• 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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Juncker to participate in the Geneva Conference on Cyprus

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will fly to Geneva, Switzerland, on the 12th of January in order to participate in the Geneva Conference on Cyprus, European Commission Chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas had officially announced.

    Schinas thanked the EU Maltese Presidency for their willingness to adjust their inauguration programme in order to accommodate Juncker’s participation in Geneva.

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci decided on December 1st, 2016, to meet in Geneva on January 9-11 in the context of the UN-sponsored talks to discuss all outstanding issues for a Cyprus settlement and present their territorial adjustment maps. On January 12 a conference on Cyprus will be convened in the presence of the guarantor powers (Greece, Turkey and the UK) and other relevant parties as needed to discuss the issue of guarantees and security.

    CNA/THA/MK/2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Οbama discusses Cyprus issue with Turkish President

    US outgoing President Barack Obama and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan have held a telephone conversation during which they discussed Cyprus and expressed hope that upcoming diplomatic engagements will result in an agreement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation, a readout from the White House says, regarding the phone conversation the two men held on Tuesday.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. President of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with a view to reunify the island under a federal roof.

    Anastasiades and Akinci have decided that the UN-sponsored talks will continue in Geneva, Switzerland. Between January 9-11 the two sides will discuss the remaining issues of the Cyprus problem and present maps concerning territorial adjustments, while on January 12 a conference on Cyprus will be convened with the participation of the guarantor powers as well as other relevant parties as needed.

    According to the White House statement, Obama and Ergodan ‘discussed Cyprus and expressed hope that upcoming diplomatic engagements will result in an agreement to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation’.

    The statement says that President Obama spoke by phone with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to express his condolences for the many killed and wounded in the horrific terrorist attack against a nightclub in Istanbul on December 31, for which ISIL has claimed responsibility, as well as the December 17 attack against off-duty Turkish security personnel in Kayseri, for which TAK, a wing of the PKK, has claimed responsibility.

    “The two leaders agreed that Turkey and the United States must continue to stand united in order to defeat terrorism. President Obama welcomed Turkey’s ongoing efforts to work with regional actors to facilitate a nationwide ceasefire in Syria and a return to political negotiations between the Syrian regime and the opposition“, the statement reads.

    It also points out that President Obama and President Erdogan noted recent progress in the Coalition’s campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, and agreed on the need to continue and deepen coordination between the United States and Turkey.

    CNA/AZ/KCH/AAR/2017
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • UK has not yet decided on representation at the UN-led Cyprus peace talks in Geneva

    A senior British government official has said that the UK has a special role to play in the forthcoming talks in Geneva regarding the security and guarantees in Cyprus, but added that a decision on the level of representation has not yet been taken.

    “I don’t think that decisions about attendance at Geneva have yet been made; but we will approach that in the context of how we can best support the process there and the opportunity that stands before us to finally settle this issue,” the official has told the Cyprus News Agency in London.

    As she added, the UK is a firm supporter of finding a settlement in Cyprus, as one of the three guarantor powers (the other two are Greece and Turkey). “We have sought to do what we can to support that UN-led process and we will continue to do so.”

    Asked about London’s position with regard to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades’ call for all five permanent members of the UN Security Council to participate in next month’s multi-party conference, the official underlined that the UK “has a particular role to play as one of the guarantors.”

    Adding that it is a UN-led process and that the Prime Minister discussed it with the UN Secretary-General in New York in September, the British government official noted: “We will then want to look at what they think will best lead to a successful resolution and how we can support that.”

    On December 1st, President Anastasiades, and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı met in Nicosia and assessed the state of play of the UN-led negotiations and exchanged views on the way forward.

    In line with their joint resolve to reach a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible, they decided that they will meet in Geneva on the 9th of January 2017.

    `On the 11th of January, they will present their respective maps. From the 12th of January, a Conference on Cyprus will be convened with the added participation of the guarantor powers. Other relevant parties shall be invited as needed” a UN statement on the meeting said.

    The latest round of UN-led peace talks began in May last year with a view to finding a negotiated settlement that would reunited Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
    CNA/TG/MM/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Defence Minister of Slovakia notes importance of territorial integrity of Cyprus

    Slovak Minister of Defence Peter Gajdos expressed his country`s support to a Cyprus solution based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation, stressing the importance of Cyprus` territorial integrity.

    Gajdos, who is currently paying Cyprus a visit in the framework of the two – day official visit of Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Danko, held a meeting on Monday with Minister of Defence Christoforos Fokaides.

    In statements after the meeting, the Slovak official said that the position of the Slovak Republic on the settlement of the Cyprus issue is unchanged, noting that “what matters is the territorial integrity of the island on the basis of the bicommunal and bizonal federation”. Slovakia, he said, firmly supports the peace process in Cyprus.

    He said that they also discussed about Slovakia`s participation in the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) and recalled that Bratislava had accepted a request from the UN and increased its participation in UNFICYP from 159 to 168 soldiers.

    In his statements, the Cypriot Minister thanked his counterpart for the ongoing support on the Cyprus issue, stressing that Slovakia is a country that has played a constructive diplomatic role in Cyprus for many years particularly in facilitating the bicommunal dialogue among the leaders of the political parties from both Cypriot communities.

    He also expressed the gratitude of the government of Cyprus for the valuable contribution of the Slovak contingent in the UNFICYP mission.

    “We hope and indeed we work tirelessly so that this contribution will not be needed for long”, Minister Fokaides underlined.

    Their meeting, he said, took place at a time of great security challenges for Europe and ongoing instability in the region, the humanitarian crisis and asymmetric threats, noting that cooperation between countries, especially those that share common values and interests, such as Cyprus and Slovakia, are of paramount importance.

    He underlined the role of Cyprus as a pillar of security and stability in the troubled region and outlined Nicosia`s vision for transforming the Eastern Mediterranean from a zone of conflict into an area of prosperity and development `taking advantage of the enormous energy potential for the region and the value of regional cooperation`.

    Concluding, he congratulated Slovakia for the leadership it has shown during the time of its EU Presidency at a particularly difficult period for Europe.

    Meanwhile, the Slovak Minister said that among the issues they discussed were terrorism, extremism, immigration and military cooperation. He added that he proposed to Minister Fokaides the use of their facilities for training in Slovakia and accepted his proposal for participation on the exercise Argonaftis in Cyprus.

    He also said that the Slovak delegation will visit the members of the Slovak UNFICYP contingent ahead of the Christmas holidays.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. President of Cyprus 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/AAR/GV/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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