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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-02-04

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Spokesman: negotiating process is defined
  • [02] Natural gas exploration a new energy challenge, says Minister
  • [03] Minister highlights need to trust the internet
  • [04] Famagusta Mayor welcomes EP declaration

  • [01] Spokesman: negotiating process is defined

    The government has pointed out that the process of negotiations towards a political settlement in Cyprus has already been determined, noting that nobody can seek increased involvement in the ongoing talks.

    The negotiating process has been determined at the start of the talks and in this process nobody can have increased involvement, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said, when asked to comment on the seal of approval the UN Secretary General has given his Cyprus envoy, Alexander Downer, whose impartiality had been questioned in Cyprus.

    Downer came under severe criticism from various quarters for saying that the Greek Cypriots will assume the six monthly rotating EU presidency in July this year, instead of pointing out that the government of the Republic of Cyprus will exercise the presidency. Political parties have called on the UNSG to relieve Downer of his duties here. Downer has since rectified his remarks.

    Stephanou pointed out that the framework of the talks is defined by the relevant UN resolutions, adding that the UN are neither arbitrators nor mediators in the peace process.

    The two sides are negotiating between them to find a solution and the UN support this effort, he said.

    Replying to questions, the Spokesman said talks will continue to find convergences and make progress, noting however that this does not depend solely on the Greek Cypriot side.

    The President attends the talks with a constructive approach. Finding a solution depends also on the Turkish Cypriot side and unfortunately it does not allow progress, being so negative and obstructive, he said.

    On calls by the opposition to appoint a new negotiator for the Greek Cypriot side, to replace the President of the Republic, Stephanou said the government would remain firm on serving the countrys interests, which dictates that President Christofias should continue representing the Greek Cypriot community at the UN-led talks.

    The President will continue the effort which began in 2008 to solve the Cyprus issue on the basis of UN resolutions, the 1977 and 1979 high level agreements (providing for a bizonal bicommunal federation) and the principles of international and European law, he said.

    Stephanou noted that this is a very delicate phase of the Cyprus question.

    The Spokesman fended off criticism from the opposition about the outcome of a recent meeting between President Christofias, the Turkish Cypriot leader and the UN Secretary General in New York, saying the President accepted neither timeframes, nor arbitration nor an international conference which does not meet the terms set out by the UN and Nicosia.

    Opposition parties have suggested that President Christofias had accepted, albeit indirectly, these three terms as part of the ongoing negotiating process, which began in September 2008 with a view to finding a solution that would reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    [02] Natural gas exploration a new energy challenge, says Minister

    The recent results from natural gas exploration in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone provide a new energy challenge for the country, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Sofoclis Aletraris has stressed, indicating that natural gas has a key role to play as it can offer real and attainable environmental benefits.

    We need to transform our energy system by diversifying our energy mix and increasing the share of alternative energies, Aletraris said, addressing a seminar on State of the Art of Renewable Energy Systems and Future Prospects in Cyprus and the Mediterranean Region from Cyprus Natural Gas organized by the Cyprus Physicists Society.

    The Minister pointed out that renewable energy technologies and natural gas are both sources of low carbon electricity and can contribute significantly towards the reductions of greenhouse gas emissions over the next years, as Cyprus is committed to do so as an EU member state.

    My key message for today is that both renewable energy technologies and natural gas offer great potential for providing our country with a low-cost pathway to secure clean electricity well into the future he said, adding that we have to bear in mind that future generations quality of life will first and foremost depend on the speed and cost with which we will have reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

    [03] Minister highlights need to trust the internet

    The Minister of Commerce has highlighted the need to trust the use of the internet for cross-border purchases, extend the process of e-procurement and train middle size enterprises in this direction. Addressing the informal Council of EU Ministers dealing with competition, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoulla Antoniadou said education can play a pivotal role in encouraging more young people to study in this field.

    The Council meeting dealt with the promotion of digital technology in an effort to increase economic development and employment prospects.

    It also addressed ways to encourage supply and demand of a unified digital market.

    [04] Famagusta Mayor welcomes EP declaration

    The mayor of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta has welcomed a European Parliament declaration calling on Turkey to return the fenced-off part of the town to its lawful inhabitants. Mayor Alexis Galanos has described the written declaration, signed by 390 Euro MPs, as of historic significance and called on EU institutions to implement it.

    The declaration was introduced by MEPs Lidia Joanna Geringer de Oedenberg, Willy Meyer, Michalis Tremopoulos, Cecilia Wikstrom and Artur Zasada, after the initiative of Cypriot MEPs and citizens of Famagusta with the support of Famagusta Municipality. It recalls that UNSC resolutions 550(1984) and 789(1992) call for ``the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations.`` It further notes that the 1979 High Level Agreement, between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, says that priority should be given to the resettlement of Famagusta under the UN auspices.

    The declaration ``calls on the Government of Turkey to act according to the aforementioned UNSC Resolutions and Report Recommendations and return the Famagusta sealed-off section to its lawful inhabitants, who must resettle under conditions of security and peace,`` urging the EU institutions to coordinate their efforts with Parliament to promote Turkeys cooperation.

    Famagusta, a thriving holiday resort until the 1974 Turkish invasion, has become a ghost town, with derelict buildings, abandoned to the elements since it fell to the advancing Turkish troops in mid August 1974. The UN hold Turkey responsible for the fenced off area of the town but in spite of repeated calls for its return to the lawful inhabitants - by the UN and other international fora - Ankara refuses to comply.

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