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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-02-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    US President George Bush has sent a congratulatory letter to Cyprus President-elect Demetris Christofias, noting the desire of the US government to keep cooperating closely with the government of Cyprus on a wide range of bilateral issues and in the search for a settlement that will reunify the island.

    Speaking after a meeting with Christofias, US Ambassador to Cyprus Ronald Schlicker said that Christofias assured him that he had similar intentions as regards bilateral relations.

    Today I had the pleasure of meeting with President elect Christofias and the honour of presenting to him a letter from President Bush congratulating the President elect on his election, noting the desire of the US government to keep cooperating closely with the government of the Republic of Cyprus on a wide range of bilateral issues and of course as the most important issue in the search for a settlement that will reunify the island, the US Ambassador said.

    He added that Christofias assured him that that he had similar intentions toward our relationship and we agreed to keep in touch and make very real and very practical the desires expressed in the letter and then the President elect responded to the letter.

    Asked about a possible new initiative on Cyprus, the Ambassador expressed hope that the contacts between the new President and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community will produce a situation in which the UN track moves forward very quickly.

    I think the UN has its own ideas about how to move forward as well. I think the international community is sending many notes of encouragement to the parties to get a process back on track and of course there is a body of UN work that will help the parties do that. We need to get to a substantive engagement of the issues as soon as possible and the parties and the UN are very capable of doing that, Schlicker said, adding that all of the different political events of the last year that arguably have slowed down the process are now complete. We dont have to devote any attention to that. So lets all devote our attention to getting back to negotiations.

    Replying a question regarding the 8 July Agreement, reached in 2006 between outgoing President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in the presence of UN Under-Secretary for Political Affairs Imbrahim Gambari, Schlicker said the agreement is there and its a vehicle to be used.

    It provides a procedure by which the parties can engage but engagement itself is necessary but what they really need to engage in is not just the preparatory work but the substance of the issues so we need to find a way to using the available vehicles to get to substance as soon as possible, he added.

    Responding to questions on the parties convergence on this, he said thats up to the two parties and the UN to define. I think they are perfectly capable of getting together and coming up with a mutually agreed basis of engagement and we think that they need to do so as soon as possible.

    The Ambassador said that at this stage he had no information on a possible trip to Cyprus by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza.

    On 8 July 2006, Papadopoulos and Talat agreed to begin a process of bicommunal discussions on issues that affect the day-to-day life of the people and concurrently those that concern substantive issues, both contributing to a comprehensive settlement that would reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


    French President Nicolas Sarkozy has assured President-elect Demetris Christofias that France, in its capacity as permanent member of the UN Security Council, would assist efforts towards a political settlement of the question of Cyprus.

    In a letter to Christofias, Sarkozy congratulated him on his election to the Presidency and wished that during his term in office Christofias will be able to achieve a viable and just settlement of the Cyprus question, which will be in line with international law. A settlement, which both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have been expecting for a very long time, the letter noted.

    Sarkozy assured Christofias that France will always support efforts towards this direction and will always be willing to offer its help, especially within the framework of the UN Security Council. During the execution of your high duties which the people have entrusted in you, you can rely on the help and friendship of France, Sarkozy added.


    Cyprus newly-elected President Demetris Christofias believes that a lot depends on Turkey as far as efforts to solve the Cyprus question are concerned. He also believes that Turkish Cypriots have expectations and that both he, as Cyprus President and leader of the Greek Cypriot community, and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat have a responsibility to bring about results.

    There is an expectation in the Turkish Cypriot community as well. Talat and I have a responsibility to sort things out. I agree with them. We have to find the necessary understanding, Christofias said speaking at a farewell ceremony at the House of Representatives as he leaves his post of House President to assume the duties of the President of the Republic.

    The fact remains that a lot depends on Turkey and Talat and I need to sort things out, he noted. I have promised the people a more just society, much has already been achieved in this direction but I believe that more can be done, things can improve and this is what I have said in my programme of governance, which the people have endorsed, the President designate stressed.


    Cyprus Airways (CAIR) returned to profit in 2007 after four years of loss, with revenue of 169 mln CYP (288.7 mln euro) compared to 157 mln CYP (268.2 mln euro) in 2006, registering an increase 7.6%.

    Cyprus national air carrier announced the indication of results for the year ended 31 December 2007, which is a net profit attributable to shareholders of 687.000 Cyprus pounds (1,2 million euro) in comparison to net loss of 4.3 mln pounds (7.4 mln euro) in 2006.

    Announcing the positive results Executive Chairman Kikis Lazarides said it seems Cyprus Airways is winning the bet of salvation. Maintaining peace among the labour force, between management and employees, is a fundamental precondition to stabilise and improve these positive results, he said, which allow the company to offer staff certain benefits such as a salary increase in 2008 of total cost 600.000 Cyprus pounds and the issue of 20.000 new shares on nominal price.

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