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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-09-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem, commenced deliberations on Wednesday morning for the third consecutive day.

    The Council, comprising Cypriot parliamentary parties, is due to draft Cyprus` position ahead of an assessment report by the European Commission on Turkey`s membership negotiations and to assess the ongoing negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, which entered their second phase.

    During the two previous sessions, the parties submitted documents with their views both on Turkey`s EU bid and on the Cyprus problem.

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said that the Council would conclude deliberations on Friday, when the President will codify the positions of the parties.


    Over 100 Turkish Cypriots visited Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca on Tuesday evening for prayers on the occasion of the feast of Kadir Gecesi, a Moslem feast on the 26th day of Ramadan.

    The pilgrims traveled to the mosque on four buses, accompanied by Cyprus Police vehicles, and took with them food and water to break the fast after sundown.

    The Turkish Cypriots, speaking Greek, said Kadir Gecesi was a holy day, on which, according to tradition, an angel presented the first verses of the Quran to Mohammed.

    The pilgrimage was organised by the religious affairs office of the puppet regime in the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation.

    Three people were denied entrance into the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus at the Ayios Dhometios crossing point due to the fact that their parents are Turkish settlers.


    Marfin Popular Bank has announced its decision to maintain its legal base in Cyprus, thus changing its initial decision taken in May to move its headquarters from Cyprus to Greece. Marfin`s executive vice chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos has said that ``the boards of directors of Marfin Popular Bank and Marfin Egnatia Bank convened on Tuesday and decided the merger of the two banks. Marfin Popular Bank will be the absorbing entity in order for the banks legal seat to remain in Cyprus``.

    According to a press release issued by the Bank, ``Marfin Popular Banks management believes that the reactions which followed its initial decision have revealed the need for constructive dialogue for the enhancement of the institutional and regulatory framework of the Cypriot financial services system as well as the abolition of dysfunctions which act as barriers to entrepreneurship and the attraction of international investments in Cyprus``. The press release says that in light of the current challenging economic environment, Marfin Popular Bank wishes to enter into this fundamental dialogue and lay its arguments having already settled the outstanding matter of its legal seat.

    ``This way, its arguments cannot be weakened or viewed under the prism of alleged own interests or the exertion of pressure to secure special privileges``, it adds. The Executive Vice-Chairman of Marfin Popular Bank said that the unfavourable developments for the Cypriot economy commanded the need to protect the best interests of the country and its society``. He added that the Bank`s decision was significantly influenced by the pleas of the people of Cyprus and of the vast majority of the Cypriot business community and political establishment.

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