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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The UN Sanctions Committee has given its reply to a request by the Cypriot government for guidance regarding the Cypriot-flagged ship ``Monchegorsk``, which docked at Limassol port, allegedly carrying weapons. The Committees reply was handed over last night to Cyprus UN Permanent Representative Ambassador Minas Hadjimichael by Japanese chairman of the Committee Ambassador Yukio Takasu.

    It has been alleged that the Cypriot-flagged ship, of Russian interests, which originated from Iran, was carrying arms and it was forced by a US military vessel to dock at Limassol port to have its cargo inspected, in order to establish whether there has been a breach of UN Security Council sanctions, as claimed.

    The Cyprus government has submitted to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee a report on the findings of two inspections of the cargo of the ship, conducted on January 29 and February 2 by a team of experts from the Republic of Cyprus. The Japanese presidency of the Sanctions Committee examined the report on the findings of the inspections of the cargo of ship and handed over its response.


    The British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee urges the British government to find a way of dissolving the negative image it has among the Greek Cypriots. In its report on its July Visit to Cyprus, published Friday, the Committee states that since the Turkish invasion against Cyprus in the summer of 1974 there has been a perception among Greek Cypriots that the UK is not even handed in its dealings with Cyprus. Some Greek Cypriots blame Britain more than the US for the current state of Cyprus. They feel Britain has never forgiven Cyprus for its liberation struggle.

    The paradox is that Cypriots love Great Britain, they send their children to be educated there, they use its health service, but they are deeply suspicious of its foreign policy. The British Government needs to find a way of dissolving this negative image which goes back to the 1950s, the report adds.

    The report, which also refers to the Cyprus issue and the efforts to solve it, notes that there is still widespread optimism that a deal is achievable. The current talks are widely seen as the best opportunity to resolve the Cyprus problem for a generation. Equally, if the talks fail, it is unlikely that another credible attempt will be made for many years to come, it adds. The leaders of the two communities (Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot) are both committed to finding a solution and this process is different from last time, it is generated within Cyprus, the report says.

    On the timescale of an agreement, it says that the real deadline is probably the last week in July 2009, the start of the summer holidays. By then the talks will have to have shown substantial progress and look like an irreversible process. It notes that some issues are relatively easy like how to run the economy of the newly unified island, how tax will be levied and how to manage relations with the EU.`` Other issues, it adds, like security and property are much more contentious.

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