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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has expressed the full satisfaction of the government of Cyprus with the conclusions of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) as regards the EU enlargement and Turkey.

    In statements Tuesday Kyprianou said that the GAERC conclusions ``not only clearly outline Ankaras obligations, they also adopt all previous decisions with a stronger language, especially as regards Turkeys responsibility and role in solving the Cyprus issue.

    The Cypriot Foreign Minister said that the conclusions make clear that Turkeys EU accession process can not proceed if Ankara does not fulfill its EU obligations, one of which is the implementation of the Ankara Protocol which demands that Turkey opens its ports and airports for vessels and aircraft from Cyprus.

    ``The language used is clear and responsibilities are being attributed to Turkey. Moreover, Turkey is requested urgently to fulfill its obligations and contribute to the just and this is the new word that is being used this year solution of the Cyprus problem, based on the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, he stressed.

    Kyprianou added this is something which prevents any sorts of misinterpretations regarding the form of the solution.

    Replying to questions, Kyprianou said that President of the European Commission Manuel Barroso has sent a letter to Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, in which he states that he will contribute to the efforts to reach a Cyprus solution and would like to be informed about the progress of the ongoing negotiations, which began early September between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, with a view to reunify Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    Asked whether Barroso has replied to President Christofias letter regarding the EU role in the Cyprus talks, Kyprianou replied positively, saying that Barroso will ``follow developments and contribute, with the support of experts, mostly to the process of solving the Cyprus issue, especially for matters concerning the EU.

    `Let us not forget that the state, that will emerge from the solution of the Cyprus problem, must function effectively as a member state of the EU, he concluded.


    A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed in November between the Central Bank of Cyprus and the Central Bank of Qatar. According to an official announcement, issue by the Central Bank, the Memorandum was signed by the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Athanasios Orphanides and the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Qatar Sheikh Fahad Bin Faisal Al-Thani.

    The announcement said the deal highlights the mutual interest and willingness of the two banks to establish and promote bilateral ties in the domain of supervision of credit institutions. The Memorandum of Understanding defines a general framework of mutual cooperation and exchange of information between the two supervisory authorities, for the purpose of facilitating the performance of their supervisory function as well as the effective supervision and regulation of credit institutions in their respective countries, in accordance with their national laws and regulations.

    The Qatar Central Bank is the competent authority for the licensing and supervision of credit institutions operating in Qatar. The Central Bank of Cyprus, in addition to being the countrys monetary authority, is also Cypruss licensing as well as banking supervisory authority.


    Minister of Communications and Works Nikos Nikolaides has welcomed the adoption of the third package of measures on maritime safety by the European Union Transport, Telecommunications and Energy (TTE) Council. In statements here after the Council, the Cypriot Minister said that the third package strengthens the levels of vessel safety, as well as the protection of maritime environment and enhances the passengers rights as regards maritime transport.

    Nikolaides said that Cyprus, being a country of important maritime infrastructure and know-how, plays a leading role in shaping European maritime policy. Cyprus, with its know-how and experience in the field of maritime transport, participated actively in drafting the third package of measures on maritime safety, since some of our positions, which aim at reinforcing the international maritime legislative framework and the international conventions, have been adopted, the Minister said.

    The Council also adopted a resolution on the European Data Center for the identification of vessels. The Cypriot Minister called on the EU Commission, the European Maritime Safety Agency and EU member states to intensify their efforts for the conclusion of the European Data Center within the next six months.


    The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics is processing and promoting new diagnostic methods for Down`s syndrome and Thalassemia, for which the diagnosis will be made with the blood samples of the pregnant woman and not amniotic fluid cells.

    The Institute and its Chief Executive Medical Director Dr. Philippos C. Patsalis are aiming at further improving and upgrading the quality of life of Cypriots, irrespective of religion and national origin, as well as at the strengthening of the regional role of Cyprus in the sectors of neurology, genetics and biomedical science in general.

    In an interview with CNA, Dr. Patsalis said that equally important is the Institute`s research on breast cancer, for which specific genes have been mapped, as well as the diagnostic methods for breast and ovarian cancer, while research for the reprogramming of muscular cells are at an advanced stage.

    Dr. Patsalis also referred to the role of the Institute in identifying the remains of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot missing persons in Cyprus, noting however that he could not provide data on the subject, since the project has been undertaken by the United Nations, political persons, governmental departments and the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus.

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