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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-06-20

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has met Greek President Karolos Papoulias, in the framework of his visit to Athens to attend the official inauguration ceremony of the new Acropolis Museum.

    No statements were made after the meeting.

    President Christofias will also have successive meetings with the member of the US House of Representatives Dina Titus and Prime Minister of Serbia Mirko Cvetkovic.

    The President will attend the official opening of the new Acropolis Museum, among another 300 official guests from all over the world.

    During the ceremony there will be addresses by Papoulias, Greek Minister of Culture Antonis Samaras, European Commission President Joze Manuel Barroso, as well UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura.

    Some 200 media representatives from Greece and abroad will attend the inauguration ceremony.

    The new museum will house about 4,000 exhibits in three halls. The museum takes up an area of 21,000 square metres and an exhibition area of 14,000 square metres, compared with 1,450 of the old museum.

    On Sunday, President Christofias will visit the Greek Municipality of Ypati to attend the Holocaust anniversary ceremony and be declared an Honorary Citizen of the city.

    President of the Republic is due back in Cyprus on the same day.


    Greece supports with all its strength the ongoing negotiations between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus in a bid to reach a political settlement, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis has said in an interview with the Turkish television. Bakoyannis described the fact that two leaders had begun talks as very important and expressed hope that the talks would result in a plan, which we will call a Cyprus plan.

    She added that the implementation of Ankara Protocol constitutes a commitment for Turkey, noting at the same time that the opening of Turkish ports and airports to Cyprus is a prerequisite set by European Union. She made it clear that EU insists on that position. Noting that all EU member states, including Cyprus, have the same rights, she went on to say that countries which wish to become members of the EU are judged on the basis of criteria and prerequisites set by EU.

    Regarding the prospect of Turkey gaining full membership in the EU, she said that it is in the interest of Greece to have the best possible relations with our neigbouring country and we will have them as long as Turkey fully accepts the acquis communautaire.


    Five persons four members of the Cyprus police and one serving at the Central Prisons will face criminal charges in connection with the escape of a convicted murderer, from a private clinic where he was receiving medical treatment, the Law Office of the Republic of Cyprus has announced. In addition to this, three officers and three members of the staff of the Central Prisons will face disciplinary charges. One of these six persons will also face criminal charges.

    The announcement was made on Friday by Attorney General Petros Clerides and his deputy Akis Papasavas, at a press conference, during which they revealed that Clerides met on Tuesday former Police Chief Iakovos Papacostas, who resigned his post on Thursday to facilitate the work of President Demetris Christofias, as he said in his resignation statement.

    The five to be prosecuted in court will face charges relating to, inter alia, abuse of power, attempt to prevent the course of justice, negligence and non disclosure of evidence.


    Cyprus ranks first among EU countries with regard to asylum applications, in relation to its population, Minister of Interior Neoklis Silikiotis has said. In his address at an event marking World Refugee Day here Saturday, Silikiotis said that the large volume of applications which had to be processed was causing a serious delay of 2-3 years in examining those applications.

    He added that thanks to a series of measures taken by the Ministry, such as strengthening asylum services, the whole process of examining those applications has been speeded up while the number of pending applications has decreased. Measures taken have yielded positive results since today the number of pending applications has dropped to around 2500 compared to 8567 in 2007, he said.

    He stressed that the aim is to have these applications processed in a short time between 2 to 3 months by the end of 2009. He added 235 persons have been given refugee status and 894 have been given protection. The Minister said that over the past five months the refugee status was granted to 36 persons and protection to 201 persons, mostly Palestinians.

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