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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-05-05

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Greek Cypriot side expects and is seeking important developments in the Cyprus problem before Cyprus` EU Presidency in the second half of 2012, President Republic Demetris Christofias stressed on Thursday.

    Christofias met today with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the context of the UN-backed talks for a Cyprus settlement.

    In statements after the meeting, Christofias said they continued the discussion on aspects of internal security and they confirmed the convergence on the process and the guidelines of discussions by a special committee on the binding international treaties to apply in a United Cyprus Republic.

    The committee will convene soon, he added.

    The President said that he and Eroglu will continue the discussion on these issues at their next meeting on Thursday, adding that they will also talk about the way forward with regard to the next meeting with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, expected to take place after the Turkish general elections in the second half of June.

    Replying to a question on the UN expectations of the talks until the next meeting with the UN Chief, Christofias said ``there is no concrete agenda at present.``

    ``I believe the UNSG will soon send his messages and we will send our own to the UNSG,`` he added.

    Responding to a question whether the timing of the next meeting with the UN Chief is appropriate, given that the UNSG had indicated that he awaits something concrete in the talks before convening the meeting, Christofias said the UNSG believes that it would be best for the meeting to take place ater the elections in Turkey.

    ``I do not think there will be a clear picture of the Turkish stance following the elections and we and the Secretary-General would like to discuss the way forward,`` he went on to say.

    Responding to other questions, the President said ``we know what to say to the UNSG and what to say to our interlocutors in the presence of the UNSG.``

    Asked about a possible shift in Ankaras stance on the question of Cyprus, Christofias replied: ``I think we have some positive moves on issues relating to the EU and the economy, as well as on the issues of internal security,`` adding that this does not means that he considers that the issue of internal security has been completed.

    He clarified that there are serious matters, for which the discussion must continue.

    ``The talks are difficult and their pace or the pace with which convergences are achieved is not what it should be,`` he pointed out, adding that this is due to the Turkish elections.

    We expect Turkey to take decisions after the elections if it wants the Cyprus problem solved, he added.

    Stressing that the Greek Cypriot side is ready for a solution and that it has all the good will to reach that goal, Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side`s stance on the talks has not changed in spite of Mays parliamentary elections.

    ``As I have said, we expect Turkey to send us a positive message because the EU Cyprus Presidency is approaching and if we are to achieve something important, I believe it should be before the start of the Presidency. This is expected by the UN and the EU but above all I want to convey the message that we and not the foreigners expect and pursue this goal,`` he concluded.

    UN-backed direct negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem began in September 2008. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    The leaders of the two communities Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu have reached an agreement on guidelines on international treaties binding on a united Cyprus.

    Speaking after a direct meeting between the two leaders, here today, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Lisa Buttenheim said that the leaders have reached a convergence, they have agreed on this, adding that they have a convergence paper and they now have guidelines that will help the Sub-Committee that will be starting to meet very soon.

    Buttenheim explained to the press that in accordance with the guidelines that the leaders agreed there, will be a sub-committee that reviews the list of treaties that will be binding on a united Cyprus. She added that the sub-committee had existed before, however it had not met since December 2009, noting that this is important that they were able to reach agreement today.


    Cyprus stands ready to lend its political support to the Palestinian people, Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou said here on Thursday, expressing hope that Wednesday`s reconciliation agreement between Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas ``marks a new page in the efforts for comprehensive peace in the Middle East.``

    In a written statement, Kyprianou notes that ``Cyprus is following with great interest the agreement reached between the leaders of Fatah and Hamas in Cairo yesterday, which paves the way for the forming of an interim Palestinian Government,`` adding that ``Palestinian unity is fundamental to the efforts for securing a sustainable and lasting peace with Israel.``

    He recalled that the EU has consistently called for peace and reconciliation, under the authority of President Abbas, leading to an end to the division between the West Bank and Gaza.

    ``Cyprus, as stated in the December 2010 Conclusions of the EU Foreign Affairs Council, believes that urgent progress is needed towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,`` the Cypriot Minister notes, adding that ``we want to see the state of Israel and a sovereign, independent, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine living side by side in peace and security.``


    The objective of US company Noble Energy is to start drilling operations in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone as soon as possible, the companys President David Stover said in Nicosia on Thursday.

    Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Antonis Paschalides said on his part that the government will do everything in its capacity to facilitate the process.

    The statements were made here, following a meeting between Paschalides and a delegation of Noble Energy, headed by Stover. The meeting was also attended by the Ministrys Permanent Secretary Zeta Emilianidou.

    Our objective is to drill here as soon as possible. Thats what a lot of discussion was about today. Working together to make sure that we can have everything ready to drill as soon as possible, Stover said.

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