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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-08-31

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] CYPRUS FM - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE - LIBYA
  • [02] CCCI PRESIDENT - POWER SUPPLY AGREEMENT
  • [03] FORMER MINISTER - TESTIMONY - COMMISSION OF INQUIRY
  • [04] CYPRUS PEACE TALKS - CONTINUATION

  • [01] CYPRUS FM - INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE - LIBYA

    The Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoullis will be representing Cyprus at the international conference on Libya, to take place in Paris on September 1, at the initiative of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    She will then fly to Poland, where she will participate in the EU Informal Gymnich on September 2 and 3, during which she intends to raise the issue of recent Turkish threats against Cyprus, for which the EU has already been informed.

    The EU Ministers will focus on recent developments in Libya and Syria, and will discuss the peace process in the Middle East, especially in view of the UN General Assembly.

    Other issues expected to be on the agenda are the implementation of the revised European Neighbourhood Policy and the situation in Ukraine.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus` northern part since they invaded in 1974, has threatened Cyprus in relation to plans by Nicosia to explore its exclusive economic zone and exploit possible oil and natural gas reserves.

    In recent statements the Turkish PM questioned the existence of the Republic of Cyprus, warned the EU that its accession negotiations with Ankara would freeze if Cyprus assumes the Unions rotating presidency in July 2012 without a political settlement and ruled out the return of the Turkish occupied areas of Morphou and Karpass to the Greek Cypriots in an overall solution.

    [02] CCCI PRESIDENT - POWER SUPPLY AGREEMENT

    A new agreement on power supply from the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus to the southern government controlled part of the country is expected to be concluded next Monday, providing for the mediation of a private individual who will buy the electricity and resell it then to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus. The cost per kilowatt hour (kWh) is expected to be lower than the one fixed in the first agreement, since the new deal provides for cost adjustment, according to the fluctuation of international oil prices. There is a maximum of six months coverage provided in the agreement, however power supply to the free areas of the Republic will depend on real energy needs and there is no provision for minimum consumption.

    Speaking to CNA, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Manthos Mavrommatis said that the substantial part of the deal has been concluded, with only the typical part pending, due to Bayram holiday. Mavrommatis also said that the new agreement, due to be concluded on Monday, does not provide for a fixed price per kWh. He said that in the first agreement, the cost per kWh was 0.1838 euros, while in the new agreement the price will be adjusted to current oil prices, according to standard international practice in similar agreements.

    For this reason, Mavrommatis explained that he expects the cost per kWh to be lower than in the first agreement, since oil prices are expected to fall in the next months, due to lower demand and fears over a new period of recession or smaller growth of the global economy. n the duration of the agreement, CCCI President noted that theoretically, the deal covers a period of six months, adding however, that there is no commitment to a minimum consumption.

    There is no commitment to any amount of power supply, Mavrommatis said, adding that supply will depend on real needs in the free areas of Cyprus, in connection to the power production capacity in the occupied areas. The new deal provides again for the mediation of a private individual, who buys electricity from the occupied areas and resells it to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus. As Mavrommatis put it the renewal of the agreement will be done in an acceptable way.

    [03] FORMER MINISTER - TESTIMONY - COMMISSION OF INQUIRY

    Public hearings before a Commission of Inquiry into the circumstances that have led to last months massive munitions explosion, at a naval base, continue with key witnesses giving their testimony on the matter. On Tuesday, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Markos Kyprianou, who resigned his post in the wake of the explosion, and ex Deputy Chief of Staff of the National Guard Savvas Argyrou, who was discharged of his duties, both testified before the Commission, a hearing attended by relatives of the 13 victims and their lawyers.

    Kyprianou told the Commission that neither he nor any member of staff at the Foreign Ministry had any responsibility for the blast, explained that he resigned his post assuming the political responsibility in the sense that he had participated in the decision making process to confiscate and unload the deadly cargo on Cyprus. The decision to unload and keep the munitions in Cyprus was taken by the President of the Republic alone, he said, adding that the decision was correct. He also said that had the munitions cargo been examined at a laboratory faster and had procedures to sell by necessity the cargo moved faster, the explosion would not have happened.

    Kyprianou said that the responsibility of the Foreign Ministry, after the cargo had been confiscated, was to ensure that nothing was done to expose Cyprus and no moves were made which could have caused political or diplomatic problems. The safekeeping of the munitions, he explained, was the responsibility of the Defence Ministry. Had the Defence Minister or the National Guard believed that, for safety reasons, the matter should have been handled differently or had they disagreed with the Foreign Ministry decision that there continue to exist political reasons to keep the cargo in Cyprus, the Defence Minister should have brought the issue before the Cabinet or raised the matter with the President of the Republic, Kyprianou said.

    He dismissed press reports that the Foreign Ministry was wasting time in order to find a way to return the munitions to Syria. We have given neither promises nor hope to Syria that the cargo would be handed over to them, he added. The assurances given to Damascus, he explained, were that the confiscated cargo would remain in Cyprus until such time that would allow its return, meaning until the legal framework set out by the UN changes and the UN allows its return.

    [04] CYPRUS PEACE TALKS - CONTINUATION

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will be holding a new meeting on Friday, in the context of direct talks to solve the Cyprus problem, and will be continuing discussions on the issue of territory.

    The meeting will take place at the residence of the UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus Liza Buttenheim, in the UN-protected area in Nicosia.

    During their last meeting on August 26, the leaders of the two communities discussed the issue of territory and agreed that the issue of maps and figures would be discussed at the very end of the process.


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