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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-08-06

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] CHRISTOFIAS - FIRST ROUND OF TALKS
  • [02] DOWNER - CYPRUS TALKS
  • [03] LIMNITIS - AMBULANCES - TRIAL JOURNEY
  • [04] FINANCE MINISTRY - CENTRAL BANK - COVERED BONDS

  • [01] CHRISTOFIAS - FIRST ROUND OF TALKS

    President Demetris Christofias has said that the second round of direct negotiations, between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, will be an effort to achieve more convergence.

    Speaking to the press after his 40th meeting with Talat and the conclusion of the first round of the UN-led talks, Christofias said he expected more progress during the first round of the talks, but this does not mean that there has been no progress.

    A round of negotiations has been concluded, both with convergences and divergences, he said, adding that the second round will be an effort to achieve more convergence.

    We will begin with governance and more specifically with the issue of executive power. Certainly, there are also other issues as regards governance that we will discuss during the second round. We will then pass to the issue of property and we will discuss issues one by one and move on. We will also sort out some of the issues in which the two sides will be close and these will be taken up by Iacovou and Nami, (advisors to the two community leaders), he added.

    Invited to make an evaluation of the first round of the negotiations, Christofias said there are issues of principles that we have discussed and on which we have agreed. There are also issues which I expected would proceed more rapidly and there would be more mutual understanding. So in the second round, there will be an effort to achieve more mutual understanding and I hope we will achieve this, he added.

    Christofias noted that we have undertaken initiatives because we really want a settlement of the Cyprus question and reiterated that the solution must be based on principles, must be viable and functional.

    On the UN role during the second round of the talks, Christofias said the UN role will be the same.

    Asked if there is optimism as regards the second round, President Cristofias replied: if we are pessimistic, then, as I have repeatedly said, we must all go home. We are cautiously optimistic and I would like to believe that in the course of the negotiations we shall become more optimistic to achieve the goal which we are pursuing with Mr. Talat which is, as he noted, a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    The President was invited to comment on the first trial route, for decades, of ambulances, from Limnitis, on the northwest, to Nicosia General hospital in the southern government-controlled areas of the island and on a similar route from the northern Turkish occupied areas to Kokkina, on the northwestern part of the country.

    These journeys will take place and will continue. Nami and Iacovou havw agreed to visit the area, to follow this route to test it and I hope that we shall proceed, as soon as possible, in a very practical manner with the opening of the Limnitis crossing point, Christofias said.

    On June 26, Christofias and Talat reached an agreement to open the Limnitis crossing point and to provide access to and from Kokkina.

    According to the agreement, ambulances will be able to visit Kokkina to carry sick persons. Reciprocally, Greek Cypriot ambulances will cross in the opposite direction to hospitals in Nicosia.

    For the past 45 years, Greek Cypriot residents in the area of Limnitis, on the northwest, 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.

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

    [02] DOWNER - CYPRUS TALKS

    The chapter of governance and power sharing and particularly the executive will be the first issue Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will discuss at the first meeting of the second round of the ongoing UN-led direct negotiations, on September 3rd. Special Adviser of the UNSG for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, after the end of the 40th meeting of the leaders of the two communities, said that President Christofias and Talat asked him to say that they are very pleased to announce that the first reading has been now completed. Today was the last meeting of the first reading.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader started direct talks on September 3rd 2008. In their 40 meetings they have discussed six chapters: governance and power sharing, EU matters, security and guarantees, territory, property and economic matters, writing down the agreed or disagreed issues. Downer stressed that from the perspective of the UN, completion of the first reading shows that there has been significant progress in these negotiations. Second reading or second round will start September 3rd after the break the two leaders will have.

    At their first meeting of the second round they will focus on governance and in particular the executive which will be the first issue they will discuss. After that they will discuss property issues and then other outstanding issues. Thursdays meeting started with an hour and a half tete - a - tete meeting between the leaders of the two communities for the next half an hour they had a full session with their delegations and UN and discussed the issues relating to aliens, citizenship, immigration and asylum, Downer said.

    [03] LIMNITIS - AMBULANCES - TRIAL JOURNEY

    For the first time in 45 years, two ambulances have crossed to and from Cyprus northern Turkish-occupied areas, in a pilot scheme, ahead of the anticipated opening of a crossing point at Limnitis village, on the northwestern coast of the island. Limnitis crossing point, in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus, opened on Thursday for the first time after 45 years, for a trial drive of an ambulance from Kato Pyrgos medical centre, staffed with a driver and a nurse. The journey, made for the first time since 1964, began at Kato Pyrgos, west of Limnitis, and ended at Nicosia General Hospital, through Limnitis, Xeros Potamos and Morphou.

    The purpose of the trial drive was to measure the distance between Kato Pyrgos village and Nicosia and to find out whether the road - constructed before 1960 - can be used temporarily by ambulances and fire engines. According to an agreement on the opening of Limnitis crossing point reached between President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, the road will be improved and widened.

    In a parallel move, on Thursday, a Red Crescent ambulance passed through Limnitis from the northern occupied areas to the southern government controlled part of the country and drove towards Kokkina area, further west of Kato Pyrgos. A second ambulance of the Red Crescent traveled through Limnitis towards Kokkina and returned to the occupied northern areas shortly before one oclock.

    Health knows no borders, stated Spyros Georgiou, Director of Polis Chrysochou Hospital, which is the nearest hospital to Limnitis crossing point. Today is an historic day, pointed out Kato Pyrgos community leader Costas Michaelides and President of the committee for the opening of the Limnitis crossing point Andreas Caros.

    [04] FINANCE MINISTRY - CENTRAL BANK - COVERED BONDS

    The Finance Ministry and the Central Bank have decided to create the legal framework for the issue of covered bonds of approximately three billion euro in a bid to inject additional liquidity into the Cypriot market. Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis and representatives of the Cyprus Central Bank (CCB), the commercial banks and employers associations examined today the first draft, prepared by the CCB on the issue.

    Covered bonds are issued from credit institutions by submitting their loan portfolios as collateral to the European Central Bank, in a bid to pump liquidity from the Eurosystem. ``It was decided to press on immediately with all procedures for the issue of covered bonds which can bring to the economy significant additional cheap liquidity,`` Stavrakis said after the meeting.

    Replying to questions, Stavrakis said that according to initial estimates the covered bonds will be worth 3 billion euro, adding that these bonds usually have a ten-year duration. He also said that the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank are examining other alternative liquidity sources from the Eurosystem ``not excluding the issue of special three- year bonds.``


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