• 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)

  • 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

  • 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

  • Negotiators to discuss agenda of Tuesday’s meeting between Anastasides-Akinci

    The negotiators of the two communities of Cyprus will meet today to prepare the ground for the leaders` meeting on Tuesday in the framework of the ongoing Cyprus talks aiming at reaching a solution that would reunify the island under a federal political system.

    CNA has learnt that Greek Cypriot negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis and Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami will hold a meeting today to discuss and decide on the agenda of the meeting that will take place on Tuesday between President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    The leaders` meeting will be the first after the dinner they attended on December 1st during which it was decided that the UN-backed peace talks for the reunification of the island will be resumed immediately after the Mont Pelerin collapse and that a multilateral conference will take place on January 12th in Geneva.

    Meawhile, last week, President Anastasiades said that the critical juncture we are in the negotiation process for a solution of the Cyprus problem, requires bold political decisions.

    “As you all know, we are at a critical juncture in the negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem, which requires bold political decisions. A solution, which, as we have so many times repeated, needs to take into account the legitimate sensitivities and concerns of both communities of Cyprus, leaving neither winners nor losers,” he said.

    The President reiterated that he remains committed and determined to reach a comprehensive and viable settlement to the Cyprus problem.

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

    The two leaders decided that they will meet in Geneva on the 9th of January 2017, on the 11th of January they will present their respective maps and that from the 12th of January, a Conference on Cyprus will be convened with the added participation of the guarantor powers, while other relevant parties shall be invited as needed.

    CNA/AAR/GV/2016

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • CNA and Cyprus Institute sign MoC to promote research and innovation

    The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) and the Cyprus Institute (CyI) signed on Wednesday a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) which aims to promote research, innovation and technology.

    The MoC was signed by the Chairman of the CNA Board Larcos Larcou and President of CyI Professor Costas Papanicolas, in the presence of CNA Acting Director/Editor in Chief George Penintaex and members of the Institute.

    In statements after the signing ceremony, Larcou said that through this cooperation, CNA will contribute to the promotion of the innovative work being done in the Institute so that its role becomes increasingly known in the Cypriot public but also beyond, since CNA has a network of activities in the EU, the Balkans and the Middle East.

    “Our cooperation relates to an important field. It aims to highlight issues in the area of technology, innovation, innovative thinking, in a country which needs to do more in these areas. The Institute is a pioneer in this area and CNA wants to promote this pioneering thinking and creation”, he added.

    Professor Papanicolas praised the important role of CNA in providing accurate information in Cyprus and the wider region and said that the CyI is looking forward to this cooperation.

    “We hope that through this cooperation, we will have an important tool in achieving our common goals to the benefit of Cyprus and the wider region”, he said.

    He pointed out that the cooperation will promote the work being done in the Institute, the Cypriot science and innovation, as well as the regional cooperation.

    The CyI comprises three specialized multidisciplinary research centers, developed in partnership with leading international institutions in their respective thematic areas: Energy, Environment and Water Research Center (EEWRC), partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT),Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC) partnered with the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (C2RMF) and Computation-based Science and Technology Research Center (CaSToRC) partnered with the University of Illinois.

    Multi-level founding partnerships with internationally prominent institutions ensure the development of the Centers in close collaboration with world leaders in their respective fields. Additional collaborations with other research and academic institutions together with local authorities further enhance the development.

    Having launched its first research center in late 2007, with only a few years in operation, the CyI has demonstrated its keen ability to successfully conduct scientific research and to attract scientists of international repute. It is now pursuing a large number of research projects, many of them funded by the European Commission, including an ERC Advanced Grant.

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

  • CNA launches a new website

    Cyprus News Agency on Thursday presented its new Website which will be available in two weeks from today.

    The new website, in three languages, Greek, English and Turkish was presented by Niki Georgiou, the E-Business Consultant of NETInfo Services Ltd, which developed it.

    Party representatives, the Commissioner for Volunteerism, a representative from the Greek Embassy, the Press Attache of the Office of the EP in Cyprus, journalists, associates and representatives from advertising agencies were present at a small event that took place at CNA`s offices.

    The new Website has a more attractive layout, a better access to various news categories, better usability and easier navigation for non-subscribers.

    Although CNA`s main mission is to produce news, the fresh Website is aimed at advertising agencies and companies who wish to advertise their products and services.

    Board Chairman Larkos Larkou said that ”we live in a changing environment and therefore we must constantly change if we do not want to stay behind”. He pointed out that the agency must keep its dominant position in the production of news, with accuracy and credibility and with the aim to reach a wider public.

    He referred to the ongoing training of CNA`s staff, the dedication to reliability and accuracy and the continuous efforts for improvement.

    He said that very soon CNA will implement an integrated news management system, that together with the new Website will classify the agency in high positions in news production in Europe.

    Larkou also referred to the use of social media saying that the agency attaches great importance to this end, because the social media are one of the best tools to reach the public.

    CNA, he said, has launched cooperation with Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation and other organisations and serves a role as media sponsor in various events. Larkou also referred to the production of news video with the use of drones.

    Niki Georgiou from NETInfo Services Ltd said that the Website has new features and offers new possibilities to its subscribers and the general public by being more efficient and easy to navigate.

    CNA/KCH/TNE/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Great potential in furthering trade relations between Cyprus and Sweden says the new Ambassador

    New Ambassador of Sweden to Cyprus, Anna Olsson Vrang referred to a great potential in furthering trade relations between the two countries, presenting her credentials to Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

    The Ambassador said she was pleased to see a number of well-established Swedish companies in Cyprus.
    “IKEA is a home to many Swedes abroad, and most recently we saw the opening of H&M in Nicosia. There is great potential in furthering our trade relations. Sweden has a lot to offer in many areas, such as innovation and environmental friendly technologies. Investing in sustainable energy development will help us achieve our climate objectives”, she added.

    She also said that Swedish tourists continue to enjoy the friendly atmosphere, warm climate and beautiful nature of Cyprus and statistics show an amount of well over 100 000 Swedish tourists per year. “We also have about 2000 permanent Swedish residents in Cyprus”.

    “I will do my outmost to contribute to the enhancement of the relations between our two countries and I will work for even closer contacts on various levels of our respective societies”, she said.

    Olsson Vrang also referred to the historic relations between the two countries that start from the 12th century until the recent history, when nearly 28000 Swedes, served in the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus in the period 1964-1993.

    On the political aspect, she said that Sweden was a staunch supporter of Cyprus becoming member of the European Union in 2004 and the two countries have worked on many issues of common interest since then, not least during Cyprus’ EU Presidency in 2012.

    On the Cyprus issue, she expressed the hope that the UN-sponsored negotiations, which are in a critical phase, will lead to a reunited Cyprus in the EU family.

    “Sweden fully supports the ongoing process. A settlement would be significant not only for Cyprus, but for the whole region and the EU. It would also be an important boost to the UN”.

    Sweden, she said, is making substantial contributions through the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process under the auspices of the Embassy of Sweden. “We hope to help build confidence and facilitate dialogue between religious groups and communities”.

    Sweden, she added has also contributed to the 2014 PRIO Cyprus Center’s studies on peace dividends focusing on the economic aspects and gains of a possible reunification.

    Receiving the credentials, the President of the Republic expressed his appreciation for the Swedish contribution to maintaining peace and security in Cyprus, with the participation of the largest and longest-serving force in UNFICYP during the years 1964-1993, contributing a total number of 28.000 military personnel.
    He also recognized Sweden’s important role in the field of archaeological excavations on the island, saying that 2017 marks the 90th anniversary of the beginning of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition.

    Referring to the ongoing negotiating process to reach a comprehensive and viable settlement on the Cyprus problem, he said that since May 2015 progress has been reached on an important number of issues related to the chapters of governance and power-sharing, economy and the EU, while some progress has been reached on the chapter of property. At the same time, he added on those chapters there are still divergences and issues yet to thoroughly negotiate.

    The most significant differences, said the President, lie in the core and fundamental chapters of territory –which is linked with the chapter of property- and security and guarantees, which will weigh significantly as to whether a solution would be feasible.

    “Nonetheless, I remain confident that the above-mentioned challenges can be tackled during the intensified negotiations to take place in the coming months. Our discussions shall focus on minimizing the gap on existing differences and pending issues, as well as achieving progress on all those issues that we have yet to thoroughly discuss”, he said.

    The aim, he added, is to avoid failures of the past and to present to the people a clear and well-prepared settlement agreement, with no constructive or other ambiguities and deficiencies.

    The President also said that, there is no solution that can be reached without Turkey’s input. We do therefore expect Turkey, which is responsible for the illegal stationing of more than 40,000 occupation troops in Cyprus.

    “We count on our European partners –we count on Sweden- to support our committed efforts to reunify Cyprus”.

    On the economic field he said that the government`s ambitious reform agenda, aspires to lay the foundations for long-term sustainable growth, improving the business environment, which will increasingly attract foreign direct investments in the productive sectors of the economy.

    “Our reform agenda is aiming to eventually transform our economic model, to enhance our competitive edge and to attract foreign direct investments, in order to achieve sustained growth and prosperity for all Cypriots”.

    CNA/TNE/GCH 2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Eide: Leaders should not let this opportunity slip by

    UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, believes there is still a lot to be done in Cyprus and the leaders of the island`s two communities should not let this opportunity slip by.

    In the second part of his interview with the Cyprus News Agency, Eide said that the security issue is going to be discussed late in the process and is one of the decisive issues, noting that if the two sides want to overcome their mutual fears, they do not necessarily have to be overcome with security solutions, but perhaps with a credible political set-up.

    He further said that the donor issue is one of the international dimensions of the Cyprus problem and when the leaders reach it, any kind of involvement of guarantors will happen through the UN.

    In addition, he said the sequence of when they discuss what and when the guarantor powers are brought in is still open.

    In his interview Eide talks about the tripartite meeting between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Cyprus President Nicos Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and explains what the role of the Secretary General will be on the “international dimensions of the issue”.

    The Special Advisor highlighted that the UN was present at the meeting at a very high level. The Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Chef de Cabinet Edmond Mulet, Under Secretary Generals – Herve Ladsous and Jan Eliasson`s and Elisabeth Spehar, Special Representative.

    “It was a very high level meeting and the SG pointed out that there was no issue during the UN General Assembly that he has spent so much time on, than this particular meeting. This was a tribute to his own commitment to the process”, said Eide who added that the SG sees a possibility for the process to move on.

    During the discussion at the meeting, Eide said the sides presented a similar perception where things are, where they agree and where they do not.

    “Where did we have to spend some time? We know that we want to go from here to there. From where we are and at the end of the day we want a signature on the deal between them. On that time we have to have involved the international players, because otherwise we don’t know what to sign. The guarantors have to be involved,” he told CNA.

    The Norwegian diplomat said that on these (things) there is agreement. The issues that are still open are “the sequence of when we discuss what, when we bring the guarantor powers, how much we need to do at home before we bring the guarantor powers in, etc. still open. We have spent some time on that.” He noted that the discussion did not conclude, but he believes that “we left more enlightened on what we will deal with on that particular issue.”

    Asked about the role Secretary Ban will have in this phase and if by “international dimensions of the issue”, the statement, issued after Sunday`s meeting, means he will be involved with the guarantors and the donors, Eide said:

    “This is the response on what the leaders said on September 14. He is going to get involved with both. The international dimensions are not many, but particular is the donor issue. And again, when we get there and the leaders agree, we are there, any kind of involvement of guarantors happens through the UN. Because it’s a UN led process, it’s not that Akinci and Anastasiades will have their own meetings with the guarantor powers. It has to be a UN event in any form and the SG is ready to do that at the moment the leaders ask him to.”

    Asked about a multi-party conference, the former Norwegian Foreign Minister said there is no date or specific format for a multi-party conference, but there is an understanding on what will have to happen before it is over.

    “It’s a sequencing issue and – I want to be honest – it’s not a small issue, because these things matter. It’s not an issue of substance on where you want to go, but it’s an orchestration challenge. Reality is very typical of this kind of last stage of complicated processes.”

    Asked if he left the meeting more optimistic than before, he described himself as a “realist optimist” and that he believes that the meeting was “useful.”

    “It was not the end of the road at all; we have a lot to do and a lot to do in Cyprus and a lot to do further, but it was important to have this opportunity. Last time the SG saw the two leaders was in Davos in January. Then he met them individually several times. This time we went much deeper into substance and it was an opportunity for him to convey his willingness to take personal charge for whatever they ask him to do, including with the guarantor powers and so on. We are – both he and I – working on the donor issue all the time. And also a kind of a reminder from his side that they have the international support, it’s massive and that we are at the best of times; they should not allow this opportunity to slip.”

    During the past week Eide held several high level meetings with the foreign ministers of the guarantor powers – and others – on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

    With these discussions the UN is laying the ground work for the moment this can be negotiated.

    “It’s not negotiated, so no one is acting in a negotiating form (i.e. saying I can accept that, or I can’t accept it) but we are preparing, we are involved and listening and sharing some initial ideas and it’s very constructive, but not conclusive. Nobody thought it could be conclusive yet, because it has to be negotiated at the end of the day. We have to go into the final agreement between the two sides on security which needs also the support of the guarantors and in order to get there we have to have more formal conversations. Now it’s the second track and it’s not only me but more people are involved. They speak to each other, the guarantors speak two plus two in all formations and ideas are exchanged.”

    Asked if security could be the last issue to be solved and the last decisive obstacle of the peace process, he says it’s not the last. It is definitely going to be discussed late in the process and it’s one of the decisive issues, but not the only.

    “It’s perfectly logical that the leaders have chosen to put that at the end. What would be the purpose of trying to rearrange the security set-up if you didn’t even believe that you could solve your own issues? The Cypriots (both G/c and T/c alike) will have a much stronger hand coming into a space – I am not saying conference – with the guarantors.”

    He pointed out that both communities have reasonable security fears.

    “There is a very reasonable Greek Cypriot fear of the presence of a foreign army and there is also an understandable fear of the Turkish Cypriots of returning to past tragedies of the `60s. If you want to overcome the mutual fears, you don’t necessarily overcome them with security solutions, but maybe with credible political set-up.”
    By that Eide means to get people together again and make them believe that this time maybe the federal system will work over time.

    “When they feel that, the need to seek traditional security aspects maybe it diminishes. So the likelihood of a successful outcome on security increases with every convergence on governance, property, territory and everything else,”, Eide concluded.

    President Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in peace talks under the UN aegis with a view to finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. The island has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    CNA/AZ/EC/MM/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • High temperatures to remain unchanged until Saturday

    Temperatures will remain stuck at 40 degrees Celsius until Saturday, a meteorological department officer told the Cyprus News Agency on Tuesday.

    “We have meteorological data until Saturday and it seems that there will not be any change by then” Panayiotis Mouskos said.

    He noted that humidity will be increased on Tuesday, causing the heat wave in combination with the high temperatures.

    Around 9.30 local time, the humidity was at 45% in the capital of Cyprus Nicosia and 60% in Larnaca, on the south coast of the island.

    Mouskos said that during previous summer seasons temperatures had been as high as 42 and 43 degrees for seven consecutive days.

    He said temperatures “broke a previous record of 46 degrees, reaching 46.6 which was officially recorded as 47 degrees in the Summer of 2012”.

    CNA/KD/EC/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Cypriots can contribute to space technology, ESA official tells CNA

    Cyprus can bring a lot of value to many areas like space science, an ESA official has told CNA after the signing of the European Cooperating State (ECS) Agreement between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Head of the International Relations Department of ESA, Frédéric Nordlund, who signed the agreement with Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Works Alecos Michaelides spoke to CNA about the contribution of Cyprus to ESA.

    `I am personally convinced that Cyprus can bring a lot of value in earth observation and space science` he said, adding that Cypriot scientists can contribute in the applications area as well, such as maritime application.

    Furthermore, he stressed that `I am convinced that we will see innovations and activities here that actually do not exist anywhere else in the community or the member states`.

    Nordlund also said that there is interest by Cypriot scientists in infrared astronomy for the future Euclid mission of ESA, which is a mission to map the geometry of the dark Universe, and the James Web Space Telescope, which will help scientists find out more about the origins of the Universe by observing infrared light from the first stars and galaxies and show in detail how stars and planets form.

    Cyprus` goal is to become a full ESA member state, Minister responsible for Space, Marios Demetriades said on Wednesday at the signing ceremony in Nicosia.

    ESA is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

    ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom).

    ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA`s programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries. ESA also works closely with space organisations outside Europe.

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

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