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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-07-07

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] PRESIDENTS OF ARMENIA AND CYPRUS - TALKS - PRESS CONFERENCE
  • [02] HOUSE PLENARY - SMOKING - TOTAL BAN

  • [01] PRESIDENTS OF ARMENIA AND CYPRUS - TALKS - PRESS CONFERENCE

    Cyprus and Armenia are clearly in favour of the accession of a modern Turkey to the EU, the Presidents of the two countries said here on Monday, after talks at the Presidential Palace.

    Responding to a question, at a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said there are common positions on this issue with Sargsyan.

    Referring to the ongoing direct negotiations on the Cyprus question, Christofias said there are very important issues on which there is disagreement, adding that there is convergence on other issues.

    He said there is disagreement on the participation of the islands two communities in government, the right to property, the presence of the united federal Republic of Cyprus to the EU, financial issues and the presence of 160 thousand Turkish settlers on the island.

    Referring to the issue of security and guarantees, he said that we look forward to seeing Turkey, as a modern state, understanding that it cannot hold the Republic of Cyprus a hostage.``

    Christofias said that bilateral relations in certain areas can be enhanced, noting that meetings between entrepreneurs must take place both in Nicosia and Yerevan and bilateral agreements must be signed the soonest possible.

    Armenia has a stable friend in the EU, a supporter on which it can rely, President Christofias said, adding that Armenia is in dialogue with the EU and implements plenty of programmes. Cyprus, he pointed out, is ready to help overcome any problems in this dialogue.

    Sargsyan underlined that if Turkey becomes an EU member, it will be a country with European values and we want such a country next to us.

    President Christofias said that we are in favour of the accession of a modernised Turkey with a European behaviour, noting that Turkey must not join the EU simply because it is a big country and a major market, but it must accept and implement the accession conditions and values of the EU.

    He noted that if Turkey wants to join the EU, it cannot continue to occupy part of an EU member state, not to recognize an EU member state and continue to hold its ports and airports closed to Cypriot vessels and airplanes.

    Christofias welcomed the initiative of his Armenian counterpart to smooth Armenias relations with Turkey and noted that Turkey is a difficult interlocutor. He said there is no other alternative than the peaceful settlement of disputes, but this does not mean that either Cyprus or Armenia will abrogate their principles.

    The President said that Cyprus continues to condemn the Armenian genocide, adding that I consider Turkish Cypriots as our brothers and children of the same country, but our neighboring country has no right to impose its will.

    The Armenian President said that Armenia and Cyprus support each others positions on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh and the Cyprus question and the settlement of problems through negotiations in the framework of international legitimacy.

    He also noted that Cyprus is a friendly country which opened its gates to the victims of the Armenian genocide and welcomed them with open arms.

    Sargsyan said that bilateral financial relations are not on the right level, adding that we can do plenty of things towards further developing these ties, adding that establishing an interstate committee is very important.

    He noted that cooperation with Cyprus gives a new impetus to cooperation between Armenia and European structures, adding that Armenias participation in the Eastern Partnership opens new horizons for cooperation between Cyprus and Armenia.

    President Christofias invited the President of Armenia to pay an official visit to Cyprus.

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

    [02] HOUSE PLENARY - SMOKING - TOTAL BAN

    The House plenary is expected to approve, on Thursday, an amendment to existing legislation which provides for a total ban on smoking in public places.

    The amendments to the bill were introduced by the House Health Committee during its meeting on Monday.

    Acting chairperson of the Committee Stella Kyriakidou said that all parliamentary groups unanimously support a total ban on smoking starting from 01/01/2010.


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