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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-01-26
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 UN SECRETARY GENERAL - GENEVA MEETINGUN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said on Wednesday that the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have agreed to intensify their negotiations for a solution of the Cyprus problem through a series of additional meetings in the coming weeks, adding that he would make himself available to them again soon to continue to take stock of progress and to encourage the parties in further narrowing their differences.
The UN chief was speaking after a meeting at the UN offices in Geneva with the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.
The meeting began on Wednesday morning and concluded in the early afternoon with a statement by the UN Secretary General.
The UN Secretary General extended his ``deep appreciation`` to the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus ``for joining me here in Geneva today to take further steps towards a solution of the Cyprus problem.``
``Two months ago, I called the leaders together in New York because I felt the negotiations were losing momentum. During our meeting, I asked the two leaders to identify the core issues in all of the chapters yet to be resolved, and they have done this. I also asked them to agree on a practical plan. Both sides have worked energetically to take the negotiations ahead. Despite Mr. Eroglus heart surgery, the two leaders held four meetings, while their representatives have met a further 13 times,`` he said.
He noted that ``there has been progress since we last met in November`` and that, ``based on discussions today, it is clear that the two leaders worked to move closer together through a range of bridging proposals, notably in the chapters of Economy, EU matters, and Governance and Power-Sharing.``
``Nonetheless, more work must be done to reach further convergences on the outstanding core issues,`` the UN Secretary General pointed out.
He also noted that ``today, we have identified a number of elements designed to maintain momentum and to address more directly the details of a workable, mutually beneficial solution,`` adding that ``the meetings spirited and substantive discussions contributed to clearing the air on several key issues.``
``The leaders have discussed the outstanding key issues in a more interrelated fashion, since a settlement proposal will need to consist of an integrated package across chapters. I have encouraged both sides to talk to experts that I can make available on the technical aspects of the property issue,`` he said.
The UN Secretary General noted that ``the sides have also agreed to intensify the negotiations through a series of additional meetings in the coming weeks and I have pledged to make myself available to them again soon to continue to take stock of progress and to encourage the parties in further narrowing the differences.``
``As recent surveys have shown, both communities in Cyprus want more than talks. They want a solution. The leaders have heard that message and they are acting. I welcome the steps that the leaders have taken today which give a clear indication of their commitment to reunifying Cyprus as soon as possible,`` he said.
He noted that ``at the end of February I will be providing the Security Council with a report on the state of the talks,`` adding that ``I will closely follow the efforts of the leaders in the coming weeks as they reach further convergences across all chapters.``
``I am certain that, if the constructive spirit that I witnessed today continues, I will have a positive report to submit,`` he pointed out.
The Secretary General said that they had agreed not to take questions from the press because ``these are issues of great sensitivity`` and that ``this is a very sensitive process of negotiations.``
Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
President Christofias and Eroglu are currently engaged in UN-led negotiations with an aim to reunify the island.
 FM - BAHRAIN - VISITMinister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou briefed his Bahraini counterpart Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al-Khalifa, on the developments regarding the Cyprus problem, during his official visit to the Gulf country. According to an official announcement, Kyprianou briefed on Wednesday Al-Khalifa on the ongoing negotiation process, as well as the difficulties that arise.
Al-Khalifa expressed his countrys support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as to the reunification efforts, based on the relevant UN General Assembly and Security Council resolutions. The two sides also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on political consultations between the Foreign Ministries of both countries.
Kyprianou referred during the meeting to his personal initiative to endorse relations between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and noted Cyprus full support in their promotion. He also noted that certain provisions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference on Cyprus are in contrast to UN resolutions and the ongoing efforts for reunification.
Kyprianou was also received by the Prime Minster of Bahrain Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al- Khalifa, the announcement adds. In the meeting, the excellent status of Cyprus-Bahrain bilateral relations was reviewed and the Prime Minister expressed his countrys support to the indivisible character of the Republic of Cyprus.
 FINANCE MINISTER - FISCAL GOALSMinister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis has expressed conviction that Cyprus would fulfill its short- term fiscal goals. Stavarkis told journalists Wednesday that Cyprus fiscal deficit for 2010 is expected to reach, based on moderate calculations of the EU, 5,5%. He added that according to the Cypriot Ministrys calculations, it reaches 4,9%.
The Minister held a meeting Wednesday with a delegation of the Moodys credit rating agency, to whom he analyzed Cyprus current economic situation, public finances and economic prospects. Stavarkis presented his financial analysis to journalists as well. He said that fiscal deficit has dropped due to fact that the increase of state salaries reached only 1,7%, following the reduction of the number of public servants by 1040 employees.
Referring to 2011, he said that the aim is to limit fiscal deficit under 4%, compared to the aim of 4,5% set by the European Commission. He also presented a scenario showing that the fiscal deficit could even drop to 3,3%. Stavrakis pointed out that the 2011 budget provides for an increase in expenses by 0,4% or 30 million euro, while, according to moderate estimations, revenue could reach 2% of GDP, or 120 million euro.
The deficit, without the measures we have taken, and due to the tight budget, is reduced to 4,3%. We have taken measures amounting to 175 million euro (1% of GDP) so 4,3% should be reduced next year to 3,3%, he went on to say. Moreover, Stavrakis said that total needs for refinancing public debt, which expires in 2011, reach 10% of GDP, or 1,75 billion euro, adding that Cyprus could issue bonds for the domestic market, or a bond of one billion euro for the international markets.
 PRESIDENT - CONDOLENCE LETTER - MEDVEDEVPresident of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has sent a letter of condolence to President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev for the terrorist attack at Moscows airport Domodedovo.
According to an official press release issued Wednesday, President Christofias, sent his condolences to President Medvedev, upon receiving the terrible news of the terrorist attack at Moscows Domodedovo Airport which caused the loss of dozens of innocent lives and left many injured.
The President stated that Cyprus denounces such acts of terror in every possible way and is in full solidarity with the people of Russia in the efforts to prevent and eradicate terrorism.
The President conveyed to the Government and the people of Russia his deepest condolences, especially to the families of the victims of the ``abominable and cowardly act``.
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