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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-03-31

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Lynn Pascoe, UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, began his contacts on the island here Monday with a meeting with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Pascoe said he had a very good discussion and enjoyed the meeting and talking to the President.

    However he said he will not make any real comment until the end of his visit.

    Asked whether he is optimistic about his talks, the UN official replied I am always optimistic.

    Pascoe confirmed he will give a press conference on Wednesday at the end of his meetings.

    Present at todays meeting were Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou and a foreign Ministry aide and on the UN side, Pascoe was accompanied by Elizabeth Spehar, Director of Europe and America at the UN Department of Political Affairs, who arrived in Cyprus Thursday to replace UN Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus, Michael Moller and other UN officials.

    The UN Undersecretary-General crossed to the Turkish occupied north of the island for a meeting with Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Later on he will host a lunch with representatives of civil society from the Greek-Turkish Forum.

    On Monday, he will also meet leaders of Greek Cypriot political parties and on Tuesday morning he will meet leaders of Turkish Cypriot parties.


    Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou believes that the Turkish military will find it very difficult to block an agreement, reached by the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities. Commenting on the planned opening of a check-point at Ledra street to facilitate movement to and from the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, Kyprianou stressed that the checkpoint at Ledra street is an opening, a passage where control is exercised. Our wish and our goal is one day to be able to walk from one end of Ledra street to the other, as we should be doing throughout Cyprus, without having to go through any procedures, the Minister said, adding that safety for pedestrians must be secured before the check point opens.

    Speaking at Larnaka airport after his arrival from Slovenia, where he took part in the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers, he said a visit to Cyprus by UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe aims to see how they can reinforce the effort to resume negotiations towards a political settlement. He said the United Nations will assess developments and if discussions at the technical committees and the working groups, already set up by the two communities to deal with substantive issues and daily concerns, progress, then the UN must become more actively engaged in further negotiations.

    Commenting on statements by Turkeys top general that the Turkish military will not leave Cyprus, even after a solution, Kyprianou said the government believes that a solution to the problem cannot be reached with troops remaining on the island. It is unthinkable for an EU state member to have foreign troops stationed on its territory and this should be one of the prerequisites for a solution to the problem, as repeatedly declared by the President himself, the Foreign Misister added.


    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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