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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-09-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The USA hope that the meeting held on the 5th of September between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat would be the first of a number of additional contacts that would help lead to a resolution of the Cyprus question.

    Replying to a question regarding the meeting, US State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey said we welcome the meeting between these two leaders. It`s important, of course, to be dialogue on this issue to achieve a resolution of the long-standing conflict in Cyprus.

    I`m not aware that we`ve received any kind of formal readout on their discussions, but certainly we would hope that this would be the first of any number of additional contacts that would help lead to a resolution of this long- standing conflict. It`s certainly something that the people of Cyprus deserve, he added.

    Asked about Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns forthcoming visit to Cyprus, Casey said he did not have anything to say about Burns travel plans.

    I`m sure he always - always enjoys traveling to the region. But when we have something to tell you, we`ll put out announcement, he added.


    The Third European Ecumenical Assembly, currently underway in Romania, is set to debate a petition on the situation in Cyprus, as the only European country with European citizens who are war refugees and occupation forces on its territory. A Church of Cyprus delegation is participating in the meeting, attended by more than two thousand delegates, which brings together Christian leaders from across Europe and its central theme is The light of Christ enlightens everybody! Hope for renewal and unity in Europe. The Cypriot participants will have the right to vote in the joint decisions the Assembly will take.

    The petition, put forward for discussion at the forum dealing with refugee issues in Europe, notes that Turkey invaded Cyprus in July 1974 in violation of the UN Charter and as a result approximately 40 per cent of the total territory of the Republic of Cyprus came under Turkish occupation and about 40 per cent of the Greek Cypriots were displaced. That Turkey committed atrocities in the course of its invasion is not surprising at all in view of its record in the Balkans, Syria, Armenia and in Anatolia and its long standing policies of population expulsion and transfer and of discrimination against non Turkish ethnic groups, the petition says.

    The petition refers to judgments by the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey, which was found guilty of continuous violation of human rights in Cyprus. There are also references to decisions by other international bodies, including the UN General Assembly, the Non Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth and the European Parliament. Turkish troops continue to prevent the refugees from returning to their homes. Turkey flagrantly violates the basic human rights and fundamental freedoms of the Greek Cypriots, and systematically directs its efforts against the cultural heritage of the occupied areas as part of its policy to eradicate and destroy any proof of the 9,000 year old Cypriot history and culture, it adds. Finally, it is pointed out that Turkey follows a policy and methods of ethnic cleansing at the very time when it wants to join the European Union.


    The office automation system, applied in Cyprus for the past several years, has been awarded the FileNet EMEAN Innovation Award, in addition to the Cyprus Innovation Prize, given by the Employers and Industrialists Federation. The system, as Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has told a press conference, has been operating at the ministries of finance and foreign affairs, the House of Representatives, the Central Information Service, the state archives, the Public Administration and Personnel Department and other government agencies and departments.

    The objective is to have the system operate in the entire public service. This is one of the most important infrastructure projects to put into effect electronic governance and it should reduce bureaucracy and improve services, thus offering better service to the public, Sarris said. He also said that Cyprus, in specific electronic services, ranks very high in the overall position among European Union members. The estimated cost of applying the system is two million Cyprus pounds.

    The system saves time, reduces the work load, ends the search through files or archives as these have been widely used so far because it provides the data needed in electronic form, it allows many users to have access to the same file at the same time, it gives easy and quick reference to documents and files and protects available data, in addition to allowing access to the system to persons abroad or from home. Our goal is to modernize fully the public service to provide through the internet and other channels of communication direct and effective service to the public, including businesses without any inconvenience and without waiting in queues or wasting time, the Finance Minister pointed out.


    The Republic of Cyprus, through its agency, CYPRUSAID, and in cooperation with the UN-HABITAT organisation, has agreed to provide 684,000 US dollars as part of the post conflict reconstruction programme in Lebanon. According to the Planning Bureau, the assistance will be given in two installments and will be used mainly to strengthen the administrative structure of the local authorities in South Lebanon and for infrastructure projects, following the Israeli attacks against Lebanon in July 2006.

    The CYPRUSAID agency has provided a total of 2.05 million Cyprus pounds in 2006 and 2007 for development projects in five countries namely, Lesotho, where there is an agreement between Cyprus and Ireland that the financial assistance be used to construct a boarding house for girls, in Mali, in cooperation with the government of Belgium to purchase machinery to build a waste plant and in Egypt where Cyprus provides lunch to preschool children as part of the World Food Programme (WFP).

    In addition, the CYPRUSAID agency has collaborated with the WFP in the Palestinian Autonomous Territories and in Yemen, together with the relevant development department of Germany, has provided financial assistance to improve health care for mothers. This included the purchase of equipment, the training of doctors and nurses as well as upgrading existing district hospitals to maternity centres. CYPRUSAID is also in consultation with Denmark for a joint project in the Gaza Strip of the Palestinian Autonomous Territories.

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