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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government has described as unjust a European Court of Human Rights ruling, relating to property issues in Turkish occupied Cyprus, saying it would study the decision.

    The Court ruling in the individual cases against Turkey is an adverse development. We consider this decision unjust, Acting Government Spokesman Titos Christofides has said, commenting on the decision.

    The Court ruled that there was no violation of the right to respect for the home and the right regarding the prohibition of discrimination in the case of Cypriots Tasos Asproftas and Marianna Petrakidous.

    The Government, he said, in collaboration with the competent departments and the Law Office of the Republic will study in detail and in depth the decision.

    Mass applications to the Court run the risk of adverse decisions, he added.

    The two Cypriots had applied to the ECHR seeking to have a decision by the Turkish authorities not to allow them to visit and stay in their homes in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus declared illegal.

    The two applicants, who were born in 1963 and live in Nicosia, were arrested by the Turkish police on 19 July 1989, during an anti occupation rally in Nicosia.

    In their application to the ECHR, they had claimed to have suffered ill-treatment both during the demonstration and their subsequent arrest and that in their case, there had been a violation of rights to freedom of assembly, freedom and security as well as the right of having access to and using their property.

    The Court unanimously judged that in case of Asprofta-Petrakidou, their complaints are unfounded and it did not condemn Turkey of violating the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.


    Australia has welcomed the resumption of the negotiations for the solution of Cyprus problem, on May 26, between the President of Cyprus Republic, Demetris Christofias and the new leader of Turkish Cypriot community, Dervis Eroglu. Australia remains hopeful that a just and lasting solution can be found that re-unifies Cyprus on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, a written statement from Canberra said. Australia urges both sides to build upon the convergences achieved over the past 18 months by President Christofias and the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat.

    We encourage both sides to continue to demonstrate the vision and political leadership that has led the communities to this historic opportunity, it adds. Australia remains fully supportive of UN efforts, through the Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer to assist with the settlement talks, is marked in the statement.

    Australias commitment to the people of Cyprus spans many decades, it notes, pointing out that Australian Federal Police officers have served since 1964 as part of the UNFICYP. A Special Representative to Cyprus maintained by Australia since 1998, and the present in the position, Ambassador David Ritchie was appointed in 2008. The Special Representative works to encourage support in Cyprus and from Australias Cypriot community for a comprehensive settlement to this long running dispute, the statement said.


    A government decision to forbid the sailing of ships from Cyprus to Gaza, seeking to break the siege, was taken with a view to serve the vital interests of the country, Acting Government Spokesman Titos Christofides has said. The vessels of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition were attempting to break the siege of Gaza and carry humanitarian aid to the Palestinians.

    Having taken into account the difficulties and the Republics vital interests, we have called on the organisers of the trip to avoid using our territory and our ports as a springboard or the start of their journey. Our appeal went unheeded and the government was obliged to issue a decree to prohibit the sailing of ships from our ports, Christofides told the press today.

    Christofides stressed that Gazas blockade is contrary to international law, noting at the same time that the Republic of Cyprus is fighting for its survival (having its northern part under Turkish occupation since 1974). We believe that any action which might cause difficulties or even damage to our struggle must be avoided, he added.

    He said that the demand to lift this blockade is just and will serve, in the best way, the goal of reaching the soonest possible a peaceful settlement of the Palestinian problem. The lack of food and medicine threatens the survival and the health of the people of the area, including children, he pointed out, adding that Cyprus reiterates its solidarity with the just struggle of the Palestinian people.


    A European Public Space aiming at informing the Cypriot citizen on European issues and policies, in a simpler and comprehensive way, has been inaugurated at the EU House in Nicosia. Addressing the event, First Lady Elsie Christofias said that using interactive communication means, the European Public Space, which is under the auspices of the two institutional bodies mentioned, aims at becoming a public forum encouraging debate and dialogue with the EU institutional bodies.

    As the issues of interest to Cypriot European citizens rapidly multiply, the need for objective and composed information increases. Institutional changes that have taken place in the EU in the last few years have created a new environment both for the member states as well as for European citizens, she said. On the other hand, she added, the EU institutions are actively involved in a number of topics and policies concerning everyday life. The EU policy on the environment, the measures in the effort to alleviate the consequences of the economic crisis and to recover from it, and the actions in the field of social policy are a just a handful of examples.

    Christofias said contemporary citizens should have a picture so that they may be aware and be able to form an opinion on matters that concern them. The European Public Space constitutes a step towards this direction. With this initiative, the Offices of the European Parliament and of the European Commission Representation render the EU House more accessible to the public as well as to civil society organizations.

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