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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-07-23

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias has sent a letter of condolences to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Norway Jens Stoltenberg, after the deadly bomb blast in Oslo and the shooting in Utoeya.

    ``It is with great shock and profound sorrow that we have received news of the heinous attacks in Norway, which caused the loss of dozens of innocent lives and left many injured,`` President Christofias said in his letter, according to an official press release.

    ``On behalf of the Government and the people of Cyprus, as well as on my own behalf, I wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Norway and especially to the families of the victims,`` Christofias added.

    ``In these difficult moments, I would like to assure you of our solidarity, support and friendship. Please accept, Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,`` he concluded.


    The energy crisis will be with us for some time to come, Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) President Giorgos Shammas has said, at the end of a meeting on energy issues. In statements to the press, Shammas noted that it is a known fact that since July 11th Cyprus has found itself in an energy crisis situation, adding that during the meeting President Christofias was briefed on the action taken during the first ten days of the crisis.

    Replying to questions on the damage at Cyprus main power plant, caused by last weeks massive explosion at the Naval Base Evaggelos Florakis, Shammas said that damage estimates are not ready yet, adding however that the estimates prepared will take into account both the financial and the technical aspect of the problem. He said efforts focus on setting a timetable for the reuse of the two newer units of the power plant which are thought to be in a better condition, aiming to have them in good working order by next summer at the latest. He added, however, that engineers still need to enter the power plant and assess the situation objectively and in a professional manner.

    He expressed the view that the existing problem of power cuts will lessen once the units from Greece, which can produce a total of 70mw, arrive and start operating, something which is foreseen to take place before August 15th, adding that the summer holidays during August are also expected to ease the power cut situation. Replying to a question about the possibility of a total black out, Shammas said this was an extremely farfetched possibility. Shammas said that a special energy crisis committee has been formed with the participation of CERA members, Cyprus Electricity Board senior officials and Cyprus Transmission System Operator (TSO) senior officials, who will meet every day to review the situation at hand and ensure that decisions are made and implemented immediately.


    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has highlighted the role of the National Guard, especially at times of crises and with Turkeys illegal occupation of the islands northern part continuing. We must deal with the crisis our country is facing united, composed and with determination and at the same time send the clear message that the National Guard is in a position to fulfill its dutes to the full, President Christofias stressed here today.

    President Christofias, who was addressing the new Chief of Staff of the General Staff of the National Guard, Lieutenant General Stylianos Nasis, who had just been sworn in at a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace, expressed the belief that ``under your leadership the National Guard with show high responsibility and will prove worthy of circumstances``. ``The Turkish military occupation of the northern part of our country continues for thirty seven years now and unfortunately the unacceptable, arrogant and utterly provocative stance of the Turkish PM Erdogan during his visit to occupied Cyprus on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion does not allow for optimism nor complacency,`` the President pointed out.

    On his part the newly sworn in Chief of the National Guard assured that he will do his best to implement the government`s goals and achieve results. ``I know my role and my position and what I must do. I also understand the role of the National Guard. I pledge to carry out my duties faithfully, even at a personal cost,`` he said. Cyprus independence, territorial integrity and credibility will be the beacon of efforts by the National Guard and the governments guiding principles will shape the strategic framework of my moves, he vowed.


    First indications are that no Cypriots are among the victims of the two deadly attacks in Oslo and Utoeya, Director of the Division of Schengen, Consular Affairs and Crisis Management at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Andreas Zenonos has told CNA. ``From the information and the indications we have so far, we have no reason to believe that there are Cypriots among the victims. Having said that however, we are waiting for the official data to be released by the Norwegian authorities, which have not issued a list with the names of those killed and injured,`` Zenonos noted.

    He said that Cyprus Ambassador to Sweden, accredited to Norway, George Shakallis, and Cyprus` Honorary Consul in Norway are in contact with the authorities in Norway which have assured them that as soon as the list with the names of those killed and injured is ready it will be released. ``Therefore we are expecting the data to be released by the competent authorities,`` Zenonos said, adding that they are also in contact with the Embassy of Greece in Norway.

    ``The Norwegian authorities have informed us that they have to establish the identities of all victims and all those injured to be able to announce names. When the list is ready and released they will inform us as well,`` he added. Zenonos said there are very few Cypriots living permanently in Norway and that Cyprus` Consul has contacted their President who didn`t have any information from any families about the possibility of any Cypriot being killed or injured. We have not had any calls from their families here to express any concerns either, Zenonos said, adding that ``therefore we consider that they are all fine.``

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