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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-10-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN SECRETARY-GENERAL - CYPRUS QUESTION
  • [02] PRESIDENT - NEW PROPOSALS
  • [03] CTO - TOURIST ARRIVALS

  • [01] UN SECRETARY-GENERAL - CYPRUS QUESTION

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon has urged the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides to engage in a dialogue with a view to fully implement the July 8th agreement of 2006.

    In a meeting in New York with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Ban Ki - moon urged him to seize the window of dialogue with a sense of flexibility as well as to fully cooperate with the Greek Cypriot side regarding the Cypriot governments proposals to open new crossing points across the divide.

    But the UNSG said that unless there are firm commitments from both sides, it would be very difficult for him at this stage to take certain initiatives on the Cyprus issue.

    My meetings with both Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Talat today and a few days ago, were very useful for me and for my staff to understand the current situation, as well as to tell them the United Nations` position. In my meeting with Mr. Talat I have first of all urged him and also I conveyed the gist of my meeting with Mr. Papadopolous the same message that, as leaders they should engage in dialogue, as they have signed the July 8th agreement, to fully implement that agreement, he said.

    Ban Ki moon expressed disappointment over the lack of progress regarding the implementation of the UN-brokered July agreement, which aims at preparing the ground for substantive talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus.

    While I was encouraged by the leaders` recent meeting in early September, I was again disappointed by the lack of progress, the UNSG noted.

    He added that he urged Talat to continue and to seize the window of opportunity, the window of dialogue with a sense of flexibility and a proactive manner. I also urged him to take necessary measures to build trust, as an example of a confidence-building measure, I again urged him to cooperate fully in opening the Ledra crossings.

    On efforts to lift "restrictions" on the Turkish Cypriots and to resume negotiations, Ban Ki Moon indicated that negotiation has been deadlocked and added that he is very seriously considering what kind of initiative he should take.

    My lessons recently I learned is that unless there are firm commitments from both sides, it is very difficult for me at this time to take certain initiatives. But we will continue to discuss this matter he continued.

    Meanwhile, in a written statement read out by the UNSG Spokesmans Office says that the Secretary-General met with Mehmet Ali Talat, the Turkish Cypriot leader, and discussed the way forward on the Cyprus problem, including the implementation of the 8 July 2006 Agreement and confidence-building measures.

    Mr. Talat reassured the Secretary-General of the willingness of the Turkish Cypriot side to reach a comprehensive settlement under the Secretary-General`s good offices, the statement concludes.

    In statements after the meeting, the Turkish Cypriot leader spoke about the urgency to reach a Cyprus solution because time is running out and the division is becoming more and more permanent.

    Talat said, he asked UNSGs involvement for an initiative that would allow full-fledged negotiations aiming at a solution until the end of 2008, adding that he fully supports the implementation of the July Agreement.

    Papadopoulos and Talat agreed on 8 July 2006 to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. So far the Turkish side has failed to comply with the agreement. The Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since May 2004, is divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

    [02] PRESIDENT - NEW PROPOSALS

    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that he has submitted to the UN Secretary General a proposal of eight points to help speed up implementation of a UN-brokered agreement, in July last year, reached between Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot side. In statements prior to departure for Lisbon, to attend the Informal European Council, President Papadopoulos explained that, during his September meeting with UNSG Ban Ki - moon in New York, he asked for the acceleration of the process to implement the agreement.

    The UN SG expressed the view that both sides should undertake initiatives to speed up the July process and reiterated his support for the agreement. Ban Ki moon asked me to submit in writing some thoughts I had to help speed up this process. On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriot leader (Mehmet Ali Talat) has said this is the right time to discuss confidence building measures (CBM), he said. President Papadopoulos added that the CBM should be discussed parallel to discussions on issues of substance relating to the Cyprus problem, noting that we should learn to live together, not separately.

    He explained that he had submitted his proposals ahead of Ban Ki moons meeting with Talat, which took place yesterday. I submitted to the UNSG an amended proposal to overcome procedural difficulties regarding the implementation of the July agreement, the President added. The agreement provides for a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement. Papadopoulos refrained from further comment on his proposal, saying it would be unwise to publicise its contents and risk being accused of wishing to create impressions.

    [03] CTO - TOURIST ARRIVALS

    Almost two million tourists visited Cyprus during the first nine months of 2007, according to the latest data released by the Cyprus Statistical Service (CyStat). On the basis of the results of the Passengers Survey as released by CyStat, tourist arrivals for the period January September 2007 totaled 1.972.493 compared to 1.951.173 in the corresponding period of 2006, recording an increase of 1,1%. Tourist arrivals reached 315.437 in September 2007 compared to 296.532 in September 2006, recording an increase of 6,4%.

    An increase of 4,7% was recorded in tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom (from 170.708 in September 2006 to 178.664 in September 2007) as well as 43,9% increase from Russia (from 15.873 to 22.839) and 22,5% increase from Sweden (from 14.429 to 17.677 this year). On the other hand, a decrease of 5,9% was recorded in tourist arrivals from Germany (15.192 in September 2007 compared to 16.149 in September 2006).

    The Cyprus Tourist Organisation (CTO) expresses its contentment on the increase of tourist arrivals in September and points out that of special significance is the fact that for the first time this year tourist arrivals from United Kingdom recorded an increase of 4.7%.


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