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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-09-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    France supports efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said after a working lunch he had Wednesday with his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris.

    Chistofias and Sarkozy discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, relations between the two countries and Turkey`s EU accession course in view of the European Commission`s assessment in December.

    Speaking to the press, the President said he was very pleased with the result of the meeting. ``France, as President Sarkozy has said, has been supporting Cyprus right from the first start and will continue to do so until Cyprus is vindicated, on the right basis, always defending principles, he added.

    On bilateral relations, Christofias pointed out that they are at a very good level, adding that both he and Sarkozy have authorized their respective Foreign Ministers to be in constant contact to prepare documents and agreements, to be signed between the two countries as soon as possible.

    Replying to a question about the UN-led talks, currently underway in Cyprus, Christofias said that negotiations are continuing, but warned of difficulties ahead.

    As things stand at present, I believe we will face serious not to say very serious difficulties which I hope we will overcome,`` he said, pointing out that his objective is to find a solution, based on a just, under the circumstances, basis.``

    The solution should be functional, based on UN resolutions and human rights conventions and fundamental freedoms, he stressed.


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has called for more mutual respect by those engaged in the peace effort for a political settlement in Cyprus.

    More mutual respect is necessary and the other side has not shown this respect, with regard to issues concerning Limnitis, he said, in statements after a working lunch in Paris with President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    His remarks come as the Presidents scheduled meeting for Thursday with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat, in the context of UN-led negotiations, has been postponed.

    The postponement was announced earlier Wednesday in Nicosia following the cancellation of a pilgrimage by Greek Cypriots to the Turkish occupied church of Ayios Mamas, due to excessive delaying tactics by the Turkish Cypriot side. Access to the church was to have taken place through the Limnitis checkpoint, on the northwest, which has yet to open to Cypriots from both communities to facilitate movement to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas.

    Asked to comment on these developments, the President said on the other hand, we should be careful about how we react. I have often said that after such incidents, which could stir emotions, we must not kill the peace effort.


    A liturgy at the Turkish occupied church of Ayios Mamas, on the northwest, went ahead Wednesday morning, in spite of difficulties the Turkish Cypriot regime had raised and despite the absence of pilgrims who were due to attend the service.

    Refugees from the area of Morphou, where the church lies, offered their oblations, hoping that this years liturgy will be the last time a church service is held under Turkish occupation.

    This is the first time I am here at Ayios Mamas liturgy since the 1974 Turkish invasion, remarked a grandmother, adding that I remember the running cold water, the jasmine trees, the Morphou plantations, it was sheer heaven. Our house is just across the road but the occupation forces wont open up the gate to let us go across to see it, said a refugee from Morphou, whose house is situated across the street, very close to the church.

    As the children played in the church yard and their parents and grandparents watched over them during the liturgy, members of the occupation regime were monitoring peoples moves, checking their identification.


    The Cypriot government will issue government bonds for a three years period of a total value of three billion euro.

    Cypriot Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis has said that the government bonds will be offered to the local commercial banks and cooperative credit institutions to assist them to get cheap liquidity from the eurosystem, a move that would lead to the reduction by at least 1% of lending rates.

    The Minister was speaking after a meeting held Wednesday at the Ministry of Finance, during which he handed over to representatives of the financial institutions the draft law bill concerning the issuing of the government bonds.

    The Ministry of Finance, he said, will submit to the Parliamentary Committee on Finance the law bill for discussion, by the 8th of October, followed by its approval by the House of Representatives plenary so that the three billion euro of cheap liquidity is channeled to the banking system by the end of the year, which is an important date for the liquidity of banks and cooperative institutions.

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