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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-11-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Syrian President Bashar Al - Assad has assured Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis that the issue which arose with the illegal sea routes between Latakia, Syria, and the Turkish occupied port of Famagusta, will be settled very soon. President Assad met in Damascus the Cypriot FM, saying that his country supports a Cyprus solution based on international law and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

    Markoullis, who is visiting Syria as part of her Middle East tour, briefed the Syrian President on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue and made special reference on the consequences of the Turkish invasion in 1974. She also referred to the support measures taken by the government of Cyprus for the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Referring to Turkey, she said that Cyprus favours Ankaras EU bid provided that Turkey fulfills its EU obligations as stated in the Ankara Protocol, which provides for the lifting of the embargos imposed by Turkey on ships and aircraft flying the Cypriot flag.

    Markoullis noted Cyprus role in the Middle East and said that Nicosia could play a more important role in contributing to efforts aiming at resolving the Middle East problem.

    Later on, Markoullis met Vice President of Syria Farouk Al Shara. She is also scheduled to meet with her Syrian counterpart Walid Al Muallem with whom she will hold consultations with the participation of delegations from both countries.

    Last month a Turkish cruise ship sailed from the closed port of Famagusta for Latakia.

    Nicosia has sought explanations from Syria to ensure that such an incident will not occur again and that no agreement has been reached between Damascus and the illegal regime in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus on permitting vessels to travel from occupied Cyprus to Syria.

    Famagusta has been declared by the government of Cyprus a closed port following the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island.

    The UN has branded the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus legally invalid and called on all states not to recognise or facilitate it in any way.

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


    Cypriot Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis, on a tour of Middle East countries, has signed in Cairo a Memorandum of Understanding with General Secretary of the Arab League, Amr Mousa. In statements at a press conference, the Cypriot Foreign Minister described the signing of the Memorandum as a historic moment and explained that the Memorandum aims at further promoting political dialogue and cultural and economic cooperation between Cyprus and the Arab League.

    During her meeting with Mousa, she discussed the Cyprus and the Middle East issues and referred to the ``traditionally valuable relations`` between Cyprus and the Arab countries. Answering questions regarding the Middle East issue, Markoullis said Cyprus supports the UN and EU positions and stressed Cyprus readiness to contribute to efforts for a comprehensive settlement in the Middle East.

    In his statements, Mousa said the Arab League considers the signing of the Memorandum as very important for the continuation and promotion of the cooperation with Cyprus. The Memorandum says that the two parties will promote political dialogue in order to strengthen and deepen their bonds of friendship and cooperation in all fields, he said.


    President of the Hellenic Parliament Dimitrios Sioufas will pay a two-day visit to Cyprus on 13 and 14 November. During the first day of his visit, Sioufas will hold talks with his Cypriot counterpart, President of the House of Representatives, Demetris Christofias. After the talks they will a press conference. The next day he will be received by President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Later on he will hold a series of separate meetings with Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis, leaders or representatives of the Cypriot parliamentary parties as well as with Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus, Chrysostomos II.

    Before leaving, Sioufas will lay a wreath at the Makedonitissa Tomb in Nicosia where army officers and soldiers killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion are buried. He will also lay a wreath at the tombs of Greek Cypriots killed during the struggle against British colonial rule between 1955-1959.


    European Union specialist on animal disease Alberto Ladomada has said that Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) has been confirmed in four farms in Cyprus and commended the Cypriot authorities on their work to combat the disease. The disease has been confirmed in four farms. There are positive tests, confirmed in Cyprus and in the Community laboratory in England, Ladomada told reporters on Saturday. He added that the measures taken by the Cypriot authorities in containing the spread of the disease have been effective but noted that there is still a lot of work to be done.

    The Veterinary Services in Cyprus are doing a very good job in getting rid of the problem as soon as possible. I think this is the objective that everybody here in Cyprus should have in relation to FMD, he continued. Answering questions, Ladomada said that one or two more weeks are needed in order to better understand when the disease can be fully eradicated.

    I think for a couple of months you still have to be patient. But let me say that the experience is that after some weeks when the measures are in place and well established, it is becoming evident that the disease is controlled. Then I would say that the pressure on the farmers and the authorities will decrease and the crisis will be close to the end, he said.

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