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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-05-15

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    ‘alks for a Cyprus settlement are ``of Cypriot ownership,`` President of the Republic Demetris Christofias said on Saturday, responding to Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan`s proposal for a multi-party conference on Cyprus, adding that an international conference can take place only regarding the international aspects of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking during a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou on Friday in Athens, Erdogan suggested that the guarantor powers for Cyprus (Greece, Turkey and the UK), the UN, the EU and the two Cypriot communities could contribute to the ongoing UN-led talks for a Cyprus settlement.

    Invited to comment on Ergodan`s suggestion, the President recalled that the talks are of Cypriot ownership, adding that this has been reiterated by the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou during the press conference.

    ``Papandreou reiterated that Greece insists on the Cypriot ownership of the process,`` Christofias said, adding that Greece and Cyprus have a common position that ``once the conditions are ripe it would be useful to have an international conference with the participation of the UN Security Council members to deal with the international aspects of the Cyprus problem, the issues of guarantees and security.``

    He also expressed satisfaction over the Greek Premier`s remarks on the Cyprus issue.

    ``These are positions of principle, sound positions which associate the full normalization of the relations between the two countries (Greece and Turkey) and their full development with the resolution of the Cyprus problem,`` Christofias said.

    Invited to comment Erdogan`s position that Turkey could open its ports to ship`s carrying the Cypriot flag, if Cyprus opened its ports to Turkish vessels, Christofias said if Mr Erdogan implies the ports of Cyprus controlled by the Cypriot government is one thing and if he implies the ports located in the northern part of the island, under Turkish occupation since 1974 is another.

    ``The ports under occupation cannot open as a trade-off for the self-evident Turkish obligation towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, a member-state of the EU,`` he noted.

    Turkey so far continues to refuse to fulfill its obligation of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement and open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels and aircrafts.

    The President also recalled Cyprus` position for the return of the fenced-off city of Famagusta to the UN in return for the opening of the Famagusta port under EU administration.

    ``It is not possible for the Republic of Cyprus to grant any authorities to the self-styled TRNC as implied by Turkey . Our position on the issue is steadfast and will remain as such,`` he concluded.

    UN-led talks for a mutually agreed settlement to the problem of Cyprus which began in September 2008, will resume on May 26 after a brief recess for the ``elections`` in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the island, which saw the rise of Dervis Eroglu as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community.


    Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis presented on Friday the final version of fiscal consolidation package, aiming to restrain the fiscal deficit to 6.0% of GDP in 2010 (from 7% prefigured without measures), which in absolute numbers corresponds to a saving of 175 million euros.

    Announcing the measures, Stavrakis said that 105 out of the 175 million euros will be saved exclusively by actions of the state and without burdening the private sector, 80 million euros by reducing public sectors operating expenses and 25 million euros by reducing the number of civil servants by 1,000 people.

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