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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-04-12

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has assured of Greeces firm support to Cyprus in efforts to achieve justice on the island, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    The Greek Prime Minister, on a working visit here, has stressed that the Cyprus problem is at a crucial turn and expressed Greeces determination to continue supporting Cyprus in deeds.

    Papandreou, who held this morning a tete-a-tete meeting at the Presidential Palace with Cypriot President Demetris Christofias followed by an extended meeting with the participation of the leaders of the parliamentary parties, praised President Christofias stance in the ongoing UN-led negotiations for a political settlement and asked the Turkish Cypriot side as well as Turkey to respond accordingly.

    In their opening remarks after the meeting, both President Christofias and the Greek Premier have described their discussion as extremely useful and said that the solution of the Cyprus problem must be based on a functional and viable federation.

    The solution must be a Cypriot and a European one, said Papandreou.

    In his opening remarks, President Christofias said that the presence of the Greek Premier in Cyprus proves the interest of Athens and expressed his gratitude for the continuous support of Greece towards the policy and the handling of Cyprus as regards the Cyprus issue.

    He said that the basic precondition for the solution of the Cyprus problem is the change of stance of the Turkish side.

    The Cypriot President underlined his readiness to continue the ongoing UN-led negotiations and talked about the friendly ties and the close coordination between Cyprus and Greece.

    He also expressed Cyprus support towards Greece and the economic problem it faces.

    In the afternoon Papandreou will meet the Primate of the Cyprus Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos II and then depart for Athens.

    Papandreous visit takes place after the UN-sponsored intensive rounds of talks between President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat were interrupted in view of the illegal elections in the areas occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, to take place Sunday.


    The Primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, departs on Tuesday for Brussels for the official opening of a Seminar entitled Religious Freedom and Holy Sites in the Republic of Cyprus.

    According to a press release by the Church of Cyprus, the Archbishop will then fly to Constantinople for an official visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at the invitation of Patriarch Bartholomew.

    In Brussels, his Beatitude Chrysostomos II will address the official opening of the Seminar Religious Freedom and Holy Sites in the Republic of Cyprus, organised by the Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Union in cooperation with the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches.


    The visit of Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI to Cyprus is a pastoral visit with many dimensions, the Apostolic Nuncio in Cyprus, Antonio Franco stressed in a press conference on Monday, in which the Catholic Church in Cyprus (Maronites and Latins) publicised the schedule of the Popes visit to the island.

    Youssef Soueif, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus, stressed that the visit of Pope Benedict is a grand and important event in the recent history of Cyprus and is a gesture of love and peace.

    Announcing the schedule of the apostolic trip of the Pope to Cyprus, he said that the head of the Roman Catholic Church arrives at Paphos Airport. A pilgrimage and ecumenical prayer will follow at Column of Saint Paul, at the Church of Saint Kyriaki. On Saturday, June 5th Pope will meet with President of the Cyprus Republic, Demetris Christofias. He will also meet with the Catholic community of Cyprus ( Maronites and Latins) at the Elementary School of Saint Maronas in Anthoupolis. He will visit the Archbishop of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II and in the afternoon he hold Holy Mass at the Holy Cross Latin church where he will meet with the whole of the clergy and laity, who are dedicated to the pastoral service.

    On Sunday, the schedule includes Holy Mass at Eleftheria Sports Stadium, at the end of which the Pope will present to all prelates of Catholic churches in the Middle East the Instrumentum Laboris, the text to prepare the meeting of bishops on the issue of Christians in the Middle East, which will be held in Rome in October. The conclusion of the day and the visit will be with players to the Virgin Mary at the Virgin Mary of Graces Maronite Cathedral, at Paphos Gate.


    Cyprus Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has discussed the readmission of people who arrive or stay in Cyprus illegally with his Syrian counterpart Said Muhammad Sammour.

    Cyprus Interior Minister paid a two day official visit to Syria on 9 to 11 April, at the invitation of Sammour and returned to Cyprus on Monday.

    Speaking to CNA, Sylikiotis noted that Cyprus and Syria are very close to sign an agreement on the readmission of illegal immigrants. The agreement is expected to be signed along with another agreement on combating organized crime, during the visit of the Syrian Interior Minister to Cyprus which is expected to be held between September and October 2010.

    Referring to his two day official visit, Sylikiotis said that it took place in a very friendly atmosphere and it was characterized by the two sides willingness to strengthen their relation and cooperation.

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