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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-07-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Belgian EU Presidency will continue to support the two parties in working out a solution of the Cyprus problem based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with one sovereignty, Belgian Ambassador to Nicosia, Guy Sevrin, has stressed.

    Presenting Tuesday the priorities of the Belgian EU Presidency, the Ambassador referred to the Cyprus issue, saying that the second semester of 2010 will be different than the first saying that the UN Secretary Generals report on Cyprus is expected in November.

    He pointed out that if by November the Cyprus problem is not solved, the UNSGs report will say what is going wrong with the problem and name it and said that he discussed this issue with UNSGs Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer.

    The Belgian presidency will continue to support the two parties in working out a solution in the sense of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with one sovereignty. This is the aim. Of course the second semester of this year seems to be a bit different than other semesters where from the UN we expect a report in November, he said.

    Furthermore, he added we are expecting a good report that will help us further, noting that if the problem is not solved, which will be the case I think, they will say what is going wrong with the problem and name it.

    Present at the press conference, which took place in the EU House in Nicosia, were the Ambassadors of the Trio Presidency, Juan Jose Urtasun Erro, Ambassador of Spain and Csaba Lovro, Ambassador of Hungary.

    The Belgian Ambassador said that at the end of the year they expect the report on the evaluation of Turkeys accession course, adding that as last year we insist on the implementation of the Ankara Protocol. We will see what comes on behalf of the Turkish side at the end of the year.

    The Belgian EU Presidency, he said, will seek to open new chapters with Turkey like competition and public procurement, provided that Ankara fulfills the benchmarks set.

    Speaking at the press conference, Spanish Ambassador to Nicosia, talked about the achievements of the Spanish EU Presidency and also referred to the Cyprus problem.

    He said that his country has made efforts as regards the ongoing Cyprus talks, pointing out that the results of those efforts might be felt at a later stage.

    The Spanish Ambassador expressed hope that progress is achieved until Cyprus assumes the EU Presidency in the second half of 2012 and said that the international community is hopeful despite the positions of new Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu who has made statements against a federative solution in Cyprus.

    But people change, the Ambassador pointed out.

    He also praised the stance of Cypriot President Demetris Christofias, who continues the Cyprus talks with the new Turkish Cypriot leader, despite Eroglus positions.

    As regards Turkeys EU accession course, he said that the country that should be more interested in the continuation of Turkeys course should be Cyprus, so that to ensure that Ankara does not lose the hope of becoming an EU member state.

    Meanwhile, referring to the priorities of the Belgian Presidency, the Belgian Ambassador said it will concentrate on five clusters of major importance namely combating the economic and financial crisis, reinforcing the social dimension of the EU, implementing the Stockholm Program Action Plan in matters of Justice and Home Affairs, as well as on the environment, climate and enlargement.

    He added that Belgium will also have to continue the important and urgent work of further implementing the Treaty of Lisbon.

    This is the 12th time Belgium is having a rotating EU Presidency and the country will use all its experience to continue in a pragmatic way its tradition of honest broker in the European interest, he added.

    The Belgian Ambassador said that in times of crisis and institutional changes, Belgium will conduct a sober and pragmatic Presidency with the strong will to keep the EU going and to strengthen the relations with all EU-institutions, with special attention for the European Parliament.

    As regards the cost, he said the Belgian Presidency will cost 110 million euro.

    In his statements at the press conference, the Hungarian Ambassador said that when his country assumes the next EU presidency they will focus on cultural diversity, neighborhood policy and enlargement, especially of the Western Balkans.

    He expressed hope that during his countrys EU Presidency, Croatia will have concluded its accession negotiations so that the EU Croatia Treaty of Accession can be signed.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Peace talks are currently underway between President Demetris Christofias and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu, under UN auspices.

    The Republic of Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004.


    Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis has expressed satisfaction over a series of recent reports by international rating organisations as Fitch and Moody`s concerning the economy of Cyprus.

    He also said that the assessments of the International Monetary Fund about the Cypriot economy are aligned with the views of the Finance Ministry that we are passing a period of stability concerning the economy and that the minor recovery of the economy during the first three months of 2010 will continue during the second half of the year and will accelerate in 2011.

    Stavrakis also said that the government aims at gradually withdrawing the emergency 400 million euro package of measures aiming to boost the economy of Cyprus.


    If Turkey wants to impart real momentum to the negotiations aiming to solve the Cyprus problem then it must proceed to some moves that will contribute to the trust needed in the negotiations such as the withdrawal of the occupation troops from the island and the return of the occupied town of Famagusta, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Demetris Droutsas said in an interview on a Greek radio station.

    According to a press release issued by the Greek Foreign Ministry, Droutsas said that we want to believe in Turkeys good intentions when it says that it wants a solution to the Cyprus issue soon.


    Cyprus Police will look into Christopher Robert Metsos personal belongings to ascertain whether they have any connection with the offences for which the US requested his arrest and extradition. Metsos is accused of espionage in connection with an alleged Russian spy network operating in the United States

    In statements to CNA, Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said that on the basis of Attorney General Petros Clerides legal opinion issued on Tuesday, the police will go on and look into Metsos belongings to ascertain whether they have any connection with the offences under investigation, for which the US requested Metsos arrest and extradition.

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