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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-05-05

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The late Minister of Defence Nicos Symeonides is laid to rest today, at a funeral service officiated by the primate of the church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II and attended by President Tassos Papadopoulos, the members of the Cabinet and other officials.

    The Greek government will be represented by Deputy Defence Minister Vasilis Mihaloliakos.

    Symeonides died on Thursday at Nicosia General Hospital where he had been admitted a month ago, with symptoms of infection of the urinary system. He was 68.

    An extraordinary Cabinet meeting declared a three-day official mourning in his memory. The meeting, convened by Papadopoulos, also decided that the national flag will fly at half mast during the mourning at all National Guard camps and government buildings and recommended that ministers and other high ranking civil servants refrain from functions to celebrate various events.

    A condolences book opened at the Ministry of Defence on Thursday and Friday and was signed, among many other people, by government officials and foreign diplomats.

    The oration at today`s funeral will be read by Minister of Justice and Public Order Sophocles Sophocleous.

    Finance Minister Michalis Sarris will be Acting Minister of Defence, until a new minister is appointed.


    The European Commission adopted a Decision on Friday authorising for the first time the trade in certain animal products, namely honey and fish, across the Green Line in Cyprus.

    This decision amends the Green Line Regulation, extending trade to both animal products, on condition that the relevant provisions of EU legislation are observed.

    According to the decision, a list of Turkish Cypriot fishing vessels will be made by a committee of independent Commission experts, thus permitting the control of quantities to be traded, which will be certified by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce. The decision does not cover farmed fish.

    Regarding honey, before the product is traded, ten samples will be taken, which will then be examined by laboratories cooperating with the EU, in order to determine if the community health clauses are met.

    The amended regulation comes into effect Friday but its implementation in practice will begin after a group of independent experts is set up.


    Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Demetrios Rallis said on Friday that the Cypriot government was making every effort to reach a peaceful, just, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem, which would solve the problems without creating more, and in this direction had the full support of the Greek government, the political forces and the people.

    In an address before a luncheon hosted in honour of Archbishop of Athens and All Greece Christodoulos, Rallis said the Greek Embassy in Nicosia was focused on providing support to the Cypriot government and Cypriot Hellenism, adding that ``the strengthening of Greek education and culture, which have formed along with Orthodoxy our national identity are, along with defence and political support, among our immediate priorities.``

    On the Archbishop`s presence in Cyprus, he said ``it gives us additional strength to continue our efforts for the benefit of Cyprus and Greece, for the benefit of Hellenism as a whole.``

    Replying, Archbishop Christodoulos said ``Cyprus cannot remain in the current situation forever, with refugees, missing persons and enclaved, with occupation and dividing lines.``

    He expressed certainty that ``the Greek state perceives the Cyprus problem as a top priority of its foreign policy because it is a problem of invasion and occupation.``

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