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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-03-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias is having a series of meetings with European leaders and officials on the sidelines of the two-day European Council, which begins on Thursday afternoon.

    Earlier on Thursday, President Christofias met with President of the Party of European Socialists Poul Rasmussen and Russia`s Permanent Representative at the EU Vladimir Chizhov.

    Later on Thursday President Christofias is scheduled to meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, at the latters initiative, President of the European Parliament Hans Gert Poettering and President of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament Martin Schultz. On Friday he will be meeting President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.

    Reliable sources have said the meetings so far were held in a ``very friendly atmosphere.`` They added that one of the aims of President Christofias was ``to develop and deepen the international relations of the Republic of Cyprus, especially with countries and governments with which the Republic of Cyprus has longstanding relations,`` especially the United Kingdom, which is an important economic and trade partner, as well as a guarantor power of Cyprus` independence.

    According to the same sources, the aim of President Christofias is to inform European partners about his vision for a Cyprus settlement and his social policy.

    They also said that the specific European Council has a social dimension and, given that President Christofias` pre-election slogan was ``A just solution, a just society,`` the President of the Republic will share his vision on how Cyprus can have a fairer society, in the framework of its participation in the EU.

    The sources pointed out that the interest of the international community and the EU has been rekindled after the election of Demetris Christofias to the presidency of the Republic in late February, regarding prospects for a Cyprus settlement.

    Regarding a meeting on Wednesday between George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, advisors to President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat respectively, the sources said the meeting ``has prepared the meeting between the President of the Republic and Mehmet Ali Talat, to take place on March 21.``

    They added that the meeting will aim to explore the ground in the sense that we will try to determine the real intentions of the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the prospects for a settlement, given the remarks by Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side on a solution which are not the best and do not improve the climate.``

    The same sources reiterated the positions of the Greek Cypriot side for a settlement on the basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation, and pointed out that President Christofias will honour the signature of his predecessor, Tassos Papadopoulos, on a UN-brokered agreement in July 2006 and hoped Talat would do the same.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The July agreement aims to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations between the islands two communities, leading to a comprehensive settlement that would reunite the country.


    King Abdullah II of Jordan has said his government would continue to support Cyprus at international fora, particularly in relation to efforts to reunite Cyprus.

    The assurances were given to Cyprus new Ambassador to Jordan, based in Damascus, Efstathios Orphanides, who presented his credentials to the King, during a formal ceremony earlier this month, according to an official press release.

    During a short meeting with Ábdullah II, Orfanides expressed to the King of Jordan the gratitude and appreciation of the President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and that of the Cypriot people for the support that Jordan provides to Cyprus, particularly on the Cyprus problem at various international fora.

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