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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-07-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed that Turkey should fulfill the obligations it has undertaken towards the EU, if it wishes to smoothly continue its EU accession course.

    Commenting on statements by the head of Turkey`s EU negotiations Egemen Bagis that, if direct trade began with Cyprus Turkish occupied areas, Turkey would open its ports to ships flying the Cyprus flag, Stephanou said ``the opening of Turkey`s ports and airports to the Republic of Cyprus is a commitment, an obligation Turkey has undertaken towards the EU and the EU member states in the additional Ankara Protocol.``

    ``This obligation does not provide for anything else, especially that which Mr. Bagis is saying. So, Turkey has undertaken commitments and should fulfill them if it wishes to smoothly continue its accession course,`` he pointed out.

    Referring to remarks by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Stephanou said ``the illegal airports and ports in the occupied areas are illegal and, according to international law, should not operate in they way they are operating.``

    ``So, no one can seek to legalise an illegality, as international law stipulates,`` he added.

    Stephanou also commented on press reports regarding by-passing the referenda on an eventual political settlement, noting that ``the procedure, especially the issue of an agreed solution and the approval of the solution at simultaneous separate referenda by the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots, has been agreed on by the leaders of the two communities, has been agreed with the UN Secretary General, and these elements of the process are contained in a UN resolution.``

    ``So, not only must any agreement be put to the people in referenda but the aim is, through dialogue, to reach a mutually acceptable solution, a mutually acceptable agreement to take to referenda, and I believe the procedure is clear and constitutes an answer to any press reports or any possible intentions,`` he pointed out.


    Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has dismissed Turkish attempts to link Ankaras obligations to the European Union with its demand for direct trade between Cyprus Turkish occupied areas with the EU.

    Turkey, as a candidate country, cannot put forward terms and preconditions in order to meet its commitments towards the Union, Kyprianou stressed, commenting on remarks by Turkish Chief Negotiator with the EU Egemen Bagis that if direct trade begins, then Turkey will open its ports to Cypriot vessels.

    Kyprianou pointed out that Turkey has undertaken a commitment to implement the Customs Union agreement and the Additional Protocol, which call on Ankara to open its ports and airports to Cypriot flagged ships and aircraft.

    Any efforts to link two issues which have nothing to do with each other cannot be accepted by the Republic of Cyprus and we will not allow this to be accepted by the EU, Kyprianou stressed.


    The Eurozone GDP index recorded its worst performance ever during the first quarter of 2009, with the only EMU country with a positive GDP being Cyprus.

    According to the second estimates for the first quarter of 2009, issued by Eurostat on Wednesday, the GDP in Cyprus remained unchanged during the first quarter of 2009 in relation to the fourth quarter of 2008, while on an annual basis it rose by 1.5%.

    The Eurozone GDP fell by 2.5% and the EU27 GDP by 2.4% during the first quarter of 2009, compared with the previous quarter, while in the fourth quarter of 2008, growth rates were -1.8% in both zones.

    In comparison with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP declined in the first quarter of 2009 by 4.9% in the Eurozone and by 4.7% in the EU27, after -1.7% and -1.6% respectively in the previous quarter.

    In the first quarter of 2009, all member states for which seasonally adjusted GDP data are available registered a negative growth rate compared with the previous quarter, except Poland (+0.4%) and Cyprus (0.0%).


    The European Commission approved on Wednesday an aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community which aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    According to a Commission press release, the Commission approved the annual report for 2008 on the implementation of the aid programme for the Turkish Cypriot community.

    The aid programme, the report says, aims to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the EUs legal order.

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