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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-10-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has urged Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turklish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to make real progress in the Cypriot negotiations and find a solution to the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    The UN Chief was responding to a CNA question, during a press conference at the UN seat, He was asked whether he is satisfied with the progress made by Christofias and Talat and whether he intended to get more personally involved in the peace process.

    ``I am reasonably optimistic about the prospect of resolving this long-standing Cyprus issue. I am encouraged by the commitment and continuing negotiations led by the two leaders, Mr. Christofias and Mr. Talat and my Special adviser Mr. Alexander Downer has been continuously engaged and facilitating this dialogue,`` he said.

    He expressed hope that they will continue their negotiations. Since they have finished the first round of negotiations, they have, a couple of weeks ago, entered into a second phase, he added.

    ``Now it is time for both leaders to be more seriously considering to make necessary compromises and show flexibility so they can move ahead,`` he pointed out.

    Ban added that through the first round of negotiation ``I think they have built up good political atmosphere on the basis of mutual trust and commitment and now it is time for them to make a real progress, demonstrating flexibility and arguing on compromises.``

    Christofias and Talat have been engaged in talks since September 2008 with a view to find a mutually acceptable solution that will reunite the country, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islands northern third.


    President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, heading a parliamentary delegation, has wrapped up an official visit to Moscow, at the invitation of the President of the State Duma Boris Gryzlov, and returns home on Thursday. The delegation comprises MPs Nicos Katsourides, Averof Neophytou, Andreas Angelides, Yiannakis Omirou and Dimitris Syllouris.

    In statements to CNA, Katsourides said the visit was successful and that the position of Russia concerning the Cyprus problem was reaffirmed, which is clear and will not be altered. Neophytou said the visit was important and successful, noting that the message Cyprus received was that Russia maintains its positions concerning the island`s political problem.

    Angelides pointed out the need to continue and intensify parliamentary diplomacy, noting that its potential abroad was proven through the collective effort made in Russia. Omirou said Russia is returning to the international scene much stronger and that enhancing relations with Cyprus would be very beneficial for the island. Syllouris said the visit was very useful in the sense that the excellent bilateral relations were reaffirmed, noting that it also served as a reminder of the huge potential of expanding cooperation between the two countries.


    Climate change, the economic crisis and institutional issues related to the Lisbon Ôreaty will be the main focus of the EU summit, to be held in Brussels on 29 and 30 October. Cyprus is represented at the meeting by the President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.

    The first European Council under the Swedish presidency is set to discuss some of the major challenges facing the Union. Ahead of the UN climate conference in December, heads of state and government are expected to work on an overall mandate for the negotiations in Copenhagen. The EU wants to maintain its leading role in climate talks. As the ratification process of the Lisbon treaty is now close to completion, EU leaders will take stock of the situation. They will examine how to bring the long-drawn-out process to a successful end.

    Regarding the economic crisis, the summit will provide guidance for further work, including strengthening the surveillance of financial markets. Other topics include illegal immigration in the Mediterranean and an EU strategy for the Baltic Sea region.

    On Thursday morning, Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou will give a speech at a breakfast briefing of the European Policy Centre (EPC). Kyprianou will talk about Turkey`s EU accession course and the forthcoming evaluation of that course by the EU. The title of the speech is ``December 2009 and EU-Turkey relations``.

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