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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-10-17

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Swedish EU Presidency considers the European Commission progress report on Turkey to be clear, balanced and objective, Ambassador of Sweden to Cyprus Ingemar Lindahl has said, adding that Ankara has no option but to meet its EU commitments.

    Ingemar Lindahl was speaking during an event organised here by the Association for Social Reform (OPEK), in cooperation with the European Parliament Office in Cyprus.

    In his speech, Lindahl said the Swedish Presidency believes that the Commission progress report on Turkey is clear, balanced and objective, adding that it indicates in detail that accession negotiations have continued to advance and it also indicates where the problems are and what remains to be done.

    He noted that Turkey should implement the Ankara Protocol as it must meet also the other requirements of the EU, expressing the view that its recent efforts to contribute to stability and security in the region, including steps to normalize relations with Armenia should be appreciated.

    As far as Cyprus is concerned, he said the shape of the current debate on the progress report focuses exclusively on how Turkey should be punished and not on implementing some of the requirements.

    Turkey, he added, ``knows very well that it will have to comply with all the EU requirements, including the normalisation of its relations with Cyprus if it wishes to become a member.

    This will eventually happen as long as the accession process continues, he pointed out.

    In addition, he said that from a European perspective, there is a great expectation that the ongoing talks, taking place in an atmosphere of compromise and reconciliation will succeed.

    He also stated that the focus of the current debate on battling Turkey, a candidate country, is wrong and will definitely not help the present effort and rather will have the opposite effect.

    The EU is not an arena for sanction and punishment, the EU is an arena for peace and reconciliation, he added.

    Moreover, he said that we dont want its accession course to be broken because that will obviously mean an end of the reforms and the end of its interest in reunifying Cyprus, noting that EU is an organisation for the promotion of peace and security.

    Lindahl stressed that the Swedish Presidency supports the accession of Turkey to the EU after full compliance with the conditions of the Union.

    However, he continued, the Cyprus issue will not be solved by the opening of the Turkish ports to Cypriot ships as it was not solved before 1987 when the ports where still opened.

    There is no European solution of the complicated Cyprus issue, there is only a Cypriot solution to be negotiated between the two parties within the UN framework with the support of the EU, he concluded in his speech.


    The Cyprus question remains a top priority in Greece`s foreign policy, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has said, in his main policy speech to the Hellenic Parliament. ``Finding a just and lasting solution in the Cyprus problem, based on UN resolutions, the principles and treaties of the European Union and in full compliance with the European acquis is our main priority,`` the Greek Prime Minister, who arrive in Cyprus on Monday on an official visit, said.

    He added that in this context, Athens ``fully supports`` the initiatives by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and will continue to be close to Cyprus, not in words, but in deeds. Papandreou welcomed Turkeys efforts to join the EU but stressed that this is subject to the self-evident and unyielding condition that Turkey incorporates the EU aquis, respects international law and contributes to a solution of the Cyprus issue.

    Actions directed against the territorial integrity of an EU member-state not only violate international law and the obligation for good neighbourly relations but they also revoke the huge potential for close cooperation between our countries,`` he stressed. Papandreou said that the basic objective of the Greek government is to lead the country to the center of international developments, both within and outside the EU. He pointed out that Greece will be present at the debate on all major global issues, like climate change and migration.


    Cyprus has strongly protested to the UN the latest violations of its national air space and the international air traffic regulations, calling for an immediate end to such actions which put lives at risk. The violations took place between August 1 and September 30 this year, according to a letter by the Republics Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Minas Hadjimichael.

    The Ambassador points out that Turkeys non compliance with the rules and regulations governing international air aviation continues to jeopardize air safety and prolongs tension and the lack of security in Cyprus, whose northern part has been under Turkish occupation since 1974. Turkeys continuous provocations, aiming at consolidating the de facto division of Cyprus and the secessionist regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus, undermine seriously all efforts to reunite the country and bring about reconciliation.

    Such moves, the Ambassador points out, prove the irresponsible behaviour of a country which is now serving as non permanent member of the UN Security Council. The letter calls on Turkey to comply with the UN Charter and to respect Cyprus sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, contributing in this way to a viable political settlement of the question of Cyprus, in line with Security Council resolutions.


    ‘he Presidential Palace opened its doors on Saturday to children with special needs, as part of functions organised for the 20th Radiomarathon, a three-day annual fund-raising charity event for children with disabilities. The children had the opportunity to talk and lunch with President Demetris Christofias and his wife Elsi, in an event which included dancing, singing, games and magic tricks.

    In her welcoming speech, Mrs. Christofia said this year Radiomarathon celebrates 20 years of existence. She said that while 20 years ago, this institution was trying to make people aware of the problems of people with special needs, today it is fighting for their full integration into society. She pointed out that Radiomarathon is now an all encompassing social institution which has been embraced with love by the whole of society. He added that the people of Cyprus supported the event through all these years, giving generously.

    The 20th Radiomarathon begins officially on Sunday with fund-raising events across the free areas of Cyprus and will culminate on Monday and Tuesday, with 53 kiosks operating in every town of the free areas of Cyprus for donations, while14 piggy-bank cars will be on tour to collect money from villages. During the three-day event marches, sport and other charity functions are planned in Cyprus and overseas, where Cypriots reside.

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