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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-05-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The exploration and the exploitation of Cyprus wealth is the states sovereign right, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed.

    Invited Friday to comment on Turkish threats to block hydrocarbon exploration in Cyprus exclusive economic zone, Stephanou pointed out that ``the entire international community should look into the issue, because there are international laws, agreements, there is an order, which everybody should respect, with no exemption.

    The Republic of Cyprus, he went on to add, will do whatever it believes is to the benefit of its vital interests.

    The Republic of Cyprus exercises its sovereign rights. If some do not want to act in line with international law and behave in a way which is provocative to Cyprus and the international community as well, it is up to everybody to judge for himself, he said.

    Asked whether the Republic of Cyprus has protested to the EU about the Turkish threats, he said: how we shall act is an issue which we will not discuss at present. I reiterate that the Republic, in the framework of international legality, asserts and protects its rights and acts accordingly.

    The international community as well as the EU since Turkey aspires to join the Union - must look into this issue, he noted.

    Replying to a question, the Spokesman said that the exploration of hydrocarbon reserves is irrelevant with the ongoing negotiations which began between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus with a view to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    ``The exploration is Cyprus sovereign right, he noted, adding that when the Cyprus problem is solved and Cyprus is reunified all will benefit from any possible reserves may be found.

    He recalled that Cypriot President Demetris Christofias had sent a letter of protest to the UN Secretary General and the European Commission President regarding Turkish harassment against ships which were conducting exploration surveys in Cyprus exclusive economic zone.

    ``We defend the rights of the Republic of Cyprus. Its others who act against the law, he concluded.


    The UN Security Council is expected to adopt today the resolution for the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    The main obstacle for the non-adoption of the resolution so far has been a reference by UN Secretary General on the proposed review of the mandate of UNFICYP. The reference has been changed and in the draft resolution, it is stated that the UNSC welcomes the review of UNFICYP and notes that any contingency planning must be in relation to the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    The UNSC welcomes the intention of the Secretary-General to keep all peacekeeping operations, including those of UNFICYP, under close review and notes the importance of contingency planning in relation to the settlement, including recommendations as appropriate for further adjustments to UNFICYPs mandate, force levels and concept of operations, taking into account developments on the ground and the views of the parties.

    The draft resolution welcomes the UN Secretary Generals report, notes that the Cypriot government has given its consent for the renewal of UNFICYP mandate and says that the achievement of a solution in Cyprus is a Cypriot responsibility.


    The Cypriot economy copes relatively well with the current financial crisis and the economic recession, despite an unavoidable deceleration in its rate of growth, resulting from the particularly adverse external environment, Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis has said here on Thursday.

    Speaking during a dinner hosted to the participants of the informal Economic and Financial Committee meeting (EFC), Stavrakis said that ``our financial sector remains sound, with a strong liquidity position and a comfortable capital adequacy as well as sufficient profitability``.

    ``The Cypriot economy is growing at a rate of growth, which we expect to be of 1% for 2009, under conditions of near full employment and price stability``, he noted.

    He added that the public finances will inevitably show deterioration this year, being negatively affected by the slowdown of the economy, as well as the changed composition of growth.

    ``A deficit of around 2-2.5% is expected. In this respect, I want to stress that our fiscal policy will remain prudent. Indicative, I believe of the sound fundamentals of the Cypriot economy, has been the response of European investors to our Euro bond issue yesterday. The issue was oversubscribed by over 450%, at a relatively favourable cost``, he said.

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