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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-01-15

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus Foreign Minister George Lillikas has said that if communication tricks by Turkish Cypriots are accompanied by substantive moves that will allow the opening of the checkpoint at Ledra Street, then they are more than welcomed.

    He expressed hope that efforts being made by the UN Chief`s Permanent Representative to Cyprus Michael Moller would bear fruit.

    As regards the EU regulation for direct trade with Turkish Cypriots, Lillikas said there is all the good will on the part of the Cyprus government, which has concrete suggestions and proposals for changes that need to be made to the regulation, and it is ready to have a discussion on these proposals.

    The Cypriot minister was speaking to the press after separate meetings he had with Greek Ambassador Demetris Rallis, new High Commissioner of India Lavania Prasad and new Ambassador of Israel Avraham Haddad.

    Lillikas said that he reviewed with the Greek Ambassador latest developments and discussed the issue of Ledra Street, the implementation of the 8 July agreement and that informal meeting of the EU Mediterranean countries Foreign Ministers, to be held in Malta.

    To a remark that there might be more communication tricks by the Turkish side, apart from the dismantling of the footbridge at Ledra Street, Lillikas said if the communication tricks are accompanied by substantive moves that will allow us to open the checkpoint at Ledra Street, they will be more than welcomed.

    What is important is substance and from our part we have asked and we are expecting the UN to take initiatives, to call us for dialogue to be able to discuss concrete issues and the obstacles that hinder the opening of the checkpoint. I hope that initiatives and efforts by Mr. Moller will bear fruit, he added.

    Replying to a question, Lillikas said that there are two aspects as regards the dialogue, noting that there are aspects that will be discussed between the representatives of the two communities and there are aspects concerning security, military matters which are discussed by UNFICYP at separate meetings with the Cyprus government and the Turkish army.

    Invited to say if there was any response to the message sent through the UN for dialogue on the opening of the Ledra street, Lillikas said unfortunately we have not yet any positive response.

    We know that the UN and Mr Moller hold contacts and discuss these issues with the Turkish Cypriots. We are expecting something from the UN and we hope to have some positive indications at least, he said.

    He added that we have asked through a letter and during contacts with the UN to call us for dialogue and I expect that the UN will respond.

    Lillikas noted that the issues of the extension of the buffer zone and its violation by the Turks were raised and surely what we demand is the respect of legality and its restoration.

    To a question on the issues of direct trade and the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, the Foreign minister announced there will be a meeting at the level of technocrats this week.

    He said in December a certain text on this issue was agreed by the EU Foreign Ministers and is expected to be issued as a Conclusion by the General Affairs and External Relations Council due to convene on January 22.

    The text says that efforts and works for the voting of the regulation for the trade of the areas of the Cyprus Republic which are not under the effective control of the government of the Cyprus Republic will continue without any delay the soonest, he added.

    We have all the good will, we have concrete suggestions and proposals for the amendments that need to be made at the regulation, probably an amendment of the Green Line Regulation, and on these concrete proposals we are ready to have a discussion, the Cypriot official conluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.


    Cyprus Foreign Minister George Lillikas will be traveling to Lebanon in the following days to sign an agreement for the determination of the exclusive economic zones between the two eastern Mediterranean countries.

    This was confirmed by Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Michaelides, who said the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus must be determined in cooperation with all its neighbours.

    He noted that the Exclusive Economic Zones between Egypt and Cyprus have already been determined with a bilateral agreement signed during a visit by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos to Egypt.


    Marfin Popular Bank (MPB) CEO Andreas Vgenopoulos has said here Monday a public offer made by MPB to takeover the Bank of Cyprus, 10 per cent of which is owned by Greek Piraeus Bank, aims at establishing the biggest banking organization in Greece and Cyprus and the 24th largest in Europe.

    Speaking during a press conference, relayed live in Greece and Cyprus, Vgenopoulos stressed that Marfins offer was not submitted for reasons of defence against the offer made by Piraeus Bank to takeover Marfin, but was a part of the strategy of mergers. He appealed to the Bank of Cyprus and Piraeus Bank administrations to see in a friendly manner the offer for cooperation.

    He said that the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission considers Piraeus Bank to have been the first to submit its bid and called on the competent authorities to act the soonest possible so that shares of banks involved are not trading in a situation of vagueness, noting that Marfins intentions did not evolve smoothly due to Piraeus Banks offer to takeover Marfin.

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