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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The road ahead for a solution of the Cyprus problem is fraught with uncertainty and hard choices, but the determination and good will of the leaders of the two communities and their supporters have made the prospects of success for this reinvigorated peace process as good as ever, the UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun has said.

    Speaking on Thursday at the Winter Medal Parade of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), Zerihoun said there has been ``marked progress`` since last year in efforts to bring about the peaceful reunification of the island, noting that ``efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement entered a new phase in the early spring of last year.``

    ``After months of preparations, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat initiated on the 3rd of September last year formal negotiations towards a comprehensive agreement on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality. Although these principles have for years constituted the agreed formula for peace talks on Cyprus, it took vision, political courage and commitment on the part of the two leaders to finally sit down and start charting a path leading to a future reunited and peaceful Cyprus,`` he said.

    Zerihoun pointed out that ``since then, the talks have gathered momentum and made good progress`` and that ``the leaders have been discussing since February 4 some of the finer points of the property issue.``

    ``To be sure, the road ahead is fraught with uncertainty and hard choices. But the determination and good will of the two leaders and their supporters have made the prospects of success for this reinvigorated peace process as good as ever,`` he said.

    He added that ``as much progress as there has been, much more remains to be done, in fact the most contentious and emotive issues are yet to be agreed on.``


    A Cypriot-flagged ship Monchegorsk, suspected of carrying banned material from Iran, docked at Limassol port early this morning, having been anchored near the port for the past two weeks.

    At the same time, a number of the ships containers, escorted by police, have already been transported to warehouses of the Cyprus National Guard, the Republics armed forces.

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

    On February 3 the government submitted a report on the findings of the inspections to the competent UN Security Council Sanctions Committee. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on that day that a team of experts from the Republic of Cyprus proceeded with two inspections of the cargo of ship ``Monchegorsk`` on January 29 and February 2.


    Cypriot hoteliers have been urged to complement the recent government measures to boost tourist arrivals, by reducing their prices, thus making Cyprus a cheaper destination.

    The position was conveyed during the annual meeting of the Hoteliers Association where its chairman Haris Loizides said that a reduction of around 25% in tourist arrivals is expected in the summer, warning at the same time that this must be averted.

    He expressed the view that the total reduction in the cost of the tourist package is estimated at around 8 9 per cent.

    Loizides told the conference that the international economic crisis has alerted all tourist markets, adding that governments are now mobilised to find ways to support the industry.


    Minister of Education and Culture Andreas Demetriou expressed his pleasure that the 16th International Education Fair is dedicated to the Educational Reform, which, as he pointed out, is in the process of materialization with a view to respond to new challenges.

    In his address at a press conference on the occasion of the 16th International Education Fair, which will take place on February 19, Demetriou said that according to the plan set by the government of President Demetris Christofias, ``the Educational Reform, based on the suggestions of the committee of seven academics, introduces changes and innovation at all levels of education which will have prevalent presence in this year`s fair``.

    He said ``there will be a general report on the hitherto course of the reform which aims at creating a contemporary democratic school``.

    ``The aim is for the Cyprus education to be aligned with our tradition and cultural origins while responding to the new European reality and the needs and demands of the 21st century based upon universal values and ideals``, Demetriou said.

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