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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-06-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou said on Tuesday that Cyprus recognises the right of Israel and its people to live in conditions of security, condemns the launching of missiles from the area of Gaza against Israeli citizens, but considers that the blockade on Gaza is not the solution and that the flow of humanitarian aid should not be obstructed.

    Kyprianou contacted Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman on Monday, and on Tuesday met the Head of the General Delegation of Palestine in Cyprus Khalid Najjar, expressing sorrow over the loss of human lives in the Israeli assault against the flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza.

    He said Cyprus supported the termination of the blockade on Gaza, especially concerning humanitarian aid, adding that the Republic was awaiting an in depth, objective investigation into the assault. Kyprianou expressed hope that the incident would not affect proximity talks, noting that the successful outcome of the talks would contribute towards stability.

    Replying to questions, Kyprianou said ``we are in the region and thus we have a more immediate involvement,`` adding that ``our position is based on principles and our decisions are determined by objective criteria.``


    Unemployment in Cyprus reached 6.8% of the active population in April, compared to 6.7% in March, according to figures released on Tuesday by Eurostat.

    The figures indicated a 6.9% unemployment rate among men in Cyprus and 6.7% among women in April. According to March data, unemployment among persons under the age of 25 was 18.1% in Cyprus.

    The unemployment rate recorded in the Eurozone was 10.1% in April compared to 10% in March, and in the EU it remained unchanged at 9.7%.

    In the EU, the total number of unemployed persons reached 23.3 million, over half of which were in the Eurozone. Furthermore, from April 2009 to April 2010, 2.4 million jobs were lost, have of which in the Eurozone.

    In certain Eurozone countries, the situation is severe. In Spain, for example, unemployment reached 19.7% of the active population. Outside the Eurozone, the highest unemployment rate was recorded in Latvia, with 22.5%.


    Minister of the Interior of the Republic, Neoclis Sylikiotis, leaves for Luxembourg on Wednesday to attend the Council of Justice and Home Affairs. The Council is due to adopt a European pact to combat international drug trafficking (disrupting cocaine and heroin routes) as well as a number of conclusions.

    Among the most important are the conclusions on the subject of unaccompanied minors coming to and seeking asylum in the EU and the conclusions on the Commission`s Action Plan implementing the Stockholm Programme. Terrorism subjects on the agenda include the TFTP (Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme) agreement with the US, an EU-US statement on the fight against terrorism and a discussion paper by the EU counter-terrorism coordinator on the implementation of the EU strategy and action plan to combat terrorism.

    In the margins of the Council session, the Mixed Committee (the EU plus Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) will examine the state of play concerning the development of the Schengen Information System II (SIS II) and the Visa Information System (VIS).


    National quantitative aims for energy performance and the new European energy strategy for 2011-2020 were the main topics on the agenda of Monday`s EU Council of Energy Ministers.

    Cyprus was represented at the meeting by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Zeta Emilianidou, who presented the positions of the Republic of Cyprus on the setting of national aims to reduce primary energy consumption for 2020.

    Emilianidou said that the methodology for calculating the national aims must take into consideration the particularities and special conditions of the member states, adding that in the case of Cyprus the high consumption of fuel for air transport must be included in the calculations.

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