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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-07-24

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [03] EU - US VISAS


    The recently appointed Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, is expected to arrive here on Sunday 27 July, Michele Montas, Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, has announced.

    Speaking in New York on Wednesday, Montas said that Downer will pay courtesy calls on President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, on Tuesday.

    UNFICYP Spokesperson Jose Diaz has told CNA that during his visit Downer ``will hold briefings with UN staff``.

    Replying to questions, he indicated that Downer will probably meet the Ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

    Downer is currently in New York for briefings and yesterday met the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

    Downers visit will take place a couple of days after Christofias and Talat meet for the fourth time since Christofias was elected to the presidency in February this year. The two leaders will review progress achieved at bicommunal teams of experts who have been discussing various aspects of the Cyprus issue to prepare the ground for direct negotiations between the two community leaders.


    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has thanked the political parties which support his efforts to begin direct negotiations with the Turkish Cypriot community for a political settlement.

    Christofias, who is currently having separate meetings with political party leaders, in view of his meeting Friday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, refrained from any comment at this stage on his meetings with the six parliamentary parties.

    I would like to thank those who have expressed their support. At this stage, I do not wish to make any comment on my meetings, given that I have not concluded all the meetings, he told the press on Wednesday evening, having met three parties.

    In the past two days he has met AKEL, the Democratic Rally (DISY) and the Democratic Party (DIKO). The first two have given the President the green light to proceed to direct negotiations, DIKO will determine its stance today.

    [03] EU - US VISAS

    The European Commission will propose retaliatory measures against the US as of 1 January 2009 if Washington does not include additional EU member states into its Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Cyprus is among these EU member states. According to the European Commission fourth report on certain third countries` maintenance of visa requirements in breach of the principle of reciprocity, ``no tangible progress has been made regarding the USA despite all efforts of the Commission and individual Member States``.

    ‘he Commission has said that ``citizens of twelve EU Member States continue to require a visa when traveling to the USA. The USA committed at the June 2008 EU-USA Summit to include additional EU Member States into its Visa Waiver Program (VWP) this year. Therefore, the Commission will propose retaliatory measures e.g. temporary restoration of the visa requirement for USA nationals holding diplomatic and service/official passports as from 1 January 2009 if no progress is achieved,`` the Commission noted.

    Vice-President Jacques Barrot, Commissioner responsible for Justice, Freedom and Security underlined the usefulness of the reciprocity mechanism, saying it is unacceptable that nationals from some third countries can benefit from visa free travel to the EU whilst some of our fellow EU citizens can`t travel visa free to those countries.

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