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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-11-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of Syria Bashar al Assad has expressed gratitude to the Government of Cyprus for its stance on the need to return the Golan Heights to Syria, noting that Cyprus maintains a different stance than that of the EU, although it is a member state of the Union.

    Speaking after talks in Nicosia with President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias, Al Assad pointed out the significance of Cyprus` geographical position and the fact that it is able to convey to the EU the issues of the region thus giving ``the opportunity to other EU members to understand in depth the importance of the problems of the region and the opportunity to the EU to play the role we continuously seek, so European proposals are successful in practice.``

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Al Assad said he was briefed on President Christofias` initiative. ``In our national issues we follow the same method, without looking at the details, and I think trust is a fundamental precondition for the successful outcome of these initiatives,`` he noted.

    President Christofias said this was the first visit of a Syrian President to Cyprus and thanked Al Assad for the great interest he showed in the initiative on the Cyprus problem and the details of the issue.

    He pointed out that Cyprus warmly supports the comprehensive settlement of problems in the Middle East and considers the Arab Peace Initiative as the cornerstone for peace in the region.

    ``In order to achieve permanent peace in the Middle East, there must be respect and acceptance of relevant Security Council resolutions by all sides, and indeed there can be no solution of the Middle East question without the return of the occupied Golan Heights to the country they belong,`` he said.

    Speaking through an interpreter, Al Assad referred to the good relations between Cyprus and Syria, based on common interests, friendship and mutual support.

    He added that Cyprus, due to its geographical position, ``is related to the many complicated problems of our region, because Cyprus feels the consequences from the existence of such issues,`` and noted that Cyprus is capable to convey those issues to the EU.

    Al Assad said Cyprus and Syria fully agree on the necessity for peace to prevail and that the only way to do this was to sign a peace pact, so that the region is restored to its natural state.

    ``I wish to thank the Cypriot Government for its stance on the Golan issue, because Cyprus is a member of the EU and the EU does not vote in favour of the return of the Heights,`` he said.

    Al Assad also said that President Christofias` visit to Syria enhanced bilateral relations, and referred to the importance of cooperation in the sectors of trade, services, banking, tourism, investments and renewable energy sources.

    President Christofias said Cyprus and Syria were guided by fundamental principles and values, such as international law and UN resolutions, adding that ``we have a joint goal to promote the peaceful solution of differences between states.``

    He said he briefed Al Assad on the Cyprus problem and the latest developments, and that the Syrian President showed a great interest in his initiative towards a solution.

    ``I reiterated our commitment to a just, viable and functional solution that will reunify the state, the people, the institutions and the economy, based on the principles of international law, in the context of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with political equality, as described in relevant UN Security Council resolutions, for a single state with a single sovereignty, a single international identity and a single citizenship, which will guarantee the full respect of the human rights of all its citizens,`` President Christofias said.

    He assured Al Assad that, despite the frail progress in talks with the Turkish Cypriot side for a Cyprus settlement, ``we will continue to negotiate with goodwill and proposals that will promote the process.``

    President Christofias also said he elaborated on the package of proposals he had recently submitted at the talks and explained that unfortunately the Turkish side dismissed it.

    ``We hope that with the help and support of friendly countries, Turkey will show the necessary political will and will contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem,`` he added.

    Regarding bilateral relations, President Christofias said they discussed ways to enhance cooperation and utilise Cyprus` geographical position.

    ``We agreed to work towards promoting closer business cooperation and mutual investments in our countries in the sectors of tourism, construction, energy, transport, education, services, and telecommunications, as well as other fields of the public and private sector,`` he said.

    He added that the signing of five agreements earlier and the commitment of the two sides to conclude negotiations the soonest possible on pending agreements, was a significant step in that direction.

    President Christofias said they also discussed the Palestinian and Middle East issues, and reiterated Cyprus` position that ``we support efforts to solve the Middle East problem, based on the principles of international law and the respect of UN resolutions.``

    ``We are in favour of the establishment of an independent, viable and territorially continuous Palestinian state. We stand against settlements in the occupied territories in the West Bank, the erection of a dividing wall and any other actions that violate the rights of the Palestinian people and obstruct the struggle to achieve independence,`` President Christofias said.

    He added that ``we support the comprehensive settlement of problems in the Middle East and consider the Arab Peace Initiative to be the cornerstone for peace in the region.``

    After the talks, President Christofias decorated Al Assad with the Grand Collar of the Order of Makarios III, and Al Assad decorated President Christofias with the National Order of Ummayya with the Grand Sash.


    Cyprus is gradually developing into an essential business bridge between the European Union and the Middle East, Asia and North Africa, President Demetris Christofias has said.

    In his address at the Inauguration Ceremony of the 3rd EuroMed Conference of the EuroMed Academy of Business, read by the Minister of Communications and Works Erato Kozakou-Markoullis, President Christofias pointed out that the economy of the country has demonstrated flexibility and strength on the recent financial crisis which has shaped a new, more demanding and challenging, global business environment.

    Although our economy is small, it is based on a solid foundation that enables it to successfully overcome todays challenges, he said and added that Cyprus offers high quality business services.

    The services sector dominates the economic activity in Cyprus, as indicated by its 80% contribution to the GDP. Over the last years, Cyprus has undertaken a major role in facilitating the supply of services and support to business-people and professionals worldwide, he noted.


    The Chairman of the Board of the Directors of the Cyprus News Agency Costakis Constantinou (CNA) and the Director General of the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) Adnan Mahmoud signed on Thursday an executive programme for cooperation and news exchange between the two agencies.

    In particular, the two agencies ensure free exchange of media services within their activities domain via the available technical means. Each agency has the right to use these services and to provide them to its subscribers provided that their contents are maintained and their source is revealed. The agreement includes 21 articles.

    Among other provisions, the agreement stipulates that SANA gives CNA the right to use its news bulletins in the used languages, photos, and documents within the Cypriot borders, and CNA gives SANA the right to use its news bulletins in the used languages, photos and documents within the Syrian borders.

    The agreement provides that SANA and CNA have the right to benefit from CNA and SANA news items respectively, within the frame of their news services provided that their content is maintained and their original sources are mentioned.

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