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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-06-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias, and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, have reached an agreement for the opening of Limnitis crossing point and the access to and from Kokkina.

    The decision was taken during Friday`s 34th meeting between the two leaders, in the framework of the direct negotiation process aiming at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In statements after the meeting and at the presence of the two leaders, UN Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus, Tayee Brook Zerihoun said that had the pleasant duty to read the agreement reached on the opening of Limnitis and access to and from Kokkina.

    One, the two leaders decided to proceed with the opening of Limnitis crossing point under normal rules of existing crossings.

    Two, in the context of this agreement, the role of UNFICYP is underscored.

    Three, crossing of persons wishing to visit Kokkina will take place with the escort of UNFICYP. The visits will be made by minibuses on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The T/c side may request UNFICYP escort for one or two extra minibuses a week.

    Four, there will be transfer of reasonable quantities of food and water and other supplies of non-military nature with UNFICYP escort to Kokkina.

    Five, Kokkina will be connected to the nearest electricity grid before the opening of the crossing point.

    Six, humanitarian issues: Ambulances will be able to visit Kokkina to move sick persons. The rules governing the crossing of ambulances will apply. Reciprocally, G/c ambulances will cross in the opposite direction to hospitals in Nicosia. In case of fire, T/c fire engines and accompanying water tanks will be able to call at Kokkina.

    Seven, there will be reciprocal arrangements from time to time for specific events through this and other crossing points, Zerihoun concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Ever since the 1974 Turkish invasion, Greek Cypriot residents in the area of Limnitis, located at the northeastern coast of Cyprus, have to travel to Paphos, on the western coast, and Limassol, on the south, in order to reach the capital Nicosia. Opening a crossing point at Limnitis would make this journey far shorter. In the recent past, several crossing points to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas have opened to facilitate the movement of people.

    President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunite the island.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias pointed out on Friday that some time would be needed to open the crossing point in Limnitis, since certain arrangements were necessary.

    Speaking on his return to the Presidential Palace after a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in the context of direct negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, President Christofias said their agreement to open the crossing point was announced after their meeting, and did not wish to go into further details.

    Replying to questions, President Christofias said that ``for Limnitis to open there must be a checkpoint on either side and thus some time will be needed.``

    Asked if the Turkish demand to transport fuel to Kokkina has been withdrawn, President Christofias said the problem has been solved with the provision of electricity.

    To other questions, he said the crossing point would be open on a daily basis.


    Director General of the Planning Bureau Andreas Moleskis made special reference to the programmes Cyprus has proposed in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean concerning sustainable development, during the first Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development, which wrapped up its works in Paris on Thursday.

    Cyprus proposes that, apart from the proposal submitted by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias during the founding session of the Union for the Mediterranean in July 2008, in Paris, concerning the development of technology to co-produce electricity and desalinated water, using solar energy, it also hosts the two regional research centres, one to study the consequences of climate change and the other to develop applications to utilise solar energy.

    According to an official press release, Cyprus has already submitted a complete proposal to establish the two research centres, and the proposals are expected to be processed by the Franco-Egyptian co-presidency of the Union for the Mediterranean and then be submitted for evaluation to the Standing Secretariat, when it is set up.

    The Meeting in Paris was attended by ministers and senior officials from the 43 members of the Union for the Mediterranean, as well as representatives from organisations such as the European Development Bank and the World Bank.


    The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) has been re-elected Secretary General of the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN) for the next three years. This is CNAs fourth three-year-term in office.

    CNAs unopposed re-election took place during the AMAN General Assembly, held earlier this week in Algiers, hosted by the Algerian Press Service (APS).

    Speakers at the General Assembly paid tribute to CNAs action within the Alliance and its contribution to further developing cooperation among the Mediterranean news agencies.

    CNA Acting Director and Editor-in-Chief George Penintaex thanked all AMAN members for their trust and recognition of CNAs contribution.

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