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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-06-08
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Malta and Cyprus share goal "towards a better Europe"Malta shares the goal that Cyprus has set, "Towards a Better Europe", based on the fundamental principle of solidarity and contributing to the enhancement of social cohesion and growth and has agreed to work together in that direction.
The statement was made by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias during a joint press conference in Valletta with Prime Minister of Malta Lawrence Gonzi.
On his part, Gonzi said his country is in complete accord on issues concerning development and social cohesion.
According to an official press release, in his opening remark, Christofias said they had a productive discussion on issues of mutual interest, noting that "Cyprus and Malta have common positions on the issues discussed".
The two reviewed the excellent bilateral relations and agreed to deepen them even further in all fora, while identifying new areas of cooperation.
Christofias and Gonzi discussed current European issues, in view of the upcoming Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the EU, starting in July 2012.
"The Cypriot Presidency will also seek to bring Europe closer to its neighbors and work for the empowerment of the Union in the world. We are therefore happy to have Malta on our side in the efforts to emphasize the Southern Dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy", said Christofias.
Another issue on the agenda of the talks were developments in Syria and Libya where "we shared our concern for the rising tension and violence in our region".
With reference to the crisis in the Eurozone, Christofias said they "agreed that our response should be guided by social sensitivity. It should lead to fiscal consolidation, while at the same time focus on the social needs of the citizens and most importantly pay attention to the needs of the vulnerable groups of our society".
As far as the accession process of Turkey is concerned, Christofias said Turkey must fulfill its obligations towards the European Union, including the Republic of Cyprus. It must prove in practice, its will for a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions and the principles and values upon which the European Union is founded".
Christofias underlined "that, Cyprus will, during its Presidency, act as an honest broker and continue to objectively review Turkey's accession negotiations. At the same time, it should be made clear that, we will not allow anyone to jeopardize our Presidency".
On the Cyprus issue, Christofias briefed Prime Minister Gonzi on the latest developments in the talks and reiterated his "commitment to reaching a solution that will guarantee a peaceful and prosperous future for all Cypriots on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation".
The two also discussed the developments regarding the "activities for the extraction and exploitation of hydrocarbons in Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone and the unacceptable Turkish threats and provocations which constitute a threat to regional peace and stability. I once again reiterate my strong belief that the exploitation of hydrocarbons can contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in Cyprus and the entire region".
Last December Houston based Noble Energy, which has a concession for exploratory drilling in Cyprus` block 12, announced that initial data that emerged from 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 received 25 bids from companies and international joint ventures in the second licensing round for the island`s remaining 12 offshore blocks that took place on May 11.
On his part, Gonzi said "we are in complete accord on issues concerning development and social cohesion. We discussed how we can proceed towards this direction", said Gonzi, adding that Europe needs development, fiscal purging and stability".
He further said that discussions on the Multiannual Financial Framework will continue in the next weeks.
Gonzi said that the two examined the economic future of Europe, the Southern Dimension of the European Neighborhood Policy and the situation in north Africa.
Asked how the Cyprus presidency can tackle the problem of illegal immigration, President Christofias said that Malta and Cyprus share the same concerns. "We are not racists", he said, adding that the issue is serious and should be handled with solidarity by all EU member states. "Our presidency will work towards this", he added.
To a question how cooperation between Malta and Cyprus can increase, Christofias said "through tourism, energy and agriculture".
President Christofias concluded his visit to Valletta and returns home Friday evening.
Cyprus, an EU member since 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third, is going to assume the EU Presidency on July 1st for a period of 6 months.
Turkey which aspires to join the EU, does not recognize Cyprus and said that it will have no relations with the Republic during the Presidency.
 FM calls on Turkey to comply with its EU obligationsMinister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis has called upon Turkey to comply at long last with its overall obligations vis-a-vis the European Union, instead of employing counterproductive policies, which in the final analysis undermine its own position and its relations with the Union.
Marcoullis made the above statement in regard to a statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, during a press conference in the presence of the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Baroness Catherine Ashton, and the Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Stefan Fule, according to which "…the relations and contacts with the EU will continue, but none of the Ministries or Institutions of the Turkish Republic will be in contact with the EU Presidency in any of the activities related to the Greek Cypriot Presidency…",
According to an official announcement issued here today, Cyprus' Foreign Minister, in her statements, underlined again that Turkey's provocative and unacceptable stance on this issue has been answered unequivocally by the European Union, through its General Affairs Council conclusions on 5 December 2011 and its European Council conclusions on 9 December.
The Minister recalled specifically that the European Council expressed "…serious concern with regard to Turkish statements and threats", and called for "…full respect for the role of the Presidency of the Council, which is a fundamental institutional feature of the EU provided for in the Treaty…".
 Archbishop of Cyprus pleads for Kirill of Moscow support on Cyprus issueArchbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, called on Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russians, who pays a visit to Cyprus to continue supporting the struggle of Cyprus the liberation of the occupied areas of Cyprus and restoration of human rights.
The primate of the Church of Cyprus said that Cypriot people expect now as in the past the support of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"From the depths of our soul we ask you to convey in a fervent way to your government and your people, the pain of our people, and the desire for domination of freedom, justice and restoration of human rights,`` he said.
He also pleads for the Patriarch of Moscow to continue to be an ambassador for the just demands of Cyprus, while praying for predominance of human rights and values of life in the island.
As he said, when other countries wanted to impose the Annan plan through the Security Council he had asked the Patriarch of Moscow for President Putin's veto in the Security Council, something that he did.
Patriarch Kirill expressed sympathy for the Church of Cyprus and its people" in times of trials".
As he said for 38 years the Orthodox Church of Russia suffer along with the Church of Cyprus and its people because of the violent partition of the island and the discriminations against Orthodox Christians in the occupied territories.
He added that he raises his voice for the respect of the holy heritage of Cyprus Orthodox church in the occupied areas and declared his readiness to discuss measures aimed at preserving the Christian presence in the wider region of Cyprus.
 Cyprus GDP estimated at -1.6% during 1st quarter of 2012GDP growth rate in Cyprus during the first quarter of 2012 is negative and estimated at -1.6% over the corresponding quarter of 2011, according to data released today by the Statistical Service of Cyprus.
Based on seasonally and working day adjusted data, GDP growth rate in real terms is estimated at -1.5%.
Negative growth rates were recorded by the secondary sector of the economy (Construction, Manufacturing, Electricity), as well as in the sectors of Trade and Transport. Positive growth rates were presented by the sectors of Banking and Services (Public Administration, Education, Health, other services).
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