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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The UN Security Council has approved a resolution, renewing the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a further six months.

    Resolution 1783, which was passed with 14 votes in favour and one against, ``welcomes the analysis of developments on the ground over the last six months in the Secretary-General`s report, in accordance with his mandate`` and ``welcomes also the progress made so far in the fully fledged negotiations, and the prospect of further progress in the near future towards a comprehensive and durable settlement that this has created.``

    The Security Council ``urges full exploitation of this opportunity, including by intensifying the momentum of negotiations, improving the current atmosphere of trust and goodwill, and engaging in the process in a constructive and open manner`` and ``urges also the implementation of confidence-building measures, and looks forward to agreement on and implementation of further such steps, including the opening of other crossing points.``

    According to the resolution, it ``reaffirms all its relevant resolutions on Cyprus, in particular resolution 1251 (1999) of 29 June 1999 and subsequent resolutions`` and furthermore ``expresses its full support for UNFICYP and decides to extend its mandate for a further period ending 15 December 2009.``

    It ``calls on both sides to continue to engage, as a matter of urgency and while respecting UNFICYP`s mandate, in consultations with UNFICYP on the demarcation of the buffer zone, and on the United Nations 1989 aide-memoire, with a view to reaching early agreement on outstanding issues`` and also ``calls on the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkish forces to restore in Strovilia the military status quo which existed there prior to 30 June 2000.``

    The Security Council ``requests the Secretary General to submit a report on implementation of this resolution, including on contingency planning in relation to the settlement, by 1 December 2009 and to keep the Security Council updated on events as necessary.``

    In conclusion, it ``decides to remain seized of the matter.``


    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.


    The first government installment worth 200 million euro was transferred on Friday to the Social Insurance Fund, based on a Council of Ministers decision to gradually create a reserve fund of one billion, in annual installments of 200 million for the period 2009-2013.

    The amount, which was transferred on Friday during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace and will receive 3.5% interest, was handed over to Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Soteroulla Charalambous by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, in the presence of Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis, the social partners and the members of the Social Insurance Fund Board of Directors.

    Speaking at the ceremony, President Christofias said this was the first time that the government was depositing an amount in the Fund, noting that ``it is an act of decisive significance for the future of the Fund and the Cypriot society.``

    ``We are creating the preconditions for the effective investment policy of the Fund`s reserve,`` he said, adding that the government ``is trying to increase minimum pensions, so that the pioneers of the Fund, the workers of the era, who are receiving peanuts, can live a satisfactory life.``


    The first part of the 21st FIBA International Vintage Car Rally began on Friday with the participation of 71 cars.

    The start was given at the Jaguar showroom in Nicosia, in the presence of Nicosia Mayor Eleni Mavrou, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works Makis Constantinides, among others.

    Out of the 84 cars which entered the rally, 71 left the ramp at one-minute intervals, to cover the first day`s route, which is 200.36 km long, with four precision tests. The cars will be finishing the first day at Elias Beach Hotel in Limassol.

    On Saturday, the entrants will be leaving Limassol for Azia Hotel in Paphos, where the second day finishes.

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