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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-01-02

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President: 2012 optimistic but difficult
  • [02] Nicosia to handle EU defence issues
  • [03] Cyprus acts on faulty breast implants
  • [04] Everything according to plan at drilling rig

  • [01] President: 2012 optimistic but difficult

    President Demetris Christofias has said that 2012 will be an optimistic year but at the same time very difficult.

    He also said that talks for a Cyprus settlement are not going well, Turkey continues its threats against Cyprus, and the Republic will be holding the EU presidency during the second half of the year.

    Addressing a National Guard new year`s event, President Christofias pointed out the importance of the army, adding that the political and military leadership of the island should examine Turkey`s policy and draw strategies that would be able to tackle Turkey`s arrogance and expansionist policy.

    ęThe National Guard is the fighting power of any government of the Republic of Cyprus to help maintain peace and act as a deterrent. If the National Guard did not exist, Turkey would exercise freely its expansionist designs, the President pointed out.

    Ankara, he said, is arrogant and instead of learning from its successes as many believe it has it appears to act the way Ottoman Turkey used to act.

    Regarding the Cyprus problem, he pointed out Turkey`s intransigence and noted that Turkey`s policy does not serve the interests of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Turkey sees the Turkish Cypriots as second class people, hence the steady influx of settlers into the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus, in an effort to change the demographic character not only of the Turkish Cypriot community but also of Cyprus as a whole, the President pointed out.

    The objective of the Turkish Premier is to equate in numbers the population in occupied Cyprus with that of the southern government controlled part of the country.

    This, he said, renders the tragedy even harsher and more difficult, in particular for the Turkish Cypriots.

    The UN-led peace talks, he added, are facing difficulties.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    The latest round of UN talks began in September 2008. President Christofias is engaged in talks with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu and are set to have their first meeting in 2012 on Wednesday. Later this month, they will meet the UN Secretary General to assess the situation.

    [02] Nicosia to handle EU defence issues

    Minister of Defence Demetris Eliades on Monday has expressed Cyprus readiness to deal with all defence matters in the framework of its presidency of the EU Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) as of January 1st 2012. Cyprus along with Denmark and Poland form the trio Presidency of the European Council. Currently Denmark holds the 6-monthly Presidency, however Cyprus presides over CSDP as Copenhagen does not participate in the European Defence Agency (EDA).

    We are ready to exercise the Presidency effectively and handle all defence issues in a constructive and wise manner, Defence Minister said, adding that ``Cyprus will work in cooperation with its EU partners in order to deal with these sensitive matters of defence and security. Eliades explained that in the next six months, the Ministry of Defence will preside over Athena, the mechanism for financing military operations, established in 2004 in Athens, Greece.

    He also said that Cyprus will preside over a specific working group that constitutes the main body that examines and promotes the EU defence mechanism as well as over the Military Committee and the military working group of the EU.

    Furthermore, Cyprus will host the Conference of the Directors of the Defence Policy Directorate in February as well as various other conferences and events.

    [03] Cyprus acts on faulty breast implants

    The Ministry of Health and the Cyprus Society of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery decided on Monday at a joint meeting that members of the Society hand to the Ministry within a week data on women who have undergone breast implant surgery with the use of PIP and M implants. Meanwhile the Health Ministry will continue recording data of faulty implants through the call center, while in two months it will provide plastic surgeons with a new type of software to record the use of approved implants, belonging to categories 2B and 3.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Health Minister Stavros Malas said that, taking into consideration the scientific evidence, it has been decided, along with the representatives of the Cyprus Society of plastic surgery, to encourage women who have PIP or M implants to contact their personal plastic surgeon or other plastic surgeons, to further assess the implants condition. Wearers of PIP or M implants, following a breast augmentation that took place abroad, are also encouraged to contact a plastic surgeon in Cyprus or the Plastic Surgery Clinic of the Nicosia General Hospital, the Minister said.

    Asked to say whether the Ministry is in coordination with other European countries, Malas stated that the Ministry is in consultation with all relevant authorities and assesses the way they address the issue. In relation to Frances decision to subsidize removal of the implants, Malas stated that such a decision is not under discussion in Cyprus. There are no scientific reasons to urge women to have the implants removed the Minister pointed out, adding that if for any reason such a removal is deemed necessary, the patient must decide to do so in consultation with her physician.

    [04] Everything according to plan at drilling rig

    Everything went according to plan at a drilling rig, off Cyprus southeastern coast, operated by US-based Noble Energy, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Praxoula Antoniadou has told CNA, recalling that the company has an exploratory drilling in Cyprus` block 12. A team of technocrats visited Homer Ferrington drilling rig on Friday to examine whether everything has been carried out according to the agreed procedures.

    ``The technocrats have told me that all went smoothly. I expect a detailed report within the next days,`` Antoniadou said. Antoniadou noted that Homer Ferrington is expected to leave block 12 at the end of the week as the exploratory drilling has been completed.

    ``The exploratory drilling has been completed. The well is being sealed and the rig will leave at the end of the week,`` Antoniadou said, adding that an appraisal well will be drilled by another rig. ``The appraisal well will be carried out at the appropriate time, depending on rig availability,`` she added.

    Replying to a question, Antoniadou said that the Ministerial Committee on hydrocarbons will meet tomorrow to determine the next steps. Noble Energy announced on December 28 that results from drilling indicate an estimated gross resource range of 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), with a gross mean of 7 Tcf. Block 12 field covers approximately 40 square miles and will require additional appraisal drilling prior to development, it added.

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