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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-01-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM - EU

  • [01] FM - EU

    Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis made clear on Sunday that under no circumstances there can be harmonization between the Turkish Cypriot community and the EU acquis communautaire, recalling that the acquis can be applied throughout the Republic after the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Marcoullis was speaking to the press before her departure for Brussels where she will attend the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council and she will meet the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn. From Brussels Marcoullis will travel for Helsinki for contacts with her Finnish counterpart and other officials, while on Friday she will go to Estonia to meet, among others, the Estonian President and Members of the Parliament.

    Asked whether during her meeting with Rehn she will raise the issue of the ports in the Turkish occupied since 1974 areas of Cyprus, after Rehn`s written reply to Cypriot MEP Marios Matsakis that according to the general principles of international law, entry and exit of ships from the closed ports of Cyprus is not prohibited and therefore it is not in a position to intervene accordingly to the Syrian authorities regarding the illegal use of the closed port of Famagusta by a cruise ship, on an illegal sea route to Latakia, Syria.

    ``We firmly disagree with the unwarranted interpretation of the European Commission, which however complies with the position it assumed on the direct trade regulation with the Turkish Cypriots,`` Marcoullis said, recalling that the EU direct trade regulation was approved by the Commission in 2004 but has not been endorsed by the EU Council ``because it has been established that it is unacceptable not only for its legal basis but because of several other issues included in this regulation.``

    ``For us,`` Macroullis added, ``the fact that the European Council`s legal department ruling on the direct trade is sufficient, that is according to the international law and the acquis communautaire the Republic of Cyprus has the sovereign right to declare its ports and airports closed and every meber-state of the international community and especially members of the EU have the obligation to abide by the international and EU rules and the international law.``

    Asked about the contacts between Commission officials and the Turkish Cypriots for the harmonisation of the T/c community, Marcoullis said that she will discuss this issue with Rehn, adding that the Ministry has made representations for the issue.

    ``Our position in clear. For us there is no harmonization of the T/c with the acquis,`` she said, adding that the EU financial aid regulation, approved by the Commission with the agreement of Nicosia, includes projects aiming to bring the Turkish Cypriots closer to the EU.

    ``Under no circumstances there can be harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU acquis. The EU acquis can be applied throughout Cyprus after the settlement of the Cyprus problem and that is the position which I will reiterate to Rehn in Brussels,`` she said.

    Asked about illegal immigrants entering the areas controlled by the Republic from the occupied areas, Marcoullis said that she raised this issue to Foreign Ministers during the 5th Informal Meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers of Mediterranean countries, that was held in Pafos, adding that this is one of the issues she will discuss with the EU enlargement Commissioner.

    Cyprus, an EU member-state since May 1 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos pointed out on Friday that ``we cannot have sustainable and regional security without the creation of a viable and territorially contiguous Palestinian state living in peace and prosperity, side by side with a secure Israel.``

    In remarks during the international conference ``Peace Perspectives in the Middle East: A Focus on the Arab-Israeli Conflict``, organised in Nicosia by Daedalos Institute of Geopolitics and the Middle East Studies of the Nicosia University, President Papadopoulos said ``we cannot have a comprehensive peace in the Middle East without the peaceful resolution of the other tracks of the Arab-Israeli conflict, namely the Lebanese and the Syrian tracks,`` adding that ``to this effect, engagement of regional actors is essential, and the cooperation of the European Union with the Arab League is also beneficial.``

    ``Almost two months after the Annapolis Conference and the reinvigoration of the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, we have not witnessed any improvements on the ground. On the contrary, the security situation has deteriorated, with both Israeli and Palestinian civilians being the victims of spiraling violence,`` he said.


    The European Commission made a detailed presentation on Friday of the operational programme ``Fisheries`` for the period 2007-2013 for Cyprus, which was approved on 19 December 2007.

    The total eligible public expenditure of the programme amounts to 39,448,836 euros, of which 50% will be covered through the European Fisheries Fund (EFF).

    The Commission has announced that during the period 2004-2006, Cyprus benefited from EU support under the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG), amounting to 3,419,073 euros. As a result, a relatively large number of projects received financial support. The capacity of the fishing fleet was reduced by 560 GT (2,515 KW), twelve new investments in aquaculture were co-financed, fishing shelters were improved and seven investments in the processing industry also received support.

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