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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-04-05
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Christofias - Papademos coordinate efforts on Cyprus issue and energyPresident of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Greek Prime Minister Loucas Papademos reviewed during a meeting they held Thursday their next steps as regards the Cyprus issue and reaffirmed the excellent level of bilateral ties.
The Greek Prime Minister, who pays Cyprus an official visit, held tete a tete meeting with President Christofias, followed by official talks with the participation of Cypriot and Greek delegations.
They also discussed about energy issues, the economic crisis and the assumption of the presidency of the EU Council of Ministers by Cyprus in July.
In statements at a press conference, which followed, President Christofias said that the visit of the Greek PM constitutes one more proof of the excellent and fraternal relations between the two states.
He added that they exchanged views on the next steps as regards the Cyprus problem and thanked the Greek Prime Minister for his support towards Cyprus' policy on the Cyprus issue.
"The Cyprus issue and the course of the Cyprus talks, or to be exact, the stalemate of the negotiations, was one of the main issues we discussed", he said.
President Christofias noted that they exchanged views and reviewed the next steps, taking into consideration Ankara's intransigence.
He said he underlined his commitment to the achievement of a solution that would end the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and Ankara's policy of illegally bringing to the island Turkish settlers, in an attempt to change Cyprus' demographic structure.
"The solution of the Cyprus problem should restore human rights and fundamental freedoms for all Cyprus and strengthen the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus", President Christofias stressed.
As regards Turkey's stance towards the Cypriot EU presidency, he said that Nicosia expresses its disappointment over Turkey's policy to threaten the EU and freeze its relations to the EU during Cyprus' presidency, urging Ankara to fulfill its obligations and respect the EU institutions.
During the meeting, they reviewed energy issues emphasizing on Turkey's threats and aggressiveness to Cyprus' sovereign right to conduct exploratory research for hydrocarbon reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone.
"Turkey has the obligation to respect the sovereignty and the international law, especially since Ankara declares its interest for peace and stability in the region", he stressed.
Concluding, he expressed Cyprus' solidarity to the Greek people.
In his statements, the Prime Minister of Greece said that the close cooperation between Cyprus and Greece is the cornerstone of Athens' policy as regards the Cyprus issue, stressing that the positions of both countries on Cyprus are "identical".
"Technical timeframes and alternative plans b' are counterproductive", he underscored.
Greece and Cyprus he added, strive for the achievement of an overall and mutually agreed solution on the basis of a bicommunal, bizonal federation, with one international personality, one citizenship and one sovereignty, under UN auspices.
Referring to the assumption of the presidency of the Council of the EU by Cyprus in the second half of 2012, he said that Greece's support is given.
Furthermore, he noted that Cyprus' participation in the EU has opened up new political and economic opportunities for the island.
He noted that new prospects arise for the economy of Cyprus after the recent results of the exploratory research for hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone.
"Threats which question the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus are totally condemnable", the Greek Prime Minister stressed.
He added that Greece goes through a difficult economic period, adding that the full implementation of the new financial package and the expected enhancement and restructure of the Greek banking system would have a positive effect on the economy of Cyprus as well.
Papademos also thanked Cyprus for its solidarity to the people of Greece who suffer the consequences of the economic crisis.
Earlier on, the Greek Prime Minister signed the book of visitors at the Presidential Palace, in which he wrote, "Greece will continue to fully support Cyprus and the termination of the Turkish occupation of the island. Greece will support the achievement of a viable solution in Cyprus based on the UN decisions and the EU principles and values".
"Fraternal relations between the two peoples, the continuous consultation and coordination of actions guarantee the realization of our efforts", he concluded.
The Republic of Cyprus is divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and since then occupy 37% of Cyprus' territory.
Cyprus, which entered the EU in May 2004, will assume the six monthly rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in July.
 Greek PM: Turkish threats against EEZ, condemnableGreek Prime Minister Loucas Papademos stressed Thursday that Turkish threats against Cyprus' sovereign right to explore and exploit its hydrocarbon reserves in its Exclusive Economic Zone, are condemnable.
Replying to questions after a meeting he held in Nicosia with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, Papademos, who pays Cyprus an official visit, noted that neighbouring countries should rather be interested in consolidating bonds of friendship and not launching threats.
Invited to comment on Turkish aggression against Cyprus' right to exploit its hydrocarbon reserves in its EEZ, Papademos said "threats between neighbouring countries are condemnable".
He also said that Greece is considering signing agreements to delineate its EEZ with Egypt and Cyprus noting that Athens has already signed agreements with Italy and Albania.
Replying to another question on the Cyprus problem, the Greek Prime Minister stressed that the UN led procedure of the Cyprus talks must continue, adding that Greece does not accept any proposals on alternative solutions.
Asked about the economy, Papademos said that financial forecast of international organisations and the private sector lead to the conclusion that during the second half of 2013, there will be obvious signs of economic recovery while in the next two years we expect growth rate of 2.5-3%.
 Armenian FM expresses his country`s firm support to CyprusMinister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia Edward Nalbandian has expressed his country`s firm support to Cyprus` efforts to reach a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem. Nalbandian, who held a meeting in Armenia with his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou - Markoullis, expressed the belief that Cyprus` presidency of the EU Council of Ministers will be crowned with success.
Markoullis, who paid Armenia a two day working visit, discussed with her Armenian counterpart about bilateral relations, the Cyprus problem, the Armenia - Turkey relations, as well as the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. According to an official press release, Markoullis` visit to Armenia took place in the framework of the implementation of the political declaration, which was signed between the Presidents of Cyprus and Amernia in January 2011.
Markoullis, who was also received by President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan and the Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, held a broad meeting with her Armenian counterpart, during which they discussed further actions to enhance their excellent bilateral relations.
The two Ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding for cooperation in EU issues. Markoullis departed for Uzbekistan for a one-day working visit.
 Inflation increased to 3.4% in March 2012Inflation increased in March 2012 to 3.4% on a 12-month basis, following a recess in the first two months of the year, according to data released by the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus (CyStat). The Consumer Price Index recorded for the period January-March 2012 an increase of 3.2%, compared to the corresponding period of 2011.
According to CyStat, the raise is mainly due to increases in the prices of certain clothing and footwear items, petroleum products, water rates, electricity, certain fresh fruit. Moreover, there were increases in the prices of motor cars, cigarettes, telephone charges and other goods and services, due to the increase of the Value Added Tax from 15% to 17%.
Decreases have been recorded in the prices of certain fresh vegetables and potatoes. The rate inflation was 3.1% in February 2012 and 2.8% in March 2011. For March 2012, the CIP increased by 1.48 units or 1.26% to 119,00 units compared to 117,52 in February 2012.
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