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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-12-31

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has called on the people of Cyprus to ignore rumours regarding scenarios about a solution of the Cyprus problem, and to stay calm, assuring that the government would remain faithful to UN resolutions, international and European law, and the high level agreements of 1977 and 1979, in efforts to reach a settlement, for which the goodwill of the Turkish side is necessary.

    In his New Year message to the people, President Christofias referred to the UN-led direct talks with the Turkish Cypriot community for a solution, noting that ``unfortunately I cannot say that we are close to a solution``, adding that ``in various aspects of the Cyprus problem there is a discord in the opinions expressed, while there are also issues which we have not managed to discuss adequately due to our differences. Nonetheless progress has been made but even this progress is less than we had expected.``

    He noted that the talks are proving to be difficult and that patience, realism and insistence on principles were necessary in order to reach a solution.

    President Christofias said he was struggling for a viable and functional solution, which would rid Cyprus of the Turkish occupation and settlers, reunify the territory, the people, the institutions and the economy, safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the whole of the people of Cyprus, promote peace, friendship and cooperation among Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in the framework of a united federal republic, and create a demilitarised, truly independent EU member state, without guardians.

    ``I wish to assure you that we are not daunted by the difficulties in the negotiations,`` he stressed, and noted that the government was lobbying the international community in order for exert pressure on Turkey to change its stance towards the Cyprus problem.

    He pointed out that this was necessary for substantive progress on all aspects of the problem and to pave the way for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with political equality, as defined in UN Security Council resolutions.

    Referring to the global financial crisis, President Christofias said the government has taken measures and promoted specific policies to manage the situation in Cyprus, adding that the joint effort of all political forces and social partners was necessary.

    He assured that, despite the difficulties, the government would continue to promote its ambitious programme to enhance the welfare state, promote development and strengthen the economy.

    The President appealed for unity on the home front, expressing regret that he is not pleased with the existing level of unity.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island. In mid January they will begin intensified talks in a bid to make headway towards a solution.


    President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian has expressed hope that 2010 would see the reunification of Cyprus and the restoration of the human rights and freedoms of its people. Garoyian noted that the people of Cyprus expect a solution that will rid the country of Turkish occupation troops and settlers, will safeguard human rights and political freedoms, and will promise brighter prospects for the whole of the people of the island.

    He wished the people of Cyprus prosperity, health, joy and courage ``to get through a difficult year, as 2010 is expected to be.`` Garoyian was speaking after a presentation of Christmas carols by the Police Philharmonic, the National Guard Band and the Band of the Greek Forces in Cyprus (ELDYK).

    I wish that Greece and Cyprus will meet difficulties that may arise in the year ahead and through their clout, they will be in a position to intervene and safeguard their vital interests in the best possible way, he added.


    President Demetris Christofias has said that he will not abandon efforts to find a common language with the Turkish Cypriots, in spite of Turkeys attempts to impede this. The President pledged to continue his efforts in the framework of a democratic dialogue with political parties to find first of all a common language among themselves and secondly to find a common language with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots.

    Turkey raises obstacles in the effort for a common language between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots but we shall not abandon our efforts because we believe that the fate of the people is neither invasion, nor occupation, or violation of international law or hunger, which we see in many places around the globe, despite the optimistic forecasts and promises by the big world powers, President Christofias stressed.

    A better distribution of wealth worldwide concerns everybody, he pointed out, noting that we must all confront the consequences of climate change. The President Christofias was speaking at the Presidential Palace after listening to New Year carols by the police band, the National Guard band and the band of the Greek contingent in Cyprus (ELDYK), stationed on the island in line with the 1960 treaties that established the Republic of Cyprus.

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