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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said that the impression, which some circles are trying to give with regard to the direct negotiations on the Cyprus question, attributing the delay to the stance of the Greek Cypriot side and Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, does not respond to reality.

    If the two sides present rational positions, positions that abide by all those that have been agreed all these years, it is in the framework of the negotiating basis that has been agreed, and the positions serve the goal of a settlement providing for a bizonal-bicommunal federation then with these positions we help the negotiations to move forward, he said.

    Stephanou also noted that Christofias and Talat would meet on Friday in the framework of the direct negotiations while they will also have a private meeting. Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct talks since early September, with a view to reach an agreement that will reunite Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Invited to comment on the visit of British Minister for Europe Caroline Flint to Cyprus, Stephanou said that during her meeting today with President Christofias, the latter had the opportunity to brief Flint on the course of the negotiations and developments on the Cyprus question, but also about the situation in the Cyprus question in general.

    Stephanou said that the British Minister conveyed the message that Britain supports efforts by the two communities in Cyprus to solve the Cyprus question, having in mind that the whole process is in the hands of Cypriots, it belongs to the Cypriots, something which Britain, the international community and the UN accept, as he noted.

    Replying to another question, Stephanou said that some circles support that the whole process is delaying and that the negotiations must be intensified; giving the impression that it is the Greek Cypriot side and President Christofias that are responsible for this delay.

    This does not respond to reality, Stephanou said.

    He noted that the two leaders had other obligations and therefore after their last meeting on September 18 they could not meet earlier than Friday, October 10.

    Stephanou also noted that what is most important is what each side presents at the negotiation table, the will it shows and if it has the will for the negotiations to move on.

    He added that if the positions being submitted are contradicting to what has been set as the basis of the talks, then negotiations will not move forward.

    The Spokesman expressed regret, because as he said, the difficulties that have come up until now have to do with the fact that the Turkish Cypriot side presents positions that do not support and do not serve the goal of reaching a settlement and to the reunification of the country, in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation.


    UN Secretary General Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has said he was cautiously optimistic about the process of direct negotiations on the Cyprus question, noting that both leaders are very much committed to a successful outcome.

    Speaking to the press upon his arrival to the island, after holding meetings in New York, Washington and Brussels on the Cyprus question, Downer said, There is hope that we can see the leaders taking the process forward here in the next few weeks and continue to build on the meetings and the agreements that theyve made so far.

    Referring to his meetings abroad, Downer said he was in New York where he met the UN Secretary General, had an informal meeting with the five permanent members of the Security Council to discuss the Cyprus problem and met a number of other United Nations officials.


    The Cyprus government has decided to table before the House Representatives a bill for guaranteeing bank deposits, with a minimum amount of 100,000 euro, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis has said, underlying that the Government is trusting banks and cooperative institutions.

    In statements after a meeting with high-level representatives of commercial banks and the cooperative banks, Stavrakis said that Cyprus will take measures to boost its bank system and the cooperative movement, through a common policy in all EU countries.

    Announcing the decision to raise the deposit guarantee to 100.000 euros, double the minimum level of insurance on deposits across the 27-nation bloc of 50,000, the Finance Minister said that during todays meeting, bank representatives were informed about the decisions taken during the meeting of EU Finance Ministers in Luxembourg.


    Three members of The Elders have expressed their full support to the efforts of the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem and reunify the island, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    Chairman of the Elders, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former US President Jimmy Carter and former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi, are currently in Cyprus to hold a series of meetings with the leaders of the two communities, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, as well as with others involved in the current Cyprus talks, the civil society and the youth.

    In short statements at the Nicosia airport area at the UN controlled buffer zone, the three members of the Elders, surrounded by Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot schoolchildren, said they are on the island to encourage the two leaders in their efforts to solve the Cyprus issue. They also stressed that they are not in Cyprus as mediators, but they will hold a meeting with the leaders, and others, in order to get the messages to the rest of the world.

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