• Congressmen call for US financial assistance to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus

    Sixteen members of the US Congress support the position that “the U.S. should facilitate a successful reunification of Cyprus through assistance to Cyprus.”

    In a letter dated March 16, the members of Congress call on the House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers and Ranking Member Nita Lowey to “include language stating the United States’ position that assistance appropriated for Cyprus should support measures aimed at solidifying the reunification of Cyprus and the unified government in Cyprus” in the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations bill for the fiscal year 2019.

    “It is important for the United States to continue to play an active role in ensuring that Cyprus – a strategic partner of the United States – and the new federal structure that would arise out of a settlement will be able to cope with any political and fina … (More)

  • Bank of Cyprus shares commence trading on the London Stock Exchange

    The shares of Bank of Cyprus Holdings Public Limited Company commenced trading on the Main Market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange (“LSE”) and trading on the Main Market of the Cyprus Stock Exchange (“CSE”) on Thursday.

    According to an announcement, issued by the BoC, trading commenced on the CSE and the LSE at 10:30am (Cyprus time) and 8:00am (London time), respectively.

    The announcement notes that the listing on the LSE is expected to improve the liquidity of the Group’s stock, which will enhance the Group’s visibility and lead to a broader base of investors capable of supporting the Group in the long-term. This will further enhance the confidence of all stakeholders in the Group.

    This is another significant milestone in the execution of the Group’s strategy to become a stronger, safer and more focused institution capable of delivering appropriate shareholder returns over the medium term. It follows the Group’s successful return to the debt capital markets and the full repayment of Emergency Liquidity Assistance funding since the start of 2017.

    The announcement adds that HSBC Bank plc acted as adviser to the London listing and Cyprus Investment and Securities Corporation Limited (“CISCO”) as the lead manager in relation to the listing in Cyprus. Sidley Austin acted as English and US legal advisers, and Chryssafinis & Polyviou LLC acted as Cypriot legal advisors, to the Group.

    Chairman of BOC Holdings Dr. Josef Ackermann said that is a tremendous achievement. “We expect this listing, on one of the world’s leading international markets, to facilitate greater profile, liquidity and market access”.

    He added that “the listing of BOC Holdings on the LSE enables us to fulfil a long-standing commitment to shareholders.” It also constitutes an additional major milestone in the transformation of the Group and its strategy to enhance its financial strength, he noted.

    “We welcome the increased engagement with market participants and meeting the highest standards in corporate governance and transparency,” he added.

    “The Group will act as a flag carrier for Cyprus on international markets raising the country’s profile as a destination for foreign investment. We are grateful to our shareholders for their overwhelming support for the London listing and look forward to their continued support, as well as to welcoming new shareholders to BOC Holdings,” he concluded

    CNA/TKE/MM/2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Cyprus delegation in Mont Pelerin meets with Greek, British deputies

    The delegation of the Republic of Cyprus, at the level of deputies, met bilaterally on Wednesday with the British and Greek delegations in Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, prior to a working group meeting set to address the issue of security and guarantees, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said here today.

    According to Christodoulides, the aim of the meeting, which the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot delegations are also attending, is to draft a working document that will allow for the continuation of the Conference on Cyprus on a political level, with positive prospects for a conclusion.

    The UN hosted a Conference on Cyprus last week, as part of continuing efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The meeting decided to establish a working group on the level of deputies, to start work on January 18 and then the conference will continue on a political level.

    Speaking in Nicosia after a cabinet meeting, on Wednesday, Christodoulides said contacts at Mont Pelerin were expected to conclude this Friday, January 20.

    “We are in absolute coordination with the Greek government, both on procedural matters and even more so on issues of substance,” the Spokesman said. He added that the discussion will try to provide answers on very concrete questions in relation to the chapter of security and guarantees in general. Moreover, he said he hoped that the conference will continue at a political level thereafter, with positive prospects.

    Invited to comment on statements from the Turkish side, Christodoulides responded that “we are at the negotiating table” and while statements made publicly may help or harm efforts with the ongoing dialogue, they do not determine the outcome.

    “The fact that we are now sitting at the same table, facing the Turkish delegation, to talk about the outcome of this discussion is what will largely determine the way the process may go further,” the Government Spokesman underlined.

    The discussion on the level of deputies is significant, but “important decisions will have to be taken on a political level” he went on. According to Christodoulides, the working group will not be taking any decisions concerning the future process or the substance of the discussion.

    Asked about a possible date of the next political meeting, he said there was no date as of yet and added that “we expect to see the results” and decide accordingly.

    The discussion of other chapters, pertaining to the internal aspects of the Cyprus issue, will be continued on the island after the conclusion of discussions in Geneva, Christodoulides also said.

    The Government Spokesman had earlier on Wednesday a meeting with the US Ambassador in Cyprus and said that they discussed both Geneva as well as the incoming US administration.

    He also said that the President is expected to hold a telephone conversation with US Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon, as well as with other European officials by the end of this week.

    During the next two weeks, he went on, the President of Cyprus will address PACE plenary in Strasbourg, where he will inform members of the Assembly and of the Council of Europe about Cyprus talks, and later on he will attend a summit of Mediterranean EU countries, in Portugal.

    On Thursday, President Anastasiades will meet with his Greek counterpart, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who is paying a visit in Cyprus at the invitation of Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    CNA/EC/AGK/GV/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Cyprus President Anastasiades underlines positions of principles remain intact

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said positions of principle and decisions that concern the procedure of the talks on Cyprus are two separate issues.

    In a speech on Tuesday in Nicosia during the IMH-IN Business Awards, President Anastasiades said he wants to assure everyone that no one should be worried as regards the positions of principles in the negotiations.

    He appealed to all during these critical hours to be united to achieve the common goal which is to rid the country of the occupation and reunite it, creating conditions of peaceful coexistence with Turkish Cypriots.

    For the first time, he said, since 1964, during the talks we are discussing the abolition of guarantees and the withdrawal of the occupation army.

    “I would like to make it clear. That decisions that concern the procedure are one thing and positions of principle that need to be maintained in the negotiations are another. I want to assure everyone that no one should be worried as regards the positions of principle”, the President said.

    We are making efforts to show the determination of the Greek Cypriot side to achieve, at last, a solution that will correspond to the expectations not only of the Greek Cypriots but to all of the people”.

    He said that he will be in Portugal to attend a meeting with the seven leaders of Mediterranean countries and in Strasbourg to address the Council of Europe. He will also attend the European Council in Malta.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    Participants in the Conference on Cyprus held on January 12, in Geneva, decided to establish a working group at the level of deputies, with the task to identify specific questions and the instruments needed to address them, a statement issued from the Conference on Cyprus said.

    According to the statement issued, the group will commence its work on 18 January and the Conference will continue at political level immediately thereafter to review the outcome of the working group’s discussions. In parallel, the negotiations on outstanding issues in the other chapters will continue between the two sides in Cyprus.

    CNA/RP/EC/GV/2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Education Minister presents Higher Education in Cyprus to Jordanian delegation

    Education Minister Costas Kadis has introduced Higher Education in Cyprus to a seven-member delegation of the Ministry and Accreditation Commission of Higher Education of Jordan, which is currently paying a visit to Cyprus.

    According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Education, the Minister presented to the delegation and the Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to Cyprus Mohamad Shahari El-Bakhit El-Fayez the initiatives taken by Cyprus to become a regional center for higher education.

    He also stressed the need for all Cypriot universities to be recognized by the official Jordanian authorities and promote the Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications between the two countries, noting that such a development would have mutual benefits.

    Introducing Higher Education in Cyprus, Kadis underlined the particular importance the Government attaches to providing high quality education which is secured by the internal and external evaluation procedures applied by the universities and the Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education.

    In the same context, Kadis said all recognized universities in Cyprus, both public and private ones, operate in accordance with the laws and regulations of the Republic, securing primarily the quality in education and excellence in teaching.

    The traditionally good relations between the two countries in the field of education and culture and especially the efforts made to further develop and strengthen relations in the field of Higher Education were mentioned during the meeting.

    The Jordanian Ambassador on his part assured that Jordan attaches great importance on strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the field of Higher Education. Both the Minister of Education and Culture, and the Jordanian Ambassador said they are committed to supporting the efforts to promote a series of actions in the Higher Education sector.

    During its four-day visit to Cyprus, the Jordanian delegation will visit universities in Nicosia, Larnaca and Paphos. Today`s meeting was also attended by members of the Council of Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education, the President of the Council of KYSATS and officers of the Ministry of Education and Culture.

    CNA/GMI/MM/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Greek Cypriot side’s delegation leaves for Mont Pelerin

    The delegation of the Greek Cypriot side that will be part of the working group at the level of deputies which will begin holding meetings as of January 18, in Mont Pelerin, with the task to identify specific questions with regard to the issue of security and guarantees, and the instruments needed to address them leaves on Tuesday for Switzerland.

    CNA has learned that the delegation comprises negotiator of the Greek Cypriot side Andreas Mavroyiannis, member of the negotiating team Toumazos Tselepis, Lt. Colonel, and Military Representative of Cyprus to the EU Military Committee Neophytos Pachoulides, academic Aris Constantinides, diplomat Pantelis Pantelides and two diplomats who work at the negotiator`s office.

    According to CNA information, members of the delegation attended on Tuesday morning a meeting under Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

    Participants in the Conference on Cyprus held on January 12, in Geneva, decided to establish a working group at the level of deputies, with the task to identify specific questions and the instruments needed to address them, a statement issued from the Conference on Cyprus said.

    According to the statement issued, the group will commence its work on 18 January and the Conference will continue at political level immediately thereafter to review the outcome of the working group’s discussions. In parallel, the negotiations on outstanding issues in the other chapters will continue between the two sides in Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    CNA/MK/GCH 2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Cyprus to host Annual General Meeting of EBRD Board of Governors

    Cyprus will host the 26th Annual General Meeting of the Board of Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Business Forum titled “Targeting Green and Inclusive Growth: Meeting Regional and Global Challenges”, from the 9th – 11th May 2017.

    According to a press release, the Ministry of Finance considers the success of the whole event of high importance, since this will be the first time that Cyprus will be hosting the annual General Meeting of an international financial institution.

    It is expected that around 2,000 people will participate in the event, including Ministers of Finance, Governors of Central Banks and other High-level Officials, entrepreneurs and foreign investors, as well as representatives from Civil Society organisations. The whole event is expected to attract the interest of a high number of local and international media.

    The EBRD is an international multilateral financial institution, owned by 65 shareholder countries, the European Investment Bank and the European Union. The Bank has been operating in Cyprus on a temporary basis since May 2014 with the purpose of financing sustainable development projects, and to date it has invested around €200mln.

    The Business Forum will also take place in the context of the Annual General Meeting, which includes the organisation of a special event for the promotion of Cyprus as an investment hub. The whole event presents a great opportunity for promoting Cyprus as a business and tourist centre, as well as enhancing Cyprus’ important regional role in addressing problems/challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean Region.

    In view of the above, Minister of Finance, Harris Georgiades and General Secretary of EBRD, Enzo Quattrociocche, will sign a Memorandum of Cooperation, on Tuesday, 24th January at the Ministry of Finance.

    The Memorandum of Cooperation includes the obligations of both sides on a number of technical issues for the smooth and successful preparation of the whole event.

    CNA/AAR/2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • President: Conference on Cyprus creates conditions for change of securities and guarantees (1)

    The outcome of the Conference on Cyprus which focused on security and guarantees, which started on Thursday in Geneva, creates the preconditions for a radical change of the security conditions that were in place in 1960, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades, has stressed.

    In statements at a press conference in Geneva, President Anastasiades said that the fact that the UN press release, issued after the Conference on Cyprus, clearly describes the intention of the participants (at the Conference) to reach a mutually acceptable solution – as regards the aspect of security and guarantees – that will meet the expectations of both Cypriot communities, but particularly the fact that it is ackowledged that the security of one community cannot constitute a threat for the other community, “create the prospects and the terms of reference for the team of experts to work out new ways that would be acceptable and for radical change of what was in force based on the 1960 guarantees`.

    President Anastasiades further said that for the first time a multi-party Conference on Cyprus was convened, in the presence of the EU, on the highest possible level, during which Turkey was for the first time engaged in a dialogue with the Republic of Cyprus, to discuss the abolition of the guarantees and the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from Cyprus.

    He added that the decision to continue the Conference on Cyprus shows that the issue of security and guarantees and the implementation of the solution, constitute the beginning of a substantive dialogue for the achievement of a solution, so that its outcome meets the expectations of the Cypriot people.

    Furthermore, he stressed that the only comprehensive proposal which is before the Conference is the proposal submitted by the Greek Cypriot side which served as food for thought for all participants.

    President Anastasiades noted that for the first time since 1974 the Turkish Cypriot side submitted a map on the territorial adjustments through which there is a significant percentage of Turkish occupied land returned under Greek Cypriot administration.

    He stressed that although the map submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side does not meet the Greek Cypriot side`s expectations, nevertheless, bearing in mind the Greek Cypriot side`s proposal on territorial adjustments, it constitutes the basis for negotiation.

    President Anastasiades defended his decision on the 1st of December 2016 for the Geneva talks to resume in January (9-11 of January on internal aspects of the Cyprus issue and 12 of January for the Conference on Cyprus to take place).

    He said that his decision aimed at two goals, firstly to avoid a protracted stalemate and to finally determine the intentions of Turkish Cypriot side and especially Ankara`s intentions, regarding the chapters on territory and security and guarantees.

    The outcome of the Geneva Conference reaffirmed that his decision on the 1st of December was the right one, he said, adding that through the dialogue in Geneva there has been further progress on the first four chapters of the Cyprus talks. But he pointed out that this progress does not entirely meet the expectations of the Greek Cypriot side.

    The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.

    President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    CNA/GS/AAR/RP/MM/2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • UK Foreign Secretary welcomes “real progress” in Geneva

    The head of the UK delegation to the Geneva conference on Cyprus, which began on Thursday, has hailed the “real progress” achieved in the talks, saying that continued commitment and political will could lead to an agreement.

    Johnson also said that an agreement remains “within reach”.

    “I welcome the real progress made towards finding a solution to the Cyprus settlement over the past few days, in particular on the future security of a united Cyprus,” he said.

    Expert talks, he noted, will start on 18 January ahead of further political level talks later this month.

    “With continued commitment and political will, I believe an historical agreement is within reach,” said Mr Johnson.

    The UN hosted on Thursday a conference on Cyprus in Geneva, which focused on security and guarantees issues. Attending the meeting were Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, and the foreign ministers of Cyprus` guarantor powers, Greece, Turkey and the UK. The EU and members of the UN Security Council were also in Geneva for the conference.

    At the end of their deliberations, it was announced that the Conference on Cyprus will continue on January 18 at the level of technocrats who will discuss in a more concrete and thorough way the issue of security and guarantees, existing concerns and approaches in order to prepare a report.

    When the report is ready, the Conference will reconvene at the political level with the same participants as it started on January 12.

    The President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades decided to be represented at the Conference of technocrats by Andreas Mavroyiannis, who is the Greek Cypriot negotiator at the UN-led talks on the Cyprus problem.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-led talks since May 2015 with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    CNA/TG/MM/2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • “Heroic determination” required for Cyprus’ reunification, says Schulz

    “Heroic determination” is required for the reunification of Cyprus, the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz says.

    As the Conference on Cyprus starts in Geneva, Schulz wrote in a message, posted on his twitter account, “Cyprus` guarantors meet today in Geneva. A first. A telling moment in reunification efforts. A moment which calls for heroic determination”.

    The UN are hosting a conference on Cyprus to address the issue of security and guarantees, with the participation of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the three guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK).

    CNA/AGK//2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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