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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-10-10
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 CYPRUS EU PRESIDENCY - MAVROYIANNISAmbassador Andreas Mavroyiannis has described Turkey`s threats to stop any co-operation with the EU during Cyprus EU Presidency as unprecedented and totally unacceptable.
Addressing a seminar entitled ``Cyprus Presidency: A challenge for the media`` organized here by the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, Mavroyiannis said that Ankara`s stance is unheard of and totally unacceptable.
He added that Turkey`s stance is an indication of the difficulties Cyprus will go through during its EU Presidency, in the second half of 2012.
Nicosia, he pointed out, will have to address any unexpected difficulties that may arise during its EU Presidency and referred to Turkey`s threats against Cyprus` sovereign right to explore and exploit its natural gas resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.
In this difficult political environment, he said, Nicosia is called upon to defend its national interests, continue the Cyprus talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem and lead a successful EU Presidency.
Ambassador Mavroyiannis has described the Cyprus Presidency of the EU as a project of national significance which requires everyones broader cooperation and consent. For the first time, he noted, ``the Republic of Cyprus would be able to chair the EU Council for six months, which gives us a unique opportunity to highlight the role of Cyprus and create an image as a credible, equivalent and responsible European partner `.
He stressed that during its presidency, Cyprus will be invited to deal with very important issues facing the EU, and he referred in particular to the EU multiannual EU budget program, the economic crisis and to the further strengthening of the economic governance, as well as to the completion of the Common European Asylum System.
At the same time, he added, ``through the Presidency, the Cypriot citizens will have the opportunity to come closer to the European proceedings and the European citizens to get to know Cyprus better.
He also said that ``taking into account the historical and geographical identity of Cyprus, a successful exercise of the EU presidency would mark Cyprus official accession to manhood as a EU member state, a process that would bring lasting benefits for our country while projecting a positive image of Cyprus in the world. ``
The Cypriot Ambassador said in addition that the exercise of the Presidency will also be a challenge for the state machine, which is tasked with bringing the Presidency to a successful completion. A challenge which becomes even greater considering the economic period of contemplation we go through. ``
Mavroyiannis stressed that a remarkable progress has been achieved up until now in various areas of the preparations,`` noting that Poland - Denmark - Cyprus 18-month program for the period from 1 July 2011 until 31 December 2012 has been published and will be the basis for the six month Programme of Cyprus Presidency. ``
Regarding staffing issues, he added, the Councils Working Groups chairpersons have been designated and most of them have been placed in the Permanent Representation in Brussels.``
Furthermore, he continued, the education and training process of the chairpersons and all officers involved in the Presidency is under way``.
Moreover, he said, that to the greatest extent the meetings to take place in Cyprus have already been set including the Councils informal meetings and a Preliminary Calendar of Events has been prepared.
Regarding infrastructure projects, the Ambassador said that the renovation work at the Conference Centre and Media Centre in Nicosia is going well and is expected to be completed by January 2012. Certainly, he noted, ``preparations will be stepped up more and more as the assumption of the Presidency approaches.``
Undoubtedly, he said, ``the presidency is a project of national significance and requires everyones greater cooperation and consent, including the House of Representatives, political parties, organized groups, civil society and especially Media, whose contribution is necessary for projecting Cyprus presidency overall work. ``
Cyprus Presidency, he added, will always be available to members of the Media in order to ensure their timely and continuous briefing on all the issues concerning both the preparations and proceedings during the presidency.``
Cyprus, an EU member since May 2004, will assume the six monthly rotating EU presidency in July 2012. The Cyprus Secretariat is working in close consultation with Brussels and the trio presidency (Poland and Denmark, in addition to Cyprus) to address all pending issues.
 HOUSE PRESIDENT - TURKEYHouse President Yiannakis Omirou has condemned the escalating Turkish intransigence on the Cyprus problem, expressing his pessimism over the outcome of the talks aiming to solve the problem, due to the long-standing Turkish intransigent stance, which does not allow any substantive progress to be achieved. According to an official press release, speaking before a delegation of personalities from Greece, the United Kingdom, France, Poland and Slovenia who participated at the Morphou municipality anti-occupation rally held on Sunday, Omirou informed his interlocutors about the latest developments in the negotiations on the Cyprus problem, expressing his pessimism for their final outcome due to the Turkish intransigence.
He noted that this intransigence was expressed both in recent statements by Turkish Premier Recep Tayip Erdogan who said that Cypriot occupied territories, including Morphou, will not be returned to their legal inhabitants, and by the recent Turkish threats launched in view of the fact that gas exploration has started in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), on the basis of its sovereign rights, deriving from the international law.
Furthermore Omirou referred to Turkeys EU accession course, noting that statements by Turkish officials concerning suspension of Turkeys relations with the EU during the EU-Cypriot Presidency in the second half of 2012, are completely in contrast with its status as an EU candidate member state. He underlined that Turkey must comply with the obligations it has undertaken towards the EU and Cyprus for recognizing the Republic of Cyprus, implementing the Ankara protocol and showing a spirit of cooperation for solving the Cyprus problem.
 DEFENSE MINISTER - TURKISH THREATSMinister of Defence Demetris Eliades has stated that all measures are being taken on a diplomatic, political and military level to deal with developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and counteract Turkish threats against Cyprus, following the start of natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone. Speaking to reporters after a visit to military camps in Larnaca district, the Defence Minister said it is our obligation, especially these days, in conjunction with the leadership of the National Guard, to stand by the officers and National Guard men.
He noted the excellent training and capability of the National Guard units that allows it to perform its duties to the maximum, if circumstances call for such action. At the same time, we are fully informed about developments in order to handle as best as possible any problems that may arise, he said. The National Guard, the Minister pointed out, needs the support, recognition and trust of the people and society as a fundamental prerequisite to fulfill its duties. I think it deserves it, he added.
Invited to comment on the Turkish threats following the start of the exploratory drilling in Cyprus EEZ, Eliades said that all measures on a diplomatic, political and military level are being taken to handle more effectively any developments. In this effort, he added, the support and encouragement of Greece is fundamental, he concluded.
 CYPRUS - EUROPEAN TOURISM FORUMThe European Tourism Forum of 2012 is to take place in Cyprus during the Cyprus EU Presidency in the 2nd half of 2012, according to a Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) press release issued here on Monday. This was announced during this years Forum which took place in Krakow, Poland, between October 5 and 6 within the context of the Polish EU Presidency.
A Cyprus delegation, comprising CTO Board Member George Moisi, CTO Acting Director General Lefkos Phylaktides and a Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism official Niki Paschalidou Hadjiantona participated in the Forum and an informal EU ministerial meeting.
The main issue discussed at the Forum was ways to enhance Europes competitiveness as a tourist destination. Promoting Europe as a destination to third countries and European Commission action to attract tourism from third countries also came into focus during the informal EU ministers of Tourism meeting. The EU goal is that Europe maintains its place as the first tourism destination in the world.
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