• Armenia’s National Assembly President to visit Cyprus

    President of the Armenian National Assembly Galust Sahakyan will pay an official visit to Cyprus at the invitation of the Cypriot President of the House Yiannakis Omirou.

    Sahakyan`s visit to Cyprus, on Wednesday the 1st of April, coincides with events organised by the House of Representatives and the religious group of Armenians living in Cyprus, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

    Sahakyan and the Armenian delegation will be received by President Nicos Anastasiades and Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II, and will hold separate meetings with the President of the House, Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, the Chairman and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign and European Affairs and Armenian Archbishop in Cyprus Nareg Alemezian, along with representatives of organizations and associations of the Armenian community, an official press release said here on Monday.

    After the last meeting, the President of the Armenian National Assembly will lay a wreath at the tomb of the Armenian Genocide.

    He will also address the plenary of the House and inaugurate a photo exhibition on the Armenian Genocide, together with Omirou and the Representative of the Armenian Religious Group in the House, Vartkes Mahdessian.

    The three of them will also address an official event organised by the Cyprus Posts to present a commemorative postage stamp issued by Cyprus and Armenia, on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.

    Sahakyan and the Armenian delegation will visit places of historical and cultural interest in Nicosia and Larnaca and will attend a dinner hosted by the President of the House in his honour.

    His entourage comprises his spouse Zhanna Aghababyan, Eduard Sharmazanov, Vice President of Armenia`s National Assembly and co-chairman of the Armenia – Cyprus Friendship Group, Gagik Ghalatchian, the country`s ambassador to Cyprus, stationed in Athens, MPs Vahram Baghdasaryan, Armen Mkhitaryan, Mikayel Manukyan and Lyudmila Sargsyan and other Armenian officials.

    CNA/EL/KD/AAR/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Greek President says withdrawal of Turkish troops from Cyprus an EU duty as well

    The immediate withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus, the return of the refugees to their land and the termination of the influx of illegal settlers are European Union obligations as well, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos stressed here on Tuesday.

    Pavlopoulos visited the camp of the permanent Greek military force stationed in Cyprus, known as ELDYK, near Nicosia, accompanied by Defense Minister Christoforos Fokaides.

    ELDYK together with the Cyprus National Guard defends the country`s territory against the occupying forces and its national goal and purpose is to remain here until the occupying forces withdraw and until there is no occupied areas and refugees, Pavlopoulos said.

    The struggle of ELDYK and of the Cypriot military forces is common, he said, adding that it is a struggle of Hellenism for freedom and the implementation of international and European law.

    Cyprus` territory is the territory of a member state of the EU, the Greek President said, noting that Turkish military forces in Cyprus violate international and European law.

    He said that the European partners must understand that the immediate withdrawal of the occupying troops and the return of refugees to their land, as well as the end of illegal settlement of the occupied areas “is not only our duty but also of the European Union, which has to defend these principles and values”.

    “As we observe our obligations, they should also meet theirs,” he noted.

    Cypriot Defence Minister Christoforos Fokaides said the Greek President`s visit was not only a symbolic one, but a strong expression of Greece`s unwavering willingness to be the main guarantor of Cyprus` security and sovereignty, strengthening the two countries` common defense planning and the interests of Greece, not only of Cyprus, but also the interests of the EU.

    CNA/KD/MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • UAE committed to a Cyprus solution based on UNSC resolutions

    The United Arab Emirates is committed to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and the principles of international law that advocate full sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over its territory.

    This was stressed by the new Ambassador of the UAE to Cyprus, Abdulwahab Nasser Al-Najjar, who gave today his credentials to President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades, at a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace.

    “I would like to highlight the UAE position with regard to the Cyprus question. The UAE is committed to the relevant UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and the principles of international law that advocate full sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus over its territory`, he said.

    The new Ambassador commended the achievements that the people of Cyprus have achieved in all fields during President Anastasiades`leadership as well as the high level that the friendly relations between the two countries have reached.

    Replying, President Anastasiades referring to the Cyprus issue, said that the `current situation is a cause of grave concern for the Cypriot Government` and added that the resumption of results-oriented negotiations, aiming at a comprehensive, viable and fair settlement of the Cyprus problem remains the first priority.

    The settlement, he said, must safeguard, through the parameters agreed, the respect of human rights and the European principles and values and safeguard peaceful co-existence and prosperity for all Cypriots and make a positive impact on regional stability and co-operation.

    `Negotiations should resume quickly, on the basis of the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014, without any faits accomplis. For this to be feasible, however, an environment conducive to negotiations must prevail where no one is expected to negotiate under duress and threat`, he stressed.

    He added that in recent years Cyprus has expanded its relations with the Arab countries, noting that `it is no exaggeration to characterize the United Arab Emirates as Cyprus’ best friend in the Gulf`.

    He said that despite the economic crisis, Cyprus remains a destination with great potential for investments.

    `The efforts of Cyprus to explore and exploit the hydrocarbons that lie in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus, have opened new opportunities and reinforce the strategic role Cyprus seeks to play in the greater region of Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East as a center of economic and political stability at a time when Middle East is in a state of flux` he pointed out.

    President Anastasiades said that Cyprus, as the nearest EU member state to the Gulf, takes an active interest in the developments of the region and is willing to cooperate with the United Arab Emirates in all areas of common interest.

    `I assure you that we will continue being a close friend and advocate of your country within the EU`, he went on to say.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks were suspended in October last year as Turkish vessel Barbaros violated Cyprus` exclusive economic zone and Ankara issued a NAVTEX, which reserved part of Cyprus` EEZ.
    CNA/AAR/MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • President Iohannis’s 100-day activity report: Parliament response to Judiciary, greatest discontentment

    In his report on his first 100 days in office on Tuesday, President Klaus Iohannis said his greatest discontentment was the response of the Parliament to the requests of the Judiciary and the still lengthy procedures for lifting MPs’ immunity [for criminal investigations].

    ‘My greatest discontent is still the way the Parliament keeps responding to Judiciary’s requests,’ the President said in a media address at the Cotroceni Palace.

    He called for the politicians tainted by corruption suspicions to resign.

    ‘As regards the politicians suspected of corruption and their avoidance of Justice, there is a test; if one fails it, no one can help. It’s the personal integrity. In politics, if you make a big mistake, you should resign,’ Iohannis asserted. More…

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    Bulgarian Cabinet Ministers Meet with Guests from Serbian National Assembly

    Sofia, March 31 (BTA) – Deputy prime ministers Meglena Kuneva and Tomislav Donchev had a working meeting with representatives of the Serbian National Assembly’s European Integration Committee on Tuesday, the Cabinet’s press service said.  A delegation of the Committee headed by its Chairman Aleksandar Senic is on an official visit to Bulgaria on Monday and Tuesday. More…

  • Cuban Ambassador: Cyprus’ sovereignty in its EEZ must be respected

    Ambassador of Cuba in Nicosia Aramis Fuente Hernández stressed today that Cyprus` sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone must be respected by everybody.

    The Cuban diplomat, who was received today by President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou, referred to his country`s principled positions on the Cyprus problem and the efforts to reach a solution and underscored that Cyprus` sovereign rights in its EEZ must be respected.

    According to an official press release, Omirou referred to the traditionally friendly ties between Cyprus and Cuba and briefed the Cuban diplomat on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem. He referred to the Turkish threats and violations of Cyprus` EEZ which resulted in the suspension of the Greek Cypriot side`s participation in the Cyprus talks.

    Omirou said that the withdrawal of Turkish seismic vessel `Barbaros` from Cyprus` EEZ does not prove the willingness of the Turkish side to do its utmost so that a solution in Cyprus is reached.

    Turkey, he said, must recognize the Republic of Cyprus and support in deeds the efforts for a solution on the island, based on the relevant UNSC resolutions and the principles and values of the EU.

    The Cuban diplomat said that the two countries have historic links and face common challenges and expressed his country`s wish to further enhance those ties through bilateral exchanges and cooperation in international fora.

    The Cuban Ambassador informed the House President about the political situation in Cuba and the developments in the wider region.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks were suspended in October last year as Turkish vessel Barbaros violated Cyprus` exclusive economic zone and Ankara issued a NAVTEX, which reserved part of Cyprus` EEZ.

    CNA/AAR/MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • President calls on Turkey to demonstrate political will for a solution

    President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has called on the Turkish Cypriot leadership and in particular Turkey to demonstrate genuine political will and negotiate in good faith, so as to contribute constructively to the efforts to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible.

    President Anastasiades, who received today the credentials of new High Commissioner of Malaysia to Cyprus, stationed in Beirut, Bala Chandran Tharman, said the resumption of results-oriented negotiations, aiming at a comprehensive, viable and fair settlement of the Cyprus issue, remains his first priority.

    He added that `what we need now is the implementation of measures that will restore confidence, and not measures that increase mistrust among the legal citizens of the island, through actions that violate international law`.

    In this respect, he went on to say, `I call the Turkish Cypriot leadership and in particular Turkey to demonstrate genuine political will and negotiate in good faith, so as to contribute constructively to the efforts to reach a settlement as soon as possible, not only in theory and rhetoric, but through practical and substantial actions`.

    Replying, the Malaysian diplomat said his country is supportive of all efforts to find a comprehensive settlement to the question of Cyprus, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions adding `we encourage the parties directly involved to resume the negotiations as soon as possible for the lasting peace and prosperity of the people of the Republic of Cyprus`.

    President Anastasiades also referred to the economic situation on the island, saying that two years after the Eurogroup decision on Cyprus and `as a result of the hard work of the government and the efforts of the ordinary citizens, I can state with certainty that we have turned the page; the Cypriot economy is now on the road to recovery`.

    `Cyprus has made great progress in its reform program during these two years. The credit institutions have been restructured and recapitalized, foreign capital has been invested both in the Bank of Cyprus and the Hellenic Bank and public finances have been consolidated and important structural reforms, including a privatizations’ roadmap, have been initiated. These achievements helped Cyprus re-access international capital markets during 2014` he stressed.

    He pointed out that the government is aware of the challenges ahead since unemployment is high and the private and public sectors are heavily indebted, while the banking sector remains vulnerable given the high percentage of non-performing loans and tight funding conditions.

    `Among other initiatives, the government campaign to attract foreign investments and the reform of the foreclosure regime and the insolvency framework are intended to address these challenges` he pointed out, adding that `our emphasis is now turned towards the necessary structural reforms`.

    President Anastasiades said that the commitment of his Government to implementing the Memorandum of Understanding agreed with the Troika is unequivocal.

    `The way forward is not easy, but I have absolute confidence that the spirit of unity and the drive to succeed already demonstrated by the people of Cyprus, will prevail` he added.

    Referring to bilateral relations, he said Cyprus is committed to further strengthening the friendly bilateral cooperation in all possible fields and said that on the international level, Cyprus and Malaysia enjoy valuable cooperation within the framework of ASEM, the Commonwealth and the UN.

    On his part, the Malaysian diplomat said that both countries share similar values and take common approaches on many regional and international issues. `Despite our current strength, I believe that there is room for further expansion of this relationship through increased engagement in the various fields`, he said.

    `I am happy to note that over the last decade, trade though small, has been growing at a rate of 10% per annum. And, in the last three years alone, total trade had increased dramatically at a rate of 63%. Nevertheless, I believe that there is ample room to further expand trade, especially in investment and tourism` he added.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks were suspended in October last year as Turkish vessel Barbaros violated Cyprus` exclusive economic zone and Ankara issued a NAVTEX, which reserved part of Cyprus` EEZ.

    CNA/AAR/MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Coops record €41.2 net profit in 2014

    The Cyprus Cooperative Sector recorded net profit amounting €41.2 for 2014, despite increased provisions amounting to 2,97 billion the Coop sector assumed due to the continued financial crisis.

    Profit from interest rates reached 378.4 million compared to €411.7 in 2013, whereas total net profits accelerated to €392.3 million compared with €377.8 million in 2013. Operating profit reached €192 million marking an increase of 10.15% compared with €174.3 in 2013.

    On December 31 2014, the Coops balance sheet stood at €13.94 billion including total own capital of €1.25 billion, while the Core Tier 1 Capital reached 13.5%.

    The Coope sector`s total loans, after provisions, reached €10.1 billion marginally reduced compared with €10.8 billion in 2013, portraying the Cypriot businesses and households` delevaraging efforts amid a prolonged financial crisis.

    Loans 90 days past due (90 DPD) reached €6.7 billion representing 51.1% of the total loan porfoilio whereas non performing loans ration at 31 December 2014 stood at 55.8%. Investments held until maturity reached €2.4 billion, of which €1.5 billion represent an ESM bond and the remaining €0.9 billion concern Cypriot Development Stock.

    The Coop sector deposits reached €12.4 billion marking a decrease of 8.14% compared with €13,5 billion in 2013. The reduction reflects the adverse economic conditions facing Cyprus and the reducing income of the Cypriot business and households, the Coop said, adding however that the Coop sector registered net flows amounting to €0.5 billion following the announcement of the EU-wide stress test carried out by the ECB.

    The Coop sector has been nationalised as the Cypriot government covered its projected €1.5 bilion capital shortfall. The funds came from the €10 billion financial assistance package from the EU/IMF, while the Coop sector shrank from 193 distinct cooperative credit institutions branches to 18 under the Cooperative Central Bank, one of the state aid conditions.

    CNA/GS/ΜΜ/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Uganda supports just and viable solution in Cyprus, says new High Commissioner

    Uganda fully supports the efforts of the Cypriot Government to reach a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, new Ugandan High Commissioner to Cyprus, stationed in Rome, Dinah Grace Akello has said.

    Akello presented on Tuesday, at a formal ceremony at the Presidential Palace, her credentials to President Nicos Anastasiades, saying that during her tenure she will promote warm and friendly relations between the two countries.

    “Uganda firmly associates herself with the Commonwealth and United Nations Resolutions with regard to the need for respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus over the entire Island of Cyprus. We fully support your efforts aimed at reaching a just and viable settlement to the Cyprus problem, that will re-unify your island and will safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots” she said.

    She noted that Uganda has an open-door policy towards foreign investment in the sectors of renewable energy, infrastructure, agriculture and mineral development, expressing hope that during her tenure she “will witness growing business engagement in these sectors by the Cypriot business community”.

    President Anastasiades expressed the Government’s appreciation for the record of reciprocal support between Cyprus and Uganda in international organizations, adding that Cyprus looks forward to strengthening bilateral relations. Cyprus as an EU member state and pursuant to the outcome of the 4th EU-Africa Summit that took place last April in Brussels, is committed to the enhancement of political dialogue and cooperation with African countries through the implementation of the Joint Africa-EU Strategy, he said.

    The President said that the resumption of results-oriented negotiations, aiming at a comprehensive, viable and fair settlement of the Cyprus issue, remains the Government`s first priority and reiterated his sincere willingness and determination to work tirelessly to achieve a settlement reuniting Cyprus.

    “A settlement would have a positive impact on the entire region, while first and foremost benefiting Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, respecting democratic principles, human rights and fundamental freedoms and ensuring their common future in a united Cyprus within the European Union” he stressed.

    He also pointed out that “what we need now is the implementation of measures that will restore confidence, and not measures that increase mistrust among the legal citizens of the island, through actions that violate international law” and called on “the Turkish Cypriot leadership and in particular Turkey to demonstrate genuine political will and negotiate in good faith, so as to contribute constructively to the efforts to reach a settlement as soon as possible, not only in theory and rhetoric, but through practical and substantial actions”.

    The new negotiating process on the Cyprus question, launched with the adoption of the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014 was suspended after Turkey’s illegal and provocative actions in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone since October 2014, which subverted the very basic principle of negotiations, that is, the engagement of all sides on an equal footing, free from threats and blackmail and left the Government of Cyprus with no option but to suspend the talks, Anastasiades said.

    He said the economy is now on the road to recovery, noting that Cyprus has made great progress on its reform program during these two years, but added that “we are aware of the challenges ahead” and that the Government`s emphasis is now turned towards the necessary structural reforms.

    “The commitment of my Government to implementing the Memorandum of Understanding agreed with the Troika is unequivocal” he noted.

    CNA/KD/MM/2015
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • SACEUR Breedlove: NATO to announce soon a decision on prepositioning heavy weapons in Romania

    The Supreme Allied Commander Europe, US four-star General Philip Breedlove announced a decision in the near future on prepositioning NATO heavy weapons in Romania; he voiced his confidence in Romania’s prompt response and agreement with this decision. More…

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