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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government has called on Turkey to sign and comply with the provisions of the Law of the Sea Convention.

    We expect the international community and especially the EU, to which the Republic of Cyprus is a member state, to turn more decisively towards Turkey so that Ankara stops creating tension and provoking Cyprus, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou told London Greek Radio (LGR) on Wednesday.

    Stephanou noted that Turkey must respect international law, sign the Law of the Sea Convention and comply with it.

    Asked about statements made by UN Secretary General Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer and EU Commissioner Stefan Fule regarding explorations in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, the Spokesman said that the Republic of Cyprus concluded agreements with neighbouring countries in the framework of international law and the UN Convention and began explorations for possible hydrocarbons in its EEZ, noting that this is a sovereign right of Cyprus.

    Downer said on Tuesday that the United Nations could consider a mediating role concerning this matter, provided that the two communities ask for its involvement, while Fule expressed the view that all problems need to be solved through peaceful means, if needed through arbitration from the International Court of Justice and threats of use of force need to be rejected.

    Stephanou said that Turkey does not only illegally question Cyprus EEZ but also refuses to recognize the Republic of Cyprus, creating problems in Cyprus, the region and the EU itself.

    This is why we belief that the message that must be sent by the EU and the international community in general is that Turkey has been acting in an illegal way and must cease to do so, he noted, adding that no one can question and does not question the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus, which the government exercises responsibly.

    Asked if the government may take the issue of Turkish threats to the UN Security Council, Stephanou said that the government has made representations and has taken various actions. He recalled that various countries which are permanent and non permanent members of the Security Council and the EU have supported the Republic of Cyprus sovereign right. We cannot rule out anything right now and the government will act accordingly, he added.

    Invited to comment on a statement by Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu that by the end of October things must get clear with regard to the Cyprus peace talks, Stephanou said that if Turkey wants the Cyprus problem to be solved by October or by the end of the year it must cooperate for a settlement on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, as provided by the UN relevant resolutions which unfortunately, as he noted, Ankara does not respect and does not implement.

    The Cyprus problem can be solved if the two sides cooperate and this cooperation is based on the UN decisions and resolutions, he went on to say, adding that unfortunately the Turkish side is not guided by these resolutions.

    Stephanou said that no timetables for a Cyprus settlement can be set out at the negotiating table. He underlined that we have the good will and we work hard for a settlement of the Cyprus problem, always in the UN framework, on the basis of the international and European Law and on the basis of the 1977 and 1979 high level agreements.

    We expect the cooperation of the other side to be able to reach a mutually agreed settlement, he concluded.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.

    Drilling has already begun and is being carried out by Houston-based Noble Energy, off Cyprus south-eastern coast.

    The government of Cyprus has protested to the UN and the EU Turkeys moves, saying it has a sovereign right to exploit its natural resources, pointing out that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will benefit from any benefits that may come from oil drilling.

    Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement has been signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.


    The Statistical Service will conduct a population census from October 1 until the end of November, Service official Dora Kyriakidou announced here today.

    Speaking during a press conference on the matter, Kyriakidou said approximately 810,000 people are expected to be recorded.

    The census, which takes place every ten years, will for the first time make use of technological innovations such as electronic questionnaires and a Geographic Information System (GIS).

    Kyriakidou called on everyone to cooperate with the officials, adding that the Statistical Service is bound by law to keep any information they gather confidential.


    Total deposits at Monetary and Financial Institutions in Cyprus have recorded an increase of 3.2% in August 2011, reaching 69.82 billion euros, the Central Bank of Cyprus announced on Tuesday.

    CBC yesterday released the Monetary Financial Institutions (MFIs) loans and deposits statistics for the reference month of August 2011, which are included in the September 2011 edition of Monetary and Financial Statistics.

    According to the data, July 2011 statistics recorded an increase of 6.6%, amounting to 71.40 billion euros, while August 2010 statistics showed an increase of 16.5%, to 67.77 billion.

    The total MFI loans for August 2011 recorded an increase of 11.7% to 66.26 billion, whereas July 2011 data showed an increase of 11.8% to 65.98 billion.

    August 2010 loans recorded an increase of 10.8% to 61.23 billion euros.


    The Church of Cyprus announced the return from the US, of two 13th century frescoes stolen from a church in the north of the island after the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    In statements at Larnaca International Airport after returning from Georgia, Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas, informed the Church that it would be returning the frescoes from the Saint Themonianos Church in Lysi to Cyprus in February.

    He said the frescoes of the 13th century, were stolen from the church by Turks. The Menil Collection acquired the frescoes on behalf of the Church of Cyprus in 1984 and had been on loan under an agreement that ends in February 2012.

    The late Archbishop Chrysostomos I had given the foundation an extension in keeping the frescoes on display but the current Archbishop said that the contract would not be renewed.

    We made it clear that these frescoes belong to the Church of Cyprus and should be returned, the Archbishop said.

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