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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-02-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu agreed on Wednesday to intensify talks, including those between their aides, in the context of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem.

    On his return to the Presidential Palace after his meeting with Eroglu, President Christofias said that they discussed their recent meeting in Geneva with the UN Secretary General and agreed to continue their talks on fundamental issues from where they left off.

    President Christofias pointed out that it was necessary to reaffirm all that has so far been agreed on, adding that the talks would be intensified and that the aides would be meeting twice a week to discuss pending issues.

    Asked if there was hope that the Turkish Cypriot side would be accepting the linking of the chapters of territory and property, President Christofias said there was always hope and that ``we insist on our position.``

    Replying to other questions, President Christofias said that the basis of the talks was clear and was recorded in UN minutes, adding that ``we want to clarify this with the new leader,`` namely Eroglu.

    Regarding the forthcoming elections in Turkey and asked how these would affect the talks, President Christofias said that there were also parliamentary elections coming up in Cyprus and that he was ready to negotiate up to the eve of the elections and continue afterwards.

    ``We will see if Turkey is ready,`` he said, adding that it would be wrong to request that the talks are postponed until after the elections.

    Asked if Eroglu was questioning significant elements of what had been agreed on with former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, President Christofias said ``he is a new leader and I want to know how he is really thinking on all issues.``

    Cyprus 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.


    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, have decided to intensify the process of the direct negotiations over the next few weeks.

    The two leaders met on Wednesday at the Chief of Missions residence, in the United Nations Protected Area of Nicosia and it was the first after their meeting with the UN Secretary General in the Swiss city of Geneva, on January 26.

    Speaking after the meeting, Special Advisor of the UN SG Alexander Downer said that the two leaders had a good discussion about the procedures, about the way forward. What theyve decided, consistent with the discussions with the Secretary-General, was that they would intensify the process over the next few weeks. That will involve the leaders meeting once a week, typically on a Wednesday, he said, adding that the plan is for them to meet at 10 oclock on Wednesday mornings every week.


    Minister of Communications and Works Erato Kozakou Markoulli participated in the Informal Council Session of the EU Ministers responsible for Transport which took place on the 7 and 8 of February in Hungary.

    According to a statement, the Ministers of the 27 Member States discussed the TEN-T, Trans European Transport Network and reviewed issues related to transport network planning methodology and financing.

    Speaking before the Council Session, Markoulli supported the development of a wide comprehensive network and she noted that the European Commission should take into consideration the special characteristics of the regional and insular member states, such as Cyprus. She also suggested the establishment of special criteria in order to overcome possible difficulties in financing infrastructure projects in the member states.

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