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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-03-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Lynn Pascoe, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, arrives in Cyprus on Sunday to assess the situation on the island, following recent developments with regard to efforts to resume substantive negotiations, leading to a political settlement that would reunite the country.

    On Monday he will be received by President Demetris Christofias and on Tuesday he will talk to the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat. He leaves for New York Wednesday to brief the Secretary General.

    According to a UN official, Pascoe will not only listen to what the two leaders have to say but he will explore the situation and assess the current state of affairs, following a recent agreement between Christofias and Talat to set up technical committees and working groups to prepare the ground for negotiations. The two leaders have also agreed to open a crossing point to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas in Ledra street, in the heart of the capital Nicosia.

    The UN, the same official has said, wants to see how it can facilitate these efforts to ensure that when the two leaders meet again in three months time, as agreed, significant progress will have been made.

    In his meetings in Cyprus, Pascoe will listen to the various ideas President Christofias and Mr Talat will put forward before he makes any specific recommendations, he said.

    Work on both sides of the ceasefire line, at Ledra street, has begun in earnest by technical teams, after the UN had cleared the buffer zone and declared it safe. It is expected that the crossing point will open by the end of next week.

    Pascoe was appointed to his current post on 1 March 2007. Before joining the United Nations, Pascoe was most recently the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia, from October 2004 to February 2007. He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs at the State Department in Washington, D.C., following postings as U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia and U.S. Special Negotiator for Regional Conflicts in the former Soviet Union.

    In 1996, Pascoe served at the United Nations as a Special Advisor to the U.S. Permanent Mission to the UN. From 1993 to 1996, he was Director of the American Institute in Taiwan. He also served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the East Asian and Pacific Bureau of the State Department, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, Deputy Executive Secretary of the Department of State, and Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State.

    In an almost forty-year career in the U.S. Foreign Service, Pascoe also held positions on the Soviet and China desks and has been posted to Moscow, Hong Kong and Bangkok, as well as to Beijing twice and to Kuala Lumpur. He speaks mandarin Chinese.


    A European Parliament committee has approved by an absolute majority a report on missing persons in Cyprus. Ewa Klamts report on missing persons in Cyprus has been adopted by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. According to a press release, issued by Euro MP Panayiotis Demetriou, the report is expected to be endorsed by the plenary of the Parliament in April.

    After that, the EP will make the necessary amendments to the European Union budget for 2009, in order to release financial assistance to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) in Cyprus, which is engaged in efforts to establish the fate of those missing from the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities. Klamt highlights in the report the importance of the CMP work and calls for further financial assistance by the European Commission for 2009. In addition, Klamt refers to previous resolutions adopted on this issue by the European Parliament and the United Nations and to decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

    According to the report, the European Parliament empowers Klamt to take every possible measure in order to persuade the two sides, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot, to cooperate constructively in the investigations into the fate of all missing persons in Cyprus. Klamts report follows the resolution of the European Parliament, adopted in March 2007, which had been drafted and promoted by Demetriou. A key point in the resolution adopted by the EP in March 2007 is that the issue of missing persons in Cyprus a purely humanitarian concern and has no political ramifications. This point is reflected in Klamts report as well.


    Water Boards in the major cities, except Paphos, have imposed water cuts in a bid to save water, following the prolonged drought and the minimum amount of water in the countrys reservoirs. Households will have water for eight or twelve hours in the evening every two days, depending on how the local water boards decide to distribute water. The decision to impose water cuts was taken by the government on Monday, the first time in several years that such a drastic measure is imposed. Supplies to the local water boards will be reduced by 30 per cent. Hospitals and some other installations are exempt from the water cuts.

    An official press release describes the water situation in Cyprus as tragic, saying that flow to the reservoirs is the minimal in the past 20 years. At the beginning of March last year water reserves stood at 134 cubic metres and on the same date this year reserves were only 70 cm. Today there are only 38 cm in the countrys dams.

    To deal with the continuing drought, the government will encourage drilling of wells in specific sites, increase the capacity of the temporary mobile land desalination plant, to be installed in Limassol district, from 20,000 to 40,000 cubic metres daily. The plant is expected to be ready in October this year. The government intends to increase the capacity of the desalination plant in Episkopi village, near the southern coastal town of Limassol, from 40,000 to 60,000 and install a mobile or floating desalination plant in Paphos, on the west. There are also plans to increase the production of water at the Dekehlia desalination plant, on the southeast from 40,000 to 60,000 cubic metre a day and production at Larnaca plant from 52,000 to 62,000 per day.


    The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism has announced that summer time begins on March 30, at 0300 local time (0100 GMT).

    At 0300 local time, clocks should be set one hour forward, an arrangement which is applied in all European Union countries.

    Summer time will end on 26 October.

    A relevant decree was published in the Republic`s official gazette on July 13, 2007.

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