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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-18

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] GREEK PM - CYPRUS PRESIDENT - TALKS
  • [02] EU PRESIDENT - CYPRUS - VISIT
  • [03] EUROSTAT - CYPRUS - POVERTY

  • [01] GREEK PM - CYPRUS PRESIDENT - TALKS

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou decided on Monday that the Greek government would be setting up a team of law experts to assist the Greek Cypriot negotiating team in talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The decision was announced by Papandreou after talks in Athens with President Christofias.

    ``A team of law experts will be created immediately to help the Cypriot government and its negotiating team with anything it may need,`` Papandreou said.

    President Christofias welcomed the creating of the team, which he said would ``give the best possible interpretations to various aspects that need interpreting, so that the positions of the Greek Cypriot side at the talks are validated both legally and politically.``

    He also announced that Papandreou has accepted an invitation to visit Cyprus for ``a joint evaluation of the Cyprus problem and developments.``

    Furthermore, Papandreou said he would soon be sending a letter of reply to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inviting him to visit Greece, and that he would be including thoughts on the Cyprus problem, after Monday`s meeting with President Christofias.

    Papandreou assured that Greece and the Greek government would continue to support Cyprus actively, in every possible way, and that Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou and Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas would be immediately promoting the implementation of the decisions taken on Monday.

    ``President Christofias has our full faith and support. We support his efforts to reach a just, functional and viable solution in Cyprus, without deadlines or arbitration, a solution based on UN Security Council resolutions and EU principles and values, with the full implementation of the acquis communautaire, a solution that will safeguard the functionality of the Cypriot state and its effective participation in the EU, a solution that will result in the termination of the military occupation and the division of the island,`` Papandreou said, adding that Greece stresses in every direction that ``the Cyprus problem is an issue of military occupation and invasion by Turkey.``

    Referring to Turkish proposals concerning the chapter of governance in talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus for a settlement, Papandreou said he agreed with President Christofias that they are ``negative and backward,`` and pointed out that it was necessary to maintain the agreed basis of the talks for a bizonal bicommunal federation, with political equality, as defined in UN decisions, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international identity.

    He added that they agreed on the necessity to continue the Cyprus talks for a mutually acceptable agreement.

    Papandreou said they also exchanged views on Turkey`s EU accession prospects, in the light of December`s European Council conclusions.

    President Christofias said they discussed developments in the Cyprus problem in depth, as well as relations between the EU and Turkey, noting that they shared common positions.

    He added that, during the meeting, they reaffirmed the commitment of Cyprus and Greece for ``a solution of a bizonal bicommunal federation, with political equality, as defined in UN resolutions,`` noting that this was ``the historical compromise of the Greek Cypriot community.``

    President Christofias also welcomed the fact that Papandreou had accepted an invitation to visit Cyprus.

    To questions regarding the stance of Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in talks for a Cyprus settlement and to remarks that Talat appears intransigent, President Christofias spoke of a ``contradiction,`` noting that Talat ``is in need of positive developments, since soon so-called elections will be held in the Turkish Cypriot community.``

    ``The contradiction is that on the one hand he wants progress and on the other hand the proposals he has conveyed through the UN, which were drafted in Ankara, are intransigent, negative and unacceptable,`` he said and expressed hope that Talat`s stance would change in the second round of intensive talks so that progress could be made and there would be more convergences on the chapter of governance.

    President Christofias furthermore assured that he would continue to defend the fundamental principles of a Cyprus settlement, adding that the Turkish proposals ``are unacceptable, we dismiss them and do not accept to discuss them.``

    Papandreou noted that a solution would be to the benefit of the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots, Greece and Turkey, adding that it was time for Turkey to release the Turkish Cypriot community and contribute constructively towards a solution.

    To questions concerning Turkey`s EU membership bid, Papandreou said Greece links this issue to a series of obligations on behalf of Turkey, including the normalisation of its relations with Cyprus and the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    President Christofias said he totally agreed with Papandreou, adding that, on the basis of Turkey`s obligations, Cyprus proceeded to freeze six more negotiating chapters, which are linked to the implementation of Turkey`s obligations, concerning the normalisation of its relations with Cyprus.

    ``So, the conclusion that Turkey came out unscathed in December is, I am sorry to point out, inaccurate and presumptuous,`` he added.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island. They held their first round of intensive talks last week and are scheduled to enter a second round on January 25.

    [02] EU PRESIDENT - CYPRUS - VISIT

    EU President Herman van Rompuy will visit Cyprus as part of his tour to the capitals of EU countries where he will meet with leaders of EU member states to prepare the informal European Council Summit, on February 11.

    Rompuy will arrive in Cyprus on January 21 and will have a working lunch with President Demetris Christofias.

    [03] EUROSTAT - CYPRUS - POVERTY

    Around 16% of Cypriots have had in 2008 an income, which, after social transfers, was below the poverty threshold as defined by the European Union.

    According to data issued by Eurostat, the higher risk of poverty in Cyprus is among elderly, since in 2008, the at-risk-of-poverty rate for those aged 65 years and over was 49%, the second highest in the EU27, after Latvia (51%).


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