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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-03-30

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The anticipated opening of a crossing point to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas, in the heart of Nicosia, is but a symbolic move which improves the climate, House President Marios Karoyan has said. Opening the crossing point at Ledra street, though it will improve the climate, it has nothing to do with the substance of the Cyprus issue, he said on the sidelines a party meeting in Limassol.

    Karoyan, who is also the leader of the Democratic Party, noted that Turkeys stance will be evaluated and tested during negotiations at the technical committees and the working groups, set up by the island`s two communities, during which substantive issues of the Cyprus problem and other matters will be discussed. He said that several initial problems and difficulties have been overcome and the opening of the crossing point is expected by the end of the coming week.

    Everything will be assessed at the negotiating table and I wish that the Turkish side has taken the political decision to cooperate for the implementation of the July 2006 agreement, which will enable the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities to begin negotiations, if sufficient progress has been achieved, towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, he added. Karoyan said the international community has already sent some messages to the Turkish side. ``The international community has leverage and can exert actual pressue on Turkey to contribute in a constructive manner so that the work achieved within the technical committees and the working groups is in line with the framework everybody accepts, namely UN resolutions, Security Council decisions and the principles on which the European Union has been founded,`` he pointed out.


    The Minister of Agriculture has called for an emergency meeting this week of all interested parties to discuss water cuts the government has announced. I have invited the heads of local water boards in the various districts with a view to explain the measures the government announced earlier this week, Mihalis Polinikis, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment has said.

    Speaking in Paphos, on the western coast, the Minister noted that there are different views as to how these measures are to be applied and because of this all parties involved with water management have been asked to meet on Wednesday to clarify the situation. The government decision to reduce the quantity of water distributed to local water boards, to meet the continuing drought, is applied in exactly the same method to all water boards, including Paphos, he stressed, adding that there has been a 30% cut in the supply of water to the water boards.

    The Minister explained that it was up to the local water boards to decide how to proceed with the distribution of water to households and other installations and how to manage water cuts in general. The 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. Hospitals and some other installations are exempt from the water cuts.

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