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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-05-08

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Nobody can proclaim conditions on EU members, says Czech FM
  • [02] Interior Minister holds contacts in Berlin
  • [03] Measures to boost tourism are taken, Minister says

  • [01] Nobody can proclaim conditions on EU members, says Czech FM

    Czech First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Karel Schwarzenberg stressed that no country from outside the European Union can intermingle in it or proclaim conditions for another member state.

    Schwarzenberg was speaking after meeting his Cypriot counterpart, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, when they examined issues concerning the EU and the forthcoming presidency of the European Council by Cyprus, something which Turkey strongly objects to.

    In her remarks, Marcoullis warmly welcomed the FM of the Czech Republic, noting "that with the Czech Republic we have longstanding and very strong bonds of friendship and cooperation on a number of issues and in many fields".

    As members of the EU, she said, that joined together on the 1st May 2004, "we have embarked on this very important membership in the EU in the family of the EU", noting the Czech republic already had a very successful presidency and Cyprus is now preparing for its own presidency of the Council of the EU in less than two months.

    "We discussed today all these issues, our bilateral relations and how we can make this relationship even stronger in some new fields of cooperation", she added.

    Marcoullis said they also discussed regional issues, issues that are being examined in the Foreign Affairs Council, particularly the Southern Neighbourhood and the situation in the countries of the Arab Spring. She briefed her colleague on Cyprus' preparations for the EU and discussed the Cyprus issue.

    Concluding, Marcoullis said "we look forward to much stronger and closer cooperation".

    In his remarks, Schwarzenberg congratulated Marcoullis who will be at the helm of the Presidency, noting it "will be a very exciting experience. I am sure that she will manage it very well".

    He said the Czech Republic will respond to the Cyprus presidency, for whatever it is needed and is ready to offer its experiences.

    Referring to Turkey's reaction to Cyprus assuming the presidency of the European Council, Schwarzenberg said "we are very disappointed that a neighbouring country of Cyprus, instead of using the chance of a country which expressively says that it wishes to become a member of the EU, instead of using this in its own ambition to become a member of the EU, evidently, it acts in the wrong way to the Cyprus presidency".

    He stressed "I can assure one thing that the EU and its member states won't let blackmail by anybody in the world. We have a member state and the member states are entitled to the presidency STOP. You see nobody from outside can intermingle in it or proclaim conditions and I hope that Turkey will understand that the Cyprus presidency is a chance for Turkey, much more than anything else".

    Concluding, he said "I hope very much that Cyprus will be successful in its projects of extracting gas and oil in its territorial waters".

    In December 2011, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias announced that the results of the exploratory drilling in Cyprus` block 12 were positive, describing the discovery of hydrocarbons as historic for the island.

    US company Noble Energy, which carried out the drilling, discovered 310 feet of net natural gas pay. The drilling reached a depth of 19,225 feet in water depth of about 5,540 feet.

    The initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling and the evaluation checks carried out indicate the existence of a natural gas reservoir ranging from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a gross mean of 7 tcf.

    Cyprus has also launched a second licensing round for the 12 remaining blocks of its Exclusive Economic Zone.

    Asked if Cyprus is threatened by recent developments in Greece, Marcoullis replied "of course every electoral process is very important as you know many European countries have gone through electoral processes recently".

    For Greece, she added, "we are watching very carefully the developments. There have been some substantial changes in the political scene in Greece following the elections but we are watching very carefully and I think we have to give some time for the different political contacts to take place. We hope that political stability will prevail because there is a lot to be done regarding the economic situation in Greece".

    [02] Interior Minister holds contacts in Berlin

    The conclusion of the Common European Asylum System by the end of 2012, the conclusion of the discussion on the multiannual financial framework for the period 2014-2020, the integration of immigrants into their hosting societies as well as the enhancement of the EU civil protection were discussed in a meeting Minister of the Interior Eleni Mavrou had in Berlin on Tuesday with her German counterpart Hans-Peter Friedrich

    An official press release issued here said that the meeting took place in the framework of a series of bilateral meetings Mavrou is holding in the context of the ministry's preparations in view of the assumption of the Presidency of the Council of the EU by Cyprus during the second half of 2012.

    The two ministers exchanged views on the progress achieved until now on the issues discussed as well as the way they will be dealt during the forthcoming Cypriot Presidency.

    The minister told her counterpart that she looks forward to their close cooperation with a view to achieve the greatest progress possible on the issues which Cyprus will handle as the EU Presidency to the benefit of the EU in its whole. Mavrou informed her counterpart about the priorities of the Cypriot Presidency concerning the Justice and Home Affairs issues, which fall within the ministry's competence.

    Friedrich assured Mavrou of Germany's intention to closely cooperate with Cyprus during its Presidency with a view to achieve progress on issues regarding the EU Justice and Home Affairs sector.

    [03] Measures to boost tourism are taken, Minister says

    Commerce, Industry and Minister Tourism Neoklis Sylikiotis has said that all necessary measures are taken collectively so that the tourist sector overcomes its problems.

    Speaking after a meeting with the Board of Directors of the Cyprus Hotel Association (PASYXE), with the participation of a Cyprus Tourism Organization delegation, Sylikiotis noted that tourism is one of the fundamental priorities of his ministry.

    He said that actions are taken with a view to increase Cyprus' air connections and simplify visa procedures. He noted that he informed the Cyprus Hotel Association about decisions taken recently towards this direction, adding that tourism is a sector, which requires vigilance.

    The minister said that some measures have been taken as regards financial motives for hotel unites and that projects which include the construction of marinas and golf courses are already underway. Asked about the countries with which air connections will be reinforced, Sylikiots said that these are countries of Eastern Europe and of the Eastern Mediterranean region, adding that these are new destinations.

    Regarding the Canadian group Triple Five which has expressed interest in participating in Cyprus Airways share capital, and the Chairman of which has held contacts with the President of the Republic and other high ranking officials, Sylikiotis said that Cyprus Tourism Organization is in contact with Triple Five to discuss the ways in which the group's interest can be implemented as regards the tourist sector.


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