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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-10-05

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Cyprus government is doing everything that ought to be done, as far as reports that new illegal routes are scheduled from closed ports in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus to Latakia, Syria.

    Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas, invited by CNA to comment reports from the occupied areas that a company will carry out two special routes on 11 and 14 October for the Ramadan Bayram celebrations and from 18 October onwards will start scheduled routes, said the Cypriot government was aware of the reports.

    We are doing everything that ought to be done and from then on we will see how things will develop, he added.

    Palmas added that the dialogue with the government of Syria continues at various levels and the aim is for the traditional and longstanding relations with Syria to continue.

    We are monitoring the situation and believe that after the unfortunate event that took place, our relations will be a 100% restored, he concluded.

    Last month, a Turkish cruise ship sailed from the closed port of Famagusta for Latakia, Syria. Nicosia has sought clarifications from Syria to ensure that such an incident will not occur again and that no agreement has been reached between Damascus and the illegal regime on permitting vessels to travel from occupied Cyprus to Syria.

    The Turkish occupied town of Famagusta has been declared by the government of Cyprus a closed port following the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. The UN has described the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, in occupied Cyprus, as legally invalid, calling on all states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way.


    National Guard Commander, Lieutenant General Constantinos Bisbikas, assured that he will continue to work tirelessly and modestly to increase the operational readiness of the National Guard.

    Bisbikas made the statement while announcing that the National Guard (Cyprus army) annual military manoeuvres, code-named ``Nikiforos``, will be held from 9-14 October.


    First hand experience of the situation on the ground, in relation to the issue of missing persons in Cyprus, was pivotal for Euro MP Ewa Klamt in the preparation of her report to the European Parliament, as she has said in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

    Speaking after her meetings on both sides of the divide in Cyprus, she said by the end of the year she would report to the Parliament on her experience here with the families, members of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), at exhumation sites and the bicommunal anthropological laboratory which identifies exhumed remains and will seek more funds for the work they are doing.

    Behind each number, there is a family, a name, a friend, it is still very hard for the families, as identification and return of remains opens up wounds again for them. I am very grateful to the families who have accepted to see me during my short visit to Cyprus, she said, noting that this was a very emotional encounter for her.


    Cyprus Airways pilots went on an impromptu work stoppage on Friday to protest the abrupt indefinite suspension by the national carrier of a colleague, affecting the airlines afternoon flights.

    In statements to CNA, press spokesman for the pilots union PASIPY George Charalambous, said that the work stoppage, from 1400 until 2000 (1100-1700 GMT), was decided after a provocative action by Cyprus Airways to suspend a colleague without explaining the reasons behind its decision.

    He said this was the icing on the cake together with the longstanding problems the national carrier is facing.

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