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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-02-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Government dismisses Eroglu’s statements
  • [02] FM participates in EU General Affairs Council
  • [03] RICS predicts further fall on house prices in Cyprus
  • [04] DefMin:Recognition of Cyprus’ rights a safeguard against Turkey`s

    threats


  • [01] Government dismisses Eroglu’s statements

    The government has dismissed as provocative statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on the commitment of the Greek Cypriot side to a Cyprus solution.

    Dervis Eroglu, following his meeting with President Demetris Christofias in the framework of direct negotiations for a Cyprus solution, has claimed that the declared readiness of the Greek Cypriot side to continue negotiations even during Cyprus’ EU Presidency shows lack of political willingness for a political settlement and is disrespectful towards the UN Secretary-General.

    In statements at the Presidential Palace, in Nicosia, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said that with such statements, Eroglu was being disrespectful towards his interlocutor, the President of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Stephanou dismissed the statements as “unsubstantiated and arbitrary”, noting that it is the Turkish Cypriot side which fails to meet its commitments to the UN Secretary-General and reneges from previously agreed positions.

    Eroglu’s references to the UN Secretary-General are provocative and they are rejected without further ado, Stephanou concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, under a federal roof.

    The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met with President Christofias and Eroglu for the fifth time in January 2012, in Greentree, New York. In his statements, following the meeting, Ban said limited progress was achieved and invited both sides to make decisive moves in the negotiation chapters of governance, property and citizenship.

    [02] FM participates in EU General Affairs Council

    Granting Serbia candidate status to join the EU and preparations for the EU Summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels were the main topics of Tuesday’s session of the General Affairs Council, where Cyprus was represented by Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis.

    Speaking during the debate that preceded the decision on Serbia’s candidacy, Marcoullis pointed out that Serbia should be rightfully granted candidate status, recalling that the country has met all the criteria set out, giving as an example the latest positive developments in a dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

    Although she described the reference to Kosovo in the conclusions of the meeting as unnecessary, the Foreign Minister said that Cyprus accepts it, because the reference as amended is neutral on Kosovo`s status and meets the concerns of member states that do not recognize it.

    Regarding preparations for the EU Summit on 1-2 March, the Ministers discussed the draft conclusions of the meeting of European leaders, which should, inter alia, approve the priorities of the Annual Report of Development 2012 of the European Commission and assess the implementation progress of specific country recommendations for 2011.

    [03] RICS predicts further fall on house prices in Cyprus

    Cyprus, Ireland and Spain are the European countries that registered the sharpest fall on house prices as a result of their severe new supply overhangs and economic problems, according to the latest RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) European Housing Review.

    The review also points out that prospects in Cyprus for 2012 are for continued housing market weakness and a further softening of prices.

    In Cyprus, a noticeable change in 2011 was a considerable tightening of mortgage availability, resulting from financial turmoil as Cyprus’ banks were drawn into the Greek sovereign debt crisis. Little mortgage credit was available from the banks, especially in the second half of the year. This and the weak economy drew even the best residential areas into the housing price downswing.

    Slowdown in the global economy and the eurozone debt crisis affects mortgage markets and housebuilding across Europe, whilst house prices weathered the storm until the end of 2011.

    [04] DefMin:Recognition of Cyprus’ rights a safeguard against Turkey`s threats

    International recognition of the Republic’s sovereign rights will inhibit Turkish provocations and threats and act as a safety net, Minister of Defence Demetris Eliades has said.

    In statements to CNA on Tuesday, Eliades noted that “at the same time, we are developing relations and making connections with major forces on the basis of international law, in order to create conditions of peace and security, cooperation and growth in the Eastern Mediterranean region”.

    The Minister was commenting on statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader on the Cyprus talks and Turkey’s threats over exploratory drilling by the Republic within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Replying to a reports about an Israeli military base in Cyprus, Eliades stressed that the Republic of Cyprus “has repeatedly made it clear that no such issue has been raised by the government of Israel”.

    The matter, he said, was not discussed either during his own visit to Tel Aviv or during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Cyprus.


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