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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-01-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] CYPRIOT FM - UNSG

  • [01] CYPRIOT FM - UNSG

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his wish to meet with the Greek Cypriot side in order to discuss and exchange views on the Cyprus issue, said here Friday Foreign Minister George Lillikas, who met yesterday with the UNSG on the sidelines of the International donors Conference for Lebanon, that took place in Paris.

    The Cypriot Foreign Minister said that Ban Ki moon expressed regret for his reference on two countries in Cyprus and explained to Lillikas that his statement was wrong.

    ``My view, is that we should not attach importance on the statement. The Cypriot government considers it a mistake and it did not attach any other political importance to it, he noted.

    He added that the UNSG expressed the wish to meet soon, discuss and exchange views on the Cyprus issue. We are of course ready for such a meeting and I hope that soon we will hold a meeting for further discussion.

    Commenting on a remark that the general impression is that the new UNSG is not well aware of the Cyprus issue, Lillikas said that ``we should stop judging the new Secretary General, who assumed his post only three weeks ago, or to seek any confrontation with him.

    The new UNSG will be informed not only on the Cyprus problem, but on all international problems that concern the UN. It is only natural to give priority to problems that include disputes. My belief is that the Cyprus question will be among his priorities, he concluded.

    The Republic of Cyprus entered the EU in 2004. Cyprus is divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.


    The Council of Ministers defined the sites within its exclusive economic zone where exploration and exploitation of oil deposits can take place.

    Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardes told reporters after the meeting, that ``the Cabinet approved the definition of 13 sites for exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in Cyprus exclusive economic zone``.

    The Cabinet also approved the opening up of tenders during the first round of submission of applications for the granting of exploration and exploitation licenses as well as the assessment criteria for each application.

    Minster of Trade, Industry and Tourism Antonis Michaelides said that the first phase of offers would begin on February 15th and would expire on July 16, 2007.


    Cypriot Finance Minister Michalis Sarris said that Cyprus will apply for accession in the Economic Monetary Union (EMU) next month.

    Speaking during a press conference, Sarris said that by next May, Cyprus will mark two years since its accession in the Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II), necessary for a member-state before entering the EMU, while the government will proceed with certain legislation reforms as far as the Central Bank is concerned.

    The Cypriot Council of Ministers decided that Cyprus will enter the Eurozone on February 1 2008.

    ``Based on these data, we hope that we will submit our application in mid February, so that Cyprus will be evaluated by March - April, the necessary recommendations from the competent committees and the Finance Ministers Council (ECOFIN) will be made and the EU Heads of States and Governments will take a decision around July,`` Sarris said.


    Cyprus welcomed six priceless icons of the Byzantine era, which were stolen from Morphou metropolis and were on sale overseas.

    The six icons, five of them stolen after the 1974 Turkish invasion, and one stolen in 1936, were welcomed in a ceremony at the Holy Archbishopric in Nicosia, in the presence of the primate of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos II, Foreign Minister George Lillikas and Morphou Bishop Neofitos. The latter went to New York and along with a team of lawyers and carried out the negotiations with auction House Sothebys which intended to sell the icons.

    Addressing the ceremony, Chrysostomos II said that demanding the return of the icons to their home is a right, adding that Europe and America are sensible to human rights.

    ``The powerful of the earth have a moral obligation to apply justice,`` he said.

    Speaking during the ceremony, Lillikas expressed the government`s satisfaction for the return of the icons, noting that the coordinated efforts of Cyprus diplomatic services and of the Church can deliver results.

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