|Saturday, 16 December 2017|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-01-27
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 President fought a brave battle at talks, says Acting SpokesmanThe President has defended vehemently the positions of the Greek Cypriot community with regard to the Cyprus issue during this weeks UN-led talks in New York, Deputy Government Spokesman Christos Christofides has said.
The Presidents efforts, he pointed out, were in line with decisions taken by the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus question.
Speaking here Friday at the Presidential Palace, Christofides said that at Greentree, where the talks took place, limited progress was achieved on the chapters under discussion, something which the UN SG also noted in his statement at the conclusion of the two-day talks.
This reality belies those who were predicting that the President would renege on issues of principles, he said.
Christofides said that UN Secretary General, in his statement, reassured that the process of the negotiations is a Cypriot owned and Cypriot guided process and that the UN would not impose solutions to the two sides.
As regards Ban Ki-Moons statement on his intention to convene a multilateral conference in late April or early May under specific prerequisites, Christofides explained that the most important precondition is that this international conference would be consistent with the relevant resolutions of the Security Council.
In the latest resolution on the renewal of UNFICYPs mandate, the Security Councils intention on such an international conference is very specifically and clearly expressed, Christofides recalled and added that the resolution notes that all the internal aspects of a settlement should be resolved by then, in order to be able to proceed with a multilateral conference right after, with the consent of the two sides.
This is what we strongly support. We cannot proceed to an international conference without an agreement on the internal aspects and without the consent of the two sides, he stressed.
In addition, he said that President Christofias made it clear once again that the Greek Cypriot side would not consent or participate in an international conference if specific prerequisites are not met, adding that the Greek Cypriot side would not accept any kind of arbitration or strict timeframes.
Christofides expressed the governments satisfaction with the positions of the majority of the Permanent Members of the UN Security Council on the process of the negotiations, during the latest briefing of the body by UNSG Special Advisor Alexander Downer, and especially with the position that timeframes should not be imposed. We also express our satisfaction with the position of the majority as regards the role of UNFICYP in Cyprus, he added.
Downer briefed the members of the Council in the framework of the UN Secretary Generals statement at Greentree, noting that progress achieved at Greentree was limited and this is disappointing. He noted that despite this he remains optimistic that there can be a successful outcome.
The members of the Security Council welcomed efforts made by the UNSG and Downer. The British raised the issue of UNFICYP restructuring, noting that the Security Council will have to reassess the presence of the force in Cyprus, on the basis of its resolutions on peace operations.
The US supported the British position, posing questions about expenditure for the force and its presence on the island for many years. They also asked whether it is time for the Council to begin contemplating a plan B.
Russia, France and China disagreed with the suggestion, underlining that the issue is irrelevant to the discussion and the negotiations which are carried out. The three countries also noted that no timetables must be laid down, nor must the process be speeded up more than necessary, because this could halt the process. As regards the issue of the international conference, they reiterated the preconditions set out by the latest Security Council resolution.
UN Secretary General has urged the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus to make decisive steps towards a final agreement on the Cyprus problem. He also said that at the end of March he would be hearing about the process from his Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer and, ``if his report is positive, consistent with the relevant Security Council resolutions and following consultations with the two sides, I intend to call a multilateral conference in late April or early May.``
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led talks have been underway since 2008 with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.
 FM informs House Committee about Cyprus` agreements with neigboring countriesForeign Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoullis informed on Friday the House Foreign and European Affairs Committee regarding the process for the ratification of agreements for the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zones signed by Cyprus with its neighboring countries.
She also informed the members of the House Committee about the course of negotiations as regards the signing of agreements for the co-exploitation of hydrocarbons in cases where there are joint reserves extended beyond both sides of the mid-point delimitated by the EEZ.
Markoullis recalled that the Agreement with Israel for the delimitation of the EEZ was signed in December 2010 and was put into effect in February 2011. As she noted there were no problems with the signing and the ratification of the agreement.
Furthermore, she said that Israel and Cyprus are now negotiating for the signing of an agreement, which will constitute the framework for the joint development and exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves extended from one side of the mid-point to the other.
With regard to Egypt, Markoullis noted that the Agreement for the delimitation of the EEZ with this country was signed on February 17, 2003 and was put to effect on March 5, 2004. She noted that during her recent visit to Egypt, two months ago, she was assured that Egypt respects and abides by the agreements it has signed with the Republic of Cyprus and particularly this important agreement for the delimitation of the EEZ.
As regards the agreement for the joint development and exploitation of hydrocarbons reserves which extend from one side of the mid-point to the other, she explained that this agreement is different from the one that Cyprus is negotiating with Israel, in the sense that this agreement does not enter into any details as the agreement with Israel, which includes details about the allocation of resources in the case of joint reserves.
As regards the agreements with Lebanon, the Minister recalled that the Agreement for the delimitation of the EEZ was signed in January 2007 and was ratified by the parliament on September 29, 2007. She said that due to the domestic situation in Lebanon and to Turkish interventions, Lebanon has not ratified the agreement yet.
Furthermore, she noted that in July 2012 Lebanon submitted to the UN Secretary General a map of Lebanons south EEZ, according to which the country extends the mid-point dividing its EEZ from Cyprus EEZ eight nautical miles in the south. She explained that despite the fact that the mid-point is not affected, however its starting point is being changed and this change has to do with the delimitation of the EEZ between Lebanon and Israel.
 Cyprus issues T-bills worth 270 millionThe Cypriot Ministry of Finance on Friday issued to the domestic market 270 million EURO in 30-day and 60-day Treasury Bills with an average yield of 4.40%.
A source from the Finance Ministry told CNA the 30-day T-bills auction was oversubscribed by 150% whereas the 60-day T-bills auction was oversubscribed by 190% and as a result the Finance Ministry did not accept any bids made for its third auction (13-week T-bills) held today.
``We accepted (from the two auctions alone) 270 million euro, that is, 20 million more than the sum we sought to acquire from all three auctions,`` the source said.
 PACE resolution condemns enforced population transferA Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) resolution adopted on Friday expressly condemns any form of enforced population, noting that the practice and its consequences still affect present conflicts such as those in the Western Balkans, Cyprus and the Caucasus region.
According to an official press release issued here on Friday the resolution notes that acts of enforced population transfer have been declared illegal several times since the Allied Resolution on German War Crimes, adopted in 1942, adding that the strongest and most recent condemnation is found in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which clearly defines deportation, forcible transfer of population and implantation of settlers as war crimes.
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