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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, namely President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Leader Dervis Eroglu, have presented documents on property and territory issues during their meeting on Friday in the context of UN-led direct talks to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to the press following the meeting, the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer said that the leaders met today for three hours and they discussed property and territory.

    Both sides presented documents and they decided that ``it would be productive for the representatives to take on the discussion henceforth in relation to these documents in order to ensure not just clarifications but with a view to come into convergences, he added.

    He went on to say that there was a positive atmosphere today and an encouraging atmosphere`` and that the representatives would on Monday ``to take this work forward.

    Downer said that he would be traveling to Greece on Monday to meet with the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Greek government. So I wont be here for the representatives` meeting but its important for us in the United Nations to keep in touch with the three guarantor powers, he added.

    I went to Turkey fairly recently and its time I went to Greece. The Foreign Minister invited me to go and I look forward to meeting up with him, he said.

    The UN envoy said that next Wednesday he would be discussing the Cyprus issue with the UN Security Council. I wont be traveling to New York but Ill be meeting with them through cyber space video and a telecommunications link up,`` he said.

    We think it is important to keep in constant contact with the Security Council, that members of the Security Council are properly briefed on what is happening at the negotiations and we think this negotiation, while Cyprus-owned and Cyprus-led, has of course very great implications for the broader international community, he noted.

    He added that after all they are under the auspices of the UN, under the auspices of the Security Council resolutions, so the international community has a great interest in how these negotiations are progressing and its an important part of my work to make sure that they are fully briefed.

    Asked about the content of the documents exchanged between the two sides, Downer said that the leaders have been discussing territory and property, adding that there are a lot of issues within the context of territory which go way beyond just a question of maps and figures.

    Because obviously if you are going to transfer the boundaries, that is going to have implications for people and all of that has to be thought about and those people that may be affected by any changes in boundaries have to be looked after in consistence with not just law but in a way more importantly just consistent with good, decent human practice. So there has to be thought given to all those sort of things, he noted.

    He said that when it come to maps and figures both sides have agreed that they will discuss maps and figures at the end or towards the end of the process,`` adding that ``they have their own thoughts about these things of course but maps and figures both leaders have agreed to leave at the end of the process.

    Asked whether the issues of property and territory had been discussed together, he said that certainly today there were aspects of both territory and property that there were discussed in both sides` proposals, so when I say documents these are documents of proposals and certainly there is a discussion about both those things.

    To questions whether the territory experts were present at Friday`s meeting, he said that the consultants dont sit in the meetings and just the professional UN people sit in the meetings.

    The consultants are in the building some time so that we, the UN, can go and consult them or the parties can as well. So we have one of our property consultants here at the moment, he added.

    Downer said that the personal representative of the EU Commission President for Cyprus Jorge Cesar das Neves met with the leaders at the beginning of the meeting.

    He said that Jorge Cesar das Neves would meet with Turkish Cypriot politicians as he did with Greek Cypriot ones.

    Asked why the leaders finished sooner on Friday, he said that they felt that they made some good progress at their level and some of the details need to be worked through, further questions asked and answered, details refined by the representatives and, given they have done some successful work on the various proposals, they felt that it was best to be taken forward by the representatives because it is technical work.


    Former Chief of Staff of National Guard Constantinos Bisbikas on Friday appeared before the single-member commission of inquiry that investigates the circumstances that have led to last months massive explosion of munitions, which killed 13 people and destroyed the islands main power station.

    Bisbikas who served in the Cyprus army between January 2006 to April 2009, expressed the view that the containers full of munitions, which were confiscated from Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009, should not have been unloaded on Cyprus soil, adding that should I have been asked on the matter, I would have expressed my disagreement.

    Lieutenant General Bisbikas who was on leave between February 6 -18, 2009 when decision was made for the containers to be stored in Cyprus, said that at no point during this period was he briefed that there was such an intention and that he only found out about that the munitions were stored at the naval base on the 13th.

    He also said that he was told that the munitions were to be stored at the naval base only temporarily, stressing out that should I have known that the cargo was to stay there for a period of more than 2-3 months, I would have taken other measures of precaution.

    Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Minas Chatzimichael also testified before the commission on Friday, explaining his involvement regarding the contacts he had with the UN Security Council Sanctions Committees about the confiscated cargo.

    He said that on February 3rd , 2011 the Republic of Cyprus had informed the Sanctions Committees that we don`t have the capabilities and the facilities for storing the cargo, whereas on February 12th, the Committee was informed that we have managed to overcome the difficulties for safes storage.

    Chatzimichael said that he had then expressed his surprise because of the different content of the two letters, however he said that from his understanding, the decision for the storage of the cargo was made on a higher level and the lette was most probably approved by the Presidential Palace and by the Law office of the Cyprus Republic.


    Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis, who was in Paris Thursday for the international conference on Libya, had a number of contacts with her counterparts and representatives of international organizations and discussed the situation in the country and how best to help Libya.

    According to an official statement, Marcoullis, met with the President and Prime Minister of the Libyan National Transitional Council Libya, which was formed by anti-Gaddafi forces during the 2011 Libyan civil war to represent Libya. Marcoullis expressed the support of the government and people of Cyprus to the Transitional Council.

    From Paris, Marcoullis traveled to Poland to take part in the informal EU Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Sopot, on 2nd-3rd September.

    The agenda of the meeting includes the Middle East peace process and relevant diplomatic initiatives envisaged during the September session of the United Nations General Assembly. Talks will also deal with joint efforts in support of democratic transformations under way in the countries of the EUs southern and eastern neighbourhoods. In addition, EU Ministers will discuss ways to further strengthen the Unions external ties with strategic partners.


    The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announced on Friday the launching of the project entitled Eumathios Philokales: Promotion of Selected Middle Byzantine Monuments of Crete and Cyprus, using innovative methods.

    In the framework of the project, 784.800 euros will be spent on the restoration and promotion of two Middle-Byzantine monuments in Cyprus, namely Agia Marina at Kandou and Panagia Kofinou.

    According to the press release, the project was approved within the framework of the thematic priority related to the environment and risk prevention of the Cross-Border Cooperation Programme Greece-Cyprus, 2007-2013. Specifically, 34 projects were selected, of 31million cost, 80% of which will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union (ERDF) and 20% will come from national funding.

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