education for journalists, including a monitoring committee to oversee education standards and programmes.
We could also introduce other programmes to safeguard freedom of speech and establish more forums in which journalists would be able to exchange views and ideas on how best to deal with regional and world events.
 Cyprus veteran politician Kyprianou buried in his hometown
Cyprus veteran politician Kyprianou buried in his hometown
Nicosia, Mar 14 (CNA)--Former President of Cyprus Spyros Kyprianou, who died of cancer on Tuesday, at the age of 69, was buried in his hometown Limassol this afternoon.
Although it had been announced that the burial would be a family affair, hundreds of people broke the police cordon and entered the cemetery applauding and crying "immortal" and "worthy" for the deceased.
The Municipal councils of Limassol and its suburbs, together with thousands of people lined up the street to the cemetery to pay their last respects, while Municipal bands played somber music.
The funeral of veteran politician Kyprianou took place earlier today in Nicosia, at state expense. The Primate of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos officiated.
The political and religious leadership, foreign diplomats, representatives of the Greek Government and Parliament and thousands of people were present at the funeral.
The funeral oration was delivered by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides a friend and associate of the deceased, who paid tribute to the hard work, consistency and wisdom of Kyprianou who served his country as President for 11 years, as President of the House of Representatives and as Foreign Minister.
Before the funeral the body of Kyprianou was laid in state in the Church for three hours and hundreds of people lined past paying their last respects.
 President Clerides left for Barcelona
President Clerides left for Barcelona
Larnaca, Mar 14 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides left today for Barcelona to participate in the European Union Council to be held on 15 and 16 March, at the invitation of the Spanish presidency.
Clerides is accompanied by Finance Minister Takis Klerides and Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides. The latter left for Barcelona this morning.
This is the first time ever the EU has invited the candidate countries to participate in its deliberations.
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