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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias called for vigilance and readiness by the National Guard vis-a-vis Turkish arrogance and the threats by Ankara, aiming to intimidate Cyprus in order to abandon exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Speaking at the Presidential Palace this morning, during the ceremony of affirmation of the new Deputy Chief of the National Guard, Major General Andreas Petrides, the President said that Petrides assumes his duties during a very difficult time, while the Turkish occupation of a significant part of Cyprus still continues.

    Turkish arrogance and the treats that are being made, in an effort to intimidate the Republic of Cyprus, aiming at dissuading the country from exploiting its EEZ, call for vigilance and readiness, President Christofias said.

    He noted that the armed forces are called to deliver their top mission, which is to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the semi-occupied country, as well as the peoples freedom and dignity.

    Times are difficult, but states and societies are being tested during tough times the President said.

    He added that we have the courage and strength to face together and overcome difficulties and problems and noted that respect towards and dedication to constitutional institutions and the democratic polity constitute a safety net for political stability and social cohesion.

    Moreover, he said that throughout this time of continuous Turkish intransigence and arrogance, the National Guard constitutes a point of unity and cooperation, for the countrys defence and for guaranteeing better days for the people.

    Our common goal is a free, reunited Cyprus, an island of peace, progress and culture for all its citizens, President Christofias noted.

    The new Deputy Chief of the National Guard Andreas Petrides thanked from his part the President for his trust and said he was aware that he is assuming his duties during a difficult time.

    He assured the President that he is going to work responsibly and with selflessness, and that his actions, as prescribed by the legal framework concerning his duties, will aim at upgrading the National Guard as an effective, deterrent force.

    The ceremony of affirmation was attended, among others, by the Minister of Defence Demetris Eliades and the Chief of the National Guard Stylianos Nasis.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias will be representing Cyprus at the 66th UN General Assembly, which begins on September 21. The President, who arrives in New York on September 19, will be addressing the General Assembly on September 22.

    On September 20, President Christofias will attend a dinner hosted in his honour by the American Jewish Committee. On September 21 he will attend the opening of the General Assembly and attend a dinner hosted by the UN Secretary General for the heads of delegations. On the same day, he will meet Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and will attend a reception hosted by US President Barack Obama.

    After his address on September 22, President Christofias will give a press conference at UN headquarters, and will later on speak at the New York University. On September 23, President Christofias will host a luncheon for the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and later on will attend the annual dinner of the Cyprus Federation of America, in the presence of Archbishop Demetrios of America, during which Maryland Senator Ben Cardin will be honoured.

    A date for a meeting with the UN Secretary General has not yet been set.


    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu completed Thursday the discussion of the property issue at the current phase of the intensified UN-led direct talks to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after the meeting UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer, said that they had a pretty long meeting focusing on exclusively the issue of property and working on the task of building core convergences on a series of issues in the property chapter.

    He added that the leaders will move on, on Monday, to discuss the question of citizenship, immigration and aliens, and they will also discuss that issue on Wednesday. There will then be a further meeting on Friday, where they will be discussing the issue of the economy.

    Asked about the reason President Christofias stayed a little bit longer with him after the meeting, Downer said that he wanted to have a talk with the President separately about another matter.


    Cyprus operates in the framework of international law concerning natural gas exploration, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Thursday, adding that Turkey opts for tension.

    Commenting on the continued Turkish threats concerning Cyprus` intention to promote natural gas exploration in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Stephanou echoed the Cypriot Defense Minister`s earlier remarks at CNA that Cyprus operates within the international law.

    ``We operate in the framework of the international law and within that framework, especially of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, we act towards the implementation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus,`` he said.

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