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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-05-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Communications and Works, Justice and Public Order, and Finance have decided to forbid the sailing of the ships of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition that were seeking to break the siege of Gaza and to convey humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

    In statements to CNA, Vasilis Demetriades, Officer of the Ministry of Communications and Works, said that the decision was taken in the framework of International Law, and with an aim to defend the vital interests of the Republic of Cyprus. On the one hand, Cyprus always supports the struggle of the people of Palestine, and on the other hand, the Palestinian Authority has never demanded such kind of assistance, he said.

    The activists have informed the Cyprus government and the relevant Ministries about their operation two weeks ago, and it has been clarified to them that Cyprus government did not wish, at the present, to be engaged in their operation, Demetriades noted.

    He also pointed out that the government has underlined that the standing position of the Republic of Cyprus is to support the struggle of the people of Palestine, and that Cyprus is probably the only EU member state that retains a firm position of support towards the Palestinians.

    As he explained, the activists would use Cyprus as a transit stop and as a meeting point in their endeavor to convey humanitarian aid to Gaza.

    Cyprus Member of the Parliament and Vice President of the European Parliament Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council, Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, who is heading the Cypriot initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition, stated to CNA that he is not responsible for the organizational issues of the operation.

    Invited to comment on governments decision, Triantaphyllides stressed that the only issue which concerns him, is the humanitarian aid to reach the people of Gaza, that live in poverty.

    The fleet is composed of nine boats and it carries 750 participants from more than 60 countries, including governmental, parliamentary, European and Arab officials as well as activists of all ages.

    The ships also carry more than 10 thousand tons of medical supplies, building materials, timber, 100 prefabricated houses to shelter tens of thousands of people who lost their homes during the Israeli war on Gaza in early 2009; it also carries 500 electric vehicles for the handicapped, especially since the recent war had left nearly 600 disabled people in Gaza.


    US Vice President Joe Biden assured that a solution of the Cyprus problem ranks high among both his and US President Barack Obama`s priorities.

    The 26th PSEKA annual conference wrapped up Thursday with meeting in the White House with Biden who briefed them on the positions of the US Administration on Cyprus, Greece and issues concerning overseas Greeks. According to delegates, the US Vice President assured that a solution of the Cyprus problem and the issue of the ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople ranks high among both his and US President Barack Obama`s priorities.

    Cypriot Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou, who attended the meeting, confirmed Biden`s remarks and particularly that the Cyprus problem ranks high among his agenda. ``From there on everybody`s intentions will be proved in action. Not only those of the United States but also of all parties involved in the Cyprus problem,`` Stephanou said speaking to the press.

    He also said that the US role is important, adding that such remarks must be taken into account. Reviewing the works of the PSEKA annual conference, Stephanou said it gave the opportunity to overseas Greek and Greek Cypriots to be briefed the on the course of the UN-led negotiations for a Cyprus solution, which resumed on Wednesday, May 26, and the aims of the Cypriot government.


    Cyprus` Marcos Baghdatis, 30th in world tennis rankings, qualified to Roland Garros` third round, after defeating on Thursday Spain`s Marcel Granollers, 87th in world rankings, with 2-1 (4-6, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2).

    The match has been suspended on Wednesday night with Marcos leading by two-sets-to-one and was completed yesterday with the remaining set, which was won easily by Baghdatis in just 32 minutes.

    For a place in the fourth round, Baghdatis Marcos will face Friday afternoon World No. 4 Andy Murray, who defeated yesterday Argentina`s Juan Ignacio Chela with 3-1.

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