|Monday, 23 October 2017|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-06-15
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 CZECH REPUBLIC - CYPRUS ISSUEThe Czech Republic fully supports a lasting solution to the Cyprus issue based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as defined in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions; for one state with a single indivisible sovereignty, a single citizenship, a solution in line with UN resolutions, international law and the principles on which the EU is founded, Ladislav Skerik, the new Ambassador of the Czech Republic in Nicosia, said on Wednesday.
Presenting his credentials to President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, Skerik said that Cyprus is to hold the EU Presidency in the second half of 2012 and expressed the full support of the Czech government to the Cypriot Presidency, adding that, ``if you would get the notion that somehow we can provide help or share our experience gained in 2009 with the preparation and conduct of the Presidency, we are ready to do it.``
Receiving the credentials, President Christofias said that the Greek Cypriot side had expected greater progress and response to proposals it had submitted at the ongoing UN-led talks for a Cyprus settlement, and pointed out that the key to achieving the reunification of Cyprus as soon as possible is the commitment to this basis both in words but also in substance.
Skerik said that ``relations between our countries and peoples, which were developed together with important historical processes, have always enjoyed deep and stable character,`` adding that ``our proximity was confirmed once more when the dream of my people and one of the basic aims of Czech foreign policy was reached and in 2004 we together were accepted as full members of the EU.``
``Together we share its values. Especially preserving peace and solving the problems mainly through the negotiations. The negotiations are also the base and way to the solution of the Cyprus issue,`` he said.
Referring to the economic and commercial ties between the two countries, Skerik said that in recent years trade between the Czech Republic and Cyprus has risen, adding that this tendency was not affected by the global economic crisis and was even almost doubled in the last year.
Receiving the credentials, President Christofias said that, ``as EU member states, acceding to the EU concurrently in 2004, our relations are built on common values such as support of democratic principles, good governance and promotion of human rights, and our cooperation within the EU framework has enabled our countries to forge ever closer ties,`` and assured that `` the Government of the Republic of Cyprus will also work consistently so that our bilateral relations will be further developed, in all fields and at all levels, and that our cooperation in international fora will be further enhanced.``
He also made a special reference to the steady number of young Cypriots who choose to enroll in higher education institutions in the Czech Republic, benefiting in this way from the high quality and standards offered by the countrys Higher Education system, and at the same time acting as a connecting link between our people and cultures.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, President Christofias said that ``at the heart of our vision for Cyprus is a peaceful homeland in which its entire people, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins will be freed from foreign occupation troops and the illegal colonization of settlers, prospering in their common home.``
``The reunification of our country is the primary goal of my Presidency and this is why, from the very beginning of the assumption of my duties as President in 2008, we undertook initiatives to overcome the stalemate and achieve a solution as soon as possible,`` he said.
He added that ``since the beginning of the direct talks between the leaders of the two communities, which started in September 2008, the Greek Cypriot side has demonstrated constantly its political will for a mutual and honest compromise that would lead to reunification`` and that ``we have been consistent and constructive, submitting feasible and reasonable proposals, based on the agreed basis.``
``This basis was agreed between the leaders of the two communities prior to the commencement of the talks and provides for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as described in the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions and foresees one state with a single and indivisible sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship. A solution in accordance with the UN resolutions and international law and the principles and values on which the EU is founded,`` he said.
He noted that ``the talks are also taking place within an agreed procedure of Cypriot ownership under the Good Offices Mission of the UN Secretary General`` and that ``there is no question of imposing arbitration or artificial timetables and the agreed and mutually acceptable solution will be put before the people of Cyprus for approval in separate simultaneous referenda.``
``Until today we have achieved some important convergences in three out of the seven negotiating chapters, namely in Governance and Power-Sharing, in EU matters and in the Economy. At the same time, however, serious divergences within these chapters remain, whereas we have yet to broach other Chapters,`` he said.
He added that ``we had expected more progress to be achieved and a more positive response to the proposal we submitted in July 2010, for the linkage of the chapters of property and territory, especially after the UN Secretary General had prompted us to do so`` and that ``moreover we had expected that our proposal to conduct an island-wide census, under the supervision of international organisations, such as the UN Population Fund would be accepted, particularly because the Secretary-General personally raised the issue but unfortunately our proposal on such a sensitive matter was rejected.``
``The key to achieving the reunification of Cyprus as soon as possible is the commitment to this basis both in words but also in substance. Unfortunately, we are concerned because many proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side fall outside the agreed basis, despite their verbal assurances. I hope that in view of the third meeting of the two leaders with the UN Secretary General on 7 July 2011, reasonable proposals will be put forward; proposals that fall within the agreed basis, do not question what has already been achieved and which enable us to achieve progress prior to the meeting with the Secretary General,`` he said.
President Christofias assured that ``we will continue in good faith to submit reasonable proposals with the aim of achieving further progress`` and expressed hope that ``the same good faith will be demonstrated by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.``
``To achieve this, Turkey has to stop its theoretical declarations in favor of a solution and in support of the talks and demonstrate in deeds, not in mere words, its political will, as also called upon by the Council of the European Union through its decisions. Turkey has to implement its obligations vis-a-vis the Republic of Cyprus and the EU, including its obligation to actively support the efforts to achieve a solution,`` he said.
 CYPRUS - GREEK ECONOMYCyprus banking system can cope with any serious problems that may arise in Greece as a result of the financial situation in the country, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Certified Accountants of Cyprus.
Referring to the dialogue between the government and the social partners on state salaries and pensions, Stavrakis said that within the next few days solutions must be found, that will strengthen the local economy against major external risks.
Asked how Cyprus is affected by the situation in Greece, Stavrakis said that ``the situation in Greece is really critical,`` adding that he had just attended a meeting of the Eurogroup which discussed problems of the Greek economy and that there will be a new meeting of the Eurogroup and ECOFIN next Monday.
This is a problem that affects Greece but also all other European markets. Cyprus is certainly affected. We are a small country in the South and we have a banking system which has invested significant amounts in Greek bonds, the Minister pointed out.
 OMIROU - ARCHBISHOPNewly elected House President Yiannakis Omirou met on Wednesday with Archbishop Chrysostomos II. In statements after the meeting, Omirou said he considered it his duty to visit the Archbishop after assuming duties in order to express to him his wish for close cooperation with an aim to promote the common national goals of liberating and finding justice for Cyprus.
The separation of powers between state and church are embedded within the Cypriot system of government he said, adding however that when Cypriot Hellenism is faced with difficulties, a church with a history of two thousand years and the heavy legacy of Archbishop Kyprianos, Archbishop Makarios, Archbishop Chrysostomos and other clergy who fought for the survival of the nation cannot be absent from the national front.
Our message is, he said, that we wish for the Church to be present and ever vigilant over the national struggle.
Archbishop Chrysostomos conveyed his warmest wishes that the House President will be successful in his new post, adding that, he has a great task ahead of him. It is up to him, he noted, to play the regulating role that he has been given as House President and to do it in the best possible way in order that most of the legislation is passed unanimously or by majority. This is what democracy dictates, he said.
 NICOSIA - CULTURE - LOGONicosia Municipality on Wednesday presented to the press the logo for the 2017 European Capital of Culture candidacy.
Speaking to the press, Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou noted that as of today, a campaign is launched, with the active engagement of the citizens, in order to win the nomination for the 2017 European Capital of Culture, marked as Nicosia, where my heart lies.
We invite all citizens, to search within their souls and seek for that particular piece in their hearts that says Nicosia , said Mavrou, adding that we want to touch upon this relation, to create a new vision for our city.
Nicosia Mayor referred to the role of the citizens, underlining that we want to build a new dialogue, therefore we want to hear from our citizens.
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