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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-16

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Defence Minister Demetris Eliades discussed Friday with his Greek counterpart Panos Beglitis, Turkish threats concerning gas exploration plans by Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone, along with other issues concerning defence cooperation and issues of common interest.

    Speaking after a long meeting in Athens, Eliades said that Cyprus and Greece are in constant coordination about defense and other issues. He reiterated that the Republic of Cyprus exercises its sovereign rights in its EEZ, with full respect for the International Law and remains committed to stability of the region. He added that Turkey, due to the lack arguments and international legitimacy of its positions, challenges and threatens, noting that Cyprus will not follow that path.

    We remain committed to international law, within the framework of a responsible and composed behavior, he said adding that the international powers should protect the legitimate rights of the Republic in pursuit of its peaceful rights to use its national wealth.

    The Greek Minister defended the sovereign right of Cyprus to proceed to energy researches, as established by the International Convention on the Law of the Sea and the UN Charter. Speaking about the recent Turkish threats, Beglitis said that Greece and Cyprus managed the situation ``with the utmost composure and determination.


    The UN appealed today for a peaceful resolution of the matter concerning the exploitation of natural resources in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), adding that potential discovery of such recourses would be for the benefit f all Cypriots, under the framework of a federal united Cyprus.

    The statement was made by Lisa Buttenheim, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, following the meeting between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, in the framework of direct talks aiming at a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue.

    Buttenheim said that the two leaders discussed today the economy chapter, exchanging ideas and views, with the aim of reaching further convergences.

    She added that the leaders authorized their experts on the economy to work on remaining outstanding issues and to report back to them upon their return from New York, where both will be next week.

    She noted that the next scheduled meeting is on Tuesday, September 27, where the leaders will discuss the chapter on the EU.

    Buttenheim was asked to comment on developments concerning the exploration of natural gas and their impact on the talks. She noted that the issue is not directly related to the talks and has not been discussed in the talks.

    She added, however, that in case natural resources where discovered, this would benefit all Cypriots, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, under the framework of a federal united Cyprus.

    The United Nations would appeal to all involved to resolve this matter in a peaceful manner and look beyond the issues to the potential benefits that a united Cyprus can bring to Cypriots and to the region, Buttenheim noted.

    On another question concerning leaked documents from wikileaks, on comments by Alexander Downer, a top UN official in Cyprus, to former US Ambassador in Nicosia Frank Urbancic, Buttenheim refrained from commenting, because, as she said, we dont comment on things like wikileaks.

    To my mind this is irrelevant to the process of what were doing which is to focus on getting a comprehensive settlement on Cyprus Buttenheim went on. Following a remark by the press, that the leaked documents are related to the talks, Buttenheim said she had not seen them.


    The President of the Republic Demetris Christofias is addressing the UN General Assembly in New York next week, where he will also have a series of contacts with the UN Secretary-General, the Greek Premier and the Russian Foreign Minister.

    According to an official announcement, the President is departing on Saturday for London, from where he will subsequently depart for New York next Monday. He will be accompanied by his wife Elsie Christofias, the Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and the Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.

    President Christofias will attend and address on Sunday an event of the National Federation of Cypriots, in London. On Monday, September 19, he will depart for New York, where he will meet in the afternoon (local time) with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    It is added that on Tuesday, September 20, President Christofias will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and then he will attend a luncheon hosted in his honor by the American-Jewish Committee. On Wednesday, September 21, the President will hold separate meetings with various heads of state and government, on the sidelines of the General Assembly. Among others, President Christofias will meet with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. President Christofias will address the General Assembly on Thursday.


    Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis has said that the assumption of Cyprus of the presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2012 will be a great challenge for the country.

    Informing the members of the House of Representatives` Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Minister said that Cyprus` EU Presidency will be the most important challenge since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960.

    Stressing the need for a more close cooperation with all involved so that the presidency is crowned with success, Markoullis expressed satisfaction with the preparations so far, noting though that more is needed to be done.

    Referring to the priorities of the Cypriot EU Presidency, she said that Cyprus will have to handle the finalisation of the Multiannual Financial Frame of the EU, as well as Iceland`s EU accession.

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