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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-04-24

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [04] 2008 CYPRUS RALLY


    The new UN Secretary Generals Special Representative in Cyprus is expected to arrive here between 7 12 May, 2008, Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou has said. Iacovou, who met Thursday Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar, said that Spehar will leave Cyprus during the same period (7-12 May) to brief the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon about developments in Cyprus. The Presidential Commissioner added that Ban Ki moon has not decided yet whether to send a Special Envoy to Cyprus.

    Iacovou noted that this will depend on the progress achieved during the bicommunal discussions held by the working groups and technical committees which have been set up in the context of the March 21 agreement, between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in order to prepare the ground for substantive negotiations. Their objective is to find a negotiated settlement, acceptable to both communities on the island, which will reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Asked about the meeting with Spehar, Iacovou said it had been arranged long ago and it concerned issues related to the presence of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the UN good offices in Cyprus and relations between Cyprus and the UN. Later on, Iacovou held a joint meeting with Spehar and the Turkish Cypriot leaders aide, Ozdil Nami.

    During the meeting, he said, they evaluated the procedure which began Tuesday and continued today regarding the meetings of the bicommunal working groups and the technical committees. Our common assessment of the situation is that everything has evolved very smoothly, he noted.

    The technical committees and the working groups met for the second time today. Iacovou said that based on the reports of the people in charge of each team, todays second meeting will also run smoothly. Asked whether he is satisfied with the work achieved so far, he said yes but noted that it is too soon to jump into conclusions.

    Asked if more teams are likely to be set up, he said that once the work of the other teams achieves some progress, the discussion on the establishment of other teams will begin most probably next week. He explained that the March agreement reached between the leaders allows the introduction of more issues under each negotiating chapter.


    Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus Chrysostomos II exchanged views on Thursday with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias regarding the Cyprus problem, noting that ``the people and the leadership must be united on the national question.``

    Speaking after a meeting at the Presidential Palace, the Archbishop said ``with great joy we listened to the President who has clear views on our national question, and we told he that in this course he can count on our support, because we want the President to demand the rights of our people, so that our island may see better days.``

    Replying to questions, Archbishop Chrysostomos II said he gathered ``some friends, who come from time to time, to exchange views`` on the Cyprus problem, adding that he has also invited two professors from Greece to visit Cyprus within the next couple of weeks. ``All this falls within efforts to help as much as we can on the Cyprus problem,`` he pointed out.


    The European Commission has described the division of Cyprus as unacceptable, noting that there is willingness from all sides to start a process leading to a comprehensive settlement, which will reunite the country. This is outlined in a reply by the Commission to Cypriot MEP Yiannakis Matsis who asked about the illegal visit of the Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces, Yasar Buyukanit to the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    A press release, issued by Matsis` office, said the Commission also expresses the conviction that Turkey will support efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem. At the same time, the Commission stresses that the EU and its member states do not recognise the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus. It accepts however the sovereignty of two military bases Britain has retained on the island since it became an independent state, in 1960.

    The Commission points out that security issues and the presence of foreign military forces, which Matsis raised in his question, underline the urgent need of a quick solution in Cyprus. Furthermore, it expresses its support and that of the EU for the renewed UN process towards a political settlement and acknowledges that achieving a solution would be difficult. The Commission, in its reply, expresses support to the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities in their attempt to make the difficult compromises which are necessary.

    [04] 2008 CYPRUS RALLY

    With the 2008 Cyprus Rally, round 2 of the 2008 FIA Middle East Rally Championship (MERC) calendar, fast approaching, organisers are busy putting the final touches to what promises to be one of the most exciting events in its long and successful history. According to a press release issued by the Rally organisers, the Cyprus Automobile Association (CAA), a new route is being introduced for 2008, made up of a healthy mix of new special stages, stages that were first introduced in 2007 and a selection of classic stages that have challenged many of the worlds best drivers.

    The Cyprus Rally will take place over the weekend of the 17th and 18th May. Saturday will see drivers tackle a total of 453.23km, including 104.65km of Special Stage action, and then a further 456.24km on Sunday, with 123.39km of Special Stages. Entrants are expected from as far afield as Qatar, the UAE, Jordan, Greece, the UK, Lebanon and of course Cyprus - all battling for victory in the May sunshine.

    All the stages are in great shape thanks to re-grading work and regular maintenance and this years Cyprus Rally will feature some new, very long Special Stages through the beautiful countryside of the Troodos mountains. A lot of hard work has gone into this years Rally and we are confident that it will be a great success. We are working together with the relevant government departments who are all very supportive of our event, and Id especially like to say a big thank you to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) and the Limassol Municipality for their ongoing assistance, Clerk of the Course Takis Kyriakides says.

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