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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-07-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said that Cyprus wants Turkey`s European accession course to continue under the right preconditions and provided that Ankara fulfills its obligations towards the Republic of Cyprus and the European Union.

    ``This is our position and we will stick to it``, he added.

    President Christofias also said that the National Council (top advisory body to the President on the handling of the Cyprus question) will convene to discuss the issue of Cyprus` strategy concerning Turkey`s European accession course.

    In statements to the press after his 35th meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, in the framework of the direct negotiations on the Cyprus question, which began last September, Christofias said that during the meeting they concluded the first reading on the territorial issue.

    He added that at the next meeting which will take place on July 9th they will open the discussion on the security chapter.

    He also said they decided the dates of their next meetings until October.

    President Christofias also said he agreed with Talat not to exchange maps at this stage during discussions on territory.

    He also noted that ``in my opinion we support the principles and interests of both communities``, in the framework of the talks.

    Invited to comment statements by Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country has taken over as of July 1st the EU rotating presidency, President Christofias noted the fact that Bildt said that Turkey must implement its obligations and implement the Ankara protocol, noting at the same time that Bildt and the Swedish Presidency do not hide their positive feelings towards Turkey.

    He added that he will have the opportunity to discuss with Bildt as well as with the Prime Minister of Sweden.


    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus continued Thursday the preliminary exchange of views on the chapter of territory, in the framework of UN-led direct negotiations, which began September 2008 aiming at achieving a mutually agreed settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    In statements to the press after the meeting, UN Secretary-General`s Special Representative to Cyprus Tayee-Brook Zerihoun said that the two leaders, President of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat held an extended tete - a - tete meeting for one and a half hour, with the participation of their representatives, George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami.

    In that meeting, he said, they discussed the follow-up of the agreement they reached on the opening of the Limnitis Kokkina crossing, to facilitate movement to and from the islands northern Turkish occupied areas.

    They then came to the plenary to continue the preliminary exchange of views on territory. They have now decided to conclude the first reading of the territory, he added.


    The EU will have a big post-settlement role in Cyprus, to rapidly make the acquis communautaire applicable for the whole island, the Ambassador of Sweden to Cyprus, Ingemar Lindahl, whose country took over the EU presidency on July 1st, has said in an interview with CNA.

    The Ambassador noted that both sides in Cyprus are open to an appropriate EU involvement in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and the EU has to try to assist with its expertise, something it has already done to some extent.

    Lindahl said that clearly the process for a Cyprus settlement is a Cypriot process within the framework of the good offices of the UN Secretary General, while asked if there should be EU guarantees in case of a settlement, Lindahl noted that the fact that Cyprus is a member of the EU is a guarantee.

    Asked about the opening of more negotiating chapters with Turkey during the Swedish Presidency, Lindahl said there are three chapters that could open during his countrys presidency: Social Policy, Environment and Competition.

    We hope to be able to open a couple of chapters during the Fall, he added, noting that Turkey had to prepare certain legislations. We will try to open all three, if possible. But it depends. It might be only one. We will see, he said.


    Director General of the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) Nondas Metaxas has said that the agreement signed on Wednesday in Greece between the CSE and the Athens Stock Exchange (ASE) to expand their cooperation would be of great benefit to the CSE.

    Metaxas told CNA that the agreement ``bridges a large gap`` which did not allow the CSE to receive the dues on transactions carried out through the ASE for Bank of Cyprus and Marfin Popular Bank bonds.

    He added that the CSE would now receive a substantial percentage on the clearance of daily transactions at the ASE for those bonds.

    Metaxas also said that the agreement provides for dual listing, meaning that the two stock exchanges would be receiving 50% of takings from Cypriot companies entering their stocks in the ASE or Greek companies in the CSE.

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