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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias is paying a two-day official visit to Italy, during which he will hold talks with his Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano and with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. He will also be awarded an Honourary Doctorate by the University of Perugia.

    According to the programme of his visit, President Christofias arrives this morning at Ciampino Military Airport. He will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou and Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.

    At 1215, the Cypriot official delegation will go at the Presidential Palace where the official ceremony will take place and an honorary guard will pay honours. Talks between Napolitano and Christofias will follow. Later on the two Presidents will make statements.

    At 1330 Napolitano will host a lunch in Christofias honour. Later on Christofias will give interviews to the Italian media.

    Later on he will visit Palazzo Chigi, where he will meet at 1800 Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. After their talks Christofias and Berlusconi will make statements to the press.

    At 1930 the Ambassador of Cyprus to Italy Athena Mavronicola-Droushioti will host a reception in the honour of the Cypriot President, on the occasion of the National Day of the Republic of Cyprus.

    On Wednesday morning, Christofias and the rest members of the Cypriot delegation will visit Perugia.

    At 09.45 the delegation will visit the Town Hall (Palazzo Prior). A ceremony will be held there during which the Mayor of Perugia will hand over to Christofias the Seals of the Town.

    At 1030 President Christofias will meet with the President of the region of Umbria Maria Rita Lorenzetti.

    At 1050 he will visit the University of Perugia. At 11 a special ceremony will be held during which he will be awarded an Honourary Doctorate by the University. A reception will follow.

    At 1410, Christofias and the other members of the delegation will leave from Sant`Egidio airport in Perugia. Perugias Chief District Officer Enrico Laudanne will bid him farewell.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has urged Turkey to adjust its stance accordingly so that a Cyprus solution is found the soonest possible.

    In statements during his daily briefing, the Spokesman said that the Greek Cypriot side has held a constructive stance at the negotiating table and dismissed allegations that the Greek Cypriot side is delaying the process. On the contrary, he said, noting that the Greek Cypriot side wants a solution the soonest possible, but a solution that will be based on concrete positions and principles.

    He pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side is fully in line with the principles of international and European law and urged Turkey to change its stance so that a solution is found the soonest possible. We are fully in line with the principles of international and European law. If Turkey wants a solution the soonest, it would be better to adjust its stance accordingly, he stressed.

    Stephanou said that Thursday the second round of the direct negotiations for a Cyprus solution will begin, during which all issues will be discussed. He noted that the first chapters to be discussed will be governance and properties but added that all other chapters will be on the table as well, in an effort to reach convergence.


    Cypriot Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has underlined Turkeys responsibilities regarding the humanitarian issue of Greek Cypriot missing persons, who were declared missing after the Turkish invasion against Cyprus in 1974.

    Invited to comment on press reports about a mass grave of Greek Cypriot missing persons, located in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, Kyprianou said that the information is being investigated by the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP).

    He also underlined that the issue of missing persons is a humanitarian issue adding it has been decided that it should proceed as such, regardless of the course of the direct negotiations held between the leaders of the two communities of Cyprus, with the aim to reach a solution of the political problem of Cyprus.

    The Foreign Minister underlined Turkeys responsibilities, saying that the Turkish army has to allow access to its archives to help efforts to establish the fate of missing persons, especially those who were last seen in Turkey.

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