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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-10-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias believes that there is no impressive progress at the direct talks he is engaged in with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, Mehmet Ali Talat.

    However, the President also points out that it is early days in the ongoing talks and one must not express pessimism at this stage.

    He said that the Greek Cypriot side will continue the dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots with good will and flexibility, defending the principles of a Cyprus settlement, that will reunite the country, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    In statements on Sunday evening before departing for Sofia, Bulgaria for an official visit, President Christofias said the problem is that there is no impressive progress, not to say that there is no progress at all.

    The President said he cannot be pessimistic. We have just begun, only two meetings have taken place and there will be more, noting that there is a lot to discuss. For the time being, he said, we are only talking about governance and I will remain cautiously optimistic despite the fact that at times I am anxious.

    President Christofias said We will continue the dialogue, defending principles, with good will and flexibility. The talks are under UN auspices and we aspire to reach an agreed solution that will serve the best interests of Cypriots and not of foreigners, he added.

    The President dismissed as fiction reports that the UN are seeking an express process that might eventually lead to deadlines.

    The process remains as it is, I will meet Mr. Talat on Friday just as I have done so far but I have no idea about an express process, he added.

    The President refrained from any comment on the content of the talks, pointing out that there is a commitment to confidentiality.

    On Talats statements about a new partnership, President Christofias said Talat had not ruled out the possibility of having the current state of Cyprus being transformed.

    He is talking about a new partnership. This is the truth, said President Christofias, adding our position is well known, we are not relinquishing the Republic of Cyprus. The Republic of Cyprus is the common state of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and this Republic of Cyprus, the united state, will evolve into a federal, bicommunal, bizonal state, the President concluded.


    Bulgaria maintains a long standing position of principles on the Cyprus question, President Demetris Christofias has said, adding that Nicosia is cooperating closely and has a continuous dialogue with Sofia.

    In statements at Larnaca airport, before leaving for an official visit to Bulgaria, President Christofias described Bulgaria as a friendly country. He noted that he will be escorted by a delegation of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and will attend a seminar organised by the chambers and the Ministries of the two countries.

    Christofias said that this is the first visit by a Cypriot President to Bulgaria after many years and noted that he maintains very friendly relations with the leadership of the country.

    I am sure that this visit will be a milestone in efforts to enhance political, economic and cultural cooperation between our two countries, he added.


    The Turkish sides positions do not leave ground for optimism regarding the outcome of the renew efforts to reach a Cyprus settlement, President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian has said.

    We are not optimistic about the outcome of the direct talks between the leaders of the two communities, not because we do not want to be optimistic, but because the Turkish side does not allow us to be, due to its stance and the unreasonable positions it puts on the negotiation table, Garoyian stressed.

    Speaking on the sidelines of an event organized by the Nicosia Heart Patients Association, and replying to questions about the direct negotiations between Cyprus President and Turkish Cypriot leader, Garoyian noted that we are still at the beginning of the process, during which the issue of Governance is still being discussed.

    So far, we have not seen any signs of change in the Turkish policy, he added.


    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has assured that the government has a plan to protect small businesses in Cyprus from the international financial crisis, noting that the Council of Ministers has recently taken relevant decisions.

    Speaking at Larnaca Airport before departing for Bulgaria and asked if the government would be protecting small enterprises, as the four wealthiest EU countries have announced they will, President Christofias said that ``when they speak about sums, and I do not wish to refer to specific sums, they mean that these funds will come from the EU.``

    ``We have a programme to protect small enterprises and indeed recently the Council of Ministers has taken decisions, which have been announced,`` the President said, adding that ``this is also included in the 2009 budget.``

    He explained that what the EU members that met in Paris have decided is that each country should take care of itself and ``anyone who has to help will help and thereafter those who cannot will turn to the European Commission.``

    President Christofias said ``this is not the same case as the USA, where Congress has decided on a huge amount,`` adding that ``in a neo-liberal system state assistance is called for.``

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