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

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President briefs National Council
  • [02] FinMin proposes sale of majority of CYAir shares

  • [01] President briefs National Council

    The President briefed parliamentary parties on his recent talks in New York with the UN and the Turkish Cypriot leader on the Cyprus problem.

    President Demetris Christofias briefed the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus problem, on the results of his meetings with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in Greentree, New York on January 22-24.

    In statements following the four hour-long meeting held on Thursday, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said the body will convene again on February 15 and 17 for two all-day sessions to continue discussions on all issues of the Cyprus problem.

    ``At Greentree, the President has set out clearly the positions of the Greek Cypriot side and made clear that the process of the talks does not provide for deadlines or arbitration which are nor accepted by the Greek Cypriot side,`` Stephanou said replying to questions.

    In a statement on conclusion of the Greentree talks, the Secretary-General said at the end of March he will seek a review of the process from his Special Adviser, Alexander Downer and added that if Downer`s ``report is positive, consistent with relevant Security Council resolutions and following consultations with the two sides, I intend to call a multilateral conference in late April or early May.``

    Concerning the issue of an international conference, Stephanou said the President has stressed that UN resolutions provide for certain terms and conditions to be met before an international conference convenes to address the international aspects of the Cyprus problem. Agreement on the internal aspects of the problem is one such provision.

    He also noted that at Greentree the President acted within the framework of the National Council decisions and upheld and made clear these specific positions.

    On January 16 the Council decided that at Greentree the President ``should not accept any deadlines, arbitration or an international conference unless the two sides agree on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem.``

    Asked whether the President, during today`s meeting, said he would reiterate to the Secretary-General the preconditions for an international conference, Stephanou recalled that the President made this clear in his letter to the UNSG before the Greentree meeting and will continue to do so.

    He pointed out that it is no coincidence that permanent members of the Security Council assume clear positions with regard to the process for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Responding to a question with regard to a request by political parties that the government should ask that Alexander Downer leaves his post as UN top envoy on Cyprus, Stephanou said the President tells Downer himself and the UN what he has to say in this regard.

    In a press conference during the Greentree meeting, Downer spoke of an EU presidency to be assumed ``by the Greek Cypriots,`` causing criticism by Cypriot parties which questioned his impartiality. Cyprus will assume the six monthly rotating EU presidency in July this year.

    ``The President told Downer what he had to say during their meeting yesterday,`` Stephanou added.

    Commenting on positions espoused by all political parties with the exception of the ruling party, AKEL, that the President of the Republic should not act as the negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side, the Spokesman said the Greek Cypriot side concluded that its President should be its negotiator.

    He noted that each and every one should be cautious when it comes to developments in the Cyprus problem and should show restraint, particularly now when the Cyprus problem is in a very delicate and sensible phase, ``even if Presidential elections lie ahead.``

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-led talks has been underway since 2008 with an aim to reunify the island under a federal roof.

    [02] FinMin proposes sale of majority of CYAir shares

    Minister of Finance Kikis Kazamias has said that his Ministry has prepared a proposal to the Cabinet to sell the majority of Cyprus Airways shares.

    Speaking at a tourism conference in Nicosia, Kazamias said that we have already prepared a proposal for the Cabinet to consider at a future meeting. We are asking that a decision is taken by the government being the biggest shareholder of Cyprus Airways - announcing its readiness to negotiate with a strategic investor or partner, not excluding the sale of the majority of shares.

    Kazamias said that this is the only way to attract someone to show his interest in a company which although it has offered a lot to the country and tourism, from the financial point of view it seems that it is facing problems in the past few decades.

    Moreover, Kazamias stressed that decisive action should be taken now.

    We have reached the eleventh hour and we must make a move, unlike any other in the past to solve the problem short term, he added.

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