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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-04-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou outlined the government`s positions on the European Commission`s direct trade regulation, during a meeting he had on Friday with ambassadors of EU member-states stationed in Cyprus.

    An official press release notes that ``Kyprianou had a meeting today at the Foreign Ministry with the accredited Ambassadors of the EU member-states to Cyprus.``

    ``The Minister briefed the European diplomats on the Cypriot government`s positions concerning the proposal of the European Commission for the direct trade regulation,`` the release adds.

    The regulation on direct trade with the Turkish Cypriot community was approved by the Commission on April 26 2004, two days after separate simultaneous referenda took place among the islands two communities on a blueprint submitted by the then UN SG Kofi Annan for a comprehensive settlement. The proposed solution was rejected by the Greek Cypriots and approved by the Turkish Cypriots. The Commission announced it would promote the regulation through the European Parliament. Nicosia believes, as Kyprianou said yesterday, that the regulation is legally wrong and does not conform to the April 2004 Council conclusions.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Greek Cypriot negotiating team convened under President Demetris Christofias on Thursday to evaluate the developments on the Cyprus problem, three days ahead of the ``presidential`` elections in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou confirmed the meeting, without giving further details.

    ``The group on the Cyprus problem convenes regularly, as it is one of the groups assessing and discussing various issues concerning both the negotiations as well as the issues regarding the Cyprus problem in general,`` Stephanou said replying to questions. Stephanou refrained from replying to a question whether the team assessed any scenarios in view of the ``election`` in the occupied areas, assuring that he Government ``evaluates many data and conditions.``


    A total of 57 flights to and from Cyprus have been affected since Thursday, when a huge ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano spread out across Europe, causing air travel chaos and resulting in the closure of the air space in many European airports.

    In his statements, Hermes Airports Communications and Public Relations Director Adamos Aspris said that 24 flights are affected Friday to and from the Larnaka International Airport, 12 of which are departures and 12 arrivals to and from the airports of Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels, Warsaw and Amsterdam.

    As regards the Pafos International Airport, he said that around 14 flights will be affected, seven departures and seven arrivals. These are flights to and from the airports of Frankfurt, Gatwick, Luton, Amsterdam and Birmingham, he said.

    He added that by midnight 38 flights will be affected in both Cypriot airports, while since the problem occurred, the total number of flights overall affected reached 57. Aspris urged passengers to contact their travel agents or the air companies to get the latest information as regards their travel plans.


    The GUE/NGL Group in the European Parliament has called on the Commission to revoke its proposal for direct trade with the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    In a press release, the GUE/NGL says the recent revival of the European Commission proposal for trade with those areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, sets important barriers to the efforts for the reunification of the island. ``Its content is based on divisive lines``, it notes.

    ``It is in contradiction with core principles of International Law and Community Law, as it is emphatically confirmed also by the Legal Service of the Council of the European Union. As such, it must be revoked immediately. The European Commission should instead respect and promote the immediate implementation of the European Union decisions concerning Turkey``, it adds.

    The GUE/NGL recalls the EU Council Declaration of the European Community and its Member States of September 2005, the EU Council Conclusions of December 2006, as well as of the most recent ones adopted on December 7th 2009, noting with regret that Turkey, despite repeated calls, continues refusing to fulfill its obligation of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement.

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