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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-03-08

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The real intentions of the Turkish Cypriot side for a solution to the Cyprus problem will become evident during the meeting which President of the Republic Demetris Christofias will have with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat later this month, said here Saturday Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou.

    In statements in Limassol after the memorial service of his father and former President of the Republic Spyros Kyprianou, the FM said that we should not jump to conclusions because of references on intransigent positions heard from the Turkish Cypriot or even Turkish side.

    He said that through the next movements and contacts we will see whether these are movements of tactic, putting down their views on the negotiating table, an effort to have an advantage or whether these are their final positions.

    This will become evident from President Christofias meeting with Mr. Talat and surely after the UN (officials) visit to the island, said Kyprianou.

    He further said that positive messages for opening Ledra Street checkpoint would also become apparent after the two leaders meeting.

    The Cypriot Minister cautioned that there are certain fundamental prerequisites which must be sustained to open the checkpoint, adding that President Christofias is showing special interest for the opening of Limnitis checkpoint. There is good will on our part, but the international community must make the appropriate recommendations to the other side, he concluded.

    Newly elected President Demetris Christofias has announced that he would be meeting the Turkish Cypriot leader between March 17 and 24.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said that his permanent concern was the successful outcome of efforts for a just and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem, and expressed hope that ``our Turkish Cypriot compatriots will meet this joint effort in good faith for a settlement that will serve the interests of the people of Cyprus and no one else, and the international interest will work as a strong lever to curb Turkey`s intransigence.``

    Addressing an event hosted by the women`s department of leftwing AKEL, on the occasion of the International Women`s Day on March 8, President Christofias said that ``we will also continue our social struggles for a just society,`` adding that ``our slogan for a just settlement and a just society is the guiding light for all our future actions.``

    ``Our aim is a bicommunal bizonal federation, provided for by the high level agreements of 1977 and 1979, a solution based on UN resolutions, in line with international and European law, respecting the human rights of all citizens. A federal Republic of Cyprus with one sovereignty, one international identity, a single economy and institutions, which will unite Cyprus and its people, is feasible,`` he pointed out.

    He assured that, ``along with our organised efforts for a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, we will make every effort to implement our commitments for the development of a fairer society, of which the corner stone of its success will be the solution of the serious problems concerning women and children.``


    Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou said that the Municipality is ready for the opening of Ledra Street checkpoint and is anticipating the conclusion of contacts at a political level as well as the forthcoming meeting between Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Mavrou, asked on developments concerning the opening Ledra Street, on the sidelines of a gathering organized by the Association for the Prevention of Domestic Violence as part of events to honour International Womens Day, said that contacts are being held at a political level and that after the two leaders meetings, the issue will clear.

    She said that on a local administration level, the municipality has worked very close with the Turkish Cypriot side and together have examined plans to support the buldings along the Ledra Street.

    We have worked on a specific timeframe on Ledra Street from the moment a political decision is taken, she said.


    European citizens in their vast majority are convinced of the benefits of the EU regional policy, which accounts for more than one third of the EU budget, in their town, city or region, and want it to be more ambitious and tackle head on new challenges such as globalisation, the fight against climate change and demographic trends.

    These are the basic conclusions of the Eurobarometer survey of how Europeans perceive the EU regional policy, the results of which were released by Danuta Hubner, the Commissioner responsible for regional policy.

    For Cyprus, 68.8% of those asked believe that their town or region has benefited from EU support, while 25.5% said the opposite. Furthermore, 47% place funding the fight against climate change as a priority, 36% globalisation and 14% demographic changes.

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