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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-05

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said that there is common understanding with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat but there is disagreement with Turkey, as far as efforts for a solution in Cyprus are concerned.

    Addressing correspondents of foreign media in Cyprus, at a lunch hosted by the Cyprus News Agency, the President said both he and Talat want to reunite the country but also acknowledged that Talat has shifted his stance in the question of Cyprus.

    I am flexible and ready to compromise but I have my limits and I cannot exceed certain principles, the President stressed, adding also that there is no alternative for a new failure in the peace effort, there is no plan B.``

    Outlining his vision for Cyprus, he said he wants to see a free, independent country where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are the masters of their own land, and reiterated his good will to try and reach a political settlement as soon as possible, before his term in office expires in four years from now.

    He urged Turkey to translate its verbal support of the peace process in Cyprus into actual support for a bizonal bicommunal federation, and made it abundantly clear that as long as Turkey continues to occupy Cyprus northern part, it cannot possibly hope to join the European Union.

    Turkey holds the key to its accession to the European Union, he pointed out.

    President Christofias also said that all aspects of the question of Cyprus are difficult, serious and interconnected.

    He said there are difficulties in efforts to find a negotiated settlement due to outside factors and expressed hope that Turkey will take the political decision to help find a solution.

    Responding to questions, the President dismissed any notion of arbitration or strict timetables in the ongoing peace process.

    Questioned on a Cypriot-flagged ship, of Russian interests, docked off Limassol port and allegedly carrying weapons, originating from Iran, President Christofias said the Russian government has not been in touch with him at all but he also expressed his displeasure with the way other interested governments have shown their interest in this matter.

    The President described the Cypriot economy as sound and said it has resources to handle the current financial crisis with specific measures

    On relations with Greece, he said these are absolutely on an equal par, they are ties of friendship and cooperation, without any intervention in our domestic affairs from Athens.

    Responding to questions, the President aired his strong objection to creating casinos in Cyprus, which he described as an expression of corruption, a crisis of the system.

    On a more personal note, he said his most difficult moment in 2008 was when the election results were announced and he realised the magnitude of the task ahead. His happiest moment was the first meeting with Talat to embark on a process towards a solution.


    Cypriot House President Marios Garoyian asked Thursday the Czech EU presidency to exercise ``discreet pressure`` on Turkey to change its stance on Cyprus.

    The request was put forward during a meeting in Prague between Garoyian and the Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

    Speaking after the meeting, Garoyian said that he asked the Czech Presidency to exercise discreet pressure on Turkey since the Czech Republic has friendly relations with Ankara in addition to the fact that Prague holds the six-monthly rotating EU presidency. The House President said the discussion was very friendly and constructive, noting that the main issues discussed were the Cyprus problem and the Czech EU presidency.


    The Republic of Cyprus and the United States have signed an agreement of cooperation in the fields of science and technology.

    The agreement aims at enhancing scientific and technological cooperation between the two parties, boosting relations between the academic and scientific communities and promoting cooperation in various scientific and technological fields for mutual benefit.

    The areas of cooperation include among others the fields of archaeology, science, research, nanotechnology, super computing, and water supply purification.

    The agreement was signed Thursday in Nicosia by Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus and US Ambassador in Nicosia, Frank Urbancic, on behalf of the US.


    The Cyprus government has decided to grant 500.000 euros as aid to the Palestinians living in Gaza, after the devastating attacks they suffered by the Israeli armed forces.

    In statements after a meeting of the Council of Ministers, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said that the government also decided that the Republic of Cyprus will host a number of Palestinians for nursing, giving priority to children and mothers.

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