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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-04-30

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Spain has expressed readiness to help UN efforts to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus either by itself or through European Union channels, stressing the importance of painstaking and patient negotiations to reach that goal.

    In an interview with CNA in view of his visit today to Cyprus, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos also said that Madrid and Nicosia share common values on international issues, adding that both countries cooperate in the global attempt to combat international terrorism.

    On trade between the EU and Cyprus Turkish-occupied areas, he said the current EU presidency, Germany, will soon present a proposal on the matter which he said should meet the legitimate interests of all parties concerned.

    On Turkeys accession course, the former EU envoy for the Middle East welcomed the pace of reforms in the country to meet its obligations and stressed that Ankara must meet the criteria set out in the Ankara Protocol, which relates to Cyprus and opening Turkish ports and airports to Cypriot air and sea traffic.

    Responding to questions about bilateral relations following Cyprus accession to the EU in May 2004, Moratinos said the two countries share the same worldview, and Cyprus accession has immensely eased economic and personal contacts and has greatly benefited the political relation.

    Within the EU the two countries very frequently find themselves sharing the same interests, particularly issues such as the promotion of stability and prosperity of the Mediterranean area, illegal immigration, etc., he said, noting that this very close relationship between the two societies will become even closer in the future when Cyprus joins both the euro and the Schengen area.

    Asked about Spains willingness to assist further, in a more practical manner, the effort to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus, bearing in mind his former capacity as EU envoy for the Middle East, he said my experience as EU envoy taught me the importance of painstaking and patient negotiations, the need to pay attention to details and, most importantly, how human and economic contacts can create much better dynamics.


    Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos assured Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos on Monday that Cypriot Hellenism would also enjoy Greece`s support in every just demand for a Cyprus settlement.

    Speaking after a meeting with the President in Nicosia, Archbishop Christodoulos said President Papadopoulos ``analysed the national problem and the difficulties and thanked us for the support we, as the Church of Greece, have offered to the problems faced by the Cypriot government.``

    ``We assured the President that we will always be supporters of Cypriot Hellenism in every just demand for the liberation of the occupied areas, the return of the refugees to their homes and in general the solution of all other related problems of this land,`` the Archbishop concluded.


    Outgoing Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Christodoulos Christodoulou hands over post to Athanasios Orphanides, as he heads for retirement, and singles out the introduction of the Euro, expected to take place in January next year, as a very significant move in the fiscal policy of Cyprus.

    Speaking at a press conference, on the conclusion of his duties, he said the Central Bank has the manpower and sufficient preparation to tackle successfully future serious challenges, having adjusted and reformed its structure to this effect.

    We are ready, in time, for the introduction of the Euro, provided that all existing capabilities are exploited, he said, adding that Cyprus has fulfilled the convergence criteria on inflation, interest rates and stability of the exchange rate of the Cyprus pound.


    Church, political and media leaders and personalities of the Republic of Cyprus have sent a letter to President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas, expressing their deep concern about the safety and fate of British journalist and BBC correspondent in Gaza for the past three years Alan Johnston, ``who was seized by masked gunmen while on his way home on the evening of 12 March, 2007, and is held hostage since then.``

    In their letter, they note that ``the increasing trend of kidnapping journalists in the area of Palestine is detrimental to the Palestinian people`s cause,`` adding that ``without journalists practicing their profession free from fear of intimidation and harassment, there is no free flow of news and information`` and ``conflict zones become white spots on the world map of information.``

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