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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, meet on Monday afternoon, in the framework of ongoing UN-led direct negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    At their first meeting of the New Year, which will take place at 4 p.m. in the United Nations Protected Area (UNPA) of Nicosia, the two leaders will discuss EU issues.

    In a joint statement issued after their last meeting in 2009, the two leaders announced the dates of their intensified talks to be held in January 2010.

    The meetings will take place on 11, 12, 13 and 18, 19, 20 of January at the residence of the UN Special Representative in the UN Protected Area.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has warned that the dispute over a bizonal, bicommunal federation facilitates the division of the island. Addressing the 16th Conference of the youth organization EDON, President Christofias said, inter alia, that the solution of the Cyprus problem can be no other than a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    He stressed that this is an historic compromise and a big concession made by the Greek Cypriot community in order to end the Turkish occupation and settlement, adding that the solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation is a necessity. Christofias said that the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation is a solid basis to achieve, under the circumstances, of a just, viable and functional solution, which will end the occupation and settlement and reunite the territory, the people, institutions and economy.

    ``The dilemma is clear: it is either a federal solution or partition, he said, pointing out that ``the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation has been adopted by the United Nations, the European Union and other international organizations.`` This type of solution, under these circumstances, he added, it is our shield against those who aim at a partition of the island and stressed that we must protect this shield.


    Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou is visiting Lebanon on January 4 and 5, 2010.

    During his stay in Beirut, Kyprianou will be received by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Saad Hariri and President of the Parliament Nabih Berri.

    He will also hold talks with Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs Ali al-Shami.

    The focus of discussions will be on bilateral relations, the relations of Lebanon with the EU, and regional and international issues of mutual interest.

    Kyprianou will also be briefing the Lebanese officials on developments in talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem.


    New legislation, approved in July 2009 by the House plenary, bans smoking completely in all closed public places. Smoking is allowed only outdoors and in open areas. The law provides for a fine for those who violate its provisions but no prison sentence. In particular, the law provides for no more that 1000 euro as penalty for not posting a sign indicating that smoking is not allowed in a specific area, while whoever violates the provisions of the law as a smoker or owner of an establishment, he/she will have to pay a fine of no more than 2000 euro.

    Health Minister Christos Patsalides has described the complete ban of smoking in closed public spaces as a gift for the citizens, noting that Cyprus enters a new era as regards smoking. He also said that the promotion of closed spaces free of smoke aims to create a safe environment for the vulnerable groups of the population and to establish the right conditions for the smokers so that they decide to quit smoking and stay away from it.

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