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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-15

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus to promote EU-Lebanon relations during its EU presidency
  • [02] Omirou: Turkey`s stance leaves no room for optimism at Cyprus talks
  • [03] Lidington: Turkey must meet all requirements before joining the EU
  • [04] Employment in Cyprus down, according to Eurostat

  • [01] Cyprus to promote EU-Lebanon relations during its EU presidency

    Cyprus will do everything possible during its Presidency of the Council of the EU in July 2012 to promote the relationships between the European Union and Lebanon, pledged Cypriot Foreign Minister Dr. Erato Kozakou-Markoullis.

    She made the remark after meeting in Beirut with her Lebanese counterpart Adnan Mansour. The Cypriot Minister is on a two-day official visit, to discuss mainly the further promotion of bilateral relations, especially in the light of recent developments concerning the discovery of hydrocarbon deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    She is scheduled to meet with Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, President of the Parliament Nabih Berri.

    Other issues on the agenda are the political situation in the broader region of the Middle East, developments in Syria, Iran, Egypt and Libya, the Cyprus issue, and the priorities of Cyprus` EU presidency.

    She will also meet with Minister of Energy and Water Gebran Bassil, Minister of Culture Gaby Layoun, Minister of Justice Shakib Qortbawi, the Attorney General, and religious and political leaders of communities.

    In remarks after meeting Markoullis, Mansour said the visit is an “opportunity for us to discuss and identify matters which interest both our countries concerning the bilateral relations, to discuss the situation in the region, consular matters and the presiding of Cyprus of the Council of the European Union starting on the 1st of July”.

    He said “we believe the presiding of Cyprus shall facilitate the joint action between Lebanon and Cyprus”.

    Markoullis said the two are very determined “to put our relations at a much higher level and to increase our cooperation”.

    She said that one of the areas has a lot of potential because of the discovery of natural gas and possibly oil in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We strongly feel that we must work closer together in order to maximize the benefit between our two countries”, the Minister said, adding that in the “area of tourism and in the area of trade there is a lot of scope for increasing this cooperation”.

    Markoullis further said that they discussed the situation in the neighborhood and the fact that Cyprus will be presiding over the Council of the European Union in July of this year for the first time as a member of the European Union.

    “We will do everything possible during our Presidency to promote the relationships between the European Union and Lebanon”, she pledged.

    Asked if Lebanon will prevent the consensus on the final version of the Agreement signed by Lebanon and Cyprus and correct the error regarding the right of Lebanon which is ransacked from Israel, Mansour said “Cyprus is responsive with us concerning any agreement we might reach and now we are counting on the United Nations to find a solution concerning the line with Israel. Cyprus showed readiness and willingness to cooperate with us”.

    To a question if there is any will on Cyprus’ side to modify the Exclusive Economic Zone Agreement, Markoullis said “Cyprus will do everything possible to facilitate a solution of this problem between Lebanon and Israel and we will continue our efforts so that a solution will be found”.

    Asked if no agreement is reached concerning the maritime borders, Mansour said “the disagreement is not with Cyprus, but rather with Israel considering that Israel carried out the demarcation of the line starting from point 23 and exceeded a part of the economic region. We hope this issue will be solved in the future”.

    Markoullis added “we will be exerting every effort to solve the problem, and I think this is the only thing I can say at this moment. We are very optimistic that a solution will be found very soon”.

    The Cypriot Minister will be returning to Cyprus on Friday.

    The Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004, has been divided by the Turkish army since 1974. Thirty-seven percent of Cyprus` territory is occupied by Turkish troops.

    Turkey has launched threats against Cyprus` sovereign right to explore and exploit its EEZ. In December Cyprus announced it had found hydrocarbon reserves in Block 12 of its EEZ.

    Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement was signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

    [02] Omirou: Turkey`s stance leaves no room for optimism at Cyprus talks

    President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou has said that there is no room for optimism as regards the achievement of a solution of the Cyprus problem, given the positions submitted by the Turkish side at the negotiating table.

    Omirou, who was speaking at the National Defense School in Athens, where he pays a visit, said that the positions submitted by the Turkish side at the UN - led Cyprus talks, as well as recent statements by Turkish officials, leave no room for optimism that a solution of the Cyprus problem will soon be achieved.

    On the contrary, he said, we believe that there is a persistence on behalf of the Turkish side to achieve a solution that would enable Ankara to exert full control over the Turkish Cypriot community as well as over developments in the Greek Cypriot community.

    Omirou also referred to statements made by Turkish officials on the creation of two so called states in Cyprus, the annexation of the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus by Ankara, as well as Turkish threats against Cyprus` sovereign rights to explore and exploit its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for hydrocarbon reserves.

    The House President described Turkey`s stance as a behavior of `` modern piracy``, denouncing Turkish statements on the Cyprus issue and Cyprus` EEZ.

    [03] Lidington: Turkey must meet all requirements before joining the EU

    Turkey must meet all the requirements of the EU acquis before it can join the EU, British Minister for Europe David Lidington has stressed.

    Lidington was answering a written question by MP Daniel Kawczynski, who asked the Minister what estimate he has made of the likely date of Turkey`s accession to the EU.

    The British Minister noted that accession for any candidate country is a condition-based not time-based process, adding that Turkey has made clear its firm strategic commitment to accession "and we support its full membership".

    He concluded by saying that "the UK works closely with EU member- state counterparts and with the European Commission to encourage and support progress in Turkey`s accession progress".

    Turkey, a country aspiring to join the EU occupies since 1974 37% of Cyprus` territory. One of the conditions for Turkey`s accession to the EU is the normalisation of its relations with Cyprus.

    [04] Employment in Cyprus down, according to Eurostat

    Employment was down in Cyprus and Greece, according to data released by Eurostat on Thursday.

    The number of persons employed decreased by 0.2% in the euro area1 (EA17) and by 0.1% in the EU271 in the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with the previous quarter, according to national accounts estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. In the third quarter of 2011, employment decreased by 0.2% in both zones. These figures are seasonally adjusted.

    According to Eurostat data, the fourth quarter of 2011 compared to the third quarter, registered a decrease in employment in Cyprus by 0,1%.

    On an annual basis, employment for the same period in 2010 was down by 0,2% in Eurozone, 0,3% in Cyprus and remained the same in Greece.


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