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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-10-18

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou arrives in Cyprus on Monday on a two-day official visit, during which he will meet President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and address a special session at the House of Representatives.

    According to the programme of the visit, on Monday Papandreou, heading a multi-party delegation, will have a private meeting with the President, followed by talks with the participation of the respective delegations. The two leaders will then address the press.

    The Greek PM will sign the book of visitors at the Presidential Palace.

    Later in the day, he will visit the Enclaved Tombs (graves of Greek Cypriots killed during the anti-colonial struggle against the British in the mid 1950s) and the graves of Greek nationals killed during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    In the evening, Papandreou will have separate meetings with the leaders of parliamentary parties AKEL Secretary General Andros Kyprianou, President of the Democratic Rally Nicos Anastasiades, President of the Democratic Party Marios Garogian and President of the Social Democrats Movement EDEK Yiannakis Omirou.

    The first day of the official visit will end with a state banquet President Christofias will host in honour of Papandreou and his delegation.

    On Tuesday, Papandreou will meet separately the leaders of another two parliamentary parties President of the European Party Demetris Syllouris and the head of the Movement of Environmentalists Ioanna Panayiotou.

    The Greek Premier will also talk to the Committee of Relatives of Missing persons and the Committee of Turkish occupied Municipalities.

    Papandreou will then see the primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II.

    He will also have a brief encounter with President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, in the presence of President Christofias, prior to his address to the special House session.

    Papandreou leaves at around noon on October 20.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has described an official visit to Cyprus by the Greek Prime Minister as exceptionally important, noting this is George Papandreous first official visit abroad. ęThe visit takes place at a very critical juncture as we are anticipating the December landmark, which signals Turkeys assessment by the European Union, the Spokesman added in his remarks at the annual Radiomarathon charity event.

    The government, he said, will continue to work until December on the basis of the European Commission progress report on Turkey which notes that Ankara has not met its obligations, which would promote the strategic goal of a political settlement in Cyprus. If Turkey does not fulfill its EU commitments, Nicosia will examine all available options, at the time, he explained.

    We want to see all options that are available to us and at the appropriate time, together, the political leadership acting in concert with Greece we shall take our decisions when the time is right, Stephanou said ahead of Papandreou`s official visit on Monday and Tuesday.


    The government has rejected criticism from the Turkish Cypriot side that at the current UN-led peace talks it operates outside the framework laid down by UN resolutions on Cyprus. The Greek Cypriot side operates on the basis of UN resolutions, during the ongoing peace talks, and nobody can question that, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed, in response to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats claims that the Greek Cypriot side does not adhere to the UN framework.

    The Spokesman called on the Turkish Cypriot side to act in the same manner, if it wishes to find a negotiated settlement in Cyprus, to reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. He explained that the UN describe the Cyprus solution in their resolutions, which are the guiding principles for the UN, noting that many resolutions state that the Cyprus solution will be a bizonal bicommunal federation, with political equality as defined by UN resolutions, in a federal state with a single sovereignty, one citizenship and one international personality.

    This, he said, has been agreed and reaffirmed by the leaders of the two communities before the talks began in September 2008 and both sides are called to operate within this context and table their proposal on this basis. We would urge anybody to assess whether our positions fall within this context. We are convinced that they are. Let everybody evaluate the positions of the Turkish Cypriot side too, to see if they are also in line with this, the Spokesman said.


    The Cyprus problem was among the issues discussed during a telephone conversation between US President Barack Obama and Turkish President Abdullah Gul. According to a White House spokesman, the two presidents discussed issues of mutual interest, reflecting the broad strategic dialogue the United States conduct with this key ally.

    The two leaders discussed the need for constant engagement in resolving the Cyprus problem and promoting stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    President Obama is expected to receive at the White House, on 29 October, the Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan. Among the issues on the agenda is the Cyprus problem as well as issues of religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, with the opening of the Theological School of Halki as the focus. In two weeks, the US President will meet at the White House with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

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