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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-10-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias reiterated on Wednesday his commitment to a settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bi-communal and bi-zonal federation, as the island commemorated on Wednesday the anniversary of October 28, 1940, when Ioannis Metaxas said no to Mussolinis request to allow Italian troops to enter Greece.

    World War II veterans, secondary school pupils, university and college students, boy scouts and members of various organizations marched here to mark Greeces contribution to World War II, when the Greek nation fought bravely against the invading Axis forces in 1940.

    In attendance of the parade were Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, the Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II Greek Ambassador Vassilis Papaioannou and other officials.

    In statements to the press after a church service held before the parade, on the occasion of the anniversary of 28 October 1940 , President Christofias praised the Greek resistance to the fascist and Nazi forces.

    He also stressed that ``our aim is the reunification of Cyprus, the termination of the occupation, a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation which is not our own invention.``

    ``We strive so that the human rights of the Cypriot people and their fundamental freedoms are restored and Cyprus moves on united in the framework of the European Union,`` Christofias said, calling for unity among the political parties and the people.

    On his part, in a speech on the occasion of the anniversary, Greek Ambassador praised Cyprus` solidarity with Greece during the latters resistance to the Nazi and fascist forces, noting that more than 20.000 Cypriots joined as volunteers the Cypriot Regiment of the British Army and later in the Cypriot Volunteer Force.

    Greece supports the direct negotiations process in the framework of the UN Good Offices Mission, Papaioannou noted, adding that the Cypriot people must be free from foreign interventions to decide by themselves the content of the solution to the Cyprus problem.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began UN-led direct negotiations to reunify Cyprus, divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.


    Mayor of Moscow Yuri Luzhkov stressed on Wednesday Russia`s continuous support to Cyprus. Luzhkov was welcoming a Cypriot inter-parliamentary currently paying a visit to Russia, headed by the President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian.

    Russia has always stood by Cyprus, Luzhkov pointed out and said the relations of Cyprus with Russia are based on sound foundations, adding that the two countries have good relations in many areas, such as investments, trade and tourism.

    He also referred to the good relations of the Municipality of Moscow with the Municipality of Nicosia and the Cypriot government, stressing the contribution of the Head of the Municipality`s External Relations Directorate Georgi Muratov, who served in the past as the Russian Ambassador both in Cyprus and Greece, in building these relations. On his part, Garoyian expressed the gratitude of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot people for the support of the Russian Federation to Cyprus.


    A member of the Mine Action Centre Cyprus (MACC) was killed on Wednesday in a demining accident, marking the group`s first fatality in five years of work in Cyprus, UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) spokesman has said. According to a statement issued by Jose Diaz, ``Femisberto Novele, a MACC member from Mozambique, died in an explosion at approximately 8 this morning in a minefield near Geri, some 10 kilometres south east of Nicosia.``

    Diaz added that ``the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of UNFICYP, Taye-Brook Zerihoun, said he was saddened and shocked to learn of the accident today, which he called a tragic reminder of the dangers landmines still pose in Cyprus.``

    The Mine Action Centre Cyprus is a project of the United Nations Development Programmes Partnership for the Future. The MAC has removed and destroyed more than 14,000 mines since 2004, with the support of UNFICYP. A total of 57 minefields have been cleared to date, covering more than 6.5 million square metres of land.

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