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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-09-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, will hold on Friday the second all-day meeting, during which they will continue the discussion on the property issue in the framework of the UN-led direct talks for a settlement.

    The two leaders had their first all-day meeting on Wednesday during which they began the discussion on property issue.

    In statements after the first meeting, Alexander Downer, UN SGs Special Advisor in Cyprus, said the two leaders discussed ``to some great length`` the proposals they had submitted on the chapter of property, adding that they will continue the discussion on Friday.

    President Christofias, speaking after the meeting on Wednesday, said that the discussion is being held on the basis of the proposals submitted by the two sides on the property issue. It is not an easy discussion, it is a very difficult issue, a very complex issue, the President pointed out, adding that they will continue discussion during the next intensive meeting of the two leaders on Friday.

    Peace talks began in September 2008 between President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Talks continue now with Eroglu, who succeeded Talat in April this year.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Greek Foreign Ministry Spokesman Gregoris Delavekouras, has underlined the intense symbolism that Foreign Minister Demetris Droutsas visit to Cyprus had, noting the Cyprus issue is at a critical juncture.

    Speaking to reporters after Droutsas completed his two-day visit to Nicosia on Thursday, Delavekouras said negotiations on Cyprus are developing and for this reason, good coordination and communication is required with the Republic of Cyprus.

    He said Droutsas contacts on the island were very useful, adding we ascertain that although we are at a difficult juncture, with the initiatives which President (Demetris) Christofias has undertaken, he is fundamentally indicating the way out, adding that the proposals which the Cypriot president submitted are very substantive and realistic.

    He also expressed Greece`s support to the three-point package submitted by President Christofias.

    On the issue of the fenced-off city of Famagusta (Varosha) and the opening of the citys port for trade for the Turkish Cypriots, Delavekouras said this proposal can give a very significant dynamic to the whole negotiating procedure and at the same time, create the preconditions for a new dynamic for Turkeys accession prospects. We should not forget that Turkeys accession prospects are associated with a solution to the Cyprus issue, he remarked.

    We cannot perceive progress in Turkeys EU process without a solution to the Cyprus issue. For this reason, Christofias proposal provides, basically, a forward leap in the negotiations, allowing for more chapters to be opened, giving Turkeys accession prospects a new dynamic, he added.


    Cyprus in 2008 recorded the highest state expenditure as a percentage of the GDP for education among the EU countries, figures released today by Eurostat show.

    Cyprus` total state expenditure in 2008 reached 42.6% of GDP, compared to an EU average of 46.8%.

    According to the allocation of public expenditure per sector, expenditure on education in Cyprus reached 7.8% of GDP, well over the EU 5.2% average.

    However, Cyprus was last in 2008 concerning state expenditure for public health, which reached 3% of GDP, as opposed to the 5.1% EU average.

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