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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-10-25

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The solution of the Cyprus problem must allow all Cypriots to live and work together in an independent and prosperous country within the European Union, without the presence of foreign troops and illegal settlers, in conditions of security where everyones origin will be respected, President Demetris Christofias has stressed, in his address at Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting in Beijing during a session on ``Deepening Dialogue Among Civilisations``.

    He said that since 1974, the cultural heritage of Cyprus in the northern part of the island, which remains under Turkish military occupation, has been severely damaged.

    Despite the systematic efforts of the Republic of Cyprus to restore and preserve its religious and cultural heritage, the occupation authorities refuse to allow us access to carry out the necessary restoration work in the occupied areas the President added.

    We strongly believe that it is our duty as well as the duty of the international community to do its utmost in order to convince Turkey to allow the restoration of the cultural heritage in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus. After all, this heritage belongs not just to the Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, this heritage belongs to the whole humanity, he pointed out.

    Referring to the latest negotiating process which started on September 3, President Christofias said that aims to overcome the impasses of the past and achieve a process that would lead to the reunification of Cyprus. The kind of the solution we agreed on must not only take into account our history and international legality. It must also take into account what kind of a society we want to offer to our children, he added.

    The two main communities of Cyprus,, the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, as well as the other three religious groups, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, have lived in peace and cooperation with each other for hundreds of years, inter-spread across the island, until the forceful partition of our homeland in the wake of the Turkish invasion of 1974, he said, stressing that despite the 34-year-old division, the people of Cyprus have never stopped striving to reunify their country.

    President Christofias stressed that a fundamental aspect of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) process is the deepening of dialogue among civilisations. In these turbulent times, it is impossible to overstate its significance and the importance of our common efforts for increased exchanges and deeper understanding between different peoples and cultures, he said.

    The 21st century must become the century of peace. It is a vision we can fulfill for the sake of present and future generations. In these efforts, religious leaders, more than anyone else, have a decisive role to play by bringing forward the value of our common humanity which unites peoples and cultures, he noted. Diversity has to be seen as an enrichment of our societies, rather than a source of conflict, he said.

    The President recalled that as a contribution to the worldwide efforts for reconciliation and dialogue among cultures and religions, Cyprus hosted together with Malaysia the Second ASEM Interfaith Dialogue in September 2006. This had as a result the Larnaca Action Plan, which set up guidelines for the implementation of the Bali Declaration, President said.

    He underlined that the year 2008 was designated as the European Year of intercultural Dialogues. A series of events throughout the year were organised in different parts of Cyprus that aimed to foster the promotion of intercultural exchanges, knowledge and understanding. We could examine the expansion of this endeavor to include the whole of ASEM Partners in the near future President of Cyprus Republic concluded.


    European Union Justice Ministers have agreed to establish a European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) to facilitate the exchange of information extracted from criminal records between member states, which have different languages and different legal orders. Minister of Justice and Public Order, Kypros Chrysostomides who represented Cyprus at the EU ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, said this computerised system will effectively and substantially help combat electronic crime through the internet.

    EU Justice Ministers also decided to support with equipment and training courses countries of Western Africa, to help them fight drug trafficking. A large part of cocaine traffic from Latin America to Europe passes through countries in Western Africa, where drug dealers take advantage of the lack of anti-drug measures. Chrysostomides informed his colleagues that recently the Cyprus Police detected a ship coming from Africa with 170 kilos cannabis, drugs which would have be filtered through the dividing line from the northern Turkish occupied areas of the country to the southern government controlled part of the island.

    The Ministers also agreed on a proposal to recognise and execute decisions relating to alimony and to cooperation with regard to such matters, something which will resolve disputes of this kind faster. Over lunch the 27 talked about strengthening mutual assistance in civil defence and Chrysostomides said that Cyprus supports eagerly this initiative, adding that even though it has limited technical means for this purpose, the country can provide willing, capable and well trained personnel.


    The European Commission has proposed to grant 7.6 million in aid, from the European Union Solidarity Fund, to help Cyprus meet emergency costs resulting from damage caused by an exceptionally severe drought. The aid will mainly help reimburse costs of emergency measures such as the transport of water from Greece.

    Regional Policy Commissioner Danuta Hubner, responsible for the EU Solidarity Fund, said that this is the first time Commission has used the Solidarity Fund to provide financial aid for emergency measures in response to an exceptional drought. Today`s decision demonstrates that, when a major natural disaster strikes, the European Union will stand at the side of its member states.``

    The cumulative effect of the drought in Cyprus led to serious consequences for living conditions, the economy and the natural environment, as well as a massive reduction in water levels on the island. By April 2008, its water reserves were near to depletion, resulting in a severely damaging environmental and socio-economic impact. The Cypriot authorities subsequently applied for financial assistance from the EU Solidarity Fund to help them respond to the damage, equivalent to an estimated 1.25% of the country`s gross national income.


    Clocks in Cyprus turn one hour back on October 26, signaling the end of daylight saving time.

    According to the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, European Summer Time will end at 04:00 on October 26.

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