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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-03-27

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] US SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE MENENDEZ
  • [02] PRESIDENT CHRISTOFIAS - POPE BENEDICT XVI
  • [03] FOREIGN MINISTER PRAGUE
  • [04] FINANCE MINISTER ECONOMY

  • [01] US SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE MENENDEZ

    Uncertainty reigns among members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations for the nomination of Philip Gordon to be Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs after statements he had made during his hearing before the committee when questioned by Senator Robert Menendez.

    The US Senator held a private meeting with Gordon before the hearing but the latter failed to persuade the Democrat New Jersey senator that the views which he will furnish President Barack Obama during his term in office will be impartial and not affected by the his pro-Turkish views he had expressed during his career as academic and analyst.

    The US Senator negatively commented articles which Gordon had written against the recognition of the Armenian genocide by the US, his reaction when the Annan Plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriot community in 2004 during a referendum as well as his views on the role of Turkey.

    During the hearing, Menendez called on Gordon to say whether he agreed with the statement in Obamas pre-election campaign which referred to a political settlement of the Cyprus issue which will end the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus and correct the tragic division of the island.

    Gordon replied that he agreed, however he claimed that the view concerning occupation is expressed by the government of Cyprus and some experts.

    He went on to claim before the committee that there is a Turkish presence in the northern part of Cyprus which is not accepted by the government of Cyprus and it is an issue under negotiations which the US support for a solution to the Cyprus issue, adding he has not changed his views, even when indicated by Menendez that this was included in Obamas declaration.

    [02] PRESIDENT CHRISTOFIAS - POPE BENEDICT XVI

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias will meet Friday Pope Benedict XVI, in the framework of the official visit he is paying to the Holy See, March 25-28.

    He will also meet with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and will be awarded the Highest Honourary Distinction of the City of Rome «Lupa» by the Mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno, during a ceremony organized leadership of Community of Sant Egidio, in the framework of the relations of the City of Rome and the title which the Pope bears as the Bishop of Rome.

    Christofias is accompanied by his spouse Elsi, Undersecretary to the President Titos Christofides and other officials. Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou also arrived here on Thursday evening.

    On Friday morning Christofias will hold an official meeting with Pope Benedict XVI. He will also have an official meeting with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

    Later on President Christofias will host lunch in the honour of Cardinal Bertone. The lunch will also be attended by high ranking officials of the Holy See and members of the Cypriot delegation.

    After that the Cypriot President will have a meeting with European Parliament Vice President and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office`s Personal Representative Mario Mauro.

    In the afternoon Christofias will be awarded the Highest Honourary Distinction of the City of Rome Lupa by the Mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno, during a ceremony organized by the leadership of Community of Sant Egidio.

    After that he will give a press conference and later on he will visit a Refuge for the Poor and a School for Foreigners. These visits are organized by the Community of Sant Egidio.

    In the evening Christofias will have a private meeting with Professor Andrea Riccardi at the Community of Sant Egidio.

    Later on Riccardi will host a dinner in the honour of President Christofias, his spouse, members of the Cypriot delegation, high ranking officials of the Holy See and heads of diplomatic missions of the Holy See. A medal-awarding ceremony will also take place.

    Christofias and his entourage will leave Rome on Saturday, while Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou will fly from Rome to Prague today.

    [03] FOREIGN MINISTER PRAGUE

    Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou will depart Rome on Friday, where he is accompanying President Demetris Christofias on his official visit to the Vatican, en route to Prague to participate in the Informal Meeting of EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs (Gymnich).

    An official announcement says that the Informal Meeting will take place on 27 and 28 March 2009 at the Hluboka castle, near Prague.

    The key issues to be discussed at the Meeting are the Middle East peace process, the Western Balkans as well as the development of non-military capabilities to tackle EU crisis, the announcement concludes.

    [04] FINANCE MINISTER ECONOMY

    Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis expressed satisfaction over figures for 2008, noting that the government succeeded in its aims which were to give the economy a boost to effectively overcome the first months of 2009 which have been burdened by the international economic crisis.

    Addressing a seminar on the international economic crisis and its effects on the Cyprus economy, organized by the Federation of Employers and Industrialists , in Nicosia, the Minister analysed the prospects of the economy for 2009, noting that undoubtedly this year will be a very difficult one since our economy depends on tourism, foreign investments and services.

    However he underlined that Cyprus will be least affected compared to other European countries.

    Regarding the measures which the government is undertaking to handle the crisis, the Minister added that the effort concentrates on the government securing the highest possible rate of social development as well as continuing the effort for a fairer society through increased funds for social expenditure. He also said that the government commitment not to impose new taxes remains unchanged.


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