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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-03-24

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The United Nations Development Programme Partnership for the Future has signed Wednesday a contract with a joint venture to begin work on the Limnitis/Yesilirmak road project, clearing the way for the opening a new crossing point in the island.

    According to a press release by UNFICYP, the FAP-Tarmac Joint Venture, bringing together Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot companies, will upgrade the road between Kato Pyrgos/Asagi Pirgo and Limnitis/Yesilirmak in the northwest of the island, allowing civilian traffic to flow again through the buffer zone running across the area.

    Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UNFICYP Chief of Mission Taye-Brook Zerihoun hailed the signing of the contract as further tangible evidence that when there is a will, even what seem to be the most intractable problems can be solved.

    Noting that getting to today`s signing was far from easy, Zerihoun said that the persistence of the two sides has made everything possible.

    But thanks to the perseverance and cooperation of the two sides, and particularly of the two leaders, as well as the untiring effort of many in the international community, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots -- and all the people of Cyprus -- are now taking one more determined step in their pursuit to remove obstacles to peace, reconciliation and prosperity in a reunited island, he went on to say.


    Minister of the Interior Neoclis Sylikiotis has announced that the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which is based in Switzerland, will open an office in Cyprus this year.

    The IOM, he added, supports programs of voluntary return of refugees to their homelands.

    Speaking at a press conference on the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually on 21 March, Sylikiotis said that the government will continue efforts to proceed with policies that combat racism and xenophobia.

    He added that government immigration policy aims to deal with growing challenges, as well as increasing opportunities as a result of the great immigration flow into Cyprus.

    Replying to questions, he said that in Cyprus there are around 70,000 immigrants from third countries, non EU members, adding that 35,000 of them are housemaids.

    Regarding asylum seekers, he said that the government has managed to combat successfully the abuse of the asylum system, adding that there are now less than 1.000 asylum seekers, while in 2008 their number reached 8.500.

    Sylikiotis said that the majority of asylum seekers are Palestinians and Kurds.

    He noted that most illegal immigrants come to the southern government controlled areas of Cyprus through the northern Turkish occupied areas, which have been under the control of Ankara since Turkish troops invaded in 1974.


    The British government believes that the issue of property in Cyprus will be best solved through a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    This was stated by British Minister of State for Africa and the United Nations Baroness Kinnock in reply to a written question of Lord Maginnis on whether the Secretary of State for Justice intends to seek to have the decision in the Apostolides v Orams case referred back to the European Court of Justice, following the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights of March 5th, regarding the so-called Immovable Property Commission in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    The Government is aware of the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg on several cases relating to property in Cyprus. We continue to believe that the complicated issue of property in Cyprus will be best solved through a comprehensive settlement, she replied.

    Baroness Kinnock went on to say that the British government was not party to the Apostolides v Orams case and will not, therefore, seek to have the decision referred back to the European Court of Justice.

    It is up to the courts how they interpret the recent ECHR ruling in any future cases, she concluded.


    Cypriot Minister of Communications and Works Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis welcomed on Wednesday the European Commission`s approval of Cyprus` new, fully revised and upgraded Shipping Taxation System.

    In an official press release Marcoullis expressed ``particular satisfaction for this significant achievement which is expected to have a very positive effect on the economy of Cyprus and on safeguarding the competitiveness of the Cypriot merchant fleet.``

    On its part, the Cypriot Shipping Chamber notes that ``this approval constitutes perhaps the most important success for Cyprus shipping since the Republic of Cyprus was established and ensures the viability of the countrys shipping registry and Cyprus shipping industry, as well as the unhindered continuation of the important contribution of the Shipping Industry to the local economy, which according to the latest available official statistical figures, exceeds 5% of the GDP, despite the continuing international financial crisis.``

    ``With the new Taxation System, Cyprus will be able to cover in their most modern form, the three basic shipping activities that are offered today in international shipping, namely ship-owning, ship-management and the chartering of vessels, rendering Cyprus the `Shipping Metropolis` of Europe,`` the CSC adds.

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