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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-09-27

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs unanimously has passed unanimously a bipartisan resolution, which supports the implementation of a United Nations-brokered agreement toward the reunification of Cyprus. The resolution also calls on the US government to fully support the immediate implementation of the July 8 agreement ``in its entirety and without deviation from that process``.

    The resolution was introduced by Congressman, member of the Committee and co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Hellenic Issues, Gus Bilirakis.

    The Committee has acted decisively today to demonstrate its support for a constructive and transparent process toward a reunification of Cyprus, Bilirakis said, adding that the implementation of the July 8 Agreement would make it possible for a Cyprus that is unified under a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with a single sovereignty, single international personality and single citizenship with respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Cypriots.

    Bilirakis pointed out that more than 33 years after the division of Cyprus, it is important that both sides now move forward on a dialogue that can pave the way for a more sustainable and lasting peace, said Bilirakis and he urged Speaker Pelosi to move this important resolution before the full House for a vote. It is now time for this Congress to act in expressing its support for the unification of Cyprus, he concluded.

    The resolution acknowledges the key terms of the July agreement, particularly the formation of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation with territory allocated to the Greek and Turkish communities within a united Cyprus.

    The resolution in its final form expresses the strong support of the House of Representatives for implementation of the July 8, 2006, United Nations-brokered agreement between President of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat relating to the reunification of Cyprus, adding that any future efforts for a solution of the Cyprus problem need to be carefully prepared.

    In this framework, it notes that President Papadopoulos and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met on February 28, 2006, in Paris, and reiterated that the resumption of the negotiating process within the framework of the Secretary General`s Good Offices must be timely and based on careful preparation.

    Taking into account, among other, that on March 27, 2007, the United Nations Security Council in a statement on Cyprus indicated that, the members of the Security Council urge both communities to work with the United Nations to implement the July agreement, as well as the fact that the US has long supported fostering the reunification of Cyprus within a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, and within a process that is led by the United Nations, the resolution urges the House of Representatives:

    To express its support for the immediate implementation of the July 8, 2006 agreement as the way forward to prepare for new comprehensive negotiations leading to the reunification of Cyprus within a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation as set out in the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and

    To call upon the United States Government to fully support the immediate implementation of the July 8, 2006 agreement in its entirety and without deviation from that process.


    A UN-brokered agreement, to help resume substantive negotiations towards a political settlement in Cyprus, cannot be sidelined simply because the Turkish side does not accept it, Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has stressed. Speaking at a press conference at the UN seat, he also said that the July agreement is at present the only game in town and called on the international community to address itself to the Turkish side to persuade Ankara to comply with the agreement without any deviation.

    It is not right to sideline an agreement, which meets all the preconditions that will pave the way towards a solution, because the Turkish side does not accept it. At some stage the UN Secretary General must inform the Security Council as to who is to blame for the absence of progress towards a settlement, the President told the press. The July 8, 2006 agreement, he explained, is important in that it provides for working groups and technical committees to deal with concurrently with day to day issues that affect the daily life of the people on the island and with issues of substance of the question of Cyprus.

    The implementation of the agreement has not progressed because the Turkish side was not happy with it, he explained. The agreement, brokered by the UN, was clinched between Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat. Let us begin a new process. The Gambarri agreement has the full support of the Secretary General, the five permanent members of the Security Council and the European Union who ask that it is implemented, he added, responding to questions from UN-based foreign correspondents. The President expressed hope that with the help of the UN a new process can be put in place and pointed out that the July agreement is the only game in town.

    Replying to other questions, he said the Cyprus issue is a long-standing problem which has remained unresolved because there is no way to facilitate the solution which the Turkish side wants. The Turkish side, he explained, wants a loose confederation and I want a bizonal bicommunal federation, stressing that a solution of two states in Cyprus, which the Turkish side is seeking, shall never be accepted.


    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has explained that a Turkish vessel, which sailed from Turkish occupied Cyprus to Syria, did so following an arrangement between the shipping company that owns the vessel and the Latakia local chamber of commerce.

    The visit of a self-styled official of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime to Syria was not an official trip and the arrangement made for the ship`s journey was between the shipping company that owns the vessel and the local chamber of commerce in Latakia, Papadopoulos explained, responding to questions at a press conference in New York, before leaving the UN seat, where he addressed the General Assembly.

    Last Saturday a Turkish ship, which left the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta, in Cyprus northern part, docked at Latakia, in Syria, causing ill feeling among government circles in Nicosia. Famagusta has been declared by the government of Cyprus a closed port following the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the UN has described the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime as legally invalid, calling on all states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way. The Syrian authorities are looking into all the evidence in this matter and will inform us appropriately, the President said.


    Education and Culture Minister Akis Kleanthous has unveiled the Ministry`s comprehensive plan to modernise the educational system within the next three years. The proposal, inter alia, provides for a new teachers appointment system to replace the existing system based on a waiting list, a new teachers assessment scheme, administrative and educational autonomy of school units, the establishment of peripheral schools replacing small school units in the countryside, the introduction of a computerised automation system in schools, the restructuring of local school boards, as well as the increase of students in state universities.

    The goal of this overhaul is to maintain the credibility of the educational system and of state schools through quality education and full exploitation of human resources, Kleanthous said. He added that the plan will be tabled to the Councils for Educational Reform for discussion with a view to conclude a dialogue on the proposed reforms within three months. Following that, the government will take the final decisions on the matter.

    The Ministry also intends to close small school units mainly in the countryside, and replace them with bigger peripheral schools. Kleanthous said that the Ministry`s proposal envisages the gradual termination of the appointment of teachers based on a waiting list. In the first phase 60% of teachers will be appointed after written examinations and personal interviews and 40% will be appointed out of the waiting list. This procedure will be applied for three years, while the percentage of teachers to be appointed out of the waiting list will be reduced by 10% per year until the appointment of all teachers will only be made after examinations and personal interviews.

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