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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-09-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Saturday that the leaders of the two communities, namely himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, were ``guided and committed by the precondition that, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.``

    Addressing an anti-occupation event organised by the Famagusta Municipality in the village of Dherynia, President Christofias said he was convinced that ``the peaceful, just solution of the Cyprus problem is in the interests of a modernised, democratic, progressive Turkey with a European vision,`` adding that ``Turkey plays an important role in finding a settlement.``

    President Christofias said ``Turkey has undertaken specific international commitments and should meet them, since its signature on the Ankara Protocol is still fresh and, according to the provisions of this protocol, Turkey should determine its policy and revise its stance.``

    He noted that it was not reasonable for a country to violate the rules of international law without cost, adding that even small countries and peoples have rights and dignity. ``We will continue to defend our principles and rights irrespective of the size of our country,`` he assured.

    President Christofias called on friendly countries and the international community in general to step up efforts towards convincing Turkey to change its stance.

    Referring to his second round of direct talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem, President Christofias said ``we are attending them with feelings of reserved optimism`` and noted that ``so far in our course we have met problems and difficulties but we still believe and hope that with good will it is possible to reach a mutually acceptable solution.``

    He pointed out that the presence of thousands of Turkish troops and settlers on the island ``undermines the security and future of all legitimate inhabitants of our homeland,`` and reaffirmed the position of the Greek Cypriot side for a solution the soonest possible.

    ``Not any solution but a solution that will lead to the termination of the occupation and the reunification of the territory, the people, the institutions and the economy of Cyprus, in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation,`` he added.

    President Christofias said the solution will be ``an honorable historical compromise, which will be based on the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms,`` adding that ``the solution should come from the Cypriots for the Cypriots.``

    He noted that the following months would demand ``hard work and appropriate preparation,`` and pointed out the importance of ``unity on the home front.``

    ``We are not fully satisfied. However, there has been some progress and we expect more,`` President Christofias said, adding that ``significant progress must be made in order to pave the way for an honorable compromise.``

    Addressing the Famagusta refugees, President Christofias assured that he was making every effort to ensure their return to their homes, and that Turkey could return the town to its legitimate citizens in view of the forthcoming progress report on its EU accession course in December.

    President Christofias also said that he has received assurances that during his forthcoming meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, they would be discussing the issue of Famagusta.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Saturday that Turkey`s EU accession course could be useful towards a settlement of the Cyprus problem, adding that Cyprus` main aim was for Turkey`s European prospects to act as a motive for Turkey to cooperate for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Replying to questions on the Cyprus problem, Stephanou said President Christofias` position is that ``with the solution of the Cyprus problem the right of all refugees to return to their homes should be safeguarded, as well as the right to freedom of establishment.``

    ``The President, through the territorial adjustments he is asking for, calculates that 100,000 refugees will return under Greek Cypriot administration, and at the same time he is asking for the return of all remaining refugees under Turkish Cypriot administration,`` he said.

    Stephanou noted that the Greek Cypriot strategy is based on revitalising the dialogue between the two communities and involving the international community in efforts to reach a settlement.


    The state budget for 2010 aims at minimising the consequences of the global financial crisis, avoiding excessive public deficits, strengthening the constructive sectors of the economy, and enhancing social cohesion.

    The draft budget, which was approved on Friday by the Council of Ministers, provides for revenue, excluding loans, of 5,794 million EUR, compared to the revised revenue of 5,371 million EUR in 2009. The revenue growth rate for 2010 is estimated at 7.9%.

    Total expenditure, excluding loan payments, is calculated at 7,858 million EUR, compared to 7,627 million EUR in 2009. The increase of the estimated expenditure for 2010 compared to 2009 is restricted to 3%, compared to 17.7% during the previous year.

    The public deficit is expected to reach 4.5%.


    Minister of Health Christos Patsalides said on Saturday that the vaccines against influenza A (H1N1) would be used in Cyprus only if they are safe, adding that it was very important that Cyprus, a market of half a million people, managed to be included in the first phase of vaccine purchasing, as it was up against countries with populations of 50 million to 200 million.

    Speaking at Larnaca Airport, Patsalides said the Government made great efforts to secure contracts and be included in the first phase, adding that only four companies worldwide have managed to obtain the first certificates necessary for the provision of the vaccines.

    ``What is important is that the vaccines will only be used if they are safe,`` the Minister of Health pointed out.

    Patsalides was speaking before departing for Copenhagen, where he will preside over the 59th session of the European Regional Committee of the World Health Organisation, which will discuss inter alia the latest developments concerning influenza A (H1N1).

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