|Friday, 20 April 2018|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-12-22
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 President calls on Turkey to abandon its gunboat diplomacyPresident of the Republic Demetris Christofias has called on Turkey to abandon its gunboat diplomacy and instead adopt a policy of conciliation and compromise.
The President made the remarks during visits to National Guard and Hellenic Forces of Cyprus camps to wish the soldiers and the officers for Christmas and the New Year.
President Christofias said that if Turkey does not change its gunboat diplomacy and stop playing the part of regional police officer there will be consequences which, for sure, will not be good neither for the whole region nor the Turkish people and foremost, the Turkish Cypriots.
``I want to believe,`` he added, ``that the prospects of finding natural gas will force Turkey to have second thoughts and follow a policy of conciliation and compromise both with Greece and Cyprus, to create the conditions for a truly peaceful future of cooperation and peace for all people of the region, including the Turkish people``.
He also said that colonization is way more unacceptable than occupation for the people of Cyprus, regardless of which community they belong to, adding that the victims of colonization are first and foremost the Turkish Cypriots, who feel that they are losing their Cypriot identity and are greatly worried.
Despite being disappointed with the behavior of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership at the talks, we are optimistic about the future, he noted, adding that Greece and Cyprus are striving together to get rid of the occupation and colonization.
Moreover, he expressed his readiness to continue striving hard towards the solution of the Cyprus problem that will bring to an end Turkey`s occupation of the island divided since the Turkish invasion in 1974.
He expressed the conviction that everyone will live in a reunified homeland of peace and cooperation together with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots who also pay the price of the occupation as they are losing their identity.
President Christofias said that Turkey does not care for Turkish Cypriot, adding that Turkish Cypriots are also protesting against Turkey`s illegal occupation and colonization of the island.
He said that he is in contact with Turkish Cypriots and is in a position to know very well how they feel, apart from the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglou.
He also expressed the need to combat nationalism existing in the Greek Cypriot community.
President Christofias stressed that a patriotic act is anything which will lead to a decent compromise that will reunite Cyprus and its people in conditions of peace and friendship between the two communities and terminate the occupation and colonization of the island.
In addition, he expressed the wish that 2012 will bring a peaceful, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem that will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
Asked to comment on a statement made by State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland calling on the two sides in Cyprus to roll up their sleeves to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, he said that our sleeves are always rolled up and our spirit is lifted and opened.
He called on both the US and the UK to turn towards Turkey to contribute substantially to the talks. President Christofias urged the State Department to turn towards Turkey, noting that we have all the good will to reach a solution.
Asked to comment on the statement of the State Department spokeswoman concerning the exploratory drillings of Cyprus in its Exclusive Economic Zone and that the US would like to see the benefits of that exploration shared among all Cypriots in the context of a full settlement of issues between them, he said that we do not need pleas from whomsoever to do what is evident to us, in the event Turkey decides to change its stance and help put an end to occupation and colonization through a viable and functional solution.
He said that the natural resources of the Republic of Cyprus belong to all Cypriots, adding that it is agreed in the talks that the responsibility for natural resources belongs to the central government and the federal government.
Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. UN led Cyprus talks are underway with the participation of the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus with an aim to reach a solution that would reunify the island under a federal roof.
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.
 Cyprus sold 373 million 30-day treasury billsCyprus sold 30-day Treasury bills worth of 373 million euro with an average yield of 4.82%, in an auction held Thursday.
The auction was oversubscribed, as the nominal value was 250 million euro. The Finance Ministry said it accepted all bids, worth of 373 million euro, with yields ranging from 4.69 to 4.85 per cent.
 Attorney-General to appeal against Court ruling on ``Helios``Cyprus Attorney-General Petros Clerides said he will lodge an appeal to the Supreme Court against the Assize Court`s majority ruling to acquit the five defendants over a fatal air crash in 2005 in which 121 persons died.
The Court ruled by majority (two to one) that there was not sufficient evidence linking the defendants to the air crash and as such they bear no responsibility for the crash.
``I have read the ruling of the majority as well as that the minority and I have received the views of the prosecutors who handled the case and we have unanimously concluded that an appeal against the majority ruling is justified,`` Clerides said, noting that the existence of a dissenting opinion justifies his view than an appeal should be lodged.
He added that the appeal will be lodged within the next 14 days, adding that the arguments to be presented to the Supreme Court will be exactly the same as those presented to the Assize Court.
The Attorney-General defended the work of the prosecutors, reiterating that the case was difficult.
``The Law Office, the Police and the State in general have exhausted all means at their disposal so that the Court could reach a conviction,`` he said.
 Nicosia and Pafos to compete for 2017 European Capital of Culture titleNicosia and Pafos are the two candidate cities that were preselected for the designation of the European Capital of Culture in 2017, outbidding the third candidate city, Limassol.
The decision, taken by a special selection committee, comprised by experts, was announced by European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth Androulla Vassiliou, during a Press Conference at the Ministry of Education and Culture, in Nicosia.
Vassiliou said the preselected candidacies will have the chance to work further on their bid, before the final selection stage, on September 2012, when the team of experts will finalize its decision. The city to host the European Capital of Culture is expected to be announced on May 2013 by the Council of Ministers of the EU, the Commissioner noted.
She further said that early January a report by the team of experts will be made available, containing suggestions to both candidate cities on how to improve their bids. The report will also explain the reasons for deciding against the Limassol bid, the Commissioner said.
Speaking on the broader goals of the European Capital of Culture, Vassiliou referred to the promotion and celebration of Europes rich cultural heritage and of common understanding and intercultural dialogue.
Minister of Education and Culture Giorgos Demosthenous said from his part that his Ministry will reinforce financially the final selection with 5 mln euros for covering the citys operational costs, starting from 2013.
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