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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Thursday`s meeting between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu was postponed at Christofias initiative, after statements by Eroglu who questioned the basis of the talks.

    In statements, President Christofias said that he asked for the postponement of the meeting with a view to avoid a crisis and a deadline at the talks and asked for the issue to be discussed by the two leaders advisers George Iacovou and Kudret Ozersay adding that the Turkish Cypriot side agreed to this.

    President Christofias and Eroglu had a very brief discussion at the venue where direct talks are held this morning since Eroglu went there before the Greek Cypriot sides request for the postponement of the meeting was conveyed to him.

    We talked a bit about this process. This was accepted by him. It is clear that Eroglu came under a big pressure from its opposition last week and it seems that it is under this pressure that he made these statements. Everyone is under some pressure. Either we have the courage to go on, on the basis which is crystal clear or every time that we are under attack from our domestic front we will review our positions, he added.

    Asked if Eroglu does not want this and is under pressure, Christofias said I dont know. I cant talk on Eroglus behalf.

    President Christofias noted that he cannot act in this way. I myself am under attack from various sides but I continue not because I dont take them into consideration. But I have committed myself as President of the Republic, as the interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot side, as the leader of the Greek Cypriot side and I want to honour these commitments towards the UN and the other side, he added.

    He stressed that if Turkey means what it says, that it wants a settlement by December, this settlement will be found if we continue from where the process was left and if we honour the commitments which the interlocutors undertook in the past. Otherwise we will not be able to find a settlement by December or any December, he added.

    The President reiterated the commitment of the Greek Cypriot side for a settlement here and now, noting that this requires a change of the Turkish side, or continuation of the talks from where they were left.

    Asked about the UN stance, Christofias recalled that UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer has made a statement on behalf of the Secretary General, adding that the UN statement and position cannot be retracted.

    Asked if everything agreed with former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat must be the basis for the negotiations, Chriostofias noted that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayiip Erdogan himself had said that Eroglu would have to accept the things agreed between Christofias and Talat and to continue from where talks were left.


    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.


    Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou has explained that there is a political decision and commitment of the Government regarding the accession of Cyprus to Schengen, which constitutes a legal obligation vis-a-vis the European Union.

    Kyprianou attended Thursdays session of the Parliamentary Committee on European Affairs in order to inform its members as regards the course of Cyprus accession into the Schengen area.

    According to an official announcement issued here today, Foreign Minister noted that up until today, Cyprus has been positively evaluated by the European Commission in two out of five Schengen fields. It remains to be examined in the other three fields, it is added.

    It also clarifies that any delay has been observed on behalf of Cyprus towards the harmonization process is due to objective reasons.


    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has said that zero tolerance for violence inside and outside sports grounds is the message of Wednesdays meeting at the Presidential Palace to tackle football violence.

    He warned that Cypriots are on the verge of mourning victims due to the increasing hooliganism, adding that he is a sports fan but cannot go to arenas because of the violence.

    The only way to tackle the issue, he said, is to dynamically address it with measures that will deter violence, noting we must insist on education, prevention and suppression.

    He said neither football clubs nor the government can solve the issue themselves; instead what is required is a combination of actions in the overall effort to educate our youth about correct social behaviour.

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