|Tuesday, 20 March 2018|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-02-01
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 UNSG - COMMUNITY LEADERS - JOINT STATEMENTWe will need even more courage and determination in the period ahead to bring the Cyprus talks to a successful conclusion, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said, adding that the United Nations will continue to provide all the support they can.
In an opening press statement he read out during the joint press conference he gave after his meetings in Nicosia, with Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Ban said that Cyprus needs commitment, vision, and flexibility.
``That is what I have sensed here today two leaders striving to forge a better future for the people. I am encouraged that the two leaders personally assured me of their shared commitment to a comprehensive solution as early as possible,`` he added.
He paid tribute to them ``both for their strong commitment and resolve``, noting that he came to Cyprus to show his personal support to the Cypriot-led and owned process to reunify the island.
``And I wanted to be here now because I recognize how important it is to continue to build momentum on what the leaders have achieved up to now,`` he said.
He said that this has been a productive and constructive day. ``I have said that the world is watching. Today the world is seeing two leaders who are rising to the challenge,`` he added.
Ban noted that no one is under the illusion that any of this is easy. ``Peace negotiations never are. But the time is ripe to push ahead. I am convinced that these two leaders can achieve a mutually beneficial solution,`` he stressed.
``For decades, the world has heard about the Cyprus problem. Now is the time for the Cyprus solution,`` he added.
He noted that the United Nations will continue to provide all the support we can, adding that however this is a process that is by the people of Cyprus, and for the people of Cyprus.
``I carry the worlds support for Cyprus in my heart. But the future of Cyprus is in your hands,`` he noted.
He said that after intensive negotiations, the two leaders asked him to read a statement on their behalf.
The statement reads as follows:
``We, as the two leaders, express our gratitude for the visit of the United Nations Secretary General to Cyprus, which demonstrates the continued interest of the United Nations and the international community for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem under the Secretary Generals Good Offices Mission.
Taking this opportunity, we express our appreciation to the Secretary General for his Good Offices Mission as approved by the Security Council and for the efforts aimed at finding a mutually agreed solution.
Working groups comprising Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have devoted time and effort to thoroughly discuss all aspects of the Cyprus problem.
We ourselves, together with our Advisors and our teams, have been working diligently for more than a year on all Chapters of the Cyprus problem. We have worked on the basis of the integrated whole approach that is nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Good convergence has already been achieved in some Chapters. For the rest, we are determined to work hard to achieve the desired progress.
Over the last three weeks we have worked hard during our intensified negotiations, mainly on the Chapter of Governance and Power Sharing and achieved important progress.
We express our strong commitment to continue to work on this and the rest of the Chapters. We express our confidence that with good will and determination, we can achieve a solution in the shortest possible time.
It is our common conviction that the Cyprus problem has remained unresolved for too long. We are also aware that time is not on the side of settlement.
There is an important opportunity now to find a solution to the Cyprus problem which would take into full consideration the legitimate rights and concerns of both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. We are aware that such a settlement is in the interest of all and that it will finally bring peace, stability and prosperity to our common home Cyprus.``
 PRESIDENT CHRISTOFIAS - DIRECT NEGOTIATIONSPresident of the Republic Demetris Christofias has expressed his readiness to continue engaging in direct negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat with the objective to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem. President Christofias was speaking during a joint press conference with Talat on Monday at the old Nicosia Airport, in the presence of the United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki moun.
Replying to a question, President Christofias said that the basis of the negotiations and the solution of the Cyprus problem are based on UN Security Council Resolutions and the High level Agreements of 1977-1979, noting that this is his commitment as well as Talats. He said that this is a well known position which he underlines to the Secretary General every time he meets with him.
Christofias also said that we need the understanding of both sides, adding that we are going to agree on the solution, taking into account the legitimate interests of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots for the interest of our common homeland, Cyprus. Asked to say how feasible it is to move forward (in the direct talks) to more thorny issues such as security, guarantees and settlers, President Christofias said he was certain that UN General Secretarys presence here will help us to renew our commitment and our will, both, for a solution to the Cyprus problem, for convergences in all aspects of the problem, including the aforementioned aspects.
We have to exchange opinions and to negotiate on these matters as well, he said, noting but there are foreign powers involved in security, for example. When I say foreign powers I mean Greece, Turkey and Britain, so they have to take decisions as well. I am not going to go into details now because we are going to negotiate very seriously on all matters. Referring to the Talats wish and desire to continue negotiating, President Christofias said : I am ready to continue with him negotiating despite the elections, hoping that nothing will become an obstacle in our way to search very seriously for a speedy solution to the Cyprus problem
 HOUSE PRESIDENT - CHINESE FMHouse President Marios Garoyian has briefed Chinese Foreign Minister Yabng Jiechi about the current phase of the Cyprus question, as President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat continue their direct talks. The House President pointed out that the negotiations have not yielded any results yet due to Turkish intransigence.
In statements after the meeting, Garoyian described their meeting as useful and substantive, noting that he stressed that the key to a Cyprus settlement is in Ankara and this is where pressure has to be exerted. He said that he also referred to the latest proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side, which he described as completely unacceptable. He noted that these proposals aim at a confederation and not at a bizonal, bicommunal federation with the right content, as provided by relevant UN decisions.
Garoyian noted that he expressed gratitude to the government, parliament and the people of China for their unwavering, stable and consistent support for the just cause and rights of the people of Cyprus. He stressed that friendly countries like China have highlighted the way that policies have to be determined, on the basis of principles and not on the basis of interests and expediencies as it is unfortunately done by some other countries.
 MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE - END OF WATER CUTSWater cuts are lifted in Cyprus as of February 2, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Michalis Polinikis has announced. Speaking at a press conference, following a meeting with his aides, he said that it has also been decided to supply farmers with water for irrigation purposes, so that they do not lose more income.
Polinikis said that Cyprus is very close to solving the long-standing problem of water shortage, mainly through desalination units which are under construction. The Minister said that water reserves in dams have reached a satisfactory level and in 2011 when desalination units will be completed Cyprus will not have to rely any longer on rainfall to meet its needs for water supply.
Responding to questions, Polynikis said that the situation as regards water reserves will continue to be re-evaluated every month. As regards water supplies for farmers, he said that the amount of water to be supplied will be decided at the beginning of March.
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