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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-09-17

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have decided to accelerate the pace of their meetings, which take place in the UN-controlled buffer zone, in the framework of UN-led direct negotiations which aim to reunite Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion in 1974.

    President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat held Thursday their second meeting in the framework of the second phase of the Cyprus talks, during which they continued discussion on governance and power-sharing chapter.

    UN Secretary-General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Tayee-Brook Zerihoun, in statements after the meeting, said that the two leaders met in private for one hour and thirty minutes, accompanied by their representatives, George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami.

    When they came out, Zerihoun added, they told us that they had a very good exchange of views and they gave us some details on what they have decided on the schedule of meetings through October.

    He said that the next meeting, scheduled for the 2nd of October, has been postponed, but the leaders plan to meet on the 7 and 8 of October, and to hold two more meetings the following week, 14 and 15 of October.

    Two weeks they will meet twice, the UN official said, adding that the leaders have decided to keep this pace for at least to meet twice in the course of next month and they have decided to accelerate the pace of these meetings at least by meeting twice.

    As you know the pace so far has been once a week, so this is quite positive, he noted.

    Zerihoun added that the two leaders have decided that in the interim, their representatives and experts will meet to discuss the proposals that have been submitted by each side on the executive power, with a view to narrow differences or to come up with bridging ideas.

    The representatives are planning to meet next week.

    Asked whether the leaders concluded the discussion on the executive power, Zerihoun replied negatively and said that this was the only issue they discussed during their meeting.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Thursday that the Turkish side had shifted its stance on the issue of executive powers, in the context of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, adding that the new revised proposals on governance would be sent to experts for further consideration.

    Speaking on his return to the Presidential Palace from his meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, President Christofias said the meeting scheduled for October 2 has been postponed and that two or more meetings would be held per week.

    ``We had a tete-a-tete meeting. It was short because I will be departing for Brussels. We have decided that the proposals given by the two sides on the issue of governance, the new revised proposals, will be sent to the experts for further processing,`` he said.

    Asked if the new proposals bring the two sides closer together, President Christofias said ``the proposals are, in any case, improved,`` adding that ``there is a shift by the Turkish side on the issue of the executive powers.``


    Five persons, charged in connection with an air crash in August 2005, denied charges of causing the death of passengers and crew on board an Helios aircraft, as their trial opened on Thursday before the Assize Court.

    The five suspects are Helios Airways as a legal person and four officials, Andreas Drakos Helios Executive Chairman, Demetris Pantazis Managing Director, George Kikkides Flight Operations Director and Ianco Stoimenov Chief Pilot.

    Each one of them faces 238 charges. During todays procedure, held in the presence of Drakos, Pantazis, Kikkidis and Stoimenov, the prosecution read out two of the charges against each of them, relating to causing the death of 119 passengers on the Helios flight due to negligence to prevent the flying of the aircraft by inadequate or inappropriate head crew (captain and co-captain), which resulted in the flight being unsafe.

    Defence Lawyer George Papaioannou asked for a period of 2.5 months to give him time to prepare the defence case of his clients and present as much acceptable and realistic evidence, given that the Greek authorities are expected to give certain evidence to the Cypriot authorities.


    Cyprus` role in the region, in conjunction with the ongoing hydrocarbon exploitation activities of neighbouring countries, provides great opportunities for further collaboration and energy trading in the Mediterranean, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides said on Thursday.

    He also noted that the recent discovery of large gas deposits in an area offshore Israel has made hydrocarbon exploration in the region ``more promising than ever before.``

    Addressing a business lunch hosted by the Cyprus Israel Business Association, Paschalides said that Cyprus gives particular emphasis on the energy sector, promoting projects in the field of renewable energy sources as well as various other infrastructure projects in the fields of oil and gas and power generation.

    Cyprus, he added, has relatively recently initiated its hydrocarbon exploration programme and anticipates that it will have a similar success to that of Israel.``

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