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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-11-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The UN Secretary-General`s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, is expected to brief the UN Security Council on developments related to the Cyprus issue on November 23rd, President of the Council, Britains Representative to the UN, Mark Lyall Grant has said.

    According to well-informed diplomatic sources, the update - which will take place during informal consultations - will take place prior to the report of the Secretary-General for his good offices mission, something that is expected to be presented at the end of November. A report on the UNFICYP mandate will follow.

    Originally, the United Nations and the British presidencys plans were for Downer to inform the Council immediately after the report, provided that the tripartite meeting of the UN Secretary General with the community leaders took place early November. Plans changed, however, when the tripartite meeting was set for the 18th of November.

    A meeting of the Security Council on November 24 is expected to discuss UN peacekeeping operations in Cyprus, based on the mandate of the Security Council illustrated by a presidential statement on February 12, 2010, to review them with the aim of improving their effectiveness.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. President Demetris Christofias is engaged in peace talks with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu to reunify the country.


    The Presidents of Cyprus and Syria Demetris Christofias and Bashar Al Assad inaugurated the Cyprus-Syria business forum, expressing their wish to strengthen economic ties between the two countries.

    The first business forum was organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) on the occasion of Al Assad`s visit to Cyprus, in the presence of businesspeople from both countries.

    Addressing the forum, President Christofias said the event provides an excellent forum for exploring the world of trade and investment opportunities in Cyprus and Syria.

    ``A strong and productive relationship between Cyprus and Syria is important to both our economies and will help to strengthen even further our bilateral ties as far as trade, investments and tourism are concerned,`` the President said, adding ``our government has much higher ambitions for deepening our relationship and the presence here today of so many business people and entrepreneurs, shows how committed our countries are to making this relationship successful.``

    He added that Cyprus welcomes Syrian businesspeople ``eager to invest and promote business activities, and as a European Union member country, offers attractive benefits and opportunities for companies wishing to establish their business on the island or use it as a hub to access the European Market.``

    Concluding, Christofias expressed hope ``that it will be both productive and stimulating and will help strengthen our trade and economic cooperation for the development and prosperity of our two countries.``

    On his part, Al Assad recalled President`s Christofias visit to Damascus last year, noting that this visit ``was a pivotal step in strengthening ties between our countries.``

    The Syrian President referred to the future of the two countries, stressing that ``key to this future is a new and active partnership one can build on our common interests and priorities.``

    Referring to developments in Syria and the region, Al Assad outlined his country`s initiative to transform Syria into a link between the Middle East and Europe in the fields of transport, energy and tourism.

    ``Cyprus shares this strategic location as both a member of the EU and as a direct neighbour to Syria and as such it should be a part of this regional dynamic,`` he said adding ``through bilateral and regional agreements in this field, we can be sure that our region is one that is characterized by inclusive growth and sustainable development.``

    Welcoming the two Presidents, CCCI President Manthos Mavrommatis said that their presence ``indicates the importance of the forum and their commitment to foster closer economic ties between the two countries.``

    ``Your presence here today reinforces our efforts in developing and strengthen economic relations between Cyprus and the friendly country of Syria,`` he noted.

    Mavrommatis also said that ``the Cyprus Chamber realizes the great potential for economic collaboration with Syria and promises to assist, promote and strengthen business cooperation between the two countries, especially in this period that Syria`s relationship with the EU is progressing and new and promising investment opportunities arise in our close neighbourhood.``


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou announced that the European Commission has ruled out a merger of Eurocypria with Cyprus Airways, or the absorption of the former`s activities by the latter.

    In a joint press conference with Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis, the Spokesman referred to the main conclusions of the meeting at the EU`s General Directorate on Competitiveness in Brussels, attended by the government and representatives of the companies, the employees, the trade unions and the legal advisers of the companies.

    Stephanou explained that the representatives of the European Commission said a merger or absorption of activities was ruled out according to article 3 of the 2007 restructuring plan for Cyprus Airways.

    According to the EU, the only option the government has is to adopt the usual creditors` liquidation procedure for Eurocypria, he added, noting that transferring assets or staff from Eurocypria to Cyprus Airways was not allowed.

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