|Sunday, 25 February 2018|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-08-22
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 VASSILIOU - CYPRUS TALKS - FIRST PHASEFormer Cyprus President George Vassiliou is now more convinced than ever before that current President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are condemned to finding a political settlement that will reunite the country.
Vassiliou, former chief negotiator with the EU and currently head of the working group on EU issues, in the context of the ongoing UN-led negotiations, also believes that substantial progress has been achieved in that for the first time there is frank negotiation between the leaders of the islands two communities, as he points out.
In an interview with CNA to mark the end of the first round of direct negotiations, which started in September last year between Christofias - Talat, Vassiliou clarified however that this does not mean that the Cyprus problem has been resolved. However, it is wrong to say that the community leaders are wasting their time.
I hope that in the second phase of the talks which begins in early September more progress will be achieved until we get to the give-and-take phase. It could be this year, on the other hand it may not be, he said.
Vassiliou stressed that for the first time the two sides have agreed on the issues they would negotiate and expressed their views with sincerity, irrespective of agreement or disagreement on the matters under discussion.
The chapters on property, territory and guarantees might have political significance and need political decisions to be resolved but the other three chapters - governance, EU matters and economy - demand more work, he said.
Asked about the Turkish Cypriot position that an agreement can be reached by the end of this year to hold a referendum in the beginning of 2010, Vasiliou said that this can be done but its up to them. If they come to the negotiating table with acceptable to us and reasonable views, then we can reach a solution even in October.
The former President believes that the benefits of a solution far outweigh the fallout of a non solution, noting that should the Cyprus problem be resolved, the situation on the island will change radically.
Tourism will increase, so will investment, there will be compensation and foreign assistance will pour into the country for its reconstruction, something that will give the economy a boost, he explained. Every Cypriot has to understand the benefits he will have from a solution.
On the other hand, if there is no solution, he points out, in years to come the Turkish Cypriot identity will cease to exist as such and, on the other hand, the Greek Cypriots cannot continue to live with just the hope of a solution without a solution.
Turkey, he recalled, at present has to invest, directly or indirectly, some 1,5 billion dollars annually in the Turkish occupied areas.
Replying to questions, he stressed that permanent derogations from the EU acquis communautaire cannot be accepted and the solution agreement cannot be considered EU primary low.
Vasiliou believes that progress has been achieved on EU matters because the Turkish Cypriots have realised, after a lot of discussion, that this cannot be negotiable, adding that the fundamental values of EU - such as the four freedoms - cannot change because these form the foundations of Europe.
He explained that the issue of guarantees is irrelevant at present since Cyprus is a member of the EU, noting that it should be settled in Europe. Turkey, one of the three guarantor powers of Cyprus independence and territorial integrity (the other two being Greece and Britain) insists on maintaining rights it says it has been given through the 1960 treaties which established the Republic of Cyprus.
The former President does not think the assessment of Turkey by the EU in December is a landmark because nobody likes to give ultimatums. Nonetheless, he believes that Turkeys will to continue its European negotiating process and strengthen its geostrategic role in the region can be described as a landmark.
A Cyprus solution, he points out, will benefit Turkey as well, which is facing financial difficulties and understands fully that the Cyprus problem is an obstacle to the role of a mediator it wants to have in the region and to its European aspirations.
He said that anybody who believes that in December Cyprus will put Turkey at the dock is mistaken. The EU does not function in this way, he said, adding that he cannot predict what will happened by December.
If there is no possibility to reach an immediate agreement in Cyprus, then they will find a way to postpone the decision on Turkeys accession process. I do not honestly believe that the EU will confront Turkey or breach its relations with Ankara in December, they will try to find a way out, Vassiliou added.
The former President and chief EU negotiator has told CNA that nobody believes that Turkey will join the EU in five years, in the best case scenario, this could happen in 15 years and nobody can predict what the situation will be like at that time.
Replying to questions about different schools of thought with regard to a solution, he said that ``there are some who shall remain nameless `` as he said, ``who have never accepted the idea of a federal solution``, stressing that the basis of the solution is a bicommunal, bizonal federation as agreed by the late Archbishop Makarios and former Cyprus President, the late Spyros Kyprianou.
We have to understand one thing: do we want the destruction of Cyprus or do we accept federation with whatever that entails? And federation means political equality, he stressed.
 IOANNOU - SILVER MEDAL - WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPSCypriot athlete Kyriakos Ioannou has won the silver medal, in the men`s high jump in the World Athletics Championships, currently underway in Berlin, achieving the greatest success in the history of Cyprus` track.
I felt very good, stronger, with more power, it is Yaroslavs time to win the world championship, but I m very happy. In Osaka I won the bronze, now the silver, keep working, said Ioannou at a press conference in Berlin. Ioannou, as well as Russian world champion Yaroslav Rybakov, cleared 2.32 meters, but the medals were decided on a countback. Sylwester Bednarek of Poland and Raul Spank, also with a 2.32 jump, shared the bronze.
Ioannou cleared 2.18 m, 2.24m and 2.32m on his first attempt, while he cleared 2.23 on his third attempt. Ioannou was born in Limassol. His personal best jump and Cypriot national record is 2.35 metres, achieved in the 2007 World Championships in Osaka where he won the bronze medal. Last year he won the bronze medal in the World Indoor Championiship in Valencia.
 GAROYIAN MORPHOU RESOLUTIONActing President of the Republic, President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, has forwarded to the Presidents of the Parliaments of the EU member states and Permanent Members of the UN Security Council a resolution of protest handed over to him by the Municipal Council of the Turkish-occupied town of Morphou, co-signed by other organized groups of the occupied Municipality.
The resolution was handed over on the occasion of the 35th anniversary since Morphou was captured by the advancing Turkish troops in the August 16, 1974.
According to an official announcement issued here Friday, Garoyian forwarded the resolution to the Presidents of the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
 CYPRUS ROMANIA - BANKS MOUThe National Bank of Romania and the Central Bank of Cyprus have recently updated the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed between them in 2002, expressing their mutual interest and willingness in promoting further the bilateral ties in the domain of supervision of credit institutions.
According to a press release issued Friday by the Central Bank of Cyprus, ``the Memorandum of Understanding defines a general framework of mutual cooperation and exchange of information between the two supervisory authorities, for the purpose of facilitating the performance of their supervisory function as well as the effective supervision and regulation of credit institutions with cross border presence, in accordance with the respective national laws and regulations``.
The updated Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on behalf of the National Bank of Romania, by its Governor, Mugur C. Isarescu and, on behalf of the Central Bank of Cyprus, by its Governor, Athanasios Orphanides, the press release concludes.
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