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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-29

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] CYPRUS FM GAZA
  • [02] MINE ACTION CENTRE BUFFER ZONE DE-MINING
  • [03] TUNISIAN PRESIDENT CYPRIOT AMBASSADOR
  • [04] CYPRIOT NGO GAZA MEDICAL AID

  • [01] CYPRUS FM GAZA

    Cyprus government has called for the immediate termination of acts of violence in Gaza, amid information that Israel is considering a ground attack.

    An announcement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here Sunday says that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus expresses its concern over the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, which has led to the loss of many innocent lives and condemns all indiscriminate attacks against civilian targets.

    The Government and the people of Cyprus express their sympathy to the families of the victims. The recent events also add further to the already grave humanitarian crisis in Gaza, the announcement adds.

    Furthermore, the announcement stresses, Cyprus calls for the immediate termination of acts of violence and of use of disproportionate force. Cyprus underlines the need for the full resumption of the cease-fire (tahdiya) and supports positive efforts of neighbouring countries towards this aim.

    It is also added that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus stresses the need for the continuation of the direct peace talks of the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships towards a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue.

    Finally, Cyprus government expresses its support to the Palestinian Authority and emphasises the prospect of intra-Palestinian reconciliation efforts under the mediation of Egypt, considering that there cannot be a military solution to the issue of Gaza.

    [02] MINE ACTION CENTRE BUFFER ZONE DE-MINING

    Recent landmine-related accidents in Cyprus are a tragic reminder of the need to continue de-mining efforts in the buffer zone, just as their funding risks are running out, the head of the Mine Action Centre Cyprus (MAC) said today. ``Landmines continue to maim and can kill in Cyprus, almost 35 years after they were first laid``, said Michael Raine, Programme Manager of the MAC.

    ``Much progress has been made, but the three accidents in December serve as a tragic reminder that de-mining work is not done``, he added, according to an UNFICYP press release.

    The first accident, on 5 December, involved a group of seven people believed to have crossed from the northern Turkish occupied part of the island. A man stepped on a landmine that blew off part of his right foot. Fragments from the explosion injured his four-year-old son, his wife and one other child. The second accident involved an experienced de-miner whose right hand was seriously injured when a small anti-personnel mine he was attempting to excavate close to Skouriotissa village exploded. The third accident involved a family of three and occurred on 20 December. The location of this accident is not known, although the family was believed to be attempting to cross from the north. A man stepped on a landmine and lost his right foot.

    Raine recalled that thanks to de-mining work, through 2008 over 6 million square meters of land have been returned to productive use and 9163 land mines cleared (5,666 anti-personnel and 3,497 anti-tank). The task of delivering a mine-free buffer zone is 80 per cent complete. However, he underlined that the work risks coming to a halt at the end of January 2009 if more funding is not found soon.

    [03] TUNISIAN PRESIDENT CYPRIOT AMBASSADOR

    Cyprus Ambassador to France, Pericles Nearchou, has presented his credentials to Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, as Cyprus Ambassador to Tunisia, based in Paris.

    An official statement said Nearchou met the Tunisian President and briefed him on the latest developments in the Cyprus issue.

    Zine El Abidine Ben Ali said he was pleased with relations between the two countries, expressing his readiness to further develop and enhance them.

    [04] CYPRIOT NGO GAZA MEDICAL AID

    A delegation of the non-governmental organisation Volunteer Doctors Cyprus departs for the Gaza Strip Monday afternoon to carry medical assistance, following the onset of the Israeli offensive on Saturday.

    The mission will carry mainly antibiotics, painkillers and operating room equipment.

    The organisations chairman Dr. George Georgiou told CNA that the two-day mission will also underline the organisations support for the struggle of the Palestinian people.


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