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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-06-18

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias confirmed here Thursday that he has accepted the resignation of the Chief of Police Iacovos Papacostas.

    Speaking to reporters before departing for Brussels to take part in the European Council, the President said that Papacostas visited him this morning and submitted his resignation, which the police chief said was final.

    He said Papacostas had submitted his resignation when investigations began surrounding the case of Antonis Prokopiou Kita, sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and murder. Kitas was in a private hospital last summer when he escaped on December 12, 2008 but was arrested on January 5 2009. At that time, the President did not accept the resignation.

    Two lengthy reports were prepared by investigators who handed them to the Attorney General Petros Clerides last month. During a press conference on May 25, Clerides stated he would give his final decision in June. It is expected that Clerides will make his announcements on Friday.

    The uproar surrounding Kitas lengthy stay at the private hospital as well as the circumstances surrounding his escape led to the resignation last year of Justice and Public Order Minister Kypros Chrysostomides.

    In a statement, Papacostas said his resignation is final and aims at making it easier for the President of the Republic and the government to handle the Kitas case.

    Today, with a full conscience and with the knowledge of the obligations that derive from my position as Chief of Police, I submitted by resignation to the President of the Republic of Cyprus, the statement said.

    My resignation was at the Presidents disposal immediately after the police unsuccessful operation to arrest the escapee Antonis Prokopiou Kita. Despite this, however, and respecting the work of the investigators, I remained in the position of Police Chief to provide every possible assistance in the investigations into the case until the report was concluded, he added.

    Since the criminal investigation has been concluded and the Attorney General is expected to announce tomorrow his decision, I submitted again my resignation to the President, Papacostas added.

    My decision is final and aims at facilitating the President of the Republic and the government in the future handling of the issue, Papacostas concluded.


    European Union heads of state or government meet in Brussels today, in the framework of the Council of the European Union, known as the European Council. In the two-day summit, Cyprus is represented by the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.

    The European Council will discuss the economic, financial and social situation in the EU member states, in the shadow of the global economic crisis.

    Particularly, the European Council will take stock of the effectiveness of measures taken so far aimed at promoting financial stability. Further to the report from the High Level Group and the Commission`s proposals, it will take first decisions on the strengthening of the regulation and supervision of the financial sector and will agree on a work plan for the rapid adoption of a number of relevant legislative proposals.

    In addition, it will take stock of the measures taken to support the real economy and employment and welcome the forthcoming Commission communication on employment, assess progress of work at the global level, in particular as regards the implementation of the outcome of the G20 London Summit.


    US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon believes that a solution to the Cyprus issue should not have to wait any longer and this year would be a good time to have a settlement.

    Answering questions before the Sub-Committee for Europe of the US Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, Gordon said at present the two sides on the island have been talking directly to each other since last September under U.N. auspices.

    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008 with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

    Gordon said his Administration will support that process adding that if a more direct role would ultimately be useful, we would be prepared to consider that. And we have directly engaged with both sides, including the Turkish government, to make clear that that is our view. The outcome should be a bizonal, bicommunal federation with a single sovereignty, and we make that clear to our Turkish counterparts consistently when we talk about the issue, he underlined.

    The US official said a Cyprus settlement would also be win-win. Both sides would significantly benefit from a political settlement. And we`ll be actively engaged to achieve it.


    President Demetris Christofias called for joint action for tourism as state revenues from tourist sector decline.

    Addressing the General Assembly of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents, Christofias assured that the government in cooperation with all stakeholders will continue efforts to support tourism and will not hesitate to take swift and well-thought decisions for the benefit of the Cypriot tourist industry and the economy.

    Recalling the government`s 52-million-euro plan to boost tourism in the mid of the global financial crisis, Christofias said that regardless of the measures taken, the basic condition for success in the tourist field is the maximization of respect both from foreigners and Cypriot tourists.``

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