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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-11-19

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos believes that the current period could serve towards preparing the ground for a new UN initiative towards a settlement.

    Commenting on reports that the UN were preparing for a new initiative in 2008, President Papadopoulos pointed out the position of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that if the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides were willing to begin substantive negotiations, then he would examine the possibility of launching a fresh initiative.

    Speaking on Sunday during a visit to Kato Pyrgos, in the Paphos area, President Papadopoulos reiterated his position that this period should not be wasted but used to prepare for issues of substance, as provided for in the UN Security Council resolution of June.

    ``Preparation is not something we have discovered. It is the quintessence of the Gambari process. So, this period, and we are ready for it, could be used to begin work at working groups to prepare the ground, so that the Secretary General can have additional motives and more reasons to begin his initiative,`` he added.

    Referring to the opening of the Ledra Street crossing point in Nicosia, President Papadopoulos said that in order for it to open the Turkish Cypriot side should agree to the opening of the Pyrgos-Limnitis crossing point, on the northwest.

    ``The two are connected. In order for the Ledra Street crossing point to open, which is a very symbolic move but at the same time it will help mainly the Turkish Cypriot community, the Turks must show their good will, allowing the opening of this crossing point. I do not agree with opening the one crossing point and not the other,`` the President added.

    Replying to questions about Ledra Street, President Papadopoulos said that ``when the Turkish Cypriots, the Turkish army, is saying that the buffer zone between the two crossing points is under the control of the Turkish forces, it is not possible for us to accept the opening of the crossing point.``

    ``We have said, and I reiterated this to the UN Secretary General and I reiterate it now, that irrespective of our positions on where the buffer zone begins something which will emerge in time - the moment the UN secure the consent of the Turks that the buffer zone is under the absolute control of the UN, we are ready to open the crossing point, as long as we get the consent of the Turkish Cypriots for the opening of the Limnitis crossing point,`` he concluded.

    Efforts to open a crossing point to and from the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus at Ledra street have so far failed because the Turkish military refuses to move from the vicinity and in addition it claims part of the buffer zone, created after the end of hostilities during the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    Cyprus Defence Minister Christodoulos Pashiardes will attend a meeting of EU defence ministers, in the framework of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The defence ministers will meet on the sidelines of a General Affairs and External Relations Council, to be held in Brussels Monday and Tuesday.

    In the Council, defence ministers will discuss military operations, military capabilities, including rapid response and European Defence Agency (EDA) issues. In a joint session with foreign ministers, they will address the future EU operation in Tchad/CAR. At lunch, defence ministers will discuss EU-NATO relations and EU-Africa relations. In its conclusions, the Council will cover a broad range of issues, including ESDP operations and missions.

    It will note the progress achieved in the qualitative approach to the EU military capabilities development process in the framework of the Headline Goal 2010. It will approve the Progress Catalogue 2007 which provides a structured assessment of capabilities and offers a systematic evaluation of the identified capability shortfalls. The Council will also underline the continued need for cooperation between EU and NATO at different levels, including on issues of military capability development.


    The Movement of Ecologists and Environmentalists (Cyprus Green Party) has decided to support Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos` bid for reelection in the Presidential Elections to take place in the coming February.

    An extraordinary meeting decided Sunday to support Papadopoulos` candidacy with 46 votes (79.3%) out of 58 elected representatives. Nine representatives (15.5%) voted in favour of AKELs General Secretary and House President Demetris Christofias` candidacy, while there were three blank votes.

    Speaking after the meeting, the Movement`s MP and General Secretary Giorgos Perdikis said that the decision is subject to the inclusion of the Ecologists` positions in Papadopoulos pre-election programme and the fulfillment of Papadopoulos` commitments given to the party during their meetings.

    Perdikis said that the important issues on which the outcome was shaped were the poll carried out between the movement members, which showed that a 60% majority favoured Papadopoulos` bid for reelection and the party`s support for a multi party government.


    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon requested from the UN General Assembly an increased budget for 2008, to cover the requirements to emerge from a possible appointment of a new Special Adviser on Cyprus in the event of a fresh negotiating round for a Cyprus settlement in 2008.

    In report entitled ``Estimates in respect of special political missions, good offices and other political initiatives authorized by the General Assembly and/or the Security Council,`` Ban outlines the developments on Cyprus, a problem on the UN Security Council agenda for 40 years, making special reference on the July 8 agreement 2006 achieved in a meeting between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in the presence of the then UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Ibrahim Gambari.

    The July 8 agreement involves bicommunal discussions by technical committees of issues affecting the day-to-day life of the people and, concurrently, consideration by expert working groups of substantive issues, both of which will contribute to a comprehensive settlement.

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