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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-07-12

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The process aiming to the solution of the Cyprus problem is left this time to the Cypriots and the United Nations are offering their assistance towards that direction, President Christofias has said.

    Speaking at Larnaca airport before his departure for Paris where he will participate at the EU summit for the Mediterranean, President Christofias said that the United Nations and the UN Secretary General special adviser on the Cyprus problem, Alexander Downer, have an auxiliary role to play on the Cyprus issue.

    Invited to comment on Downers appointment by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, President Christofias noted that Secretary Generals intentions were well known, and added that each and every one will be judged by his action and his productivity.

    Additionally, President Christofias expressed the belief that the UN and its officials can play a positive role to the joint efforts towards a Cyprus settlement based on the Security Council resolutions.

    Replying to a question on whether he is optimist about the meeting he will have with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on July 25 and about the progress made in working groups and technical committees, President Christofias pointed out that his is not hurrying to evaluate the work of the working groups and technical committees.

    The Greek Cypriot side will evaluate the progress or work being done by the technical committees and working groups before the July 25, President Christofias said and added that during the meeting with Talat he will express the Greek Cypriot sides estimation and opinion on the matter.

    Christofias and Talat will meet for the fourth time since Christofias election to the presidency in February 2008, to review the progress achieved at discussions between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot experts, on various aspects of the Cyprus question, including territory, governance, the economy and property. The leaders will decide whether direct negotiations between them can begin.

    Referring to his visit to Paris, President Christofias said that he would hold meetings with the UN Secretary General and with leaders of states and governments. The summit for the Barcelona Process and the Union for the Mediterranean, that will take place on Sunday, will mark a new stage of the relations between the EU member states and the countries of the Mediterranean, the North Africa and the Middle East, President Christofias noted.

    The main target of the meeting is to join forces and knowledge aiming to implement joint programmes between the European Commission, the EU member states and the Mediterranean countries, with the ultimate goal being the prevail of peace, cooperation and prosperity in the region, Christofias said.

    President Christofias concluded by saying that Cyprus, with its crucial position in the Southeastern Mediterranean sea, will actively participate to that cooperation.


    The achievements in gender equality, the contribution of the acquis communautaire, the problems and opportunities for better harmonisation on a national level, and the new challenges as set out in the EU Road Map towards the year 2010 as well as Cyprus` National Programme for Gender Equality for the period 2007-2013, were presented during a discussion on gender equality in Nicosia.

    Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis assured that safeguarding women`s rights was one of the priorities of the government, which ``recognises the significant role of women in the modern Cypriot society and, through legislation and institutions, supports their work and respects their mission.`` Stavrakis said the intention of the government was to take in to consideration, wherever possible, the gender dimension in the state budgets, in line with EU gender budgeting policies, in order to incorporate the principle of gender equality.

    Minister of Justice and Public Order Kypros Chrysostomides said Cyprus is among the first EU member states with high performances in growth and employment, with employment being 60.3% for women and 80% for men in 2006, compared to 57.4% and 72.6% respectively in the EU. He pointed out, however, that the salary gap between men and women in Cyprus was among the highest in Europe. Furthermore, he said 20% of women were employed with fixed term contracts, compared to the 15% EU average, and that there were twice as many women on such contracts in Cyprus compared to men.

    Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Cyprus Androulla Kaminara referred to the European equality policies, their implementation in Cyprus and the prospects created from the promotion of measures suggested by the EU.

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