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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-06-20

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias said that the establishment of the Single Culture Authority is at its final stage and in the pipeline for 2012 is the implementation of this grand scheme, which will secure the means necessary for the efficient support and strengthening of cultural creation.

    Addressing an event at the Presidential Palace to award the annual honorary grants, President Christofias said the Government`s aim was to involve children in the process of creation, in the framework of educational reform, and noted that ``our aim is the substantive rewarding of cultural creators to take on a proper form and such an institution is the annual honorary grants.``

    He said that, in the framework of the grants, over 200 creators have been rewarded in the sectors of literature, music, theatre, contemporary dancing, visual arts and pop culture.

    Addressing the recipients of the awards, President Christofias said each one has offered valuable services and congratulated them on contributing to the development of the country.

    ``Our cultural identity comes to the forefront now more than ever and Cyprus will have the opportunity to promote its achievements and culture, and contribute to the fulfilling of political and cultural goals, values and visions, during the second half of 2012, when it will be presiding over the EU Council,`` he said.


    The Ministry of Interior, during Cyprus presidency of the EU, will work to complete the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said.

    In a speech at a gathering to mark Word Refugee Day, Sylikiotis said that on this anniversary, our attention turns to the 42 million refugees all over the world who are either forced to live in other countries or are displaced in their own homeland.

    He said amongst the 42 million people, 200,000 of them are the refugees from the Turkish invasion and occupation. On this day, like every day, we unite our voices, demanding justice. Justice for all refugees of the world, including ours, he added.

    Sylikiotis pointed out that granting political asylum to refugees and persons whose lives are in danger is a humanitarian right which is safeguarded by the Geneva Convention of 1951.

    Cyprus, he added, as rule of law and indispensable part of the international community and as a country which is still going through the pain of war and refugees, is committed to granting international protection to persons who need it most.

    Referring to the asylum issue in Cyprus, he said that in the past three years, the government of Demetris Christofias has used EU funds to create the necessary infrastructure for three reception centres, to better man the competent departments of the Republic in order to speed up the review process of asylum applications.

    Head of the Asylum Service of the Republic, Makis Polidorou, said that applications for asylum have dropped dramatically in 2011, noting that by April 2011 only 500 applications were submitted.


    The EU External Affairs Council discussed the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy and the latest developments in Libya and Syria, during its meeting in Luxembourg, where Cyprus was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou.

    Kyprianou expressed Cyprus` support to a neighbourhood policy that will be based on the common interests and the principles of the EU.

    He said the starting point of the new policy should be the support of procedures for the democratisation of countries in the European neighbourhood, the rule of law, and respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in combination with economic growth.

    Kyprianou said Cyprus fully agrees with the aims of the review, according to which the EU should invest more in strengthening civil society, the freedom of the media and the role of women in transitory countries, through appropriate programmes.

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