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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-06-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Cyprus on Friday to pay an official three-day visit, following an invitation extended by the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias during his visit to the Vatican in March 2009.

    According to the official programme of the visit, 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.


    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 the direct talks are held 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.


    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 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, the 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.

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