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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 04-02-18
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Greek Americans calls for serious changes in the Annan plan
Greek Americans call for serious changes in the Annan plan
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) -- Major Greek American organisations have called for serious changes in the Annan plan, noting that it is in the interests of the US to make it democratic, workable, financially viable and just.
 Belgian FM holds meetings on Cyprus
Belgian FM holds meetings on Cyprus
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) -- Belgian vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Louis Michel was received here today by President Tassos Papadopoulos.
No statements were made after the meeting at the Presidential Palace.
 Papadopoulos-Alvaro de Soto prepare Cyprus talks
Papadopoulos - Alvaro de Soto prepare Cyprus talks
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and UN Secretary General's special adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto discussed here today issues related to tomorrow's resumption of peace negotiations.
Speaking after meeting President Papadopoulos, de Soto said he would have to consult with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash before being in a position to give more information about the talks.
Asked if any decisions on the procedure of the talks were taken, he replied ''no, I came to consult with Mr Papadopoulos about the organisation of the work in the meetings that are to begin tomorrow, this afternoon I will be consulting with Mr Denktash with the leadership on the Turkish Cypriot side for the same purpose.''
Asked if the agenda of the talks was part of today's discussions, he said ''we discussed virtually everything related to tomorrow's meetings, but I cannot give you any conclusions because I have not consulted with Mr Denktash.''
 Kyprianou joins EU budget cabinet
Kyprianou joins EU budget cabinet
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Feb 18 (CNA) -- European Commission President Romano Prodi announced today the twinning of the ten new commissioners from the acceding countries. Cyprus Finance Minister Marcos Kyprianou will join the Budget cabinet of German Commissioner Michaele Schreyer.
The Commission announced it agreed today the measures it will put in place to ensure the smooth integration into the College of the 10 new Commissioners from 1 May.
''The Commissioners from the new member states will be full members of the College and will play a full and active role in the decision-making process. While they will not have specific portfolios, they will each be associated with the work of an existing Commissioner in order to ease their integration into the Commission's work'', the Commission said in a statement.
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 Belgian Foreign Minister describes UN peace plan ''very good''
Belgian Foreign Minister describes UN peace plan ''very good''
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) -- Belgium's Minister of Foreign Affairs and vice Prime Minister Louis Michel has described a UN proposal on a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus ''very good for Cyprus'', noting that issues the island's two communities have raised with regard to the peace plan can be addressed with some good will and a creative spirit.
 Michel says Annan plan enables functional Cyprus in EU
Michel says Annan plan enables functional Cyprus in EU
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) - Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Louis Michel said today that the Cyprus settlement plan proposed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan allows Cyprus to function and participate in the EU, noting however that there were some points that could be adjusted.
Speaking through an interpreter after meeting in Nicosia with his Cypriot counterpart Georgios Iacovou, Michel said the federal model gave solutions to problems and pointed out that prospects to solve the Cyprus problem were never so favourable.
 Cyprus Stock Exchange
 UN-led talks begin at 1000 Thursday, de Soto says (1)
UN-led talks begin at 1000 Thursday, de Soto says (1)
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) Negotiations for a Cyprus settlement begin on Thursday at 1000 local time (0700 GMT) at Nicosia airport, the UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto announced here Wednesday.
Speaking after meeting Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, de Soto said the technical committees will also meet at 1530.
Answering questions, Denktash said the only issue on the agenda is the Cyprus problem.
He also said that Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen will meet him and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos jointly after the first meeting at the UN and will have another meeting with Denktash in the afternoon.
 UNFICYP announces resumption of talks at 1000
UNFICYP announces resumption of talks at 1000
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) United Nations Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus announced here Wednesday that the UN-led Cyprus peace talks will resume at 1000 local time at the Nicosia conference centre within UNFICYP headquarters.
 Verheugen's programme in Cyprus announced
Verheugen's programme in Cyprus announced
Nicosia, Feb 18 The programme of Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen's visit to Cyprus was announced here Wednesday by the European Commission Delegation to Cyprus.
During his shuttle visit, Verheugen will go to the site where negotiations for a Cyprus settlement resume tomorrow.
 Government decides measures for Turkish Cypriot pupils
Government decides measures for Turkish Cypriot pupils
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) Cyprus' Council of Ministers decided today to adopt measures to help Turkish Cypriot pupils better adjust in primary schools, such as free meals and a differentiation in the educational programme.
 Denktash says EU to offer help only if necessary (2)
Denktash says EU to offer help only if necessary (2)
Nicosia, Feb 18 (CNA) Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash said EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen is in Cyprus to offer EU assistance only if it is asked for by the parties in the negotiations, which will resume tomorrow at UN headquarters in Nicosia.
Denktash was speaking after meeting the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, who said that after consultations with the leaders of both communities on the island, he was ''in a position to announce that tomorrow at 1000 will be the first on island meeting between the leaders, and in the afternoon at 1530 the technical committees will have their first organisational meeting''.
Asked about the agenda of the talks, de Soto said ''the agenda I think is well known'', while Denktash, replying to the same question, said it would be ''the Cyprus problem''.
 UN Secretary-General's message to Cyprus in view of talks
UN Secretary-General's message to Cyprus in view of talks
by Apostolis Zoupaniotis
United Nations, Feb 18 (CNA) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appealed to the leaders from both sides of the divide in Cyprus to ''seize the moment and really work in good faith, in a give-and-take spirit to make it a win-win situation for everybody''.
Annan also said that now is the time to move forward and to take the hard decisions necessary to make the solution happen, adding that it is a great chance for the people of Cyprus to come together and unite the island.
The UN chief, speaking less than 24 hours before the resumption of the UN-led peace talks in Cyprus, expressed the hope that the leaders will work with the UN to produce a plan that is fair and balanced where the people can vote on and enter the united Europe together.
The full text of Annan's statements is as follows:
''Q. A message for the Cypriot people for the talks that resume tomorrow in Nicosia.
Annan - As you rightly point out the talks resume in Nicosia tomorrow and I think this is a great chance for the people of Cyprus, both peoples of Cyprus, to work hard, to come together and unite Cyprus. I also appeal to the leaders to really seize the moment and really work in good faith in a give-and-take spirit to make it a win-win situation for everybody. It is possible, there is lot of work but we know the issues, we have ideas what the solution should be, it is now time to move forward and take the hard decisions necessary to make it happen.
Q. Is it fair to say that now things are more in the hands of the people than the leaders?
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