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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-07-24

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias will pay a working visit to Paris on Tuesday, during which he will meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    President Christofias will attend on Tuesday a working lunch with members of the French Senate, including the Chairman of the Marc Massion as well as officials of the French government.

    In the afternoon, President Christofias will have a meeting with President Sarkozy.

    Christofias will leave Paris on Wednesday. He will be accompanied by Undersecretary to the President Titos Christofides, Foreign Ministry Permanent Secretary Nicos Emiliou and other officials.


    Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will meet on Monday in the framework of UN-led direct negotiations aiming to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem. The meeting is the first of a series of all-day meetings to take place over the next several weeks.

    In statements after his previous meeting with Eroglu, on July 19th, President Christofias said that they agreed that the intensive talks will be held twice a week, lasting all day, until the end of October. He added that there will be a break between August 7th to 21st and also during the UN General Assembly in September.

    Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. President Christofias is engaged in direct talks with Eroglu, under the UN auspices, with a view to finding a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country under a federal roof. The President and the Turkish Cypriot leader agreed in a meeting they had with UN Secretary General Ban Ki - moon in Geneva in early July, to enter into an intensive period of negotiations on the core issues of Cyprus problem and to meet again with him in October in New York.


    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayiip Erdogans statements during his recent illegal visit to Cyprus Turkish occupied areas have caused concerns to the UN Secretariat, according to diplomatic sources. UN Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe has been assigned with the task of looking into what Ankara is aiming at, with regard to Cyprus, they note. Pascoe, they indicate, is expected to summon Turkeys Permanent Representative to the UN Ertugrul Apakan during the coming days and before the UN Secretary Generals good offices mission report on Cyprus is released.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has already sent letters to UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon and Security Council five permanent members, denouncing Erdogans statements while Cypriot and Greek diplomats have made representations to the UN Secretariat, requesting that these statements are included in Bans report.

    UN Secretariat officials have assured the diplomats that they disagree with these statements. The UN report is all but ready, and the final touches will be put with Pascoes return to New York.

    In his statements earlier this week, Erdogan questioned the existence of the Republic of Cyprus and threatened the EU that accession negotiations with Brussels will put on halt if Cyprus assumes the rotating six-monthly presidency of the Union, in July next year, without a political settlement in Cyprus. The Turkish PM also said that he would not be returning Morphou and Karpass areas to the Greek Cypriots, as part of a negotiated deal on Cyprus.


    Interior Minister Neoklis Sylikiotis has said the government will begin paying out damages very soon to people living in communities, which were affected by a huge blast at Evangelos Florakis naval base, on the southern coast, on 11 July. The massive explosion killed thirteen people, injured dozens and caused extensive damage to nearby Vassiliko power plant, as well as communities in the vicinity.

    Sylikiotis noted that the damage caused by the blast is estimated at 1.7 million euro, adding that various residences and other constructions have already been restored by the state. He said the government will talk to insurance companies to avoid double payment to those entitled to state aid. Sylikiotis said that the damage was recorded by the relevant District Administration Offices and the competent state department and that he has already given instructions for damages to be paid. If more funds are needed, I will ask the Council of Ministers to approve them, he said.

    The blast occurred when a cache of seized Iranian munitions blew up on Monday July 11 at the naval base. About 100 containers most packed with gunpowder had been stacked in an open field at the base since 2009. They had been seized from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria, in violation of UN sanctions against Teheran. Following the blast, the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs and the Chief of the National Guard have stepped down.

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