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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-03-08

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The United States and Turkey have reiterated their determination to continue supporting a mutually acceptable political settlement in Cyprus, under UN auspices.

    Turkey and the US reiterated their determination to continue to support strongly a comprehensive and mutually-acceptable settlement of the Cyprus question under the auspices of the UN and in this context ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, they said.

    The common position of the two countries is part of a joint statement issued in Ankara after a meeting between the U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey Ali Babacan, during Clintons visit to Turkey.

    According to the statement, at the meeting, the two reaffirmed the strong bonds of alliance, solidarity and strategic partnership between their countries, as well as the commitment of both countries to the principles of peace, democracy, freedom, and prosperity enshrined in the Shared Vision and Structured Dialogue document agreed to in July 2006.

    They also reiterated their determination of their governments to continue close cooperation and consultation on all issues of common concern.

    They pledged, inter alia, to contribute to peace and stability in the Middle East, to enhance energy security and to settle a series of international problems.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September last year, with a view to solve the question of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.


    Survivors of a most horrific massacre of a Greek Cypriot family, during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, buried their dead on Sunday, 35 years after they were killed in cold blood. Eight members of the same family, the Liasis family, were laid to rest on Sunday, in a very emotional funeral ceremony, in the presence of two surviving members of the same family, now living in Athens, George and Yiannoula.

    In his oration at the funeral, Interior Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis said todays funeral is testimony to the murder of civilians during the Turkish invasion. Cyprus continues to live with open wounds from the 1974 invasion and the government of Demetris Christofias is working very hard to close these wounds, he added, stressing that the humanitarian issue of missing persons in Cyprus is independent of the political question. The relatives of missing persons, he stressed, have the right to be informed about the fate of their loved ones.

    Turkey has yet to open its archives, as demanded by the European Court of Human Rights, to help investigations into the fate of those missing, the Minister said.


    The government of Greece is concerned about the unacceptable positions of the Turkish side which often evade the logic of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Giannis Valinakis has said, during an even organised in New York by the women network of Pancyprian Association of America.

    Valinakis noted that both the Greek and the Cypriot governments work steadily and tirelessly together so that Turkey will abandon the logic of force and fait accompli and adopt the European logic of negotiating and compromising on the basis of international law principles. Referring to the direct talks underway in Cyprus between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat, he said that Greece had welcomed the resumption of the talks with the hope the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey would had abandoned their extreme positions.

    He, also, expressed regret that the process has not so far deliver any concrete results, adding that we are concerned that the other side continues to put forward unacceptable positions which many times evade the logic of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as provided by the High Level Agreements and UN Security Council decisions. The Greek Deputy Minister stressed that in any case, the Republic of Cyprus is and shall feel secure within EU and with the constant support of Greece.


    The Cyprus - Portugal showdown concludes on Sunday with two singles matches in the framework of the Davis Cup Europe/Africa Zone Group II, which is taking place at Cyprus National Tennis Centre here. Cypriot tennis player Marcos Baghdatis faces number one player from Portugal, Frederico Gil and Cypriot tennis player Fotos Kallias faces number two player from Portugal, Rui Machado.

    Cyprus leads Portugal with 2-1 and needs one more win to achieve the goal of the Cypriot team, which is to stay in the second category of the Euro-African zone and move on to Group I of the Tennis World Cup, Davis Cup.

    On Saturday, after a nerve-breaking five set match that lasted nearly four hours, the Cypriot team made the critical step towards gaining the tie, winning 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, taking the lead in the tie with 2 wins to 1. The Davis Cup tie includes five matches. The winner country will be the one to secure three victories.

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