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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-10-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Swedish Minister for European Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom believes that if the present momentum for a solution to the Cyprus problem is lost, the situation on the island will continue as it is for decades.

    Speaking during a meeting with the Cypriot Parliamentary Committee of European Affairs, Malmstrom, currently visiting Cyprus, spoke of a momentum created after the UN-led talks for a settlement, which if lost, will result in the continuation of the situation in Cyprus for decades.

    The Minister pointed out that the leaders of the islands two communities, who lead the talks, should make compromises.

    The Swedish Minister said that her government shares the Republic of Cyprus` view that Turkey should fulfill the obligations it has undertaken as an EU candidate for accession, adding that the Swedish government, holder of the EU rotating presidency in the first half of 2009, exerts pressure towards this direction.

    Malmstrom also said that Sweden is in favour of Turkey`s membership to the EU, provided that Ankara fulfills the criteria set out by the EU.

    She pointed out that Turkey`s accession negotiations should continue as they constitute a form of pressure on Ankara to contribute to a Cyprus settlement.

    Turkey, which seeks EU membership, occupies since 1974 Cyprus northern part, refuses to comply with numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of its troops from Cyprus. Ankara does not recognise the government of Cyprus and has so far refused to meet its EU obligations towards the Union and Cyprus, by normalising relations with Nicosia and opening its ports and airports to Cypriot flagged vessels and aircraft.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began on September 2008 UN-led direct negotiations with a view to reach a mutually agreed solution to the Cyprus problem. So far they had 43 meetings and have recently entered the second phase of the talks in a bid to hold the ``second reading`` of the six chapters of the Cyprus problem, that is, governance and power-sharing, property, territory, economic matters, EU matters and security.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has announced the cancellation of the National Guard annual military exercise, under the code-name Nikiforos, after Turkey announced the cancellation of Toros military exercise.

    According to a written statement, the proposal to cancel the military exercises was submitted by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias to the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon during the meeting they held in New York in September, in the framework of the UN General Assembly.

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