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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-06-03

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] UN - DOWNER - TALKS
  • [02] POPE BENEDICT XVI VISIT PROGRAMME
  • [03] VATICAN - CYPRUS ISSUE

  • [01] UN - DOWNER - TALKS

    President Demetris Christofias asked the postponement of todays meeting between him and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the framework of the direct negotiations, aiming to solve the Cyprus problem, UN Secretary Generals Special Advisor Alexander Downer announced here today.

    Speaking after the brief meeting between President Christofias and Eroglu, Downer said: At about 10 to 10 Mr. Iacovou rang me to say that Mr. Christofias thought that it would be better if the leaders meeting was postponed and the representatives instead met this morning. We were unable to stop Mr. Eroglus convoy in time and Mr. Christofias, realizing that Mr. Eroglu had nevertheless arrived, sent a message to say that he would come across and meet with Mr. Eroglu. So, they had a brief meeting and the representatives will now meet together this afternoon at 1430, he added.

    Downer said that next week he will visit New York to meet the UN Security Council to talk about the Cyprus issue, and for that reason there will not be a meeting between the two leaders. But, there will be meetings of the representatives during the course of next week, he said.

    Asked about the reason of todays developments, Downer referred journalists to the two sides on the matter.

    Replying to a question on what had been said between the two leaders, during their brief meeting, Downer said that they had a very friendly discussion. And I leave it to the leaders if they wish to express their view about that, he added.

    Asked if both leaders accept the message of the UN Secretary General as the basis for the talks, Downer said he did not wish to get into a political discussion and referred again to the two leaders for giving an answer to that question.

    Earlier, Eroglu left the meeting at 11:15, several minutes after President Christofias had arrived for the meeting. Christofias arrived one hour after the scheduled start of the talks, which took place at the specially designed venue of the now defunct Nicosia airport, which is currently under UN control.

    Fifteen minutes after Eroglus departure, at 11:30, President Christofias left the meeting. Asked by reporters if there is a complication since Eroglu had left 15 minutes after the President had arrived, with an hours delay, the President replied We are trying not to have any complications.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began peace talks in September 2008. Talks now continue with the President and Eroglu.

    [02] POPE BENEDICT XVI VISIT PROGRAMME

    The official programme of the Pope`s visit to Cyprus has been announced. The Pope will arrive on the island on Friday at 1400 local time (1100 GMT). The official welcoming ceremony will take place at Paphos International Airport, on the western coast, where he will arrive on a special flight of Alitalia from Rome.

    He will be welcomed by President President Demetris Christofias and his spouse Elsie. A welcoming address by Christofias and a reply from the Pope will follow. After that the Pope will bless an olive tree that at a later stage will be planted at a special place at Paphos International Airport as a reminiscence of the visit of the Pope to Cyprus.

    The Pope will then depart for the Church of Agia Kyriaki Chrysopolitissa in Kato Paphos where an ecumenical celebration will take place. Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II will deliver a greeting address to be followed by a prayer by the Pope, a reading of the Acts of the Apostles, a speech by the Pope, a prayer, a song and a final blessing.

    Before leaving, the Pope will receive a gift by the Mayor of Paphos Savvas Vergas.After that the Pontifix will leave for Nicosia.

    On Saturday the Pope and his entourage will visit the Presidential Palace. He will be welcomed by the President and his spouse. The Pontiff will lay a wreath at the statue of Archbishop Makarios III.

    Later on, the President and the Pontiff will exchange gifts. Afterwards, Christofias and the Pope will have a tete-a-tete meeting. The Pope will also sign the Visitors Book. This will be followed by the presentation of the delegations of the Republic of Cyprus and the Holy See.

    Later, the President and the Pope will proceed to the Gardens of the Presidential Palace, where the Civil Authorities and the Diplomatic Corps will gather. This will be followed by a greeting address by President Christofias and a speech by the Pope.

    The Pope will then visit Saint Marons School where a special ceremony will take place. This will include a welcoming address by the Director of the School, the unveiling of a plaque of the Papal Visit, a greeting address by Youssef Soueif, Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus, a Liturgy of the Word, an artistic performance by the school children, a speech by the Pope, the presentation of gifts, songs and a final blessing.

    Later the Pope will have a tete-a-tete meeting at the Archbishopric Palace with Archbishop Chrysostomos II. He will also visit the Statue of the Late Archbishop Makarios and the Cathedral, where an exchange of brief greetings will take place.

    Following that, the Pope will visit the Byzantine Museum. The Papal Entourage and the members of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus will also visit the Apartment of Archbishop Makarios III. An exchange of gifts will take place at the Great Synod Hall.

    Later the Pope will visit the Apostolic Nunciature, where a Holy Mass will take place.

    On Sunday, the Pope will be at Eleftheria Sports Centre where Holy Mass will take place.

    Youssef Soueif, Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus will address greetings to the Holy Father. At the end of the Mass,Nikola Eterovic, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, will say a few words of thanks and will invite the Holy Father to hand over the document of Instrumentum Laboris.

    After the recitation of the Angelus, the Holy Father will give a copy of the Instrumentum Laboris to each member of the Special Council for the Synod.

    In the afternoon, the Pope will visit the Maronite Cathedral of Our Lady of Graces. Youssef Soueif Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus will deliver words of greetings and the Pope will respond. A prayer to the Virgin Mary will follow. A presentation of a gift to the Holy Father will follow.

    Later the Pope and his entourage will leave for Larnaca Airport where the official farewell ceremony will take place.

    During the ceremony speeches will be delivered by Cyprus President and the Pontiff. After that the Pope will bless an olive tree that will be planted at a later stage at a special place at Larnaca International Airport, as a reminiscence of the Popes visit to Cyprus.

    Farewells of the respective delegations will follow. The Pope and his entourage will leave the island at 1815 local time.

    [03] VATICAN - CYPRUS ISSUE

    Director of the Vatican`s press office Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi has referred to the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus northern third during his briefing at the Holy See, ahead of the official visit of the Pontiff to Cyprus, from June 4 to 6.

    According to an official statement, on Tuesday Lombardi specifically referred to the Turkish invasion of 1974 and the occupation of around one third of the territory of Cyprus.

    He added that the Turkish invasion led to the self-declaration of a democracy that has not been recognized by any country in the world, adding that this situation constitutes an anomaly. He explained that a dividing line still exists between the occupied areas and the rest of the territory in Cyprus.

    He referred to the settlers that Turkey transports from Asia Minor to settle there, noting that many Turkish Cypriots have left. He added that many Turkish soldiers are in the occupied areas.

    The Vatican Representative further said the Turkish occupation and division of Cyprus make it harder on Maronites who live in the northern part of the country but had to move to the southern areas.

    Lombardi further referred to the importance of Cyprus for Christianity, noting that there is frequent reference to Cyprus in the Acts of the Apostles, adding its presence is important in the life of the Church.

    He pointed out that it is the first time a Pope is visiting the island and Pope Benedict XVIs first visit to an orthodox country.


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