• 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)

  • “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

  • 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

  • President assures reunification is the aim

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades has assured that “efforts these days are intensive and laborious, and have a steady direction and aim”, which is “the liberation and reunification” of Cyprus.

    Addressing the unveiling ceremony of a memorial dedicated to Mammari community citizens who were killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion, President Anastasiades said that “our ambition is and should be to turn Cyprus into a modern state that will play an important role in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East, a modern state which will cover the whole island, not only the areas which are today under the control of the Republic of Cyprus”.

    He said that “this is the reason we are engaged in an intensive dialogue” with an aim to lift the Turkish occupation of the island`s northern third and reunify the country.

    “We want to create conditions that will allow for peaceful coexistence. We must live together. The dangers are always there when there is a pending issue. We do not wish to allow for more dangers to arise for Cypriot Hellenism, and that is why we are making sure that the population ratio is that of 1960, in the case of a solution”, he said.

    President Anastasiades noted that the dangers from settlers is well known, not only for us but for all the inhabitants of the island, and I mean the Turkish Cypriots”, who “must realise too that a solution can benefit everyone”.

    “Thus, understanding the concerns of the Greek Cypriots is a prerequisite in order to make progress and reach a solution”, he said.

    CNA/RG/GV/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Leaders to discuss the economic aspects of the reunification of Cyprus

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci meet today in the context of the UN-brokered talks to take stock of the discussions so far on the economic matters of a Cyprus settlement.

    Reliable sources told CNA, that President Anatasiades and Mustafa Akinci accompanied by the two negotiators Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami and the heads of the working group on the economy will discuss the convergences achieved so far on the economy.

    The leaders are expected to discuss preliminary findings by reports carried out by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the economic aspects of a Cyprus settlement. The final reports will be submitted by end-September or early October.

    In their previous meeting last Friday they discussed the chapter of citizenship and fundamental freedoms.

    In statements after the meeting President Anastasiades described it as constructive, saying that the goal is to reach a solution the soonest as long as everyone realises that the concerns of each side cannot be ignored as long as the rights of the other side are not affected.

    President Anastasiades expressed the hope for the same constructive approach to be shown in other issues where significant differences still remain.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks have been underway since May 2015 aiming to reunify the island under a federal roof.

    CNA/EPH/GV/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Greek and Turkish Cypriots in the UK call for quick reunification of their island

    A joint declaration by three Cypriot overseas organisations in the UK urges the leaderships of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities in the island to work for a quick solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    The Enfield Cypriots Association, the Turkish Cypriot Association for Democracy and the Union of Cypriots in Britain state their encouragement by the continuation of the intercommunal talks between the leaders of the two communities under the auspices of the UN and “urge both of them to work harder aiming to reach an acceptable solution as quickly as possible as the passing of time only complicates things further”.

    The declaration states that the message of both communities is “loud and clear: the overwhelming majority of the Cypriot people are looking forward to a peaceful solution to re-unify our country. We do not accept the continuation of the status-quo or the partition of our country`.

    “We call upon the leaders of both communities and remind them of their responsibilities including during the intercommunal talks to cultivate policies and actions against the resurgence of nationalism-chauvinism and intolerance`.

    Referring to the settlement itself, the three organisations note that a reunification agreement should include the “complete demilitarisation on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal basis with political equality as set out by the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council; a solution that will safeguard a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship, as well as the respect of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all the citizens of the united Republic of Cyprus”.

    The joint declaration was handed out to visitors of the recent Wine Festival in north London and has also been sent to both leaders, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

    The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and since then occupies 37% of this EU Mediterranean island. UN led talks are underway between the leaders of the two communities with an aim to reach a political solution under a federal system.

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

  • US expresses hope that two sides in Cyprus will reinvigorate their efforts for reunification

    A US State Department official has expressed the hope that the two sides in Cyprus will reinvigorate their efforts to reunify the island as a bi-zonal, bicommunal federation.

    “The United States congratulates the Republic of Cyprus on holding peaceful and democratic parliamentary elections,” the official said asked to comment on the elections held on Sunday.

    Cypriots, he added, “have exercised their right to voice their opinions at the ballot box.”

    According to the US official, “Cyprus is a friend and strategic partner, and we look forward to continuing to strengthen our bilateral relationship.”

    “Now that the elections have passed, we hope the two sides will reinvigorate their efforts to reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation,” he noted.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks have resumed since last year aiming to reunify the island under a federal roof.

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

  • UNSC permanent members and EU commend leaders in search for a Cyprus settlement

    The importance that a settlement of the protracted Cyprus problem will have, both for the island and the broader region, is being highlighted by the international community, as 15 May 2016, marks the anniversary of the resumption of the UN-led talks; this time between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci with a view to reuniting the island under a federal roof.

    CNA has invited the Ambassadors of the UN Security Council permanent members, the Head of the European Commission representation on the island, and the UN to comment on this anniversary. Those who responded to the call have expressed their full support to the ongoing negotiations, commending the two leaders for their determination, which has renewed hope for a settlement, and urging them to seize the current opportunity for the reunification of the island. At the same time, they reiterate that the talks are Cypriot-owned and Cypriot-led.

    In her statement to CNA, Ambassador of the United States of America, Kathleen Doherty, said that
    May 15, 2016, marks the first anniversary of the resumption of settlement talks to find a viable solution to the decades-long division of Cyprus, adding that “the United States commends the leaders of the two communities; they are visionaries working toward a just and comprehensive settlement.”

    “The United States fully supports a solution in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation. Not only will Cypriots themselves reap the benefits—politically and economically—of a settlement, but the peaceful reunification of Cyprus would also resonate well beyond the island,” the Ambassador said. She noted that “the United States is committed to our relationship with Cyprus and to promoting peace, security, and prosperity in the region and beyond.”

    Doherty assured that “the United States will continue to offer our support in any way we can while maintaining, as we always have, that Cyprus’ collective future will be determined by Cypriots, for Cypriots.”

    Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Stanislav Osadchiy, has told CNA that Russia welcomed the resumption of the inter-community dialogue in May 2015, when the community leaders managed to revive hope for the reunification of the island.

    “Our country has always advocated for a just and comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue on the basis of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. As a result of the work done by negotiation groups led by A.Mavroyannis and O.Nami, during the past year, sides have made significant progress on many important aspects of the negotiation agenda,” Osadchiy noted.

    He underlined that “in many ways, a so-called `special chemistry` in relations established between N.Anastasiadis and M.Akinci on a personal level contributed to this success.”

    The Russian Ambassador went on to say that the main goal now is to preserve the accumulated potential, continue to search for compromise and show the will to make difficult but crucial decisions. “We are convinced that no one knows the Cyprus issue better than the Cypriots themselves. It is important for the parameters of the settlement to be developed by the communities independently without any interference and arbitration,” he added.

    He noted that “as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the Russian Federation sees providing favorable external conditions in order for communities to achieve a just and lasting solution as one of the major objectives.”

    “In this regard, we expect close cooperation with our partners in the UN Security Council on this issue. We are ready to actively contribute to the peaceful process of the reunification of Cyprus after both sides reach all relevant bilateral agreements,” he concluded.

    United Kingdom High Commissioner, Ric Todd, said that “one year ago this week, the leaders of the two communities of Cyprus began a new round of talks to find a viable and lasting solution to the political problem which has left the island divided for more than 40 years.”

    “The two leaders have created renewed hope and momentum for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue which the UK government believes will bring clear economic and security benefits for Cyprus, for Cypriots and for the region,” he noted, adding that “the UK government commends the leaders for their courage, commitment and positive leadership.”

    The High Commissioner stressed that “the UK fully supports the current settlement process and stands ready to help in any way it can in order to bring lasting peace to Cyprus. Although challenges remain, we encourage all concerned parties to demonstrate flexibility, openness and creativity in overcoming remaining obstacles and in seizing the opportunity that current circumstances present to reach a solution.”

    In his statement, Ambassador of France, René Troccaz, reiterated the firm support of his country to the reunification of the island. “France, as a long-standing friend of Cyprus, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a founding member of the European Union, expresses its sincere hope that the negotiation process, led by the leaders of the Cypriot communities, will be successfully concluded,” he added.

    Troccaz said that “the reunification of the island would be very positive for the wellbeing of Cypriots, for their security and their prosperity. It would furthermore represent a very important achievement for the regional stability and serve as an example all around the world.”

    “We commend the commitment of the two leaders as well as their vision for a reunified island, and welcome the progresses made since the restart of the negotiations,” he added.

    Troccaz expressed confidence that “both leaders and their negotiating teams, assisted by the United Nations Good Offices mission, will continue their efforts to end the division of the island. They have spared no effort in this endeavour and deserve the support of the whole international community.”

    This is why, he added, “France praises also the firm support of the European Union to the negotiating process and sees very positively the increasing attention paid to the European dimension of the settlement talks.”

    Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus, George Markopouliotis, stressed that “the European Commission is committed to support as much as possible the negotiations for a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem and we salute the determination and willingness shown by both leaders to find a sustainable solution.”

    “As President (of the European Commission Jean-Claude) Juncker said last July, during his visit to Cyprus, concessions and compromises are needed. It is now a moment for hope and the time for a reunited Cyprus,” Markopouliotis said in his comments to CNA.

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

  • President: No bailout needed for Cyprus solution

    Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said on Thursday he did not expect that Cyprus would need a new Memorandum of Understanding in the event of the island`s reunification, adding that there would be transitional provisions and safeguards to avoid any economic oscillations.

    Speaking during a televised press conference on economic issues, marking the three years since his government assumed office in 2013, Anastasiades said that the benefits from a solution will be immense, adding that the cost of the settlement has not yet been determined. He added that the government is waiting for the reports of the World Bank and the IMF which have been assigned to estimate the cost of property compensations and the operational cost.

    Asked about the deposits haircut in 2013, he noted that shares were given to Bank of Cyprus depositors who were affected. He added that no promises which may not be implemented must be given. “If conditions allow it, the government will look into the event of how and when it will compensate Bank of Cyprus and Laiki depositors for their losses. I am not giving any promises. It is just something which remains on our mind,” he added.

    Referring to Cyprus` exit from its economic adjustment programme, Anastasiades said that Cyprus has made a breakthrough, allowing the viability of its economy. He added that there are various positive repercussions from the fact that Cyprus has exited the Memorandum.

    Excluded from the international markets, Cyprus applied for financial assistance to cover its fiscal needs and to rescue its two largest bank hit severely by deteriorating assets amid the financial crisis and by the Greek sovereign debt haircut. The Cypriot authorities and the Troika (EC, ECB and the IMF) agreed in March 2013 on a €10 billion bailout, featuring a haircut of uninsured deposits.

    Anastasiades also pledged that his government was determined to stamp out corruption and economic scandals. “We are not going to tolerate any old or new scandals, mainly because stamping out corruption will attract more foreign strategic investors to the island and this is something we badly need,” he said.

    He noted that it is no coincidence that for the first time since the establishment of the Republic, so many well-known persons were not only brought before the courts, but were also sent to the central prison.

    As regards the combating of offences related to the economy`s collapse, Anastasiades said that the investigation procedure is in the hands of the Attorney General and the law-enforcement authorities, adding that uncovering white collar crime is very complex and time-consuming.

    He said that some suspects are already facing prosecution and expressed certainty that all cases will be investigated.

    To a question as to whether the scandals might have played a part in Cyprus failing to attract the level of foreign investment that it could, Anastasiades said this was a good reason to fight scandals because everyone would realise that no one could be blackmailed by anyone else.

    The President acknowledged that problems remain as regards the economy, adding that the same prudent policy must continue, which is not, as he noted, an austerity policy.

    Moreover, Anastasiades praised the trade unions and the people for their stance, which helped the country to implement its economic adjustment programme and meet its obligations provided in the Memorandum of Understanding.

    Asked about the privitisations, he said that plans on this issue will move forward, safeguarding at the same time the staff`s rights. Furthermore, he referred to the government`s decision to unbundle the Electricity Authority in two public entities, one responsible for the production of electricity and the other for the electricity network and supply, noting that the aim is to open up the electricity market.

    CNA/MK/GV/2016
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

  • Canada pledges to help efforts for Cyprus settlement

    Canada will do what it can to support reunification efforts underway in Cyprus, pledged the country`s High Commissioner, stationed in Athens, Keith Morrill.

    Morrill was speaking during the presentation of his credentials to President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades as the country`s new High commissioner in Nicosia.

    Replying, President Anastasiades said the Government looks forward to further enhancing bilateral relations in all fields.

    Presenting his credentials, High Commissioner Morrill said Canada and the Republic of Cyprus have been loyal friends for many years. He reminded that thousands of Canadian Peacekeepers served in Cyprus as part of the UNFICYP mission between 1964 and 1993.

    He also said the Canada-Cyprus friendship continues to grow and referred to the vibrant Cypriot-Canadian community that enriches Canada’s diverse multicultural fabric, and the numerous Canadians that make Cyprus their home.
    Morrill said Canada appreciates the important contribution of Cyprus in areas related to international security and counter-terrorism as well as the extensive security cooperation between Canada and Cyprus, including during the 2006 evacuation from Lebanon, and more recently during the evacuation of Syrian refugees from Lebanon and Jordan. Canada’s continued participation in the annual Argonaut exercise, led by the Cypriot Civil Defence, highlights the unique relationship Canada has fostered with Cyprus on Emergency Management. “We recognize that, as a stable EU member state in a geo-strategic location, Cyprus continues to make an important contribution to regional and global security”, he added.

    Canada and the European Union have enjoyed a strong partnership, which has led to the conclusion of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) as well as a strategic partnership agreement. These two agreements, once ratified, will serve to bring great benefit to both of our countries, and Canada is grateful for your country’s strong support in this regard, he said. He also welcomed efforts by Canadian companies to consider large-scale investment in Cyprus’ healthcare infrastructure and expressed hope that success in this area will serve to attract more Canadian business.

    Regarding Cyprus` offshore hydrocarbon resources Morrill said there is considerable potential for collaboration between the two countries in terms of technical cooperation, specialist training, and the procurement of equipment and services to support exploration and development.

    On the recent opening of a resident High Commission in Canada, Morrill said upgrading your diplomatic representation in Canada reflects your country’s concrete desire to deepen our bilateral relationship.

    Regarding the Cyprus problem, he said he is “heartened by the progress which has been made in the past year in the reunification talks, which represent a genuine opportunity to secure a settlement. My country and I will do what we can to support reunification efforts”.

    Receiving the credentials, President Anastasiades said the two countries have developed and established relations of substance and trusting dialogue, based “on our shared values and beliefs of justice and peace, evident through our close cooperation in international fora and especially within the Commonwealth and the United Nations”.

    He expressed the government’s appreciation with the record of support between Cyprus and Canada in International Organisations, and gratitude for the contribution of Canada over the years to the peacekeeping force in Cyprus, taking into account that Canada was part of the first UNFICYP contingent in 1964, and pay tribute to the Canadians who lost their lives in the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    “My Government looks forward to further enhancing our bilateral relations in all fields, considering also the recent upgrading of the diplomatic representation of the Republic of Cyprus to Canada, with the opening of our High Commission in Ottawa”, he added.

    Regarding the state of the economy in Cyprus, Anastasiades said three years ago today the country was faced with nothing less than economic collapse. “Today, I can proudly and confidently state that Cyprus has become a success story of economic reform”.
    “Our path to recovery has been faster than anyone could have predicted three years ago. After almost four years of recession, the Cyprus economy returned to positive economic growth rates in 2015 by registering GDP growth of 1.6%”.

    Looking ahead, he said, “we are confident that the economy will be on solid ground in the medium and long term”. Major goals of the Government for 2016 are to entrench growth and create conditions for sustainable development. Our key policy priorities include: the macroeconomic and financial stability, the promotion of structural reforms (including, inter alia, the reform of the public service administration, health system, social policy and the promotion of the privatization programme) as well as the promotion of investments”.

    The President said “we still need to tackle significant challenges. And yet, we choose to see this crisis as an opportunity to pursue reforms, to sharpen our competitive edge, to attract foreign direct investments with the ultimate goal of achieving sustained growth and prosperity for all Cypriots”.

    On the UN led talks “intensive negotiations to reach a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus problem”, he said while “a common understanding on an important number of issues has been reached, there are still remaining differences in all chapters and we have yet to embark on substantive discussions in a number of core issues”.

    At the same time, he said, there are also issues on which even if we reach a common understanding, the complexities associated with their implementation require time and careful planning.

    Thus, he added, “is vital to be well-prepared and present to the people a clear Plan, so as to avoid reaching a solution with considerable gaps or ambiguities that will negatively affect its viability”.

    “It is our sincere hope that Turkey, an occupying force in Cyprus, will demonstrate genuine political will to reach a settlement, not via rhetoric assurances, but through the adoption of concrete steps which will positively underpin the negotiating process and the climate of hope prevailing in the island”, the President pledged.

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

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