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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-04-15

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the House of Representatives Marios Karoyan believes that parliamentary diplomacy is a perfect tool to promote Cyprus objectives, to consolidate links and relations with other parliaments and people and project the countrys civilisation, which he describes as the spear of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In an interview with CNA, Karoyan said that Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, former House President, is particularly sensitive to the role the House has to play and has always had a deep understanding of the problems associated with the running of the House of Representatives.

    This is why I believe that President Christofias will have a lending ear to matters relating to the financial autonomy of the House and the creation of a department that will prepare legislation, he said.

    Karoyan, who was elected to the House Presidency in March this year, said that events in the past couple of years and fate itself have elevated him to his current post.

    In less than two years, Karoyan was elected MP of the Democratic Party (DIKO), securing more votes than any of the party`s other candidates, was later on elected President of DIKO and then President of the House of Representatives.

    He has told CNA that he had not planned this course and is fully aware of the realities of power, saying that the power that comes with a high post is not eternal.

    ``The election to the House presidency charges me with additional responsibilities to act collectively as the President of the House and at the same time to continue the work that Mr. Christofias, former President of the House, achieved in many sectors. On the other hand, we are called upon to bring about the necessary changes and reforms we deem are important to strengthen further the role of the Parliament within Cyprus and in relation to its international presence, and at the same time to promote bilateral relations with many other parliaments,`` he said.

    Karoyan noted that the shoulders of any one person are not strong enough to withstand the problems, emanating from the continuing occupation of the island`s northern third.

    ``Collective wisdom is the main parametre of my reasoning and behaviour,`` he said, adding that ``these elements are necessary for the Parliament, as a temple of democracy, to function in an impeccable way, appropriate to our civilisation, history and the vision we want to realise, that is to see our homeland, the parliament, the institutions making important steps forward, adopting innovation and anything new coming from the technological revolution that has been going on for the past two decades.``

    Furthermore, Karoyan said parliamentary diplomacy was important in promoting Cyprus` aims, enhancing support in parliaments and peoples, promoting the Cyprus problem, and promoting the Cypriot culture, which is the spear of the Republic of Cyprus.

    We shall work always bearing in mind that we should serve the interest of the county, he stressed.

    Referring to comments about his Armenian origins, Karoyan said these were from a small number of persons and that the majority of the people was not affected by racist syndromes or concepts.

    He said he was proud of his origin, proud to be part of the Greek Cypriot community and would serve the country and the Republic of Cyprus.

    The House President said he aims to establish a two-way communication with the citizens, which he believes is necessary to convince them that politics are not some distant concept. Such contact, he explained, could also help tackle criticism against politicians and politics in general.

    This approach, he told CNA, could make the citizen feel that decision-making does not take place behind closed doors and it is not a dark procedure alien to the citizen.

    Karoyan said his first official visit as House President would be to the Greek Parliament.

    The House President fended off criticism that his partys support for Demetris Christofias candidacy during Februarys presidential elections was in exchange for his election to the House presidency.

    He said DIKOs decision to back Christofias for the presidency was taken after the party had evaluated the positions of the two candidates on the Cyprus problem, their credibility and other political parameters.


    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou and Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn discussed the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and Turkey`s EU accession course, during a meeting on Monday in Brussels.

    In a written statement after the meeting, Rehn says that he was ``encouraged by the strong commitment shown by the new Cypriot government to begin serious negotiations under UN auspices on solving the Cyprus issue.``

    He said they had a very friendly and constructive meeting and welcomed ``the recent positive developments, such as the meeting between the two leaders of the two communities on the island and their agreement to take full responsibility for the future conduct of the negotiations.``

    ``The Commission will firmly stand behind a renewed UN process and will fully support both communities on the island to reach a solution,`` he added.

    Kyprianou said they discussed in detail Rehn`s recent visit to Turkey and the meetings he had with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who assured the Commissioner that they would support the process agreed on during a meeting between Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on March 21.


    Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Wright Miliband pledged London will be an ``enthusiastic supporter of those who are committed to the political process that will deliver a bizonal, bicommunal settlement that Cyprus needs``.

    He was speaking during a press conference in London with his Turkish counterpart Ali Babacan, who said Turkey will be supportive of the talks, noting it is very important to have a comprehensive approach.

    In his statements, Miliband said the opportunity presented by the recent election of President Demetris Christofias is significant. He remarked that the meeting that the Prime Minister had with President Christofias and the one he had (Miliband) with Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou convinced me that there really is a chance to restart the process for a comprehensive settlement. I think that the meeting between President Christofias and Mr. Talat is significant and important Miliband added.

    Miliband commented that the confidence building measures including Ledra Street is also a significant development. We strongly agree that the United Nations has a critical role to play and it is encouraging that the UN Under-Secretary General has been in the region.

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